Insurance in Belgium
Lydian, which fields a circa 16-strong team, is the pre-eminent firm in Belgium for insurance law. Jointly led by industry heavyweights Hugo Keulers and Sandra Lodewijckx, the team offers enviable coverage of the market, including all areas of insurance, life and non-life insurance, and matters such as policy wording, the distribution of products and compliance, among many others. Keulers and senior associate Héloïse Fostier have been assisting Beluga Insurance Solutions NV and Integro Insurance Brokers Limited with the planning and execution of a strategy to counter the impact of a possible hard Brexit. On the contentious side, Keulers has handled most of the largest insurance disputes in Belgium over a period spanning more than 15 years. In addition to acting for most of the largest insurance companies with operations in Belgium, the firm generates mandates from insurance intermediaries, brokers, loss adjusters and insurance pools. Counsel Jo Willems and senior associate Marijn De Ruysscher are also recommended. Anne Catteau joined QBE Europe.
Hugo Keulers; Sandra Lodewijckx
‘I really appreciate the proactiveness and responsiveness of the team members, and their professionalism in case management. In addition to having legal expertise, Hugo Keulers is an excellent coordinator and manager‘
‘We work with Lydian on a regular basis and appreciate the firm for its combination of regulatory and substantive insurance law capability. We do not know of any other Belgian firm with its breadth of practice in the insurance sector. Sandra Lodewijckx is our main contact and she is a very knowledgeable and intelligent attorney‘
‘Hugo Keulers is a very experienced lawyer and has vast legal knowledge. He is excellent at pointing out what matters and determining the right strategy in files. Sandra Lodewijckx is also a very experienced lawyer and she is very client-minded. Jo Willems is always keen on giving you the best service, and as quickly as possible‘
‘We use Lydian for all insurance-related issues in Belgium. Its team is very efficient, effective and user-friedly. Our go-to person is Hugo Keulers, who is always available to assist and point us in the right direction. He has unrivalled knowledge of the insurance market in Belgium‘
‘It is the number one insurance team in Belgium. Hugo Keulers has enormous standing in the market‘
AIG Europe Ltd
HDI-Gerling Verzekeringen NV
XL Catlin / XL Catlin Insurance Company SE / XL Catlin Services SE, now Financial Insurance Company c/o AXA
Amlin Insurance SE
Zurich Insurance Plc
CNA Insurance Company Ltd
Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance (Global)
Aon Belgium BVBA/Aon Consulting Belgium NV
Ergo Insurance NV
Belfius Insurance NV
Baloise Belgium NV
Allianz Global Corporate
P&V Verzekeringen CVBA
SEB Life International Assurance Company
Dual Corporate Risks Ltd.
ARAG SE – Branch Belgium
DAS Belgische Rechtsbijstandsverzekering
FWU Life Insurance Luxembourg S.A.
Hiscox Europe Underwriting Limited
TVM België N.V.
Liberty Mutual Group
Beluga Insurance Solutions NV
Alta Signa Group
Immoweb Financial Services SA
- Assisted RSA Luxembourg SA with establishing a branch in Belgium, having received Belgian business following a transfer by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Plc.
- Advising Allianz Global Corporate & Speciality on the implications of the new Belgian Company Code on its directors and officers liability policy.
- Assisted Immoweb Financial Services with the sale of insurance products and the creation of an insurance intermediary.
- Acting for a life insurance company in a number of important disputes before various Belgian courts over its sale of unit-linked insurance contracts on the Belgian market.
- Acting for Baloise on the transfer of a portfolio of car insurance contracts from Corona Direct.
Allen & Overy LLP
Allen & Overy LLP particularly stands out in cross-border insurance matters, where it leverages deep connections with industry regulators and the experience of a multidisciplinary team to advise clients such as insurance companies, brokers, regulators and financial institutions. The practice is led by Tom Schoors, who has handled regulatory and contentious matters in the insurance sector for more than 15 years. He also has circa 20 years of litigation (including post-M&A and contractual disputes) and arbitration experience. Another name to note is Sylvia Kierszenbaum, who advises international insurance companies on the regulation of their insurance activities across multiple jurisdictions. Christian Bayart is an expert in pensions and (insured) employee benefits issues. Tax expert Patrick Smet and corporate partner Pierre-Olivier Mahieu are other key figures in the group, which also includes senior associates Bart De Bock and Bart Franceus, and associate Niels De Waele. A recent highlight involved Mahieu leading a group, which acted for Athora on its €540m acquisition of Generali Belgium.
Other key lawyers:
Athora Holding Ltd
ABN AMRO Bank N.V.
ALTIUS' top-notch practice generates work from insurance companies, reinsurers and insurance intermediaries. The cross-practice team, which is jointly led by Alexander Hansebout and Jérôme Vermeylen, handles a wide ambit of matters for clients, including regulatory/compliance advice, insurance distribution, and corporate, intellectual property and real estate related questions. Hansebout has extensive experience assisting insurance companies with complex and significant liability and coverage disputes. Vermeylen is recommended for his insurance regulatory expertise, as well as his knowledge of M&A and reorganisations. Counsel Stijn Van Schel is also recommended.
