Industry focus: IT and telecoms in Belgium

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP has a preeminent reputation in the space and is able to leverage its substantial global to act for major tech and telecoms companies on a litany of cross-border transactional and advisory mandates. The team is perhaps best known for its capabilities in digital transformation matters, including digital health, connected cars, fintech, and cybersecurity issues. Global TMT chair Filip Van Elsen is consistently instructed by both start-ups and multinationals on a range of projects, including data breaches and ransomware demands. Peter Van Dyck anchors the team’s digital transformation offering, and also advises clients on the impact of new EU regulatory frameworks. Edward Taelman is noted for his knowledge of digital regulation and data protection.

Practice head(s):

Filip Van Elsen; Peter Van Dyck

Other key lawyers:

Edward Taelman

Bird & Bird

The technology and communications team at Bird & Bird has a strong bench of talent and breadth of expertise that ensures a regular flow of instructions from various high-profile tech and telecoms players. The practice is adept in a range of commercial and contentious matters, including consortium agreements, joint ventures, and public procurement contracts. Working closely with the firm's competition law team, Hein Hobbelen regularly advises major telecoms companies on state aid, and in proceedings before the European and Belgian courts. Benoit Van Asbroeck's experience encompasses CJEU procedures and landmark legislative processes. Pierre Hechtermans and Simon Mortier are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Benoit Van Asbroeck; Hein Hobbelen

Other key lawyers:

Pierre Hechtermans; Simon Mortier

Key clients

European Commission

Digital Europe

Bite Lietuva UAB

Work highlights

  • Participating in three European Commission funded research projects under the Horizon 2020 programme, including LeMO (Leveraging Big Data to Manage Transport Operations), SMART-BEAR (Smart Big Data Platform to Offer Evidence-based Personalised Support for Healthy and Independent Living at Home) and THREAT-ARREST (Cyber Security Threats and Threat Actors Training – Assurance Driven MultiLayer, end-to-end Simulation and Training).
  • Selected by Digital Europe to provide a monitoring/implementation & compliance service covering EU Member States’ implementation of the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC) for the span of over 18 months and beyond as of January 2020.

CMS

CMS is well regarded by clients for its ‘dedicated, broad expertise‘. An impressive roster of blue-chip digital economy companies turn to the team for assistance with contentious and non-contentious matters, including cybersecurity issues, privacy infringement cases and regulatory questions. Dirk Van Liedekerke focuses on EU and Belgian competition law and communications law, working with various operators and platform providers across the board. Tom De Cordier is praised for his ‘truly supportive‘ approach in a range of TMC, data privacy and life sciences-based instructions.

Practice head(s):

Dirk Van Liedekerke; Tom De Cordier

Other key lawyers:

Alexis Laes

Testimonials

‘CMS is fairly unique given that their expert teams cover in essence all aspects of the IT, communications, media and entertainment industries. They work seamlessly together through the combination of the skill sets that are needed to obtain the best results for their clients.’

‘The CMS teams are fully dedicated to the matters which the client entrusts to them. They really care about their clients, work relentlessly in the best interest of their clients and always look for additional innovative arguments. Dirk Van Liedekerke and Alexis Laes really stand out in this respect.’

‘Dedicated, broad expertise in the area of data protection and information security, also in complex situations.’

‘Tom De Cordier knows our organisation, is truly supportive, and understands our business needs and requirements.’

Key clients

Proximus

Amazon

Cophana (McKesson)

Facebook

Sagi (Telio Group)

Cubic Telecom

HMD Global

Work highlights

  • Advised Proximus on all corporate and merger control aspects of the joint venture agreements that it has concluded with two alternative infrastructure providers (Eurofiber and DeltaFiber/EQT).
  • Representing Facebook in front of the Belgian Courts, in proceedings brought against Facebook, Inc., Facebook Ireland and Facebook Belgium by the Belgian Data Protection Authority for a series of alleged infringements of EU and national rules on privacy protection regarding the use of cookies and pixels.
  • Advised HMD Global on regulatory aspects regarding the launch of two services in Belgium.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper fields one of the largest practices in the market. The group handles the full gamut of IT, media, telecoms and data protection mandates for a diverse roster of high-profile clients. The team’s reputation in public sector mandates is underpinned by its close ties with the firm’s public procurement team, working seamlessly on procurement and outsourcing projects for various government departments. The ‘proactive and client-oriented‘ practice head Kristof De Vulder has a wealth of experience in international procurement, as well as an array of contract, cloud computing and transactional matters. Raf Schoefs is noted for his capabilities in IT outsourcing and e-commerce issues. New data protection head Heidi Waem joins the firm from Crowell & Moring.

