Insurance in Belgium

Lydian

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.

Practice head(s):

Hugo Keulers; Sandra Lodewijckx

Testimonials

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

Key clients

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

Ethias SA

Belfius Insurance NV

Baloise Belgium NV

AEGON NV

Qover 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

STIB-MIVB

TVM België N.V.

Liberty Mutual Group

Beluga Insurance Solutions NV

Alta Signa Group

Immoweb Financial Services SA

Arva

DKV

Work highlights

  • 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.

Practice head(s):

Tom Schoors

Key clients

Athora Holding Ltd

Ageas

AG Insurance

ING Belgium

KBC Group

ABN AMRO Bank N.V.

Natixis

ALTIUS

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.

Practice head(s):

Alexander Hansebout; Jérôme Vermeylen

Other key lawyers:

Stijn Van Schel

Testimonials

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

Key clients

Mapfre

Cigna

AG Insurance

CMS

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 FrématBenoît 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.

Practice head(s):

Virginie Frémat

Testimonials

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

Key clients

Deliveroo

Samsung

AIG

Markel

JLT

AXA

Tokio Marine

AON

CHUBB

Miller

Swiss Re

Zurich

Dekra

Atradius

Work highlights

  • 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.

Philippe & Partners

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.

Practice head(s):

Marc Gouden (Brussels/Luxembourg); Pierre Moreau (Brussels/Mons/Luxembourg)

Testimonials

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

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.

Practice head(s):

Oliver Stevens

Other key lawyers:

Jan Peeters; Jan Bogaert; Erik Valgaeren; Jan Proesmans; Sophie Bourgois

Key clients

AXA Belgium

Belfius Bank

BNP Paribas Fortis

De Goudse

Delta Lloyd

Dexia

Generali

ING

Irish Life plc

KBC Bank

Monument Re

P&V Verzekeringen

Work highlights

  • 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.