Industry focus: Transport in Belgium

A&O Shearman

A&O Shearman‘s infrastructure and transport team wins plaudits for its handling of major projects in the transport sector. Public authorities, operators, financial institutions and construction companies are among the firm’s varied client base. Filip Tanghe heads up the practice and is embedded in the financing aspects of PPP rail, road and port projects. Gauthier van Thuyne is equipped to handle advisory and contentious transport mandates for public sector clients. Fee Goossens is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Filip Tanghe

Other key lawyers:

Gauthier van Thuyne; Fee Goossens


‘Filip Tanghe is very experienced.’

Key clients


Work highlights

  • Acted on the Belgian tax aspects of the cross-border merger between listed companies Frontline Ltd. and Euronav NV.


Praised for its ‘pre-eminent service in the field of maritime law‘, ASTREA CVBA‘s contentious and advisory expertise also extends to transport law in general. The Antwerp-based team has a focus on cargo and ship interests and is geared to handle matters such as cargo damage claims, seizures of ocean-going vessels and maritime appraisals. Commercial law specialist Marc Van Looveren heads up the unit and frequently represents companies in cases related to collisions at sea, ship’s arrests and charterparty disputes. Ruud De Houwer is mandated by clients ranging from shipping companies to public authorities to assist with issues such as cargo claims and general average-related mandates.

Practice head(s):

Marc Van Looveren

Other key lawyers:

Ruud De Houwer


‘Pre-eminent service in the field of maritime law with the additional benefit of being part of a larger firm where more areas of law are covered: first class.’

‘The firm takes a very practical approach and is business oriented.’

‘Knowledgeable in the field with a deep understanding of business needs.’

‘They have an extensive team with very diverse expertise, also the follow up is more than excellent.’

‘The team can work under pressure, respects deadlines, is available, pragmatic and helps to look for solutions.’

‘ The team provides quick and up-to-date feedback to our questions.’

‘No nonsense, professional and firm knowledge of the subjects they are supporting. Correct approach giving you a clear understanding of the strategy to follow.’

‘Flexible, professional, good communication skills, in-depth knowledge.’

Key clients

Skuld P&I

North Standard

West of England P&I

Belgian Federal Government – Department of Transport and Mobility

Belgian Federal Government – Department of Health and the Environment

Saga Welco

Briese Schiffahrts / BBC Shipping Chartering

Great White Fleet (Chiquita)

Einride AB

Dole GmbH


Spliethof, Transfennica

Fast Forward Freight

Crystal Cruises

Katoen Natie Group

Van Es Group

Noord Natie Holding

SCUA Belgium

Lukoil Benelux BV

Topoil AB

Heros Sluiskil BV

Saga Welco

U.K. Club


Arcadia Commodities Trading




Work highlights

  • Representing the Belgian federal government in a high-profile collision case involving the mv. “Flinterstar”, which was hit by the gas tanker mv. “Al Oraiq”.
  • Representing the owners of the mv. “BBC Virginia”, in respect of a cargo claim citing a loss of approx. $14m as a result of alleged fire damage to yachts shipped aboard the vessel.

Kegels Advocaten

Kegels Advocaten is praised for its expertise in ‘complicated brown and blue water cases’, alongside its ‘practical and technical knowledge and years of experience in international litigation’. Core strengths include logistics matters (spanning sea, rail, road and air issues), fact finding work and maritime disputes such high-profile capsize and sinking cases. André Kegels, Peter Noben and Wim Drofmans jointly lead the team; Kegels is well placed to represents shipowners in collision cases, while Drofmans is a key contact for insurers looking for representation in the recovery of claims.

Practice head(s):

André Kegels; Peter Noben; Wim Drofmans


‘Kegels Advocaten covers almost all fields of expertise required in complicated brown and blue water cases. The team offers both practical and technical knowledge and years of experience in international litigation.’

‘André Kegels is always available to assist and he remains calm in any circumstance. He cuts right to the chase and has a phenomenal gift to make difficult things sound easy and to explain a situation in a way which is understandable for anyone.’

‘Both André Kegel and Wim Drofmans are very good and knowledgeable in their field.’

‘André Kegel is very responsive and thorough, excellent in a fast-paced matter and commercially-minded.’