Practice head(s):

Kristof De Vulder

Other key lawyers:

Raf Schoefs; Heidi Waem

Testimonials

‘Good backup within the team.’

‘Support by Kristof De Vulder much appreciated.’

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

‘This team has all relevant know how and experience concentrated in one team, and is familiar with the public sector.’

‘Kristof De Vulder is a high qualified lawyer with excellent experience in IT & telecoms. He is also very client-oriented: proactive, flexible, and available.’

Key clients

Accenture

Aliaxis

bpost

Cegeka

Connective

DocuSign

Digipolis

Foodpairing

Heidelberg

iDirect

Katoen Natie

Nexuzhealth

Nviso

Polhem Infra

Q8

QualComm

SAP Belgium

SD Worx

Smartbit

SNCB/NMBS (Belgian railways)

Skeydrone

skeyes

Steria Benelux

UCB

Vodafone

Work highlights

  • Assisting UCB with numerous strategic IT contract negotiations.
  • Assisting SAP with complex contract negotiations with one of its major clients.
  • Successfully assisting Cegeka in a Market Court procedure against a group of claimants that appealed the regulator’s decision granting provisional 5G usage rights to Cegeka.

Stibbe

Stibbe has handled a growing number of projects in cloud computing, big data, AI and 5G usage rights for a litany of leading Belgian and multinational clients. The team has an especially strong public sector offering, working closely with the firm's public procurement desk on a range of contract and outsourcing issues for both domestic and foreign governmental bodies. Widely praised by clients for his 'impressive' technical expertise in IT and data protection, practice head Erik Valgaeren handles an array of high-value work for clients in the internet, e-commerce and electronic communications sectors, including disputes before the Belgian courts and arbitral tribunals. Carolien Michielsen and Sarah De Wulf are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Erik Valgaeren

Other key lawyers:

Carolien Michielsen; Sarah De Wulf

Testimonials

‘Good knowledge about the IT landscape.’

‘Erik Valgaeren has a very technical IT background which enables you as legal counsel to bridge the gap between “IT and legal language.’

‘Stibbe is a well known, top-flight, full-service law firm. High quality services.’

‘Erik Valgaeren is a top lawyer – his experience and expertise are quite impressive (notably IT related projects and contracts data protection) – excellent contract negotiator.’

‘Stibbe’s IT and Telecoms practice is a group of experienced lawyers providing highly qualitative legal advice, which takes into account the underlying business context and objectives of its client.’

‘The IT and Telecoms lawyers have a thorough understanding of the (case) law and provide excellent legal advice.’

Key clients

Athlon

Athora

Azelis

Barry Callebaut

Belgian Federal Police

BICS

Cianiao

Daoust

DXC Technology

ETEX

Fiberklaar

Fluvius

Het Facilitair Bedrijf (Flemish Government)

Antwerp Port Authority

Infrabel

IPC

Kangaroot

KevlinX

Lycamobile

Microsoft / Skype

Ordina

Port of Antwerp

Proximus

Suez

Uniface

Verizon

Whale Cloud Technology

ZTE Belgium

Work highlights

  • Acting for Atrias in a conflict with Accenture concerning the implementation of the CMS-system and providing legal support for the renewal of its maintenance contract of CMS-system.
  • Assisting Uniface as a software provider in its relationships with UZA, CEVI and FedEx and in pending and planned litigation against value-added resellers (VAR).
  • Assisting Proximus in a large variety of IT related matters, a.o. with the strategic outsourcing of its datacenter activities and in litigation matters involving its telecoms agents and partners.

ALTIUS

ALTIUS handles the full gamut of transactional, advisory, and disputes-based work for a multitude of key international and Belgian market players. In recent months, the team has represented some of the world’s largest tech companies in proceedings before the Belgian Courts and the Belgian data protection authority. The practice is jointly led by two partners: Gerrit Vandendriessche, an experienced computer law and commercial law specialist; and Jérôme Vermeylen, who works with various IT clients on a range of corporate transactions. Louis-Dorsan Jolly and Jan Clinck are noted for their capabilities in data protection litigation.

Other key lawyers:

Mathieu Maniet

Testimonials

‘Altius have a very strong practice in the ares of technology and telecoms and provide an excellent service.’

