Industry focus: Retail in Belgium

ALTIUS

Singled out for its 'mix of knowledge, pragmatism and availability', the retail and consumer goods team at ALTIUS acts for well-known brands and retailers particularly those in the clothing, accessories, footwear and luxury goods industries. The department is frequently instructed on a range of strategic commercial, employment and real estate matters and also disputes. It advised Zara on e-commerce, distant sales, direct marketing, cookies, payment methods and commercial communication considerations relating to its transactional websites. Carmen Verdonck heads the team. Other clients include Foot Locker, Gucci and Marc O’Polo.

DLA Piper

The retail sector group at DLA Piper attracts praise for its 'knowledge, client focus, availability and reaction speeds'. It handles the full-range of matters from IT and e-commerce issues and real estate transactions to employment and IP matters. The group recently acted for Batiself in a dispute with Selfmatic relating to allegations of trademark infringement.

Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick

Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick is highlighted for its breadth of experience and regularly assists clients across the retail and consumer goods sector, with clients including Ikea Belgium, Lidl and The Absolut Company. Etienne Kairis is leading a team defending Belgian-based company Sport Direct in cease and desist proceedings brought by UK-based sportsdirect.com. The practice also acted for AG Real Estate on the €425m sale of the Woluwe Shopping Center complex located in Brussels. Commercial lawyer Olivier Vanden Berghe and Yves Delacroix, who leads the firm's real estate and regulatory practice, are other key names to note.

Linklaters

Linklaters has experience handling a range of issues, including IP and brand protection, antitrust and real estate matters for retail sector clients. The group is able to draw on the firm's global network to advise international clients on cross-border mandates. Bernd Meyring is a key name to note for antitrust and competition matters.

Loyens & Loeff

With experience in a range of tax, IP, real estate, finance and corporate transactions, Loyens & Loeff's well-rounded team is a popular choice for retail sector clients. The group includes Christophe Laurent, Yves Van Couter and Xavier Clarebout, who are recommended for real estate, disputes and tax-related matters respectively.

Stibbe

Stibbe's retail-focused practice combines 'short response times and sector knowledge, with value for money'. Its impressive client roster includes Aldi, Carrefour and Hasbro. Practice head Rudy Nauwelaerts leads advice to Quares Real Estate Agency on commercial lease agreements, as well as on the redevelopment of a shopping mall in Antwerp. Pieter Bogaert and Pieter Vandenheede were recently promoted to counsel.

Strelia

Strelia has significant experience assisting retail sector clients with setting up and developing operations in Belgium. It acts for Carrefour on its Belgian franchise activities and advises the same client on various commercial contracts. The group is also assisting with Burger King's expansion in Belgium. Olivier Clevenbergh and Jean-Pierre Fierens are key names to note. Veritas and Point Carré are also clients.