Insurance in Belgium
Lydian's 'internationally-focused' team 'knows the market' and is 'unique in Belgium in its knowledge about jurisprudence, case law and compliance in the insurance business'. Working alongside 'top-class international insurance lawyer' Hugo Keulers, are Sandra Lodewijckx and counsel Anne Catteau, who are 'always accessible and open-minded'. In addition, counsel Jo Willems, and senior associates Marijn De Ruysscher and Héloïse Fostier, are highly regarded. Keulers is well-known for his involvement in most of the largest and high-value insurance disputes in Belgium in the last 15 years. His expertise includes areas such as product liability, D&O, advance loss of profit insurance and all risk property. Lodewijckx's background in private practice is complemented by her previous experience of working at ING Insurance (now Vivium). She assists clients with issues such as the distribution of insurance products, regulatory compliance, corporate governance and reviews of policy wording, among other matters. The team's recent work included advising CNA on the Belgian law aspects relating to its clinical trial insurance policy, product liability policy and professional insurance policy. Another highlight involved assisting insurtech company Qover with the policy wording of its products, and also with cooperation agreements with third parties, such as Immoweb and Deliveroo. The firm also acts for HDI Global SE, XL Catlin, Hiscox and AIG, among others.
Allen & Overy LLP
Allen & Overy LLP's team advises a broad range of clients at Belgian and international level on the full spectrum of contentious and non-contentious insurance matters, under the leadership of practice head Tom Schoors. It fields a multidisciplinary team that has expertise in insurance governance, dispute resolution, tax, commercial contracts, and restructurings of insurance companies and M&A. Christian Bayart is knowledgeable about insured employee benefits and occupational pensions, while Sylvia Kierszenbaum is recommended for her experience in advising international insurance companies on regulatory issues across multiple jurisdictions. Pierre-Olivier Mahieu and Patrick Smet are other notable partners. At associate level, Bart De Bock, Niels De Waele and Bart Franceus are noted. AG Insurance, Generali Belgium and Natixis are among the clients of the practice.
ALTIUS' multidisciplinary practice, which is co-led by Alexander Hansebout and Jérôme Vermeylen, provides a comprehensive service to insurance companies, reinsurers and insurance intermediaries, among other clients. The team's work spans areas such as regulatory compliance (including anti-money laundering, and privacy and data protection), the structuring of distribution channels, cooperation agreements between insurance companies and third parties, dispute resolution and employment law advice. Counsel Stijn Van Schel is a key figure in the team.
CMS serves as a one-stop shop to insurers, reinsurers and brokers, and its sizeable geographical footprint makes it a particularly strong choice for cross-border insurance work. The firm covers the market extensively; led by associate partner Virginie Frémat, its team is highly active in defending insurance claims, advising on coverage issues, insurance policy drafting, insurance litigation and arbitration. Another driver of activity has been the advice to various insurers and brokers on establishing operations in the EU to ensure a smooth transition post-Brexit; a recent highlight saw counsel Benoît Vandervelde advise Willis Towers Watson on the establishment of a base in the EU. In another matter, Frémat and Carl Leermakers assisted Jardin Lloyd Thompson with acquiring Belgibo from Exmar Group, which enabled the client to establish a firm presence in continental Europe. Other clients include Samsung, Swissport and North Europe Life Belgium.
Philippe & Partners has 'an excellent integrated practice in the insurance sector, both in Belgium and Luxembourg', and it generates mandates from insurance companies, brokers, professional associations and wealth planners. Jointly led by Denis Philippe, Pierre Moreau and Marc Gouden, its team leverages its 'very extensive knowledge of insurance regulations' to assist clients with their most significant and challenging legal issues. Moreau, in particular, is experienced in undertaking Belgian and cross-border insurance matters. His areas of expertise include the development of life and non-life insurance policies, distribution of life and non-life insurance products, regulatory compliance and dispute resolution. Recent work includes advising clients on the implementation of the Insurance Distribution Directive, Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products Regulation and General Data Protection Regulation.
Stibbe's full-service capabilities and in-depth knowledge of the insurance market ensures that it attracts a strong flow of work from insurers, reinsurers, banks and other clients. Led by practice head Oliver Stevens, its team handles a wide range of matters, such as insurance sector M&A, insurance and reinsurance disputes, the launch of new insurance products, and regulatory advice. Stevens is leading a team - which includes Hans Van Bavel, and senior associates Elisabeth Baeyens, David Verwaerde and Sophie Bourgois - in the advice to Brussels Airport Company on all contractual and insurance matters arising from the terrorist attack at Brussels Airport in 2016. The team also undertakes a significant amount of work for reinsurer Monument Re; recent highlights include assisting the client with its separate acquisitions of ABN Amro Life Capital, the First A run-off portfolio and Aspecta Assurance International Luxembourg. Other clients include AXA Belgium, Belfius Bank, ING, Generali and AG Insurance. Jan Peeters has 'a solid grounding in the regulatory basics, and is also able to provide practical, creative advice in situations that are not clear-cut'; he is 'a wise lawyer to have working for you'. Jan Bogaert is another key figure.