EU regulatory: Privacy and data protection in Belgium

Cooley LLP

Allen & Overy LLP

Filip Van Elsen and Peter Van Dyck jointly lead Allen & Overy LLP's team, which provides first-rate advice on e-privacy, cybersecurity and EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) matters. Cross-border mandates are another key workstream for the group.

Practice head(s):

Filip Van Elsen; Peter Van Dyck

Bird & Bird

At Bird & Bird, Benoit Van Asbroeck is leading the advice to the European Commission on the cybersecurity, GDPR and data protection aspects of four research projects under the Horizon 2020 programme. Data breach matters have also featured in the group's recent workload. In addition to Van Asbroeck, associate Simon Mortier is also recommended. Senior associate Julien Debussche left the firm to join booking.com.

Practice head(s):

Benoit Van Asbroeck

Other key lawyers:

Simon Mortier

Key clients

European Commission

CMS

CMS' team 'unites deep subject matter knowledge on data protection matters, pragmatism and agility'. It is providing ongoing advice to McCain on post-GDPR implementation actions across Europe and has recently been assisting the client with a global inter-company data processing agreement. Practice head Tom De Cordier is 'like a rock in any storm, knowledgeable and responsive and with a good business acumen'. Associates Janick Van Daele, Deven Dobbelaere and Thomas Dubuisson are other names to note.

Practice head(s):

Tom De Cordier

Other key lawyers:

Janick Van Daele; Deven Dobbelaere; Thomas Dubuisson

Testimonials

A team with good energy and capacities and able to step in for each other when needed‘.

Tom De Cordier’s strengths are in-depth knowledge about data protection laws as well as data security measures, commercial awareness, responsiveness, value for money, and excellent liaison skills in handling global data protection matters‘.

Key clients

Checkster

Elia

Facebook

McCain

Miraclon

Sotera

Vocalcom

Yondr

Fieldfisher

Fieldfisher’s practice has 'a wealth of knowledge on Belgian data protection laws', and attracts praise for its 'strong expertise in dealing with the Belgian Data Protection Authority'. The 'exceptionally professional and service-oriented' team 'provides quality work in a timely manner'. Olivier Proust is 'an excellent privacy lawyer with a great business mindset'; he jointly leads the group with Tim Van Canneyt, who provides 'hands-on and clear advice'. Associates Sixtine Crouzet, Alix Bertrand and Loriane Sangaré-Vayssac are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Olivier Proust; Tim Van Canneyt

Other key lawyers:

Sixtine Crouzet; Alix Bertrand; Loriane Sangaré-Vayssac

Testimonials

They are always a step-ahead of what is coming and anticipate new guidance and legislation‘.

Great responsiveness, flexibility, outstanding knowledge and experience but still offering tailored solutions‘.

Tim Van Canneyt has very strong expertise in Belgian data protection laws‘.

Key clients

Euroclear

Infrabel

Open Society European Policy Institute (OSEPI)

Work highlights

  • Assisting telecoms company BICS with  data protection and e-privacy issues regarding the use of traffic data; the firm also advised the client on GDPR and e-privacy compliance matters regarding the sharing of data with its affiliate Telesign, a mobile authentication service.
  • Advising OSEPI on a wide range of GDPR-related matters.

Linklaters

Linklaters' recent work included assisting BNP Paribas Real Estate with data processing agreements, data transfer issues and the use of cookies in over ten countries. GDPR compliance matters are another driver of activity. Global practice head Tanguy Van Overstraeten has extensive expertise in data protection law. Other key names include Guillaume Couneson and managing associate Emma Ottoy.

Practice head(s):

Tanguy Van Overstraeten

Other key lawyers:

Guillaume Couneson; Emma Ottoy

Key clients

BNP Paribas Real Estate

Sumitomo Benelux

Degroof Petercam Asset Management

time.lex

The 'very pragmatic' team at time.lex is 'very strong in privacy law' and demonstrates an 'excellent combination of academic knowledge and practical approach'. The client roster includes government bodies and energy, construction and healthcare sector entities, among others. Key contacts include Jos Dumortier, who has established expertise in IT and data protection law, and Frederic Debusseré, who provides 'clear and practical advice'. Also recommended are Geert Somers ('an excellent lawyer'), fintech expert Edwin JacobsHans Graux and Ruben Roex, who 'combines a very pragmatic approach with deep knowledge of both the law and the latest technological developments'.

