Next Generation Partners

Firms in the Spotlight Industry focus: Retail

Lauwers Law

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Lauwers Law stands as a beacon of excellence in the realm of tax law, renowned for its profound expertise and a uniquely tailored approach that effectively navigates the complexities of tax law across Belgium’s diverse regional landscape.  Our comprehensive services cover a broad spectrum of tax-related matters, including corporate taxation, international tax law, VAT, and …

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Industry focus: Retail in Belgium


As a key division within the firm’s real estate team, AKD's practice is particularly strong in transactional and advisory work involving retail leases, ranging from greenfield leases, to renewing leases to closing sales points. The unit is additionally well positioned to handle lease disputes and other areas of law such as M&A, data protection and tax law. Steven Ongena heads up the team; the trilingual practitioner is frequently sought out by retailers and industrial groups for assistance with real estate transactions. Pol Cools has a strong track record in defending the interests of domestic and international retailers before courts.

Practice head(s):

Steven Ongena

Other key lawyers:

Pol Cools


‘Close working relationship with excellent knowledge of both our industry as well as the legal precedents on similar cases as ours, in combination with a very smart strategic approach.’

‘Steven Ongena takes a very good strategic approach and has an in-depth understanding of what is relevant for the Belgian courts.’

‘Great team to work with. Very knowledgeable lawyers, taking the right approach.’

Key clients



Hilfiger Stores Belgium (PVH group)

Calvin Klein Stores Belgium (PVH group)


Claire’s Accessories

Dessange International

Stella Bikes


Work highlights

  • Representing a pan-European multi-brand retailer in a long lease transaction for a multiple floor store at the iconic Meir in Antwerp.
  • Assisting a retail financial institution with its Belgian market entry as a regulated entity.
  • Representing a famous upmarket department store in setting up a Belgian hub for sales to EU consumers.


The 'apt advisors for a multitude of retail matters’ at ALTIUS are trusted by retailers, manufacturers, and suppliers from the food, footwear and the luxury goods industries for assistance on issues ranging from disputes to brand protection work to strategic alliances. The ‘very knowledgeableCarmen Verdonck co-heads the practice and is well placed to advise domestic and international clients on the establishment and restructuring of distribution networks. Lieven Peeters approaches retail from a real estate perspective and is well versed in issues such as sale-and-leaseback transactions. Alexander Hansebout‘s dispute resolution expertise is relied upon by an array of brands, retailers and suppliers. Mathieu Maniet has specialist knowledge pertaining to distribution law.

Practice head(s):

Carmen Verdonck; Lieven Peeters

Other key lawyers:

Alexander Hansebout; Mathieu Maniet; Nina Methens


‘Altius team boasts a wide range of knowledge, making them apt advisors for a multitude of retail matters. This combination of expertise and efficiency makes them a great adviser for players in the retail legal landscape.’

‘Carmen Verdonck is very knowledgeable in multiple areas including franchise work, which is very important to us. Carmen is highly pragmatic and a pleasure to work with.’

‘We found Altius to be very client focused and they were able to advise an international client on the key challenges within the Belgium market in respect of our business. Excellent collaboration within departments to offer a full legal service.’

‘Lieven Peeters is a very capable partner not only in the field of real estate but also in assisting and coordinating with other areas of law which impact our business. From an international client’s perspective, he is able to clearly and efficiently distill key points and arguments of policies and legal frameworks to enable our business can address the most relevant points in a new country.’

Key clients


Bolton Group

Maxeda DIY Group


La William

Foot Locker



Work highlights

  • Assisting online retailer Crisp with various legal issues relating to starting its activity in Belgium, including various labour law and commercial law issues related to online sales and distribution activities in the Belgian market.
  • Assisting Maxeda DIY Group with the real estate work relating to its BRICO store portfolio, the review and update of the franchise agreements and other commercial contracts.
  • Assisting well-known Dutch clothing brand G-Star with several stores in Belgium’s Flemish and Walloon regions, including day-to-day employment and real estate issues in relation to the stores.

