Rising Stars

EU regulatory: Information technology in Belgium

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP advises on the regulatory elements of data projects, IT transactions, outsourcing and software licensing matters, with clients including vendors and other corporates in areas such as tech, life sciences, telecoms, and financial services. Of particular note is the firm’s expertise in digital transformation projects, including digital health, fintech, blockchain, and drones. The team is led by Filip Van Elsen, a specialist in emerging technologies and outsourcing transactions, alongside Peter Van Dyck, who focuses on technology, data, and intellectual property regulations. Senior counsel Geert Glas focuses on litigation and senior associate Edward Taelman regularly represents media companies before European and Belgian courts.

Practice head(s):

Filip Van Elsen; Peter Van Dyck

Other key lawyers:

Geert Glas; Edward Taelman

DLA Piper

DLA Piper advises a wide range of global clients on EU regulatory issues, as well as major IT projects and transactions across Europe. The team works with technology and fintech sector clients as well as corporates engaged in procurement and digital transformation projects. Kristof De Vulder heads up the team and is vastly experienced in regulatory issues, cloud and IT transactions, and IT sector disputes, while recently promoted counsel Raf Schoefs specialises in complex IT and outsourcing transactions, as well as e-commerce sector advice.

Practice head(s):

Kristof De Vulder

Other key lawyers:

Raf Schoefs

Testimonials

‘Collaboration with Kristof De Vulder much appreciated.’

‘Team combines in depth knowledge about about general IT topics and trends with thorough understanding of business processes on the client side. This ensures that advice is really relevant and ready for business use.’

‘Key resources with understanding of business needs are available to oversee, review and guide advice provided by the practice.’

‘The team is very knowledgeable and can cover negotiations and drafting at the same time which is not an easy thing to do.’

‘Kristof De Vulder does not only have the knowledge, he also has very good people management skills and can come up with solutions to which all parties can agree to. Raf Schoefs is clearly used to working closely together with Kristof and the two work very well in tandem.’

Key clients

Accenture

Aliaxis

Argenta

bpost

Cegeka

Conga

Connective

DocuSign

Digipolis

EFTA

Foodpairing

Heidelberg

iDirect

Katoen Natie

LEGO Group

Nexuzhealth

Nviso

Polhem Infra

Q8

QualComm

Patronale Life

SAP Belgium

Sabena Aerospace

SD Worx

Smartbit

SNCB/NMBS (Belgian railways)

Skeydrone

skeyes

Steria Benelux

Toyota Motor Europe

UCB

Vodafone

Work highlights

  • Advising Toyota Europe on pan-European regulatory connected car projects.
  • Advised Q8 on two business-critical IT projects.
  • Avising Cegeka on all legal aspects of its smart cities cloud platform solution.

timelex

The ‘skilled and specialised’ team at time.lex advises European, national and foreign governments and governmental bodies on drafting IT legislation, pre-legislative studies, and e-government projects, as well as representing regulatory authorities in litigation relating to non-compliance and IT disputes. The firm also represents international corporate clients and team members regularly contribute to thought leadership. Key names include the vastly experienced Jos Dumortier and Hans Graux, who regularly advises the European Commission on legislation relating to cybersecurity and electronic transactions.

Practice head(s):

Jos Dumortier; Hans Graux; Geert Somers; Edwin Jacobs; Frederic Debusseré; Ruben Roex

Testimonials

‘Very skilled and specialised IT experts in the field of IT contracts, failed automation, fintech and cybercrime.’

‘Jos Dumortier, Geert Somers, Hans Graux, Edwin Jacobs, Frederic Debusseré, all very thorough, specialised, active.’

‘In depth knowledge of the law and very helpful and nice to work with.’

‘Very helpful, quick and pleasant.’

‘They have great knowledge both on technology and on the relevant legal aspects and extremely strong academic background on the matter. Their expertise is outstanding.’

‘They have great knowledge both on technology and on the relevant legal aspects and extremely strong academic background on the matter. Their expertise is outstanding. Also, the communication is on time and professional’

‘Timelex have an exceptional TMT practice with some of the most prominent experts in this area that I have had the pleasure to meet. They have tremendous experience and are widely looked up to as trend-setters and innovators in this area.’