‘We have worked closely with Gerrit Vandendriessche and Mathieu Maniet. Both stand out as top-tier advisers and show an in-depth knowledge of Belgian technology and telecoms law.’

‘The team consists of a smart team of people always willing to help.’

‘Gerrit Vandendriessche is always willing to go the extra mile. He is very knowledgeable and pragmatic at the same time.’

Key clients

Canon

Fiberklaar

Ads&Data

Crossinx

RMC Nederland

Network Research Belgium (NRB)

Sinch

SoftwareOne

Nacor

A US-based telecoms operator

An institution of the Brussels Regional Government

Beiersdorf

Mediahuis

Everis

Work highlights

  • Acted for Google in obtaining the annulment of a €600k fine that was imposed by the Belgian data protection authority.
  • Advised Fiberklaar on telecoms regulatory matters.
  • Advised the shareholders Crossinx on the Belgian legal aspects of the sale of 100% of their group in exchange for cash and shares (shares swap) in Belgian listed company UnifiedPost Group.

Crowell & Moring

Crowell & Moring's TMT practice acts for a range of blue-chip IT and telecoms players, and is actively growing its capabilities as an adviser to software and blockchain companies. Recent instructions for the team include regulatory access reviews and contentious proceedings before the BIPT and the Court of Appeal of Brussels. Practice head Thomas De Meese has broad expertise in the telecoms space, and is also noted for his experience of internet access provider liability cases. Maarten Stassen advises clients on cybersecurity and the implications of data legislation, both in Europe and internationally.

Practice head(s):

Thomas De Meese

Other key lawyers:

Marten Stassen

Key clients

Telenet

inDeap

Liberty Global

Group Brepoels

Kaspar

AT&T

Weareone.world / Tomorrowland

JD Consult

DPG Media

Audax Management

Hexagon Geospatial

Electronic Arts

Work highlights

  • Represented Telenet in many separate matters before the BIPT, BCA and the European Commission, and before the Belgian courts.
  • Advised a major online vendor on competition law issues related to certain transactions by third-party sellers.
  • Advised a European Association for Car Dealers on several new digital platforms to be used by car manufacturers, dealers, and end users.

Fieldfisher

Working collaboratively across the technology, outsourcing and privacy, and IP departments, Fieldfisher‘s ‘expert, business-oriented’ team is noted for its far-reaching capabilities in outsourcing, procurement, cloud computing, e-commerce and IT-sector disputes. Contractual reviews and e-privacy issues are further core competencies. Practice co-head Tim Van Canneyt is a specialist in data protection and e-commerce, with considerable experience advising clients from the TMT, pharmaceutical, and financial services sectors. Fellow practice head Stijn Debaene is an intellectual property lawyer who focuses his practice on the media and telecoms industries. Olivier Proust‘s expertise encompasses cybersecurity law, global privacy compliance and associated regulatory investigations.

Practice head(s):

Stijn Debaene; Tim Van Canneyt

Other key lawyers:

Olivier Proust

Testimonials

‘Tim Van Canneyt has a great understanding of IT technology, and is able to adapt his language to the business, which makes his advice clear and eminently usable. He possesses strong knowledge and expertise in data protection laws and IT services.’

‘Incredible organisation and capabilities to plan according to our needs, timelines, and necessities, has established Fieldfisher as a very reliable provider.’

‘Advice given is innovative, to the-point, clear, solution-oriented and business focused, within agreed timelines and costs.’

‘The team is very skilled on technically complex matters and can adapt to any kind of legal request promptly.’

‘Tim Van Canneyt has a strong capacity to understand a business’s potential issues and propose accurate legal advice to face them.’

‘I always recommend Fieldfisher and especially the Technology, Outsourcing and Privacy department.’

‘They do everything possible to understand your problem, and they work to provide you with the best solutions in a very short time.’

‘They are also aware of the latest developments in the sector, and the billing is very correct and in line with your needs.’

