Major domestic and international clients flock to Lydian‘s sizeable insurance and reinsurance team for the full range of work, including strategic advice and support on the most complex and critical disputes. Lawyers have expertise in matters ranging from corporate insurance to product distribution and claims work, and the practice is a key referral partner for top international firms. The team is led jointly by the ‘highly experienced and astute‘ Hugo Keulers and the ‘practical and down-to-earth‘ Sandra Lodewijckx, who are both highly competent across regulatory and contentious work. Jo Willems was promoted to partner in January 2022, and is particularly well regarded in liability disputes, while counsels Marijn De Ruysscher and Héloïse Fostier are also recommended.
Insurance in Belgium
Hugo Keulers; Sandra Lodewijckx
Other key lawyers:
Jo Willems; Marjin De Russchyer; Héloïse Fostier
‘Lydian remains the reference on the Belgian market when it comes to insurance law and insurance regulatory law. Experts in their field and able to assist in bigger projects. Good understanding of the needs of the client and a very practical, solution-driven approach.’
‘They are agile, have the relevant expertise on board, and, despite their greatness, are able to adapt themselves to deal with the real day-to-day issues of their clients. A firm I trust. Not only a practice but a partner.’
‘A first-class firm in the Belgian liability (casualty) arena. Excellent track record in coverage, products liability, and excess casualty. Responsive and customer-focussed.’
‘Specialised high-level insurance and liability knowledge. Always looking for the most valuable solution, if possible out of court. Good network of international specialists. They do everything to understand the problem in a broader way.’
‘The stand-out partner is Hugo Keulers, whose availability, communications skills, overall knowledge, and quick understanding of a case is unmatched in the market.’
‘Sandra Lodewijckx combines an in-depth knowledge of insurance law with a practical and down-to-earth approach to the files. This is obviously always much appreciated by clients.’
‘Hugo Keulers is the best lawyer I have worked with in Belgium. Highly experienced and astute.’
‘Sandra Lodewijckx definitely stands out. She is hands-on, practical, she understands the clients’ needs, and is a true expert in the field with an excellent network in the sector. Always well aware and ahead of the curve when it comes to the latest developments in products, distribution practices and regulatory trends.’
AIG Europe Ltd
Lloyd’s Insurance Company NV
Furness Professional Risks Europe
International Professional Risks Europe
United Kingdom Freight Demurrage and Defence Assocation (UKFD)
London Steam-Ship Owners’ Mutual Insurance Association Limited (LSSO)
International Transport Intermediaries Club Limited (ITIC)
Great Lakes Insurance SE, (Munich Re Group)
TT Club Mutual Insurance Limited
Hilton Food Group BV
HDI Global SE
Arval Belgium NV
Monument Insurance Belgium
XL Catlin / XL Catlin Insurance Company SE / XL Catlin Services SE (now Financial Insurance Company td. c/o AXA)
Amlin Insurance SE
Zurich Insurance Plc
Can Insurance Company Ltd
Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance (Global)
Aon Belgium BVBA /Aon Consulting Belgium NV
Ergo Insurance NV
Belfius Insurance NV
Lithuanian Motor Insurance Guarantee Fund
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
Hiscox Europe Underwriting Limited
Liberty Mutual Group
Beluga Insurance Solutions NV
Alta Signa Group
Immoweb Financial Services SA
Beazley Furlonge Ltd
- Acting for Vandamme Hungaria, a supplier of chocolate ingredients to Barry Callebaut, in the highly publicised case of salmonella contamination in the Belgian chocolate industry in July 2022.
- Assisting different insurers with claims under their contractors’ all risks (CAR)/operational all risks (OAR) policies for three of the seven offshore wind farms operational in the Belgian North Sea.
- Assisting AIG in a coverage dispute before the Brussels Enterprise Court under a business interruption endorsement of an environmental all risks insurance policy taken out by TCR International NV, as policyholder, following the closure of airport terminals and buildings at international airports in Australia, Iberia, the UK, Malaysia and the Netherlands.
