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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 > Real estate and construction > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Real estate and construction
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Real estate and construction clients in Belgium using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Daniel Gillet heads the department at Allen & Overy LLP, which is well known for its expertise in real estate financing and M&A matters, particularly with a multi-jurisdictional flavour. Recent highlights include Gillet advising Trinova Real Estate on its acquisition of the global headquarters of Besix. The client roster also includes Aareal Bank, ING Bank France and Patrizia France. Senior associate Sébastien de Callatay is also recommended. In January 2019 Rudy Dupont joined from Baker McKenzie CVBA/SCRL.

Baker McKenzie CVBA/SCRL's real estate team had another buoyant year in 2018, acting on a number of high-value transactions for financial institutions and developers involving residential, office, commercial and hotel acquisitions. Highlights included advising Equity Estate Participations on terminating a Murabaha structure with Kuwait Finance House and acquiring a cross-border portfolio of logistic properties from the entity. Jean-François Vandenberghe is the name to note. Rudy Dupont moved to Allen & Overy LLP in January 2019.

Clifford Chance’s highly regarded real estate practice is a synergy of real estate finance, tax proficiency and corporate real estate expertise. The team is well known for handling high-value, complex transactions; for example, practice head Henri D’Ursel led the advice to Union Investment Real Estate on the sale of the Corporate Village office development. Pieter De Bock and senior associates Matthias Maselis and Lise Gruber are key contacts. Alexandre Ooms has extensive experience in real estate tax matters.

Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick's 'excellent' team attracts praise for its 'all-round expertise covering all areas of real estate'. Transactional work is a core area of instruction; recent work includes assisting AG Real Estate with the ‚ā¨400m sale of the Woluwe Shopping Center, and advising Belfius Bank on acquiring an office building development, which is to be built by real estate developer Artone. Befimmo is another key client for the firm. Yves Delacroix, who is 'an excellent negotiator' and 'a true dealmaker', heads the department. Alexandre Emond,¬†senior associate Julie De Bonnet¬†and tax specialist¬†Pierre Desenfans¬†are also noted.

The 'effective and efficient' real estate practice at Linklaters takes in real-estate related M&A and joint ventures, litigation, PPPs and finance, alongside buy-and-sell property mandates. Highlights included advising a consortium formed by a real estate company and a contractor on a successful public procurement award for the second redevelopment of a hotel and convention centre on the Heysel site in Brussels; practice head Yves Moreau led the advice on this matter. Pieter Puelinckx and counsel France Englebert are other names to note.

Stibbe¬†reports an increase in transactional work in the real estate space, which covers professional, commercial, residential, retail and hotel development projects. Financing work and PPP matters are other areas of instruction, for which the team works closely with corporate, public and environmental law experts.¬†Recent highlights include Rony Vermeersch¬†leading the advice to investment company LRM on the development and¬†project financing aspects of the 100MW Kristal Solar Park, and in another matter, assisting Grimbergen Abbey with the negotiations for the development of a micro-brewery. Rudy Nauwelaerts, counsel Pieter Bogaert¬†and¬†of counsel Beno√ģt Kohl¬†are also noted.

DLA Piper¬†handles the gamut of real estate matters, and is widely recognised for its strength in handling logistics, retail, and office projects, among other areas. In a recent highlight, the team assisted Helaba with the financing aspect of the ‚ā¨380m acquisition of the North Light/Pole Star offices by South Korean investors from Belfius Insurance and AG Insurance. Dirk Caestecker¬†heads the practice.¬†Micha√ęl Bollen¬†moved to¬†Laurius¬†in July 2018.

Loyens & Loeff¬†has been active handling high-value acquisitions and transactions in the real estate space. In one highlight, practice head Christophe Laurent¬†led the advice to¬†L‚ÄôEtoile Properties (which was acting on behalf of¬†Korea Investment & Securities)¬†on the acquisition of a leasehold right worth ‚ā¨369m from Cofinimmo on the Egmont I and II office buildings in Brussels. Ariane Brohez¬†is another key name.