Key clients

BICS

Euroclear

Accenture

Telenet

Proximus

N-SIDE

Programmads

Avaya

Infrabel

Deployments Factory

Companyweb

Proxyclick

Work highlights

  • Providing practical recommendations to Infrabelon e-signature, e-archiving, e-registered mail, correspondence secrecy and GDPR in relation to a Covid-19 related project to implement an IT solution to process all incoming and outgoing mail electronically.
  • Representing Telenet in two design and patent infringement proceedings initiated by Austrian remote control manufacturer Ruwido against Telenet and its supplier Universal Electronics, in a trademark litigation regarding its use of the FLOW TECH trademark for one of its telecoms services, and in a copyright dispute.
  • Providing strategic data protection and e-privacy advice to BICS regarding the use of traffic data.

time.lex

time.lex's boutique practice has a stellar reputation among a number of public sector clients on account of the depth of its capabilities in IT and data protection regulatory matters. The team is routinely sought out by a litany of national, European, and foreign governments for assistance in pre-legislation studies, e-government projects, proposals and drafting tasks. The group also represents various public bodies in high-profile IT litigation before both domestic and European courts. Jos Dumortier is noted for his deep academic and legislative acumen in the IT and data protection fields. Hans Graux regularly works with the European Commission on its future IT policy and legislation, including artificial intelligence liability issues.

Practice head(s):

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

Other key lawyers:

Hans Graux; Stefan Van Camp

Testimonials

‘They have unique expertise (both practical and academic) in the area.’

‘Their approach is always professional, supported with strong expertise.’

‘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.’

‘Frederic Debusseré is an very effective lawyer in complex IT projects and copyright cases. He understands very well the bridge between legal, IT and business. He is always reachable and brilliant in terms of creatively looking for efficient solutions. Edwin Jacobs is a very experienced in the domain of Fintech and is capable of providing sharp legal advice. He has strong skills in mediation cases. Stefan Van Camp has very good knowledge of IT contracts.’

‘Frederic Debusseré is our “go to partner”, a person you can always count on for an excellent and thorough analysis of even the most complex issues. His approachability as a partner is unequalled, as is the friendliness with which he speaks to you. I have the same experience with Jos Dumortier, who provides very quick and to the point assistance.

‘Timelex has a strong team that is recognised in the market.’

‘Edwin Jacobs has business sense, apart from knowing the law in detail. His knowledge of the market allows him to also address practical opportunities and risks.’

Key clients

European Commission

Belgian Data Protection Authority

European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA)

Belgian Government

Flemish Government

International Association of Internet Hotlines (INHOPE)

Luminus

Bank van Breda

Arvesta

Port of Antwerp

Samsonite

Komatsu

Katoen Natie

Doosan Bobcat

Work highlights

  • Assisting the European Commission in drafting the proposal for an EU Regulation on the European Health Data Space.
  • Assisting Luminus in drafting the contracts for its e-mobility solutions.
  • Assisting Komatsu in drafting the contracts for a global data centralisation and exploitation project.

ASTREA BV CVBA

The Antwerp-based ASTREA BV CVBA acts for various high-profile Belgian and foreign companies on a range of IT advisory mandates and court proceedings before the domestic and European courts. The team is particularly active in the e-commerce, online gaming, video-gaming sectors, helping clients to navigate unique Belgian regulatory requirements. Steven De Schrijver has niche expertise in data security issues. Olivier Van Fraeyenhoven is noted for his knowledge of IT and privacy issues in the automotive sector, while Pieter Paepe's recent engagements include appearances before the Court of Justice of the European Union, acting on behalf of the Belgian state.

Practice head(s):

Steven De Schrijver; Olivier Van Fraeyenhoven; Pieter Paepe

Other key lawyers:

Jan van Loon

Testimonials

‘Astrea has a very good team of lawyers (including the juniors). A very customer-friendly firm.’

‘Steven De Schrijver is a good lawyer and surrounded by a good team. It is always a pleasure to work with him. You can count on him and his team to find workarounds to help his customers.’

‘In my opinion Astrea’s absolutely unique manner combines high proficiency in legal knowledge (especially in IT, TMT and data privacy areas) with outstanding experience. What is really noteworthy is the fact that our contact with Astrea in the course of legal services – thanks to use of technology – was only virtual. Thanks to this, we were able to operate faster, cheaper and more efficiently which is extremely important to us.’

‘Both Mr. Steven De Schrijver and Mr. Jan van Loon have a great ability to understand a client’s needs and tailor their recommendations. Respectively, they are both great professionals, with outstanding legal knowledge and the ability to use it in the constantly changing market realities.’

Key clients

DoubleVerify

Alpina

Alcopa

Engineered Performance Technologies

Invenso

ISS Facility Services

Microsoft

Skype Communications s.à.r.l.