Allen & Overy LLP
Allen & Overy LLP‘s insurance team has expertise across regulatory, transactional, and contentious work, with a multidisciplinary structure that brings together experts in employment, tax, financial regulation, and litigation. Team lead Tom Schoors has experience of acting in complex and cross-border disputes, while Sylvia Kierszenbaum is a key contact for regulatory advice, in particular insurers’ capital and solvency requirements. Christian Bayart is sought out by employers and pension funds for his knowledge of insured employee benefits and group insurance. Notable senior associates include Niels De Waele, who is especially strong on product regulations.
Other key lawyers:
Sylvia Kierszenbaum; Christian Bayart; Niels De Waele
NN (Nationale Nederlanden)
SEB Life International
- Representing Athora Belgium, a subsidiary of life insurance group Athora Holding, in its acquisition of a life insurance portfolio from NN Insurance involving €3.3bn of assets.
- Secured an important appeal victory for SEB Life International in a high-profile series of insurance mis-selling cases.
- Handling a major consolidation project for Ageas, including advising on corporate, regulatory, IT, and employment issues.
Drawing on support from specialists in dispute resolution, regulatory issues, and transactions, the insurance team at ALTIUS is highly regarded by its client base of insurers, reinsurers, and intermediaries. Corporate and transactional partner Jérôme Vermeylen leads the team with Alexander Hansebout, who is particularly recommended for his ‘total mastery of conflict situations‘, encompassing mediation and arbitration as well as in-court litigation. Stijn Van Schel, who was promoted to the partnership in September 2022, is also noted for his ‘extensive knowledge of insurance matters‘, with expertise in complex liability and coverage disputes.
Alexander Hansebout; Jérôme Vermeylen
Other key lawyers:
Stijn Van Schel; Audrey Zegers
‘The team are adept at managing the handling of large, complex and challenging cases with an international element. They are distinguished by a very high level of expertise, as well as a good understanding of their client’s interests. Above all, however, they are simply competent and friendly people who are a pleasure to work with!’
‘Alexander Hansebout has a high level of technical knowledge, good client focus, and a total mastery of conflict situations.’
‘Multiple skills, good communication within the team, and good back up.’
‘Alexander Hansebout is distinguished by his remarkable experience and knowledge of insurance issues. He is a very easy person to work with and this makes the case go smoothly. Stijn Van Schel is an outstanding expert in civil procedure, with equally extensive knowledge of insurance matters.’
Fortegra Europe Insurance Company
Leo Raes BV – Raes-Vermeiren
SFS SAS – Siemens
The Fry Group
- Assisted Fortegra Europe Insurance Ltd with its entry into the Belgian market, providing advice on the application of Belgian general good provisions regarding insurance distribution, the compliance of its insurance policies with Belgian insurance, and consumer law and the redrafting of its client documentation.
- Advised SFS SAS and Siemens NV on several regulatory aspects of their financial and operational leasing activities in Belgium, including advising on the contractual set-up of the insurance of the equipment leased, and the application of Belgian insurance and insurance distribution legislation and licensing requirements.
- Advised The Fry Group in relation to the divesture of its Belgian insurance activities and portfolio.
CMS‘s ‘professional, diligent, and objective‘ insurance team advises on issues ranging from strategic planning to day-to-day operations and contentious proceedings. Antwerp-based Virginie Frémat has extensive experience in litigation, while Benoît Vandervelde in Brussels is a financial services specialist with particularly strong knowledge of regulation and a growing focus on insurance technology. Carl Leermakers and Tom De Cordier are joint team heads with Frémat and Vandervelde, and the practice is well regarded for cross-border work. Senior associate Julie De Pauw is also recommended as a key contact for policy review and liability issues.
Virginie Frémat; Carl Leermakers; Benoît Vandervelde; Tom De Cordier
Other key lawyers:
Julie De Pauw
‘Professional, diligent, and objective. The team is able to clearly articulate my options and provide considered views to guide me through complex international matters. They have also delivered an invaluable service in helping me to understand procedural matters in foreign jurisdictions.’