Practice head(s):

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

Testimonials

Very approachable; they understand the mindset of the regulator‘.

Key clients

The Belgian Data Protection Authority

The Belgian Government

European Commission

Komatsu

Bosal

Samsonite

Luminus

Beaulieu International Group

Doosan

Work highlights

  • Provides ongoing assistance to the European Commission regarding the performance of the data protection adequacy assessment for the level of data protection in South Korea.
  • Assisting manufacturing company Beaulieu International Group with the data protection aspects of workplace surveillance.
  • Advising Luminus on data processing agreements.

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Cédric Burton and Jan Dhont jointly lead Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati's team, which is well known for assisting longstanding client Mastercard with ongoing GDPR implementation on a pan-European scale. Data breaches, privacy matters and international data transfer issues are other cornerstones of the practice. Of counsel Laura De Boel and associate Laura Brodahl are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Cédric Burton; Jan Dhont

Other key lawyers:

Laura De Boel; Laura Brodahl

Key clients

Mastercard

Trūata

Tesla

TuneIn

Collibra

Work highlights

  • Provides ongoing advice to audio streaming company TuneIn on GDPR compliance and data processing matters.

Baker McKenzie CVBA/SCRL

Baker McKenzie CVBA/SCRL's practice, which is jointly led by Belgium managing partner Daniel Fesler and Elisabeth Dehareng, excels in advising clients from a wide range of sectors on GDPR compliance matters. Cross-border data transfers and cybersecurity matters are other key sources of work.

Practice head(s):

Elisabeth Dehareng; Daniel Fesler

contrast

contrast's practice houses 'experts in privacy and data protection that work closely together and can handle any data privacy related tasks quickly and in a cost-efficient manner'. Counsel Anouk Focquet leads the team; she garners praise for her 'very strong knowledge of European privacy and data protection legislation, and has the great ability to make complex legal issues in that area comprehensible for the client together with a commercial mindset and a solution-finding attitude'. Senior associate Eline Declerck is 'very knowledgeable about data privacy and provides quick and clear advice'.

Practice head(s):

Anouk Focquet

Other key lawyers:

Eline Declerck

Testimonials

The strength of the privacy team of contrast lies in the fact that they advise us as if they were advising themselves, and invests a great deal of time in getting to know their customer and their customer’s business, which makes their advice very accurate and pragmatic‘.

Anouk Focquet: easy to approach, understands business concerns and helps to find solutions. An expert in her field‘.

The contrast team provides excellent legal support; top quality lawyers that take great pride in finding the best solution for the client in whatever issue at hand‘.

Covington & Burling LLP

Daniel Cooper leads the team at Covington & Burling LLP, which has a strong track record advising clients from the life sciences, technology and pharmaceutical sectors on GDPR compliance, e-privacy and data transfer matters (which often involve cross-border elements). Senior counsel Henriette Tielemans, of counsel Kristof Van Quathem and associate Anna Sophia Oberschelp de Meneses are key names.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Cooper

Other key lawyers:

Henriette Tielemans; Kristof Van Quathem; Anna Sophia Oberschelp de Meneses

Jones Day

Jones Day's data protection team is 'very current on the law, and also has the ability to craft solutions that make sense from a business perspective'. The group provides ongoing advice to Toyota on e-privacy matters and GDPR implementation in relation to connected cars and connected services. Practice head Jörg Hladjk is 'well informed on key legislative issues'.

Practice head(s):

Jörg Hladjk

Key clients

Toyota

IBM

Work highlights

  • Advising technology and consulting company IBM on GDPR and e-privacy compliance issues pertaining to its mobile apps business, and is also assisting the client with data processing agreements.

Osborne Clarke

The 'extremely available and flexible' team at Osborne Clarke is 'very professional and gives excellent legal support and advice'. The group advises a client base of telecoms, fintech, and transport entities on data security matters and GDPR compliance issues. Benjamin Docquir heads up the department. Counsel Laurens Dauwe, associate Chloé Ponsart and junior associate Margo Cornette are other key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Benjamin Docquir

Other key lawyers:

Laurens Dauwe; Chloé Ponsart; Margo Cornette

Crowell & Moring

Crowell & Moring's team 'possesses deep knowledge of and experience with data breach response, as well as very practical guidance on how to apply legal solutions to business problems'. The 'pragmatic' group handles GDPR compliance issues for clients operating in industries such as automotive, life sciences, healthcare, TMT and energy. Frederik Van Remoortel and Maarten Stassen jointly lead the team, which includes employment expert Emmanuel Plasschaert.