Cargotec / Kalmar

Taxis Verts

Eyeonid

Kingdom of Belgium

Kindred Group

SPIE

HubSpot

FLEGA (Flemish Games Association)

Redpharma

European Gaming and Betting Association

International Social Games Association

Work highlights

  • Assisted Bridgestone Europe in negotiating a complex agreement for the outsourcing to Accenture of non-public procurement including IT and services.
  • Assisted DPG Media with setting-up its joint-venture with Telenet and negotiating complex IT agreements for the creation of ‘Streamz’, a digital streaming platform that should act as the Flemish competitor to Netflix.
  • Advising Kindred group on regulatory matters pertaining to Belgian gaming law and its licensing system.

Cresco Advocaten

The ‘commercially-savvy‘ team at Cresco Advocaten is noted for its start-up advisory practice, working with a number of businesses in the clean-tech, med-tech and digital health sectors, while fostering a growing focus on the numerous digitisation challenges facing many of its corporate clients. Tech-focused VC funds are also a core focus for the Antwerp-based team. Practice head David Dessers enjoys a strong reputation in the emerging company space, handling a mix of strategic transactions and investments with equal fluency. Olivier Van Raemdonck is noted for partnership structuring and licensing deals across the tech sector.

Practice head(s):

David Dessers

Other key lawyers:

Olivier Van Raemdonck

Testimonials

‘Reactive and commercially savvy.’

‘David Dessers is quick on his feet giving actionable advice, and really knows what’s going on.’

‘Very hands-on team. Practical, straightforward advice.’

‘David Dessers is very responsive and pragmatic.’

‘Show understanding of the needs of each party. Available to both big corporate and small start-ups. Accessible and available, even late and even last minute! Great billing transparency.’

‘What really stands out at Cresco, is that you feel like working with legal colleagues instead of working with an external law firm. They are committed to meet deadlines, think along with you on contractual terms and specific client situations.’

‘Our ongoing point of contact has been Olivier Van Raemdonck over the years. Always approachable, committed to delivering, and involving the right colleagues on the different legal matters.’

‘They stay on the ball (and on the money) even when deals turn out to be more complex than foreseen.’

‘Deep knowledge in relation to innovation ventures. One of the best Belgian firms for it.’

Key clients

KBC Group

Elia

Sabca

Skipr

Azaelea Vision

Co.food

Co.building

Die Keure

Spacewell

Board of Innovation

Cascador Health

Sepentrio

Qover

Twikit

Pulsify

Techwolf

QustomDot

Zeopore

Transfurans

DCM

Cumul.io

Work highlights

  • Assisting imec.xpand with the design and set-up of Spectricity, Micledi, Pharrowtech, Pulsify Medical and Azalea Vision, imec spin-offs.
  • Assisting Spacewell in the drafting, negotiating and structuring of commercialisation arrangements with large corporates on a worldwide basis.
  • Assisting Elia in the design and set-up of IO.E, an open innovation ecosystem.

Jones Day

Jones Day's sizeable, multi-disciplinary practice works with a high-profile global client base, including various leading telecoms companies and tech-sector VC funds. The practice is jointly led by: Bernard Amory, who has considerable experience in the IT space; Alexandre Verheyden, a telecoms regulatory expert; Jörg Hladjk, a cybersecurity and data protection specialist, and Thomas De Muynck, who also heads up the M&A team. Yvan Desmedt - who splits his time between Brussels and Amsterdam - is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Bernard Amory; Alexandre Verheyden; Jörg Hladjk; Thomas De Muynck

Other key lawyers:

Yvan Desmedt; Laura Tielemans; Lucie Fournier

Testimonials

‘They listen exceptionally well to client concerns.’

‘Jörg Hladjk, Laura Tielemans and Lucie Fournier are an excellent team. They manage work seamlessly and efficiently to meet client priorities.’

‘Extraordinary Belgian and pan-European telecoms capability, ability to assemble formidable cross-disciplinary teams seamlessly across its offices, delivering on Jones Day’s One Firm, Globally promise.’

‘Alexandre Verheyden is a stand-out practitioner – extremely knowledgeable and strategic.’

‘Jones Day has a good IT/telecoms bench in the EU and UK.’

‘Jorg Hladjk has a good blend of legal expertise, client communication, and good judgement.’