Baker McKenzie CVBA/SCRL

Baker McKenzie CVBA/SCRL has amassed considerable experience in retail issues including assisting clients with preparations for upcoming ESG regulation, dealing with supply chain disruptions caused by the Ukraine war, and advising on the impact of VBER in the distribution system space. Practice co-head Geert Bovy has a proven track record in commercial and consumer protection law litigation, while fellow co-head Kurt Haegeman has a panoramic understanding of multi-jurisdictional antitrust matters. Sebastian Tytgat‘s practice extends to drafting and negotiating commercial distribution agreements. Bram Hoorelbeke and Joost Vynckier are further names to note.

Practice head(s):

Geert Bovy; Kurt Haegeman

Other key lawyers:

Sebastian Tytgat; Bram Hoorelbeke; Joost Vynckier


Liedekerke wins plaudits for its ability to assist a far-reaching range of brands connected to retail and consumers goods with an array of issues connected to the supply of goods and services to customers. A quartet of partners head up the practice: Olivier Vanden Berghe is a key contact for commercial contracts and litigation; Etienne Kairis‘ mixed contentious and non-contentious practice extends to issues connected to distribution law; Yves Delacroix is an expert in real estate; and Paul Geerebaert is able to bring his employment expertise to bear on retail matters. Vincent Busschaert and Sarah Van Den Brande are further names to note.

Practice head(s):

Olivier Vanden Berghe; Etienne Kairis; Yves Delacroix; Paul Geerebaert

Other key lawyers:

Sarah van den Brande; Vincent Busschaert


‘The team acts as a business partner, meaning that it understands the business and focuses on a pragmatic approach, finding easy to implement solutions to sometimes complex questions.’

‘Etienne Kairis knows how to approach difficult negotiations with a balance between precise knowledge of the case and a pragmatic solution-oriented mindset.’

‘Great multidisciplinary real estate team.’

Key clients


Decathlon Belgium

Grand Opticiens Belgium


Kia Motors Belgium


Louis Vuitton Services Europe





Mercedes-Benz Belgium Luxembourg


Honda Motors Europe Benelux Branch

Work highlights

  • Representing major department store operator Inno in a dispute against Mirakl, a French cloud-based e-commerce software company, in relation to the launch of the Inno Marketplace.
  • Assisting Grand Opticiens with the transfer of 35 shops of the Grand Optical brand to EssilorLuxottica as well as on various employment law questions ranging from the closure of shops to dismissals.
  • Assisting Lidl with all of its matters in the three Belgian regions in which a real estate and/or environment question is involved and advising the retailer on all its expansion plans in Belgium.

Osborne Clarke

Blue-chip online and high street retail clients turn to Osborne Clarke for assistance with a wide range of commercial matters incorporating distribution issues, dispute resolution and regulatory advice. Drafting contracts and negotiating with suppliers are additional areas of strength for the team. Marie Canivet heads up the practice; she has a proven track record of advising companies on their domestic and international franchising networks. Louis Hoffreumon specialises in regulatory matters and frequently advises on market recalls and packaging and labelling compliance issues.

Practice head(s):

Marie Canivet

Other key lawyers:

Louis Hoffreumon

Key clients





Mamma Roma




Work highlights

  • Assisting Godiva with the move to a webshop in the UK and the EU, on the day-to-day management of its network, drafting, reviewing and negotiating its commercial and lease contracts.
  • Assisted Franprix with various matters including advice regarding Belgian law aspects, such as GDPR, precontractual disclosure obligations, labelling, etc.
  • Assisting Diageo with employment and HR related matters, inter alia green mobility issues.


Strelia has a strong focus on distribution issues with transactional and contentious mandates related to the relationships of retailers with their franchisees a cornerstone of the practice. The team is also active across a number of take-overs in the retail space. Gaetano Jannone heads up the team; the litigation and arbitration specialist is frequently sought out by clients from the fashion, food and beverage industries. Olivier Clevenbergh is an authority on franchisings and is also active on M&A work in the space, while Jean-Pierre Fierens has in-depth knowledge of distribution law.