Practice head(s):

Maarten Stassen; Frederik Van Remoortel

Testimonials

Highly competent team‘.

Easily accessible, efficient, feet on the ground and fast and flexible‘.

The lawyers think like their clients, not just like lawyers‘.

Maarten Stassen is one of the brightest and most talented lawyers I have ever met. He is a team player, and an excellent lawyer‘.

Key clients

Telenet

Ingersoll Rand

Erkelens Law

The 'results-oriented' team at Erkelens Law provides 'practical advice' on data protection and GDPR compliance to clients from the aviation and sports sectors, among others. Name partner Catherine Erkelens, who is 'very responsive and practical', heads up the department. Associate Stéphane De Schutter is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Catherine Erkelens

Other key lawyers:

Stéphane De Schutter

Testimonials

Catherine Erkelens is a terrific lawyer‘.

Key clients

The Toy Industries of Europe

Siemens Healthineers

Warner Bros

Eubelius

Eubelius' 'flexible, pragmatic and hands-on' team provides 'quick and understandable advice' to clients on data protection compliance issues, e-privacy matters, data breaches and data processing matters, to name a few areas of expertise. The department is jointly led by senior counsel Pieter Callens and senior associate Anneleen Van de Meulebroucke, who is 'responsive, pragmatic and easy to work with'. Associates Justine De Meersman and Dries Van Briel are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Pieter Callens; Anneleen Van de Meulebroucke

Other key lawyers:

Justine De Meersman; Dries Van Briel

Testimonials

Anneleen Van de Meulebroucke: available, pragmatic and to the point‘.

Pieter Callens and Anneleen Van de Meulebroucke stand out in this complex and rapidly changing area. They are always reachable and available to give advice on the spot. They both have the ability to translate academic knowledge into hands on advice and business oriented risk assessment‘.

Anneleen van de Meulebroucke has good knowledge of the data protection rules in Belgium, and is a very pleasant person to work with‘.

Key clients

Janssen Pharmaceutical

Pioneer Europe

Bpost

Hyloris

Work highlights

  • Provides ongoing assistance to Janssen Pharmaceutica regarding the data protection aspects of the development of a European platform to share anonymised evidence data from university hospitals for the purpose of scientific research.
  • Assisted supermarket chain Albert Heijn with the data protection and privacy aspects of the development of an app for Belgian customers.

Loyens & Loeff

Loyens & Loeff's team is 'very strong in the privacy and data protection space - they know the legal space very well'. The group has been very active recently in handling data transfer matters, data breaches and GDPR compliance issues for clients from the retail, technology, healthcare and financial services sectors. Counsel Stéphanie De Smedt, who is 'very astute and very clever', co-heads the practice with Filip Saelens and Rotterdam-based Kim Lucassen.

Practice head(s):

Kim Lucassen; Filip Saelens; Stéphanie De Smedt

Testimonials

Stéphanie De Smedt – always responsive, very smart‘.

Stéphanie De Smedt has excellent insights. She is courteous and great to work with‘.

Pierstone

At Pierstone, Patrice Vanderbeeken continues to advise longstanding client Prime Alliance on the data protection aspects of the company's global roll-out of smart metering systems. Privacy matters have also been prominent in the team's recent workload. Of counsel Jeanne Jacobs-Gilhuis is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Patrice Vanderbeeken

Other key lawyers:

Jeanne Jacobs-Gilhuis

Key clients

Prime Alliance

Orix

Karhoo

Agoda

EuroFIR

Catalina Marketing

Van Bael & Bellis

Van Bael & Bellis' team is assisting Gedeon Richter with implementing the ePrivacy Directive throughout the EU. GDPR compliance is another key area of expertise for the group. Counsel Thibaut D’hulst is the key contact.

Practice head(s):

Thibaut D’hulst

Key clients

Abbott

AbbVie

Gedeon Richter

Mundipharma

pharma.be