Alexander Hansebout; Jérôme Vermeylen
Other key lawyers:
‘The legal team maintains a history of our collaboration, so it’s easy to get their opinion on any kind of legal matter, considering the unique background of our company. The fact that ALTIUS still has lawyers who we started working with years ago helps us get clear and quality legal advice. In addition to the team’s stability, we would like to highlight the fact that it is highly accessible and ready to provide an opinion even in the face of tough deadlines‘
‘Jérôme Vermeylen is always able to anticipate the needs of the clients, which always helps to resolve any matter quickly and save money‘
CMS has a deep bench of insurance sector experts across a wide range of disciplines, which is complemented by the firm's international reach, enabling it to provide a full range of cross-border services to insurers, reinsurers and brokers. A team led by Tom De Cordier provides a first response service to AIG and its insured parties in more than 50 countries in relation to the clients 'Cyberedge' data breach insurance product. Also notable is that Virginie Frémat, Benoît Vandervelde and associate Julie De Pauw assisted Price Forbes UK with setting up a Belgian subsidiary company in order for it to carry out insurance mediation activities in the EEA post-Brexit. On the contentious side, Frémat and associate Xenia Vandenabeele are representing AIG (as the insurer of the Vandemoortele group) in a recourse claim. Frémat and Vandervelde were promoted to partner and associate partner respectively in January 2019.
‘Special mention for Virginie Frémat and associate Pieter Dieltjens for their thorough file knowledge. We were very satisfied with their input, availability, working against deadlines and good communication‘
‘Virginie Frémat and Benoît Vandervelde provide quick and competent advice, have a pragmatic approach and offer fair pricing‘
- Advising Belgian insurtech company Qover on the negotiation of partnership agreements and the development of new insurance products.
- Assisted Chubb with drafting several insurance policies pursuant to Belgian law (including liability policies, environmental insurance, damage insurance, D&O, professional liability insurance, cyber risk). It has also defended the client against several claims, and also assisted with the negotiation of cooperation agreements with commercial partners.
- Assisted Swiss Re Corporate Solutions with reviewing its property policy conditions in order to adapt them to the mandatory provisions of Belgian insurance law.
Insurance sector work is a bedrock of the practice at Philippe & Partners, whose clients include insurance companies, intermediaries and wealth planners. Equally strong in advisory work and contentious matters, the group has expertise in the development of new insurance products and distribution services. It is also knowledgeable about issues that concern clients' businesses, including regulatory and governance issues, and corporate and tax matters. A distinguishing feature of the team is that it has expertise in sector-specific issues in both Belgium and Luxembourg, which makes it a strong choice for cross-border advice. Marc Gouden and Pierre Moreau co-head the group, which includes counsels Thomas Crombez and Tom Van Noyen, as well as associate Quentin de Thysebaert.
Marc Gouden (Brussels/Luxembourg); Pierre Moreau (Brussels/Mons/Luxembourg)
‘The firm has an excellent reputation in Belgium and abroad. It provides clients with personalised and efficient legal advice to the highest professional standards‘
‘Marc Gouden is an exceptional lawyer with extensive knowledge and broad experience of Belgian insurance law. He understands the exact needs of corporate clients‘
Stibbe draws upon strengths across multiple specialisms to handle every type of complex issue that its clients face. Oliver Stevens heads up the team, which is knowledgeable about areas such as life and non-life insurance, property insurance, strategic reinsurance and group insurance. The group advises on regulatory issues, IT projects, labour law and tax issues. Corporate work includes acquisitions and sales of insurance and reinsurance companies, transfers of portfolios and corporate reorganisations. The firm is also sought out in complex insurance and reinsurance disputes, including those before the Belgian Supreme Court. Stevens is leading a team, which is acting as policyholder's counsel to Brussels Airport Company on all contractual and insurance matters raised by the terrorist attacks in Brussels in 2016. Corporate partners Jan Peeters and Jan Bogaert also have experience of handling insurance-related matters for clients. Erik Valgaeren has expertise in IT law and data protection, among other areas.
BNP Paribas Fortis
Irish Life plc
- Representing Antwerp Port Authority in a lawsuit against AIG, which has arisen from the evacuation of a quay area due to security reasons.
- Representing Brussels Airport Company (and acting as counsel to its liability underwriters) in a case pertaining to one of the biggest diamond robberies ever committed in Belgium (taking place at the the airport).
- Acting for the Luxemburg holding company of the Emerisque Cavaliere group in a dispute with credit insurer Euler Hermes.
- Is assisting Belgian insurance group P&V with a variety of software implementation projects.
- Assisted Monument Assurance Belgium (a subsidiary of Monument Re) with the acquisition of a run-off life insurance portfolio from Alpha Insurance.