Bird & Bird has a strong record across innovative fintech products, advising clients on payment services, blockchain technology, open banking, and lending platforms, with particular expertise in the fields of e-banking, online payments, and regulatory compliance. Clients include established businesses through to start-ups, both within Belgium and internationally. The practice is led by the ‘hands-on‘ Scott McInnes, recognised as an expert in e-payment systems, regulatory finance specialist Paul Hermant, and Cathie-Rosalie Joly, who also spends time in the Paris office and focuses on cross-border financial services regulatory and data protection issues.
Fintech in Belgium
Bird & Bird
Scott McInnes; Paul Hermant; Cathie-Rosalie Joly
‘Scott McInnes – very knowledgeable within his field and he comes highly recommended.’
‘We use Bird and Bird to provide legal advice across a number of very different and complex products. While Scott is our singular contact, the deep understanding of our products shown in the advice received from Bird & Bird and its various on the ground partners shows the depth of knowledge and understanding of his team and the quality of review conducted on the on the ground advice. Results are always received in a timely manner.’
‘Scott McInnes is an amicable, professional, hands on, conscientious, highly responsive, and diligent partner. Of the various partners we have across products Scott’s availability, timeliness, and attention to detail both in email exchanges and in work product stands head and shoulders above all others.’
- Advising Mastercard on various financial services regulatory and competition law issues.
- Advising Stripe on financial services regulatory issues.
DLA Piper advises established banks, insurers, and investment funds, alongside start-ups, challenger banks, and alternative payment providers on a wide range of financial services regulatory, transactional, and corporate issues, with integrated cross-border and sector expertise. The firm has advised on insurance and fintech products, payment platforms, and cryptocurrency assets, enjoying strong relations with the Belgian regulators. Pierre Berger leads the team, and is an expert in financial services and insurance regulatory issues, advising on a wide range of global issues. Michaël Heene regularly advises on fintech transactions.
Other key lawyers:
Marie Goosens; Michaël Heene
‘Pierre and his team have a deep understanding of the market and are passionate about digital finance. They spot new market trends at early stages and are keen to understand their legal implications and share their insights with clients. They also leverage their international network in a way the brings in real added value for clients.’
‘Pierre Berger is accessible and is able to take the entrepreneurship into account.’
‘Client attention, flexibility, speed of service, sincerity, quality. Marie Goossens is a potential future star.’
‘For a Fintech practice, we very much appreciated the entrepreneurial spirit of the lead partner on this deal. The were very open minded on thinking how we could work together, and that is something we very much appreciated. It is great to work with somebody who is open to sharing risks together with us.’
‘This was a lengthy process, and Pierre Berger did an excellent job managing multiple offices during such a long process. And all of that while also exploring the legal novelties related to our core business. Pierre did not hesitate to pull in his expert colleagues from other departments and jurisdictions to make us feel comfortable.’
ABN AMRO Bank N.V.
AG Insurance NV
Alpha Card CBA
Axa Bank Belgium NV
Bancontact Payconiq Company NV
Bank Degroof Petercam Asset Management NV
Belfius Bank NV
BNP Paribas Fortis NV
Delen Private Bank NV
ING België NV
Insignia Global Solutions Limited
International Swaps and Derivatives Association Inc.
KBC Group NV
Kuwait Petroleum (Belgium) N.V. (Q8)
Lukoil Belgium NV
MeDirect Bank NV
Minna Technologies AB
Ticket 2 the Future NV
Tioga Capital Partners
Vadis Technologies NV
Qred Företagslån AB
- Advising Belfius Bank NV on setting up a strategic partnership with Proximus NV, which will develop an innovative combined product offering for banking and telecoms products.
- Advising Argenta on its investment in Cake and the commercial partnership between Argenta and Cake.
- Advising Unifiedpost Group and its subsidiaries on the global roll-out of their product-offering in 27 new markets by setting up local branches.
Simont Braun has a dedicated digital finance team, with expertise across the full range of fintech and insurtech products. The firm advises on licence applications, contracts, regulatory compliance, and marketing issues, with specific areas of expertise including anti-money laundering, data protection, e-commerce, and e-signature. The practice is led by the ‘very knowledgeable‘ Joan Carette, who advises on financial services and IT regulatory issues, and Philippe De Prez, who has particular expertise in advising foreign fintech companies on their entry into the Belgian market.
Philippe De Prez; Joan Carette
‘A strongly integrated team, capable of covering end-to-end our projects, at a very affordable price. Strong theoretical and practical knowledge of financial products regulations. The team is highly responsive and consistently proposes alternative solutions for every legal issue they raise.’
‘The team has in-depth industry and regulatory knowledge. They work at a fast pace and really know what they are doing.’
‘Philippe De Prez – very kind, polite, and responsive. Joan Carette – very knowledgeable in regulatory practice and data protection.’
‘The regulatory fintech team at Simont Braun is on the ball, they have the required expertise and follow the developments in the market and related developments in legal frameworks.‘
‘Each of the team members is very pleasant to work with; responsive, kind, professional and highly experienced.‘
‘The team upholds a high quality standard and offer their clients perfect service, both in terms of output, timing thereof as well as fees.‘
‘Philippe De Prez is very commercial in a positive way; highly skilled and an extremely nice person and therefore great to work with.‘
The European Commission
Belgian Mobile ID
- Advised Aion Bank on the launch of a complete offer of new products and services.