The transport and logistics team at Ambos is equipped to handle matters ranging from up-to-date issues, such as matters involving autonomous vessels, to traditional transport law cases including cargo claims and accidents. The ‘knowledgeable and pragmatic’ Ingrid Van Clemen heads up the team from the firm’s Antwerp office and has a proven track record in maritime litigation. Her colleague Philippe Van Dijck is well placed to handle both transactional and contentious maritime mandates as well as contentious road rules matters.

Practice head(s):

Ingrid Van Clemen

Other key lawyers:

Philippe Van Dijck


‘Great contact, knowledgeable experts who dive into the topic to explore it in close cooperation with the clients needs.’

‘Very good price/quality ratio. Prompt action undertaken and replies provided. Realistic assessment of chances of success when proceedings are commenced.’

‘Ingrid Van Clemen has the capacity to quickly and promptly analyse complex files.’

‘Ingrid Van Clemen is extremely knowledgeable, pragmatic and helpful.’

‘Philippe Van Dijck – excellent contact and timely deliveries.’

‘Ingrid Van Clemen and Philippe Van Dijck form a solid team of bright minds working towards solutions in sometimes complex issues arising in the transport chains.’

Key clients

Grimaldi Lines

EuroChem Antwerpen NV

Port Authority Ghent


Belgian P&I

MSC (PSA Terminal Antwerp)

DP World Antwerp Terminal

Silk Way Airlines

Belgian Government (Transport Ministry)

Flemish Government (Pilot Dept)

GWM Surveys

Antwerp Shipping Federation



Sea Tank Terminal / Sea Invest

CH Robinson

SW Trucking

Steder Group

AR Trans

DAL (Deutsches Afrika Linien)


SN Shipping

Deawoo Logistics Corporation

Cosco shipping

Hassan Law Firm

RSA Luxemburg


Summer Bash

Sea Forward

Work highlights

  • Assisting the shipping line Cosco Shipping in a procedure relating to collecting demurrage and the detention of several containers shipped from Belgium.
  • Represented SN Shipping in summary proceedings and arrest proceedings after the shipping line was faced with a strike in the original delivery terminal and unloaded in another port.
  • Assisted Deawoo Shipping in a case of lost bills of lading.


Described as 'creative thinkers’ and 'very knowledgeable and specialised', the team at Leeward is known for its prowess in the fields of transport, postal and road law with additional knowledge of criminal proceedings related to social dumping. The Brugge-based trio of Jeroen Villé, Armin Wintein and Saar De Gelas leads the group; the latter joined the practice in March 2023 as part of the firm’s merger with Weegmann-De Gelas Law. Wintein is described as having ‘shipping in his DNA’ , while De Galas boosts the firm’s criminal transport law capabilities.

Practice head(s):

Jeroen Villé; Armin Wintein; Saar De Gelas


‘The team is very easy to work with. Short lines, good communication. They are quick and deliver what you need. Very knowledgeable and specialised. Creative thinkers.’

‘Armin Wintein and Jeroen Villé – Apart from legal expertise, they are both great guys to work with.’

‘If I had to recommend a maritime law office, Leeward would be one of the few.’

Key clients




International Car Operators


Vos Logistics



New Silkway Logistics

Europa Worldwide



Stow Group

Zeppelin GmbH

Noerpel GmbH


Work highlights

  • Drafting the complex logistics contractual framework for a leading terminal operator.
  • Assisting various leading international transport companies in social disputes with the Belgian authorities.
  • Representing various Belgian transport companies in French Correctional Courts for transport related infractions.


Lydian‘s multidisciplinary port and logistics team is active across transport-related disputes, notably in the rail sector, and also handles corporate transactions and port, logistics and shipping sector agreements. The unit is also well placed to provide regulatory assistance to logistics clients wishing to enter the Belgian market. Practice chair Yves Lenders is highly regarded for his work on railway disputes and port projects. ‘Good strategist’ Pieter-Jan Van Mierlo is equipped to handle disputes related to rail freight transport and logistics services agreements.

Practice head(s):

Yves Lenders

Other key lawyers:

Pieter-Jan Van Mierlo


‘Pieter-Jan Van Mierlo is responsive, well-organised a good strategist and pragmatic.’

‘What I highly appreciate at Lydian is their expertise, friendliness and modesty.’

‘Pieter-Jan Van Mierlo’s analysis is always to the point and business oriented. We can count on him for complex transport and insurance claims.’