Key clients

Experian Information Systems

Verint Systems

Imperva

Sonoco

Broadband Belgium

bpost

BT

Colt

ComReg (Irish Commission for Communications Regulation)

Deutsche Telekom / T-Mobile

Inmarsat Ventures

Telenet / Liberty Global

TF1

SAP

BNP Paribas Fortis

Cowboy SA

Index Ventures

Fortino Capital

Seventure

Work highlights

  • Defending Deutsche Telekom against a European Commission antitrust investigation related to mobile telephone network sharing agreements with other Czech telecoms operators, O2 CZ / CETIN.
  • Advised Seventure Funds and other selling shareholders of Anytime SA on the sale of all of its shares to Orange Bank S.A.
  • Advising Verint Systems on international data transfers, including the new standard contractual clauses for international data transfers.

Linklaters

Linklaters is regularly sought out by various domestic and international companies from the energy, automotive and manufacturing sectors for its capabilities in IT service provider matters. Telecoms work - both in Belgium and beyond - is also a key workflow. Tanguy Van Overstraeten's practice spans transactional, advisory, and contentious work, most notably in the field of large-scale IT outsourcing projects. Guillaume Couneson has a focus on electronic communications and fintech issues. Tom De Coster and Emma Ottoy are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Tanguy Van Overstraeten

Other key lawyers:

Guillaume Couneson; Tom De Coster; Emma Ottoy

Key clients

AXA

CLT-UFA (RTL Group)

Degroof Petercam Asset Management

Eneco Belgium (Mitsubishi Group)

Euroclear Belgium

InterXion HeadQuarters

Proximus

Work highlights

  • Advising Proximus on its negotiations with Doktor.se for an IT cooperation agreement regarding the development and operation of a new web-based and mobile device application for medical tele-consultation in Belgium.
  • Assisting Eneco in its negotiations with ENSEK, a UK-based cloud service provider for the energy sector, of an agreement for the transformation of Eneco’s core IT system ahead of the coming into application of the new market communication rules (MIG 6) in Belgium.
  • Advising Interxion on its acquisition of Lamda Hellix, the leading provider of neutral data centre services in South East Europe and the owner of two data centres located on a campus in Athens, Greece.

Lydian

Lydian is a popular referral partner for a number of international firms who require Belgian market assistance with a range of regulatory and contentious telecoms sector matters. Practice head Bastiaan Bruyndonckx is routinely called upon by some of the biggest tech and telecom players in the market for his broad expertise, which encompasses information governance cybersecurity and data protection.

Practice head(s):

Bastiaan Bruyndonckx

Key clients

Orange

Deutsche Telekom

Ctac

Temasek

IBM

Proximus

Work highlights

  • Assisting both Orange Belgium NV and Proximus NV on the creation of a joint venture and the drafting and negotiation of several agreements to set up the first shared mobile radio access network in Belgium, through such joint venture.
  • Assisting Dense Air with new legislative developments in Belgium on spectrum and advising on the impact this might have on the current 4G licenses of Dense Air.
  • Advising IBM on corporate matters, and additionally on IP, IT and real estate matters.

Verhaegen Walravens

Verhaegen Walravens handles an array of technology contracts and licensing matters for a diverse roster of domestic and multinational companies, including semiconductor manufacturers and B2B online platforms. The team is also noted for its electronic communications offering, assisting some of the largest operators in the market with key regulatory and commercial concerns. Emmanuel Szafran is well regarded by various clients for his ‘pragmatic, smart and always approachable‘ assistance in an array of matters.

Practice head(s):

Emmanuel Szafran

Testimonials

‘The firm is small enough to give you personal attention while at the same time big enough to cover multiple key practices. They serve both French and Dutch speaking clients.’

‘Philip Walravens is an excellent litigator and a great strategist. He brings decades of experience and practical and creative solutions.’

‘Emmanuel Szafran is an astute privacy professional who also brings decades of experience to bear. He is pragmatic, smart and always approachable.’

‘They truly think with you instead of just for you. Flexible to find solutions in negotiations.’

‘Emmanuel Szafran is a key asset in valorising IP.’

Key clients

AIG Insurance – Cyber response

Esko Graphics (member of the Danaher group)

EVS

Sony Depthsensing Solutions

Work highlights

  • Advised a large consumer product company on licensing agreements, joint R&D agreements, as well as technology export control matters for dual-use goods.
  • Advised a large multinational pharmaceutical company on the setting up of a detailed digital information and records management and retention policy.
  • Advised an audio hardware and software company on the negotiation of complex software development and technology licensing agreements.