‘The team are knowledgeable, pragmatic and responsive. The service they provide is also good value for money. They keep their billing transparent and reasonable.’
‘They have a large network of insurance contacts, both internationally within the CMS network and within the insurance industry. Additionally, they have all the necessary in-house knowledge to advise on various corporate topics.’
Cigna Insurance company
Howden Broking Group
Lloyds Insurance Company
CNA Insurance Company
Ryan Specialty Group Sweden
Navigators Underwriting Agency
- Assisted reinsurer Monument Re. Ltd with the legal due diligence in connection with the envisaged acquisition through an asset transaction of multiple assets within the portfolio of NN Insurance Belgium NV.
- Assisting Transact Risk Partners, a division of Castel Underwriting Agencies Limited, in a potential claim from a policyholder under a warranty and indemnity insurance policy.
- Advised Cigna on its new structure, including assistance in discussions with the Belgian regulators, portfolio transfer matters, distribution and outsourcing.
DLA Piper is sought out by major insurers and banks for matters including dispute resolution, restructuring, and cross-border and post-Brexit operations. Corporate, financial services, and insurance partner Pierre Berger heads the team, with a strong focus on regulatory issues, while seasoned litigator Bob Martens also advises on corporate governance, risk management, and compliance. Also noted are counsel Lieven Annaert, who has experience in directors’ and officers’ liability, and lead lawyer Alexander Hamels, who has a broad transactional and regulatory practice.
Other key lawyers:
Bob Martens; Lieven Annaert; Alexander Hamels
‘Excellent legal knowledge in complex cases, but still very pragmatic.’
‘To the point. Legal knowledge is up to standard. A professional, available, well-coordinated team.’
Baloise Belgium NV
Argenta Assuranties NV
Athora Belgium NV
Axa Belgium NV
AXA XL Insurance Company
Starstone Insurance Services Ltd
Swiss Life Luxembourg SA
Lombard International Assurance SA
Volvo Personvagnar AB
Europaeiske Rejseforsikring A/S
Fortegra Europe Insurance Company Ltd
VALE Insurance Partners Europe B.V.
Allianz Global Corporate & Speciality SE
- Assisting AXA Belgium NV with the management of claims related to the 2021 floods and its discussions with the government and reinsurers.
- Assisting Fortegra Europe Insurance Company Limited with redomiciling to Belgium, including in relation to the insurance licence application with the National Bank of Belgium.
- Assisting Baloise with the implementation of new EU rules regarding sustainable finance and ESG.
Focused on financial services regulatory work, Simont Braun‘s banking, finance and insurance team provides broad support to a robust roster of corporate clients, with an especially strong reputation for advice connected to insurtech. The practice is led jointly by financial technology and financial services partner Philippe De Prez, IT and data protection specialist Joan Carette, and counsel Thomas Derval, who is particularly active in matters relating to life insurance.
Thomas Derval; Philippe De Prez; Joan Carette
‘Fintech firm able to work on legal licensing with the regulator, and at the same time able to negotiate fundraising deals. Sound academic and analytical approach.’
‘Processed requests on time. Good customer service.’
‘Practical solutions. Good knowledge of the legislation and the sector. Clear and straight-to-the-point writing.’
- Assisting Aion Bank with the launch of all its new products and services, including advising on its insurance distribution model and the development of its new services.
Stibbe‘s insurance sector expertise extends to structuring, product distribution, the insurance aspects of M&A transactions, and dispute resolution. The team works with lawyers from departments including corporate, tax, and employment, and acts for clients ranging from insurers and banks to private bodies. Practice head Oliver Stevens has experience extending to class actions and liability disputes, with strong support from counsel Sophie Bourgois, an accredited mediator with particular knowledge of ADR.
Other key lawyers:
‘Very accessible. Transparent communication.’
‘The team has a strong knowledge of the insurance sector.’