‘Pieter-Jan Van Mierlo is conducting our case in a very professional way.’

‘Pieter-Jan Van Mierlo is approachable and has excellent knowledge of a difficult subject.’

Key clients

Lineas NV

De Lijn

DFDS Belgium NV



Water-link OV

Klipsch Group Europe BV

Cotac Belgium NV

Metrans a.s.

Combinant NV

Puratos NV

Talia Shipping Line Co. Sarl

Crossrail Benelux NV

Uniqa Towarzystwo Ubezpieczen SA

H. Essers Railport NV (previously Euro Terminal Genk)

United Parcel Services (UPS) Belgium

Work highlights

  • Representing DFDS Belgium NV in several proceedings against subcontractors and assisting it in a wide array of logistics services related issues.
  • Representing Combinant NV following a derailment of a Hupac NV owned wagon operated by Railtraxx NV on its private railway infrastructure hub in the Antwerp port.
  • Representing Crossrail Benelux NV in a case regarding the collision of two freight trains (Crossrail train and Locon (Logistics) train) in Dalldorf – Leiferde (Germany) on 17 November 2022.


Quadrant‘s rapidly growing Antwerp-based practice covers a wide array of transport issues including maritime liability claims, customs law, road transport issues and matters relating to logistics intermediaries. Dirk Noels, described as ‘a true wizard in the field of maritime law’, is a key contact at the firm; his broad practice includes working as an arbitrator in CEPANI arbitrations relating to shipping and transport matters. Kristin Verhaegen frequently leverages her expertise in insolvency to advise on matters in the field of transport, while Jan Delen has in-depth knowledge of shipping and customs matters. Patrick Rubens, Pierre Bogaerts and Jan Everaerts, all of whom joined from Marcon & Rubens in April 2023, are further names to note.

Practice head(s):

Dirk Noels; Patrick Rubens; Pierre Bogaerts; Kristin Verhaegen; Jan Everaerts; Valerie Diercken; Jan Delen


‘Dirk Noels is a bright, understanding and commercial lawyer.’

‘Perfect communication of knowledge and drive.’

‘We only work with Dirk Noels who is very attentive to our demands. Answers to queries are rapidly forthcoming.’

‘Jan Delen, Pierre Bogaerts and Dirk Noels know what they are talking about – response time is good and advice to the point.’

‘ The team is prepared to face any difficult procedure presented to them.’

‘Dirk Noels is a true wizard in the field of maritime law.’

‘Extensive experience in international trade, maritime litigation and well focused on specific/local operational customary trades within the port of Antwerp.’

‘In our line of business, where ‘just-in-time’ is no slogan but daily pressure, it is of great importance to have a partner that is available to react and assist when called upon. This is what we experience working with this firm and what we value very much.’

Key clients

ICC Belgium

Work highlights

  • Advising the ICC Belgium with regard to the presently ongoing legislative work on the reform of the Belgian Customs & Excise legislation.


A key name for clients from the transport and logistics sector as well as the ports and shipping sector, Deloitte assists public bodies and private corporations with issues encompassing PPPs, public transport mandates and passenger transport law. Corporate law specialist Marc Van tieghem co-heads the practice alongside public law expert Kathleen De hornois, who equipped to assist with the drafting of legislation pertaining to water and seaborne transport. Wim Naudts and Jasmine Coppens further extend the public law expertise at the firm.

Practice head(s):

Kathleen De hornois; Marc Van tieghem

Other key lawyers:

Wim Naudts; Jasmine Coppens

Key clients

De Vlaamse Waterweg



Vlaamse overheid – Departement Mobiliteit en Openbare Werken

Agentschap voor Maritieme Dienstverlening en Kust

Flanders Hydraulics

Port of Antwerp

Belgian Coast Guard (Kustwacht)

Work highlights

  • Acting as a trusted adviser to the Flemish Government regarding passenger transport and its implementation in law.
  • Drafting a cooperation agreement between Eigen Vermogen Flanders Hydraulics and the Hydraulic Laboratory outlining the main principles of their structural cooperation regarding personnel, infrastructure, accounting, subsidies, intellectual property, governance, etc.
  • Assisting the coast guard with its future internal structure. This assignment includes assistance with the drafting of a new regulatory framework.