AKD

AKD works with various telecoms operators, cloud services providers and IT companies – including AI – on a range of transactional and contentious mandates. Practice head Paul van den Bulck is a highly experienced Belgian and French-qualified adviser with specific expertise in cloud contracts, domain name arbitration proceedings and data protection issues, in Belgium and abroad.

Practice head(s):

Paul van den Bulck

Testimonials

‘You can always reach someone (associate or partner) when needed. High quality of work, and they always go the extra mile when needed.’

‘A knowledgeable and efficient team.’

‘Very approachable in the broadest sense of the word, even (or especially!) in Covid times.’

Key clients

Esports Club

Spadel

Youfone

Parentia

Partena Guichet d’Enterprises

ING

Stella Bikes

IP Nexia

Partena Secretariat Social

Partena Professional

IBIA

Centre de Médiation et d’Arbitrage de Paris

Cincom

Work highlights

  • Advising several telecoms operators on their entry in the Belgium telecoms market.
  • Advised a telecoms operator specialised in “Voice over IP” on a security breach.
  • Advised a client on security breaches on IT devices.

DALDEWOLF

DALDEWOLF works with a diverse roster of high-profile corporate clients who operate across the worlds of IT and telecoms, both domestically and internationally. Recent engagements for the team include a host of litigious proceedings and pre-litigation advisory mandates for major European mobile operators and multinational consultancies, as well as licensing, GDPR, and personal data advisory issues. Olivier Bertin and Dominique Bogaert are two of the key names to note within the practice, with Bogaert focusing chiefly on commercial contract matters and cross-border work with a strong Italian aspect. Bertin, meanwhile, is noted for his broad knowledge of tax law.

Practice head(s):

Olivier Bertin; Dominique Bogaert

Deloitte Legal

Deloitte Legal is routinely engaged by clients active in the areas of textiles, data, streaming, energy and blockchain. The team also regularly advises on strategic alliances and joint ventures, and represents clients in investigations. Antwerp-based Jürgen Egger  focuses on a range of commercial IT law issues, while Matthias Vierstraete - who splits his time between Ghent and Brussels - is noted for his capabilities in software development, e-commerce, domain name disputes and media law.

Practice head(s):

Jürgen Egger; Matthias Vierstraete

Key clients

Jofico NV (Consortium of 5 banks)

Elia Group NV

Het Domein Bokrijk VZW

Van de Wiele NV

Beeple NV

Club Brugge

Pro League NV

Work highlights

  • Advised a consortium of 5 banks on pooling their ATM operations and to shift to an “ATM-as-a-service” model.
  • Assist Elia in view of its participation in a European wide blockchain project in the energy sector.

Deprevernet

Deprevernet has a strong reputation among a number of public sector telecoms bodies and regulators, who turn to the 'impressively competent' team for representation in various proceedings before the Belgian courts. In recent work, the team has continued to advise various governmental departments and national ombudsmen on technical matters concerning mobile satellite usage rights, broadband regulation and OTT streaming. Philippe Vernet is an experienced telecoms law expert with previous experience at large commercial operators and Europe-wide governing bodies. Sébastien Depré is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Philippe Vernet; Sébastien Depré

Testimonials

‘Deprevernet remains a solid player in the market with an emphasis on representing public authorities.’

‘Longstanding experience in the sector having created a very broad expertise in the field.’

‘The team is impressively competent.’

‘Very mindful to our needs; very open to suggestions and always positive to find solutions. Has a very in-depth knowledge (theory and practically) of the sector.’

‘Open-minded.’

Key clients

Belgian telecoms regulator – BIPT

Belgian Minister for Digital Agenda

Belgian Minister of Economy

Belgian Minister of the Interior

Work highlights

  • Represented the telecoms regulator (BIPT) in an appeal before the Market Court against decisions to grant licences for the development of 5th generation mobile networks (5G).
  • Advised the Ministry of Justice and various public departments dealing with either telecoms, intelligence or security issues, in matters related to the retention of data by telecoms operators.
  • Represented the Ministry of Economy in two requests for a preliminary ruling before the Court of justice on the application of the ne bis in idem principle in competition law cases.

Monard Law

The Hasselt-based Monard Law routinely assists a diverse roster of Belgian and foreign corporates with the full gamut of IT sector work, including transfer agreement issues, public procurement software contracts, transactions, and disputes. The 'very skilled' Kristof Zadora is recommended for his broad experience of commercial IT matters, encompassing cloud computing, big data and IoT. Maxime Monard handles transactions for venture-backed IT companies.