Practice head(s):

Gaetano Jannone

Other key lawyers:

Olivier Clevenbergh; Jean-Pierre Fierens


‘Even though Strelia is a larger office, they manage to keep a practical and down to earth approach.’

‘The team takes a simple approach and provides logical solutions.’

Key clients

Accor Hotels

Burger Brands Belgium (Burger King and Quick restaurants)

Cinemas Pathé


Cono Kaasmakers







Lunch Garden

Makro Metro


PCS Innotec



Work highlights

  • Advising Carrefour Belgium on all matters pertaining to its franchise network.
  • Represented Illva Saronno in litigation against Pernod Ricard.
  • Advised Makro-Metro on the framework of the insolvency proceedings affecting the group.

Bird & Bird

The three core pillars of Bird & Bird‘s retail offering span food and beverage issues, fashion and luxury goods work, and hotel and leisure mandates. The team advises on a wide range of issues with consumer law, IP mandates and competition issues standing out as notable areas of activity. Jean-Christophe Troussel oversees matters and excels in contentious and transactional intellectual property and technology-related mandates. Benoit Van Asbroeck is known for representing retail clients before the European Court of Justice.

Practice head(s):

Jean-Christophe Troussel

Other key lawyers:

Benoit Van Asbroeck


‘They are fast and flexible and have an excellent working pan-European network. As a multinational company with a footprint across Europe, we often need advice in several European jurisdictions. Bird & Bird’s one-stop-shop mechanism works really well and quickly. They also have a pragmatic approach.’

Key clients



Anheuser-Busch InBev

Le Pain Quotidien group (including e.g., Agoda)




Ralph Lauren


Kontoor Brands EMEA

LeeWrangler Belgium Services BVBA

Work highlights

  • Advising a number of high-profile clients in the clothing/fashion sector, including Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Inditex and LeeWrangler, on questions related to distribution, antitrust investigations and general competition advice.
  • Assisting Eckes-Granini in connection with a range of food law related matters, including national legislation on fruit juices and related products as well as questions related to novel food ingredients.
  • Protecting the trade mark portfolios of iconic brands for beverage manufacturer AB InBev and Belgian eatery Le Pain Quotidien.


DIY stores, luxury goods retailers and supermarkets are among the clients which CMS has amassed notable expertise. The unit’s far-reaching offering ranges from handling commercial leases, to acting in contentious IP work, to advising on labour law matters and the regulation of price reduction announcements. Renaud Dupont co-leads the team and is well versed in mandates concerning distribution agreements. Fellow co-head Tom Heremans is a copyright and trade mark expert and is singled out for his knowledge of marketing laws and regulations. Loïc de Hults, praised for his ‘clear and business-oriented advice’, has a focus on distribution law.

Practice head(s):

Renaud Dupont; Tom Heremans

Other key lawyers:

Loïc de Hults


‘We find it very important to handle files and procedures efficiently and pragmatically, and CMS takes this concern to heart. We are very satisfied with our cooperation with the firm.’

‘Excellent practice. Good knowledge and skills.’

‘Team composed of very competent people.’

Key clients













Horeca Totaal

Work highlights

  • Providing regular advice to Primark in relation to its advertising campaigns focusing on sustainability, with issues connected to a global colleague communication and collaboration platform initiative and on commercial contracts.
  • Representing Amazon in trade mark infringement proceedings against Louboutin.
  • Represented the Belgian retailer Mestdagh in a dispute against Carrefour Belgium concerning the right to operate its network of supermarkets under the trade mark “Carrefour Market”.

DLA Piper

From employment and IP issues to real estate and restructuring work, DLA Piper is equipped to assist major retailers, landlords and investors with advisory and contentious work across the retail spectrum. Leadership of the team, which is praised for its ‘good insights into the needs and strategy of a company’, is split between soft IP expert Alexis Fierens and Charlotte Sas, who is well versed in retail restructurings. Ilse Van de Mierop is regularly called upon to assist retail clients in financial distress, while Eddy Lievens is able to leverage his employment expertise to advise major brands and retailers on a range of domestic and cross-border employment issues.

