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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 > Transport > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Industry focus: Transport
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Werner Eyskens - Allen & Overy LLP
    • Vincent Fransen - Fransen Luyten
    • Wim Fransen - Fransen Luyten
    • André Kegels - Kegels & Co Advocaten
    • Frank Roosendaal - Roosendaal Keyzer
    • Marc Van Looveren - Astrea

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Ruud De Houwer - Astrea
    • Jeroen Villé - Leeward
    • Armin Wintein - Leeward

Who Represents Who

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One of the top players in this field’, Astrea has ‘a clear view of all things that have to be considered’ and provides ‘high-quality, profound and complete advice’. The team is highly recommended for shipping disputes and matters involving collisions, wreckage removal and ship arrests, and is also highlighted for its language capabilities, where it is able to advise clients in English, French, Dutch and German. In one recent highlight, the team acted for Federal Public Service Mobility and Transport in litigation proceedings following the collision of the Flinterstar and gas tanker Al Oraiq. Marc Van Looveren and senior associate Ruud De Houwer are ‘strong litigators, achieving positive results for clients’. Louis Verstraeten is also recommended.

Front runners in shipping law’, Fransen Luyten is ‘a true expert in this field’, and ‘provides sound, practical advice very quickly, taking into account the legal and commercial aspects’. 2017 was another busy year for the practice, which advised on numerous high-profile collisions, fires and groundings. The firm is also renowned for its work in cargo and personal injury claims. Other work includes ship finance and contracts. Vincent Fransen is ‘very clear, concise and commercial in his approach’ and Tom Luyten is ‘conscientious and diplomatic’. Seb Couvreur and Alexis Van Cutsem ‘are also well versed in handling cargo claims and other maritime issues’. Wim Fransen is also recommended.

Highly regarded by both clients and peers, Roosendaal Keyzer is a leading firm in maritime law. Based in Antwerp, the firm is regularly instructed by shipping companies, insurers, P&I clubs and cargo companies. Outside of shipping, the firm also has a buoyant transport practice and handles a range of commercial, customs and insurance law matters. Name partners Luc Keyzer and Frank Roosendaal are key contacts; Jorne Adriaensens and Christof Borms also receive praise.

Allen & Overy LLP has the skills and resources to provide public law, corporate, regulatory and litigation support to companies across all subsectors of transport. In shipping, its clients include banks, lenders, shipowners and export credit agencies. In rail and road, the team has handled several major PFI and PPPs. In a recent highlight, Filip Tanghe advised the lenders and the European Investment Bank on the Liège light rail PPP project. The firm also has a strong reputation for its work in the aviation industry. Werner Eyskens is another key contact.

Ambos NBGO Advocaten’s transport department maintains an equal balance between contentious and non-contentious work, and provides a range of administrative, environmental and labour law services to companies in the transport and ports sectors. Its presence in Belgium’s three main seaports – Antwerp, Zeebrugge and Ghent – is a distinguishing feature. Peter Van de Vijver has been acting for key client Port Authority Ghent in litigation that concerns tort liability for port authorities following an incident in which the Hestia ran aground. Ingrid Van Clemen is also recommended.

Transport and logistics boutique Leeward is ‘very hands on’ and provides ‘fantastic results for a reasonable price’. The sizeable team covers the gamut of issues in the shipping, rail and road sectors and also advises its clients on corporate transactions. Clients include A2B Trucking, Inter Ferry Boats, Widem Logistics and Alpha Insurance. Practice head Lino Verbeke, Jeroen Villé and Armin Wintein are recommended.

Yves Lenders’ transport and logistics team at Lydian regularly handles port projects, logistics outsourcing projects and litigation following rail accidents. In a recent case, the team represented Lineas in litigation initiated by Infrabel following the derailment of a train in the south of Belgium.

Antwerp-based firm Bettens De Cocker Van Hemelen Advocaten focuses on transport law, particularly maritime and admiralty. Name partners Paul Bettens, Yves De Cocker and Wim Van Hemelen are the key contacts.

Under the leadership of Bob Martens, DLA Piper is active in the field of transport, including aviation, ports, harbours, rail and light rail. It benefits from an office in Antwerp as well as Brussels, and is also regularly engaged in EU-wide and multi-jurisdictional work. Carole Maczkovics ‘provides very comprehensive and very understandable advice regarding transport and logistics regulations’.

Specialist shipping and transport firm Kegels & Co Advocaten operates from Antwerp. In maritime, its practice takes in customs, collisions, ship arrests and cargo claims, and it also offers customs, trade and general corporate law advice. André Kegels receives praise.

Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick’s transport department is led by counsel Jean Pierre Kesteloot, whose practice takes in aviation, shipping, railway, insurance and tourism law. Clients include DHL, Eurostar and national railway company NMBS/SNCB.

Norton Rose Fulbright advises on state aid, public procurement and competition issues in the transport sector, often receiving instructions from international clients in EU-wide transactions. Christian Filippitsch advised Samvardhana Motherson on the antitrust and merger control aspects connected with the company’s European expansion.

Well versed in rail, road and infrastructure projects, Stibbe has an active transport practice, which also handles corporate transactions and litigation. France Maussion and Bruno Lombaert have been advising Brussels public transport company STIB-MIVB on several matters, including the development of a tram depot.

HFW is most renowned for its aviation practice, though its transportation work also extends to the rail and road subsector, where it is particularly active in procurement. Pierre Frühling and Stéphanie Golinvaux are the names to note.

In Belgium, Kennedys’ primary focus is on aviation, though its rail sector capabilities were bolstered significantly by the arrival of former strategy and legal director at high speed train operator Thalys Sandro Löw. In significant international developments, the firm merged with marine specialist firm Waltons & Morse in August 2016.

Shipping and maritime law constitutes a core focus area at Van Aerde & Partners, where its work encompasses salvage, ship arrest, ship construction and carriage of goods by road and sea. Clive Van Aerde leads the team.

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