‘Jos Dumortier is a living legend in the TMT area. Hans Graux is an extremely able and knowledgeable TMT lawyer, always seeking to add value for his clients.’

Key clients

European Commission

Belgian Data Protection Authority

European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA)

Belgian Government

Flemish Government

Government of the Brussels Region

Luminus

ECPAT International

Bank van Breda

Samsonite

Port of Antwerp

Komatsu

Doosan Bobcat

Arvesta

Work highlights

  • Advising the European Commission on drafting the proposal for an EU Regulation on the European Health Data Space.
  • Representing the Belgian Data Protection Authority in proceedings before the EU Court of Justice against Facebook regarding the scope of the GDPR’s one-stop-shop mechanism.
  • Advising the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity on reviewing and updating the legal aspects of its 2017 guidelines regarding the EU eIDAS Regulation 910/2014 on Electronic Identification and Trust Services.

Cooley LLP

Cooley LLP has established itself as a solid option for IT-focused EU regulatory advice following the 2020 arrival of Patrick Van Eecke, a specialist in innovation technology issues such as blockchain, AI, and e-commerce. The practice advises global clients within the tech space, including traditional giants of Big Tech, on major IT and cloud service agreements, alongside pan-European regulatory compliance matters, as well as regularly working with the European Commission on legislative developments.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Van Ecke

Other key lawyers:

Enrique Capdevila

Testimonials

Very responsive and fast, the team went above and beyond to apply standard legal concepts to the intrinsically complex operations in a software company.

Patrick Van Eecke and Enrique Capdevila are a pleasure to work with. They are both very involved and they possess both the technical skills required and also the people skills making for a very pleasant and professional interaction.

Very receptive to finding collaborations that allow us to maximize and integrate well with our internal/in-house team.

The Cooley cyber team is made up of industry-leading professionals who are masters in their realm and allow us to obtain efficient and effective counsel across our centrally important data protection matters.

Patrick Van Eecke and Enrique Capdevila are both business-oriented, solution focused and masters of their realm.

Key clients

Starlink (Elon Musk)

European Commission

Docusign

eBay

Apple

Cato Networks

EurID

Fujitsu

Nextdoor

Airline Tariff Publishing Company (ATPCO)

NTT Ltd

Zoom

Google

Facebook

SodaStream International Ltd.

Similarweb

Fuze

Ares Management

Thrasio

Applovin

UiPath

Bright Insight

MessageBird

Bitdefender

DataCamp

Broadcom

Burst

Work highlights

  • Advising Docusign on the legal compliance issues related to electronic signatures and electronic documents in Europe.
  • Advising the European Commission on the new draft legislation on digital identities.
  • Advising UiPath on cutting edge matters such as the upcoming EU legislation on Artificial Intelligence and on its automated decision making processes.

Eubelius

Eubelius advises on regulatory aspects of major cross-border IT projects, including licence agreements, cloud and data processing matters, and outsourcing, with specific expertise within the healthcare and financial services space, most notably advising clients in the latter field on payment platforms. The practice also supports clients in litigation arising from regulatory disputes. Pieter Callens leads the team, specialising in IT and emerging technologies work in the public and private sector, alongside regulatory litigation specialist Anneleen Van De Meulebroucke.

Practice head(s):

Pieter Callens; Anneleen Van de Meulebroucke

Testimonials

Very skilled professionals.

Understand our priorities and concerns, deliver a top job and support in negotiations.

A client-focused team that provides good legal advice and that responds professionally and swiftly to our questions.

Competent, efficient, friendly.

Key clients

European Payment Initiative

skeyes

Cerner Belgium

International Horizon Scanning Initiative (IHSI)

Batopin

GDW-Gent

Blue-Mobility

Desotec

Work highlights

  • Advising European Payment Initiative on the tender for a new EU-wide payments initiative.
  • Advising IHSI on the execution of an international public tender procedure with a view to outsource the development, setting-up and maintenance of a horizon scanning software and database system.
  • Advising Batopin on drafting and negotiating a framework agreement relating to the outsourcing of the software development and software/hardware maintenance and services of the ATM network.