DLA Piper

Well positioned to advise clients on existing and new EU legislation and regulations in the context of transport-related work, DLA Piper is also geared to advise on aviation and railway-related regulatory matters, public procurements and matters pertaining to maritime law. Bob Martens, Ilse Van de Mierop and tax partner Nicolas Engelmann share leadership duties; Martens is an authority on aviation regulation, while Van de Mierop has a focus on restructuring mandates with a transport component.

Practice head(s):

Bob Martens; Ilse Van de Mierop; Nicolas Engelmann

Other key lawyers:

Eddy Lievens; Charles Dumont de Chassart

Key clients

skeyes (formerly Belgocontrol)

Sabena (in bankruptcy)

Sabena Aerospace Engineering SA / SABCA (Orizio Group)

Consortia TM COTU & TM ROCO

Scania Belgium NV/SA


Katoen Natie


Belgian railways (NMBS/SNCB)

Work highlights

  • Representing and providing legal assistance to skeyes in connection with a number of issues and disputes deriving from HR difficulties in relation to staffing issues and a social conflict.


Eubelius‘ ‘excellent team of driven experts’ has expertise across roads, rail and aviation. Areas of activity for the firm include toll-related work - the group is praised for its ‘broad knowledge of EETS regulation’ - PPP projects in the public transport sector, and the drafting of sector-specific contracts. A bevy of practitioners head up the team with leadership duties divided between Alain François, Anthony Logghe, Barteld Schutyser, Jeroen Delvoie, Jan Bocken, Rosita GeelenBart MartelPieter Callens and Anneleen Van De Meulebroucke.

Practice head(s):

Alain François; Anthony Logghe; Barteld Schutyser; Jeroen Delvoie; Jan Bocken; Rosita Geelen; Bart Martel ; Pieter Callens; Anneleen Van de Meulebroucke

Other key lawyers:

Hans Plancke


‘Eubelius is hands-on, pragmatic and to the point.’

‘Eubelius has an excellent team of driven experts who specialise in our sector.’

‘We greatly appreciate the fact that the individual lawyers at Eubelius continue to specialise in very specific areas, always keeping us up to date on upcoming changes and assisting us in the most serious crises with a thorough and calm approach.’

‘The team has a broad knowledge of EETS regulation.’

‘Alain François is very good and sophisticated lawyer in EETS law.’

Key clients

Asco Industries

Audi Brussels

De Lijn

De Werkvennootschap (previously Via-invest)

Departement Mobiliteit en Openbare Werken (MOW)

Government of the Netherlands – Department of Infrastructure and Water (IenW)

Havenbedrijf Antwerpen


Rijksdienst Waterstaat (the Netherlands)

skeyes (previously Belgocontrol)

Thalys International




Work highlights

  • Advising and assisting the Dutch Ministry of “Infrastructuur en Waterstaat” and RDW with the implementation of a road charging system for heavy goods vehicles as well as a temporary tolling project.
  • Acting as the exclusive legal adviser to the public transport operator De Lijn for the structuring, awarding and implementation of all its PPP infrastructure (bus depots and tramway) and rolling stock projects.
  • Assisting NMBS (public rail company) with an array of complex or contentious public contracts, projects and concessions.

ITL Attorneys

Formerly known as Transport & Logistiek Advocaten, the firm merged with Dutch and Polish law office Vallenduuk Transport Advocaten in late 2023 to form ITL Attorneys, which draws praise for its ‘exceptional grasp of all aspects of transport law’. The team has a strong focus on work for road transport clients. Litigation is the cornerstone of the practice, which also handles work in areas such as insurance and tax. Frederik Vanden Bogaerde, Vincent Van Der Mast and Mathias Dendievel share leadership duties.

Practice head(s):

Frederik Vanden Bogaerde; Vincent Van der Mast; Mathias Dendievel


‘The team are very knowledgeable in the transport sector. They really understand what clients need to do. Working with them is very straight forward.’

‘The team has an exceptional grasp of all aspects of transport law, whether it be the on penal, social, commercial or fiscal aspects. It is refreshing that their main focus is on road transport law, where not a lot of real experts can be found.’

‘Frederik Vanden Bogaerde has been a household name in road transport work for a very long time. He is very strong in litigation and auditing and has a very good reputation for court work, especially in the penal and social aspects of road transport.’