‘What stands out is the quality of the people and their richness of knowledge.’
‘The team communicates in a clear and transparent way, is able to answer questions, and gives useful advice, taking into account the needs of our business. The team also responds quickly.’
‘Oliver Stevens is always available when needed. Transparent in his communication. Punctual in his deliverables. Gets to the core of the issues, gives well-considered advice and is well aware of context. He takes our own insights into account and is a great sparring partner.’
‘Sophie Bourgois and Oliver Stevens form a very strong team.’
- Assisted Infrabel with respect to a claim under its property insurance regarding damages to the rail infrastructure (amounting to €45m) caused by the flooding of July 2021.
- Assisting Private Insurer in a critical dispute that arose shortly after its acquisition by its new shareholder, P&V Insurances.
- Assisted Atos in relation to the global outsourcing of a substantial part of Agfa Gevaert’s IT services to Atos.
Baker McKenzie CVBA/SCRL
The financial services regulatory and insurance team at Baker McKenzie CVBA/SCRL is led by Michael Van Acker, with senior associate Olivier Van Den Broeke a key contact for specialist regulatory work in the insurance sector. The firm provides a multidisciplinary service to clients including insurers, distributors, and bancassurance groups.
Michael Van Acker; Olivier Van den Broeke
Other key lawyers:
‘Legal opinions are accurate and clear, but also concise and communicated in a way that is easily understandable for anyone not used to reading legal opinions. Very pragmatic approach to reducing the costs associated with our query. Very client and solution-oriented.’
‘High level of service. Client-focused.’
‘The Brussels teams has been coordinating with their colleagues from more than 20 jurisdictions to deliver us a complete legal opinion.’
AG Insurance NV
Baloise Belgium NV
Cardif Lux Vie
Cigna Life Insurance Europe NV
Goudse Levensverzekeringen N.V.
Insurem Insurance Limited
Lombard International Assurance
Quilter International Ireland
The Navigators, Inc.
Waard Leven N.V.
- Assisted Novus Underwriting with its post-Brexit relocation plans to Belgium.
- Assisting Assuralia in highly complex litigation before Belgium’s Constitutional Court in relation to the constitutionality of an interpretative law with retroactive effect in respect of insurance coverage for natural catastrophes.
- Advising Quilter International Ireland on various cross-border insurance regulatory and tax matters relating to unit-linked life insurance.
KPMG Law in Belgium advises insurers, intermediaries, and financial institutions on both regulatory matters and insurance-related transactions. Experienced financial services partner Isabelle Blomme heads the team, which draws on the firm’s global network to provide full-service support.
Other key lawyers:
‘Excellent knowledge of the insurance sector, including tax and the broader legal environment.’
‘Good availability. Strong, solution-oriented approach.’
AG Real Estate
Brown & Brown Insurance
FCA Bank, Belgian branch
Lloyd’s Insurance Company SA
SiriusPoint International Insurance Corporation
Toyota Financial Services
- Assisting Lloyd’s Insurance Company with the legal and regulatory aspects of a comprehensive corporate restructuring of Lloyd’s group, involving 19 European jurisdictions.
- Assisted Ethias with identifying vehicles suitable for illiquid investments both from a Belgian and Luxembourg angle.
- Assisting Brown & Brown with the Belgian law aspects of the acquisition of an insurance intermediary group consisting of two Belgian insurance intermediaries, two UK insurance intermediaries and one Italian insurance intermediary, in particular with the due diligence process relating to the proposed transaction, as well as with the requirements for notification of the transaction to the Belgian, Italian and UK regulator.
Marc Gouden and Pierre Moreau head the insurance and intermediaries team at Philippe & Partners, which operates across the firm’s offices in Brussels and Luxembourg. The team provides broad coverage to clients in the sector, with Gouden a key contact for arbitration and, increasingly, matters related to GDPR regulations.
Pierre Moreau; Marc Gouden
‘Professionalism, availability, responsiveness and very extensive knowledge of the sector.’