Jones Day

Jones Day advises IT and telecoms clients on European regulatory issues, with work including advice on legislative developments through to transactional and commercial contracting support. The firm has a strong record in cross-border advice, working with international US and Asia-domiciled clients on European regulatory considerations, and also benefits from integrated support from its global offering. The practice is led by Jörg Hladjk, a specialist in cybersecurity and data protection work, with senior competition advisers Alexandre Verheyden and Bernard Amory active in the technology and telecoms sectors.

Practice head(s):

Jörg Hladjk

Other key lawyers:

Lucie Fournier; Laura Tielemans; Cristiana Spontoni; Bernard Amory; Alexandre Verheyden

Testimonials

‘This team collaborated particularly well and listens to client concerns. They also provide accurate timing and budget expectations.’

‘Lucie Fournier, Jörg Hladjk, and Laura Tielemans are excellent working together, understanding the client’s goals and objectives, sensitivity, etc.’

‘Jones Day has demonstrated an ability to seamlessly harness its leading practitioners across its European offices in a formidable multi-disciplinary team.’

‘Cristiana Spontoni is a passionate advocate who fights relentlessly to advance her client’s interests. Goes the extra mile every time.’

‘Jones Day’s EU regulatory capabilities are top notch. Their lawyers are always on top of the latest developments and are quite skilled at turning them into pragmatic advice for clients.’

‘Jorg Hladjk is my primary contact at Jones Day. Jorg is a very thoughtful lawyer, who has a good sense of balancing client concerns and regulatory demands. Jorg communicates effectively with clients. He also has a high degree of technical competency allowing for better application of the law to client technology issues.’

Work highlights

  • Advising Deutsche Telekom / T-Mobile on various matters before the European Commission, including the network sharing investigation.
  • Advising Telenet on the regulation of broadband networks and broadcasting services.
  • Advising Experian Information Systems on global complex data processing contracts.

Lydian

Lydian advises corporates, small and large, alongside IT sector clients, on EU regulatory compliance and changes in areas such as data, digital services, and markets, alongside regulatory aspects of IT transactions and representing clients in litigation. The firm has a strong international client base, and is regularly referred matters by global law firms. Bastiaan Bruyndonckx leads the team, and has a strong record in international and cross-border IT projects and transactions.

Practice head(s):

Bastiaan Bruyndonckx

Key clients

Ethias

CTAC

QBE

Allianz Technology

AutoBink Group BV

KBC

House of HR

Valsoft Corporation Inc

Eplan Software & Service GmbH & Co. KG

E.ON Power Plants Belgium BV

Work highlights

  • Advised Ctac, listed IT service provider specialising in business and cloud solutions, on negotiations with non-profit organisation WAAK.
  • Drafted and reviewed several IT procurement agreements under Belgian law for Allianz Technology, including a framework agreement, a service agreement and terms and conditions.

Stibbe

Stibbe has a strong and focused regulatory offering, with a number of high-profile public and private sector clients across the IT and telecoms sector, and strong relationships with regulatory agencies. Practice head Erik Valgaeren is a specialist in EU IT law, and combines his work for the firm’s major clients with an active academic and thought leadership record. Senior associate Carolien Michielsen is a key member of the team, advising on IT regulatory and privacy issues.

Practice head(s):

Erik Valgaeren

Other key lawyers:

Carolien Michielsen

Key clients

Alibaba

Beltug

EIF (European Investment Fund)

EIB (European Investment Bank)

EIOPA

Facebook

Fiberklaar

Flemish Government

KT Corporation

McCain

Microsoft

Port of Antwerp

PriceWaterhouseCoopers

Proximus

Verizon

ZTE

Work highlights

  • Advising the Flemish Government on its project to set up a data utility company.
  • Advising Proximus on a major data centre outsourcing project.
  • Advising ZTE on the implementation of European legislation on the cybersecurity of 5G networks.