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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Belgium > Industry focus > Retail > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


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The ‘very professional’ team at Altius acts for a range of retailers, including large multinationals and smaller domestic companies, consumer goods manufacturers and suppliers, with a particular emphasis on the fashion and luxury goods sectors. Carmen Verdonck advised several clients on the structuring and restructuring of their retail networks in compliance with national distribution laws and national and EU competition rules. Lieven Peeters is a key contact for real estate-related matters.

At DLA Piper, the ‘legal thinking is combined with a lot of experience’; it is highly recommended for its knowledge of the retail sector, which is among the firm’s global focus areas. The team’s client base includes household-name retailers as well as landlords and investors. Employment partner Eddy Lievens is praised for his ‘in-depth strategic thinking’; real estate specialist Dirk Caestecker is also noted.

Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick has a well-rounded retail and consumer goods practice; its clients include distributors, outlet stores, retailers and property developers, which turn to the team for advice on commercial agreements, competition issues, regulatory matters and consumer protection advice. Yves Delacroix advised Ikea on the building of two new stores.

Linklaters’ strong presence in the local market combined with its international office network and experience makes it well placed to advise retailers on expansion both domestically and internationally. Its cross-practice team advises on a wealth of issues affecting its retail-sector clients, including IP and brand protection, antitrust and real estate. Competition partner Bernd Meyring coordinates the practice group.

Noted for its ‘very good knowledge’ and ‘pragmatic approach’, Loyens & Loeff has a sizeable retail practice which combines the expertise of a multi-disciplinary group of lawyers to provide assistance in tax, real estate, finance and corporate transactions. In litigation, Yves Van Couter has been representing a luxury clothing and accessories company in a long-running trade mark dispute. Practice head Christophe Laurent and tax specialist Xavier Clarebout are also noted.

McGuireWoods LLP has a broad transactional and contentious retail practice, and has developed strong expertise in distribution and franchising. Other specialisms include environmental law and fair trade practices. The team has been providing ongoing real estate advice to a UK retailer with stores in Europe and Asia; recent work included advising on the early lease termination of a store in Belgium. Steven Ongena and counsel Pol Cools joined AKD in December 2018

Stibbe receives praise for its ‘thorough and reliable advice’ and the fact that ‘several of its lawyers are available at any given time to turn matters around quickly’. 2017 saw the team advising on corporate transactions, commercial agreements, real estate and competition. Clients include The Body Shop, Retail Estates and Aldi. Rudy Nauwelaerts specialises in real estate and leads the practice. Litigators Nicolas Résimont and senior associate Sophie Bourgois, and data protection expert Erik Valgaeren are highly regarded.

Strelia provides ‘an excellent level of service’; the team advises retailers on the establishment and development of their networks in Belgium, and has significant expertise in franchise and distribution law. It counts Carrefour, Burger Brands Belgium and Veritas among its clients. Olivier Clevenbergh ‘reacts quickly and combines legal expertise with business acumen’; Jean-Pierre Fierens is also recommended.

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