Practice head(s):

Kristof Zadora

Other key lawyers:

Maxime Monard

Testimonials

‘Cross-functional teams, quick response times, highly knowledgeable.’

‘The team has a good knowledge of the sector and legislation. From a people perspective, they have a very approachable attitude and collaborative working style.’

‘The team has a very personal approach and good communication style.’

‘We work with Monard Law for all our commercial legal topics, M&A, litigation and contracting. There is a lawyer and a partner who manages the relationship with Computacenter and who ensures we get access to the right people.’

‘A lot of diversity, great and fast collaboration, all the engagements we have had with a lot of different people have always been exceptional!’

‘We would like to acknowledge Kristof Zadora. Very knowledgeable and easy to talk to. He understands our business and the industry we operate in, can work very pragmatically and can combine the right people in a very short timeframe.’

‘Kristof Zadora is a very skilled lawyer who clearly knows how to support us at a minimum cost.’

Key clients

ACA IT SOLUTIONS

AZ Jan Palfijn

AZ Vesalius

Bednet

Chili Publish

Continental Benelux

Copaco

Dobco Medical Systems

Dynapps

Hasselt University

Keestrack

Maecenas Group

SMC

The Safe Group

Luminex

Secury-360

CDK

ACA IT SOLUTIONS

AZ Jan Palfijn

AZ Vesalius

Bednet

Chili Publish

Continental Benelux

Copaco

Dobco Medical Systems

Dynapps

Hasselt University

Keestrack

Maecenas Group

SMC

The Safe Group

Luminex

Secury-360

CDK

Work highlights

  • Assisting WEAREONE.WORLD (Tomorrowland) with the contract work for the “Tomorrowland digital” online festival, which was launched within a tight timeframe due to the Covid-19 measures in the event sector.
  • Assisting Computacenter with drafting, reviewing and negotiating commercial agreements in the field of IT services and products.

Osborne Clarke

The team at Osborne Clarke leverages the firm’s strong reputation in tech sector litigation to advise Belgian and international entities on a full spectrum of instructions, ranging from contentious to transactional. Contractual reviews and advisory mandates with a distinct IP aspect are further key workflows for the practice. Noted for his capabilities in both IT and IP, Benjamin Docquir frequently works with various tech, financial services, and life sciences clients on digital transformation projects, outsourcing issues, and cloud computing agreements. Laurens Dauwe is another key contact.

Practice head(s):

Benjamin Docquir

Other key lawyers:

Laurens Dauwe

Key clients

Molière

Sentia

eggo

HCL

Skemmi

Tein Technology

OncoDNA

Shurgard

The Eclipse Foundation Inc

Match Group

Work highlights

  • Participating in the “Moliere” consortium, an EU funded consortium between the firm, certain major car manufacturers and IoT providers, aiming to perform a feasibility study and deploy an open smart mobility platform based on the use of IoT technology, blockchain and GPS data.
  • Advising Sentia on different aspects regarding cloud contract negotiation, data protection and cybersecurity.
  • Assisted Eclipse Foundation with establishing an additional home base in Europe through the incorporation of a new legal entity in Belgium under the legal form of an international not-for profit association (AISBL/IVZW), on the basis of an existing US entity of the group.

Petillion

Petillion's boutique practice is well-regarded by a broad roster of TMT sector clients for its capabilities in cross-border commercial issues and multi-jurisdictional disputes. Managing partner Flip Petillion brings decades of experience to bear in his far-reaching litigation and arbitration practice, where his IT focus encompasses domain name protection and enforcement, patents, and technology transfers. Jan Janssen is noted for his experience in internet governance proceedings concerning ICANN programs.

Practice head(s):

Flip Petillion

Other key lawyers:

Jan Janssen

Key clients

Namecheap Inc.

Belgian Lawyers Society (IT entity: DPA – Diplad CV)

IKEA (Inter Ikea Systems B.V.)

SEW-Eurodrive

Solvay SA

WIPO, Forum, CAC UDRP’s or similar proceedings (CEPANI, NOMINET)

Work highlights

  • Representing Namecheap in an ICDR arbitration against ICANN regarding the removal of the price caps on legacy domains such as .org.
  • Advising the IT entity (DPA –Diplad) of the BelgianBaron on matters related to the development and support of software solutions for attorneys in Belgium.
  • Representing IKEA regarding the online protection and enforcement of the IKEA brand.