EU regulatory: Privacy and data protection in Belgium

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP has 'great technical knowledge' of data protection law, and is highly regarded for its established strength in cross-border matters. Recent work for the team includes advising a multinational technology company on the implementation of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR); assisting Toyota with the use of data collected via telematics technology; and acting for NxtPort on setting up a data utility platform involving the use of blockchain technology. Filip Van Elsen and Peter Van Dyck jointly lead the practice.

Alston & Bird LLP

Jan Dhont's group at Alston & Bird LLP is active across the spectrum of data protection matters, including GDPR, data transfer issues, and the implementation of privacy programmes. Associate Lauren Cuyvers moved to Sidley Austin LLP in September 2018.

Baker McKenzie CVBA/SCRL

GDPR compliance instructions have been prominent in Baker McKenzie CVBA/SCRL's workload, but the team is very well known for its expertise in cross-border data transfers, international investigations, and data security obligations. The client roster includes prominent global clients from the telecoms, postal, technology, financial services, retail and healthcare sectors, among others. Belgium managing partner Daniel Fesler and Elisabeth Dehareng are key names.

Bird & Bird

At Bird & Bird, Benoit Van Asbroeck’s group has been kept busy with GDPR compliance matters and data breach cases, among other areas. The firm is part of a consortium advising on an ongoing EU-funded big-data project. Takeshige Sugimoto is well known for handling data protection matters for prominent Japanese corporations. Senior associate Julien Debussche is also recommended.

CMS

CMS' 'very experienced and pragmatic' team is perhaps best known for its well-established expertise in multinational data protection compliance work, and is equally adept at handling security breaches, privacy matters, and local data protection issues. Practice head Tom De Cordier is assisting McCain with post-GDPR implementation actions, after advising the same client on GDPR compliance across its European business.

DLA Piper

The 'proactive' group at DLA Piper, which is led by Patrick Van Eecke ('an expert in the field'), has been very active in handling cross-border data protection projects for prominent clients; for example, Van Eecke is leading the advice to a cloud-based web development platform on data security matters relating to website creation and hosting. Advertising, GDPR and consumer protection are other key areas of activity. Kristof De Vulder and Peter Craddock are other names to note in the team. Clients include Porsche, Uber, and Mondelēz International.

Fieldfisher

Fieldfisher’s team provides 'pragmatic advice' on GDPR, data breaches and international data transfer matters, to name a few areas. The 'extremely efficient'  Tim Van Canneyt is advising Euroclear on its multinational GDPR compliance project; he jointly heads the team with Olivier Proust, who is 'knowledgeable, responsive and very practical'. Proust assists Octapharma with global data transfers.

Jones Day

European and international data protection compliance matters are a core focus for Jones Day's team. Cybersecurity, data transfers, and investigations are also prominent in the firm's workload. Practice lead, of counsel Jörg Hladjk, is advising Toyota on data processing matters. Other work includes assisting longstanding client Acelity with European data transfer structures and an international data security investigation. Of counsel Laurent De Muyter is also noted.

Linklaters

Recent work for Linklaters’ data protection practice includes advising Novartis on privacy policy matters for patients and suppliers, among other parties, and assisting McDonald's Belgium with GDPR implementation. Global group lead Tanguy Van Overstraeten is renowned as an expert in data protection law; counsel Guillaume Couneson is also recommended.

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati’s 'incredibly responsive' team is advising data analysis company Trūata on anonymising personal data as part of GDPR compliance, and is assisting longstanding client Mastercard with GDPR matters; practice head Cédric Burton leads the advice to the latter.

contrast

contrast's practice, led by senior associate Anouk Focquet, has particular strength in advising clients drawn from the automotive industry on e-privacy matters, for example on the use of cookies on clients' websites. GDPR compliance and implementation work is another prominent area of instruction for the team.

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP's data protection practice spans GDPR compliance, data transfer, and data breach cases, among others, for clients from the pharmaceutical, technology and healthcare industries. Henriette Tielemans heads the department, in which special counsel Kristof Van Quathem is also recommended.

Crowell & Moring

Crowell & Moring's practice is well known for advising a client base that spans the energy, healthcare, life sciences and TMT sectors, and the firm reports an increase in instructions from the automotive and media industries; Mercedes Benz is a key client. Senior counsel Frederik Van Remoortel heads the department. Thomas De Meese, who is highly regarded for his expertise in competition law, and employment expert Emmanuel Plasschaert are key names. Senior counsel Maarten Stassen, who has extensive experience in data protection matters, joined from Deloitte Legal in October 2017.

Erkelens Law

Name partner Catherine Erkelens at Erkelens Law is highly regarded for her expertise in data protection law; she recently advised the Toy Industries of Europe on GDPR implementation. The group is also adept at handling work involving the use of sensitive data, especially in the field of satellite technology. Johan Vandendriessche  left the firm in January 2019.

Loyens & Loeff

Yves Van Couter leads the team at Loyens & Loeff, which has been advising clients from the retail, construction, technology, financial services and healthcare sectors on data breaches, compliance matters, cybersecurity and data transfers. Associate Stéphanie De Smedt is also noted.

Osborne Clarke

Recent work for Benjamin Docquir's 'efficient' team at Osborne Clarke includes advising on data security, GDPR compliance, data transfer and binding corporate rules. Counsel Ann-Sophie De Graeve left the firm to join UCB as senior counsel.

Pierstone

Pierstone acts as global counsel to Prime Alliance AISBL on all data protection matters, including data transfer security issues, and assists the European Business Aviation Association with compliance matters concerning the implementation of a new internet programme for providing cabin attendant services to business operators in the sector. Patrice Vanderbeeken heads the practice.

time.lex

time.lex garners praise for its 'extensive expertise in GDPR'; for example, Geert Somers is advising the European Commission's Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers on a communication campaign concerning GDPR, and in another matter, Jos Dumortier is assisting the Government of Cyprus with GDPR implementation matters concerning Cyprus' upcoming National Health Scheme.  Frederic Debusseré, Hans Graux and Edwin Jacobs are other names to note.