- Advising Belgian Mobile ID on the development of the itsme® app, used by both the public sector and the private sector as a KYC, authentication and e-signature tool.
- Advising NewB on the development and setting up of its different banking products.
Allen & Overy LLP
Allen & Overy LLP advises on corporate, financial services regulatory, and data protection issues for clients engaged in fintech and blockchain projects, with additional support from its international banking and finance teams. Clients include global companies and financial institutions alongside start-ups. Practice heads Filip Van Elsen and Sylvia Kierszenbaum focus on IT and data protection and financial services regulatory advice respectively, while Peter Van Dyck offers expertise in digital transformation projects for financial services clients.
Filip Van Elsen; Sylvia Kierszenbaum
Baker McKenzie CVBA/SCRL
With expertise in financial services regulatory, data privacy, and IT issues, the team at Baker McKenzie CVBA/SCRL advises financial institution, start-ups, and global digital companies on e-money, payment platforms, ICOs, and crowdfunding, alongside other innovative fintech issues. The firm has a particular focus on the start-up and scaleup space, as well as on international payment platforms for global clients. The practice is jointly led by Michael Van Acker, who advises on international lending and finance; data protection and privacy specialist Elisabeth Dehareng; and Olivier Van Den Broeke, who advises financial institutions and companies on financial services and regulatory issues relating to banking, payments, and insurance.
Michael Van Acker; Elisabeth Dehareng; Oliver Van den Broeke
‘Billing and pricing was competitive for a start-up.‘
‘Olivier Van den Broeke was flexible and engaging, while also taking firm stands on the qualification of our product in the market.’
‘Administrative matters were solved smoothly and there were no delays.‘
Antwerp World Diamond Center (AWDC)
Flawless Money Limited
- Advised Veriff on the possibility of providing its remote identity verification services to Belgian entities.
- Advised Tencent on its live broadcast platforms for gamers with a tipping/sending gift function and, in particular, on the scope of regulatory regimes for electronic money and payment services.
- Advised ContextLogic and Wish on the possibility for PSD2 licensed payment service providers to offer consumer credit under the freedom of services.
With a client base of international financial services providers and companies, CMS advises on projects and regulatory issues relating to cryptocurrency, payment services and e-money, asset management, and insurtech, with broad expertise across regulatory issues and cross-border work. The firm also leverages its international TMT offering to provide broad advice on IT and data issues to fintech and new technology clients. Banking, finance, and insurance regulatory specialist Benoît Vandervelde heads up the practice alongside Tom De Cordier, who focuses on IT and data privacy issues, and Dirk Van Liedekerke, an experienced adviser on electronic communications and competition law.
Benoît Vandervelde; Tom De Cordier; Dirk Van Liedekerke
‘Pragmatic approach to engagements made them a good choice for us, since we are a scaling fintech and needed quite focused and cost effective support.’
‘Benoît Vandervelde is extremely knowledgeable, responsive and collaborative. He takes time to explain complex issues and breaks them down in a way that makes it easy to digest and share with internal stakeholders. We have found him to be extremely helpful on a number of key issues relating to our Belgian entity and European business activities.’
Verve Capital Partners
The Forex Dictionary
- Advised Qover on its strategic partnership with the neo-bank Revolut within 34 countries.
- Advised Worldline on its divestment of business assets in Belgium and Luxembourg to BNP Paribas Fortis’ subsidiary Axepta.
- Advising Monese on the negotiation of its partnership agreement with Belgian e-money institution PPS.
Stibbe advises financial services clients on digital platform and regulatory considerations, with expertise in projects relating to outsourcing, cloud computing, and AI, alongside innovative work in the crypto space on non-fungible tokens. The firm's regulatory expertise includes MiFID and PSDII issues, data protection, and ICOs. The practice is headed up by Erik Valgaeren, who is focused on IT projects and platforms for the financial services sector. Jan Peeters specialises in financial services regulatory issues.
Other key lawyers:
Belgian National Bank
DNA Payments Limited
EIF (European Investment Fund)
Royal Belgian Football Association
- Representing ING Belgium in proceedings before the Dispute Resolution Chamber of the Belgian Data Protection Authority (GBA) regarding alleged breaches of data protection legislation.
- Advising the Belgian Royal Football Association on the regulatory aspects of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and on the contracting process with the fintech service provider.
- Advising NBB on several fintech governance topics including compliancy with data protection and other regulatory frameworks.
time.lex has a strong focus on the payments and fintech industries, advising clients on PDD2 licensing, GDPR compliance, cybersecurity, and mobile platforms, as well as EU regulatory considerations, making it a strong choice for US and Israeli clients looking to operate within Europe. The team, led by innovation tech and regulatory specialist Edwin Jacobs, has also recently expanded its work in the fields of blockchain and tokenisation.
‘Edwin Jacobs is a great attorney with a pragmatic and solution-oriented approach.’
‘Edwin Jacobs knows the need-to-know elements and each time we are in contact with his team we know that we’ll get an answer.’
‘The team has a strong track record of helping fintech companies with knowledge about: 1) fintech itself 2) IT rights 3) Privacy works 4) Network and introduction in other countries in the same area.‘
DJ brothers Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike
- Advising lifeislife on its new online platform for B2B credit and insurance brokerage.
- Advising AION on its use of software.
- Advising BPOST Bank on various regulatory matters.