Practice head(s):

Alexis Fierens; Charlotte Sas

Other key lawyers:

Eddy Lievens; Joris De Vos; Ilse Van de Mierop; Jean-Louis Kerrels; Heidi Waem


‘Very good insights in the needs and strategy of a company, the market it operates in and its risk acceptance level.’

‘Alexis Fierens, Jean-Louis Kerrels and Heidi Waem are very responsive. Their advice is to the point and very pragmatic. They respect the client’s needs and do not hide behind lengthy theoretical advice.’

Key clients


Candy Hoover Group


JD Sports Fashion




Van Kelegom Group

Pierre Degand SA





BD myShopi


Casa International NV

Clarks Shoes

Daniel Wellington

Dr Martens Airwair



Karen Millen

Levi Strauss

Louise Vuitton Services Europe

New Balance

Q8 (Kuwait Petroleum (Belgium))

Realo (Belgium) NV


Supergroup (including Superdry brand)

Work highlights

  • Advised Dutch cosmetics company Rituals regarding the new provisions on price reduction following its intention to grant price advantages to consumers by applying joint purchase and discount campaigns.
  • Advised JD Sports on wide-ranging matters, including on whether it should make its products accessible to Belgian customers via a Belgian website or via another website with adapted terms and conditions.
  • Assisted Candy Hoover Group with a review of its warranty statements under Belgian law and the identification of unlawful clauses or other pitfalls.

KPMG Law in Belgium

Described as a ‘sparring partner’ for retail companies, KPMG Law in Belgium‘s retail offering  incorporates expertise in real estate, commercial and employment law; IP and M&A work are further areas of activity for the unit. Kortrijk-based Jim Bauwens heads up the team and frequently leverages his real estate experience to handle issues such as leasings and real estate litigation in the retail space. Gerald Van Walle has experience of assisting with real estate retail projects across all three Belgian regions, while drafting and negotiating share purchase agreements is one of Thomas De Clerck‘s strengths.

Practice head(s):

Jim Bauwens

Other key lawyers:

Gerald Van Walle; Thomas De Clerck; Frank Cleeren; Arthur Lahousse; Anneleen Vanderbauwhede; Tim Fransen


‘Sparring partner that thinks with the company and gives honest feedback. In legal cases, they provide a good overview of potential issues and communicate them well in order to find a proper solution.’

‘The whole team is great to work with. They are very professional and provide clear and honest feedback. They also think with the client for the most efficient solution.’

Key clients

J. Choo (Belgium) SRL

Retail Concepts SA

Fast Retailing Group

Popken Verwaltungs GMBH & co GCV

Group Deichmann

Maxi Zoo Belgium SRL

Decathlon Belgium SA




Sociedad Textil Lonia SA

Bimba & Lola Belgium SRL


Five Guys Belgium SRL

Bose SA

Battlekart Belgium SRL / Battlekart Europe SA

Vastned Belgium SA

Quest For Property SA and affiliated group companies

Flamant Design SA

Delbar Tournai SRL and Carosserie Delbar SRL

Ertzberg SCRL

D&B Management SRL


AS Adventure France


Lovisa Belgium SRL

Urban Outfitters Belgium SRL

Sabai Sabai SA

PXP Anderlecht and PXP Rocourt

Flanders Investment Company SA

Compagnie des Nations SRL

Iittala SRL

Immo-Lux SA and associated companies

Work highlights

  • Assisted FICO with its acquisition of 100% of the shares of MARI O.G. Holding SRL, the partial owner of a land-mark commercial building located at 2000 Antwerp (leased to a major retailer).
  • Assisting Lovisa Belgium SRL with its expansion and continuation of activities in Belgium under the new enseigne “Lovisa”, by advising on the negotiations of new commercial lease agreements.
  • Assisting X²O West retail group with the expansion of activities in Belgium.