Key clients


K&L Gates GP

K&L Gates GP is noted for providing advice on international and European transport legislation, incorporating aviation, rail, road and maritime transport issues. Practice co-head Mélanie Bruneau has in-depth knowledge of the commercial issues faced by logistics companies, while co-lead Antoine de Rohan Chabot frequently advises on EU regulatory issues faced by transport and aviation companies. Fomer co-head Philip Torbøl left the firm in 2024, shortly before publication.

Practice head(s):

Mélanie Bruneau; Antoine de Rohan Chabot

Key clients

World Fuel Services


Formula 1


Kennedys is instructed by logistics companies and their insurers across shipping, road transport, and cargo handling issues, as well as acting for international airlines in matters such as cargo claims, robberies, and road transportation disputes. Practice head Dimitri de Bournonville is an authority on aviation finance and regulatory matters. Dries Deschuttere leverages his background in insurance law to handle, among other issues, claims that airline clients receive for compensation to passengers following a delay or cancelled flight.

Practice head(s):

Dimitri de Bournonville

Other key lawyers:

Dries Deschuttere


‘Deep industry knowledge, the firm understands what a company needs.’

‘High performance team for regulatory matters in the transport and shipping sector. Quick and actionable advice.’

‘Dimitri de Bournonville heads the team with a no-nonsense approach tailored to clients’ needs always going the extra mile.’

Key clients


Air Belgium

Air Transport Services Group

ASL Airlines Belgium

ASL Aviation Group





CAL Cargo Airlines

Challenge Airlines Group

Charles Taylor Adjusting






Etihad Airways

Fedex / TNT Express



Global Aerospace


JP Ryan

LOT Polish Airlines


Macquarie Air Finance


Norddeutsche Landesbank

RV Transport




Swiss International Airlines

Swissport Cargo Services

Thai Airways


CNA Hardy



Royal Caribbean International

Work highlights

  • Acting for CV Starr as lead insurers in the defence of multiple cargo claims against Air Belgium and CMA CGM for intercontinental transportation of cargo.
  • Assisted CNA Hardy as cargo insurer in relation to a claim involving a bulk shipment of diesel that indicated shortage of 79 MT after loading and incurred contamination on route.
  • Appointed to assist the cabinet of the Minister of Transport and the Federal Administration of Mobility in relation to the renegotiation of the management contract between the Belgian State and Skeyes.


Liedekerke is active across a broad range of transactional, contentious and advisory matters for clients such as domestic and foreign airlines, insurers and major players in the railway industry. Olivier Vanden Berghe and Jean Pierre Kesteloot jointly lead the the practice, and Jonas Vansevenant has a focus on commercial law in the aviation sector.

Practice head(s):

Jean Pierre Kesteloot; Olivier Vanden Berghe

Other key lawyers:

Jonas Vansevenant

Key clients

Brussels Airlines

Pet Food Europe Bv

Groupon International Travel Gmbh C/O BDS


Work highlights

  • Representing Brussels Airlines before the EU General Court in Luxembourg in connection with Ryanair’s appeal against the European Commission’s decision to approve the Belgian government’s €290m Covid-19 state aid package.
  • Assisting Uber with matters including defending Uber in court actions brought by taxi companies TRB (Taxi Radio Bruxellois or Taxi Verts) and defending Uber drivers in criminal proceedings.
  • Assisting Groupon with questions related to the discontinuation of travel offers on the Belgian website of Groupon.

Reed Smith

Reed Smith‘s far-reaching transport offering is piloted by Christian Filippitsch, Isabelle Rahman and Yves Melin.

Practice head(s):

Christian Filippitsch; Isabelle Rahman; Yves Melin

Simont Braun

Simont Braun‘s transport offering handles M&A work, real estate advice to railway companies, and town planning advisory work. Steven Callens co-heads the practice and is able to leverage his corporate M&A expertise to advise major players in the transport sector, while fellow co-head Manuela Von Kuegelgen is equipped to assist public and private entities with major infrastructure projects relating to transport. Renaud van Melsen is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Steven Callens; Manuela von Kuegelgen

Other key lawyers:

Renaud van Melsen


‘A practice with competence, rigour and precision.’

‘The team is involved and available.’

Key clients

Mercedes (Daimler)

Work highlights

  • Representing a consumer organisation acting on behalf of about 40,000 passengers in a class action against Ryanair.
  • Acting as advisers of Mercedes (Daimler group) on contractual, corporate, and dispute matters pertaining to the Belgian market.