Industry focus: energy in Belgium
Allen & Overy LLP
The energy group at Allen & Overy LLP has the capacity to handle a range of matters from significant renewable energy projects to disputes, as well as assisting energy sector clients with financing, corporate and M&A transactions. The practice has an impressive client roster including Elia, C-Power and Otary. It has been instructed on several offshore wind farm development projects. Tom Schoors heads up the energy practice and frequently advises clients in the electricity and gas sectors on regulatory and contractual issues. Joost Everaert is another key name to note, particularly for contentious matters.
Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick handles a range of matters for clients including EDF Luminus, Veolia and Fluxys and is highlighted for its 'in-depth knowledge of multiple facets of European, federal and regional energy law'. A team led by practice head Damien Verhoeven advised Elia on regulatory considerations relating to its infrastructure project for the development of a modular offshore grid. In another work highlight, the group acted for Brookfield Asset Management on the Belgian aspects of its $46bn acquisition of Westinghouse Electric Company from Toshiba Holding. François Tulkens, Olivier Vanden Berghe and Vincent Ost are other key names to note particularly for regulatory, contractual and public procurement advice, respectively. Thibaut Hollanders was recently promoted to the partnership.
Loyens & Loeff's energy sector practice group is headed by Thomas Chellingsworth and handles a range of construction projects, corporate and M&A transactions, financing and disputes. The group also has a strong track record advising clients in the sector on state aid issues. Associate Christine Delagaye is a key name to note for renewable energy matters.
The 'extremely proactive' energy practice at Stibbe continues to be instructed on a range of regulatory, corporate, financing, project development and contentious matters. The team acted for Limburgse Reconversie Maatschappij on the development, contract negotiations and project financing of the Kristal Solar Park in Limburg. It also advised CGN Europe Energy on its acquisition of the Windvision-Enerconwind wind farm in Estinnes, Wallonia. In another work highlight, Rony Vermeersch led a team that assisted Google with power purchase agreement negotiations with Belgian offshore wind farm operator Norther. Frederik Vandendriessche, who is 'a leading legal expert in his field', heads the practice and attracts praise for his 'great interpersonal and communication skills'. Associate Cedric Degreef is another key name to note.
The energy sector practice group at Clifford Chance is experienced in providing regulatory, corporate, finance, tax and litigation advice in key transactions and projects in the industry. A team led by Xavier Remy, and including senior associate Patrice Viaene, is instructed by EuroAsia on the coordination of a cross-border infrastructure project for the development and construction of the EuroAsia Interconnector. The group also continues to advise Elia on its modular offshore grid project, including assisting with regulatory and public procurement aspects, and the drafting and negotiation of the engineering procurement and construction contract. Eneco, Fluxys, Eandis and Publigas are all clients.
The energy practice at DLA Piper counts the City of Antwerp, Vleemo and Greek electricity generator Public Power Cooperation among its clients. The group was instructed by Ineos Enterprises Group in a contractual dispute with RWE Generation & Supply and subsequent takeover by Ineos of RWE Generation & Supply through a 100% acquisition of its shares. Bob Martens, who heads up the department alongside Annelies Verlinden, is leading advice to the European Commission on procurement procedures. The team was further bolstered by the arrival of counsel Orestis Omran from Dentons.
The 'efficient, pragmatic and solution-oriented' team at Fieldfisher is highlighted for its 'in-depth know-how of the energy sector'. The group handles a range of commercial and regulatory matters for its client roster, which includes Axpo Benelux, 3E and Valeco. It acted for Borealis on the development of a large energy infrastructure project at Antwerp harbour. The group is also instructed by the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators on legal and regulatory matters across all EU member states. Key names to note include practice head David Haverbeke and of counsel Wouter Vandorpe, who attract praise for their 'regulatory knowledge' and ability to 'translate and interpret regulations in practical cases'.
Linklaters' Brussels-based energy team is led by co-head of the firm's global energy sector practice Arnaud Coibion, and assists its impressive client roster with transactions and project finance, as well as with contentious matters and regulatory considerations. Work highlights include acting for Engie on the acquisition of EV Box, as well as for Fluxys Belgium on its issuance of bonds with an aggregate value of €350m. It also represented Ores in challenging the new calculation of the distribution tariffs method, imposed by the Walloon regulator, before the Court of Appeal of Liège. Xavier Taton and Florence Danis were promoted to partner and counsel respectively.
As a boutique law firm focusing on climate and energy law, Blixt is highlighted for its significant energy sector expertise in Belgium and Europe. Tim Vermier and Tinne Van der Straeten jointly head the practice and are particularly experienced in handling a range of regulatory and commercial matters.
Modo advocaten / avocats
The 'high-quality' regulatory team at Modo advocaten / avocats acts for energy sector clients and 'combines practical knowledge of the field and great knowledge of law'. The group attracts praise for its 'exceptional negotiation skills' and has particular experience coordinating projects, including drafting complex multi-party agreements. Practice head Régine Feltkamp is singled out for her 'strength of purpose, high intellect and robust legal advice'. Gerrit Hendrikx was promoted to associate. Joeri Danhieux is now with DLPA Advocaten.
Monard Law's practice draws on the firm's strength in corporate, commercial, administrative and regulatory matters and the group has 'broad knowledge of complex legal matters' in the energy sector. The sector-focused practice attracts praise for 'thinking out of the box' and handles a range of advisory and contentious matters. Natalie Ulburghs (who splits her time between the firm's Brussels and Hasselt offices) and Hasselt-based Koen Geelen jointly head the team which counts Infrax, Bionerga and Inter-Energa among its clients.
The energy and utilities group at NautaDutilh is headed by senior counsel Patrick Peeters and counts Belgian Shell, Direct Energie and Enel among its clients. The team is instructed by Fluxys in litigation relating to multiple proceedings concerning building and environmental permits for the construction and operation of high-pressure natural gas pipelines in the Flemish and Walloon region. Thibaut Willems is assisting Engie Electrabel with several matters including, various on-shore wind farm projects, as well as with setting up and implementing a crowdfunding platform for the investment by the public in certain energy projects.