Lydian's real estate practice has a strong focus on developer and investor clients at a national and international level. Department head Wouter Neven has expertise in property transactions, and is known for handling commercial, retail, residential and office developments; he is leading the advice to BNP Paribas Fortis on the ongoing construction of the company's new headquarters in Brussels. Senior associate Bruno Stroobants is also recommended.

Recent work for the team at NautaDutilh includes lease mandates, PPP matters, and high-value transactions. Key highlights include advising a real estate company on the granting of a 99-year lease for office buildings occupied by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Didier De Vliegher led on this matter. Nicolas de Crombrugghe is noted for his financial expertise.

The 'reactive and pragmatic' team at Simont Braun is well known for its 'strong expertise in construction, public and administrative law'. In a prominent highlight for the multidisciplinary practice, the firm was selected by means of a public tender to assist the Urban Development Corporation in Brussels with creating and implementing the Contemporary and Modern Art Museum and Architecture Museum development project. The 'brilliant' and 'very knowledgeable' Manuela von Kuegelgen leads the team. Counsel Martin Bassem departed the firm to become corporate legal counsel at SNCB.

ALTIUS attracts praise for its 'high level of expertise' in real estate law. The retail arena is a key strength for the practice; in a highlight, Lieven Peeters assisted Douwe Egberts with the sale of its main offices and production plant in Grimbergen. The team also handles instructions relating to the development of logistics parks, hotels and office buildings, to name a few. William Timmermans is a key contact for the regulatory aspects of real estate transactions.

CMS provides 'a very high level of service', and is noted for its extensive experience in property finance, development projects and transactional real estate matters. The client roster includes Fidentia BelLx Investments, NH Hotels, Siemens and Hard Rock Cafe. Bruno Duquesne leads the team, in which Pierre-Axel Chabot ('a real negotiator') is a key name.

Real estate transactional work and litigation are key areas of expertise for Cresco Advocaten's team, which represents a client base predominantly made up of hotels, retail, and food and beverage entities. Filip De Schouwer advises Percassi on a range of retail lease agreements in the Benelux region. Tessa Gijbels, dispute resolution specialist Natalie Lemense and senior associate Steven Daems are also noted.

K Law's 'very well-balanced' team 'covers all fields of real estate law'. In a recent highlight, the group assisted Codic International with the high-profile sale of the PassPort building in Zeventem to a Korean investor, after previously advising the same client on letting the building to five global corporations. The 'pragmatic' practice head Gerald Van Walle 'combines great legal knowledge with a business mind', and Jim Bauwens is 'dedicated' and 'hands on'.

'Very detailed and precise', Laga’s real estate team has been very active in handling work for developer clients, with acquisition matters prominent in the group's workload. The client base includes the European Commission, Bpost, Citibank, AXA and Triple Living. Maximillien van de Werve is the key name in the practice.

Stefaan Verbouwe leads the real estate department at MVVP. The practice's core strength lies in handling retail and industrial property transactions for a client base which includes Aldi, Belgian Shell and Ecowerf.

Schoups' team is 'very experienced in real estate and construction' and attracts praise for its 'top-quality advice'. High-value and complex construction projects are a core strength, and the group is adept in public procurement matters and development disputes. Marco Schoups¬†stands out as ‚Äėone of the most experienced construction law specialists in Belgium‚Äô. Public procurement expert Kris Lemmens, Siegfried Busscher¬†and¬†Maarten Somers, who specialises in construction work, are names to note.

At Ashurst LLP, David Du Pont is advising PostNL on a long-term lease arrangement for its first postal distribution centre based in Belgium. Private equity matters are an established area of instruction for the practice.

Eubelius is perhaps best known for assisting BE-REITS with a range of tax and rights matters; other work includes practice head Lars Van Bever advising private and public real estate investors on real estate investment funds in Belgium. Wim Goossens and Wouter Claes are other names to note.

Johan Joos is the key contact in Eversheds Sutherland (Belgium) CVBA (a member of Eversheds Sutherland)'s real estate department, which handles real estate-related corporate, investment and PPP work, to name a few areas.

Laurius' real estate practice leverages the expertise of Michael Bollen, who joined from DLA Piper in 2018. The 'efficient' team represents developer and investor clients in residential, retail, hospitality, offices, elderly care and student accommodation projects.

PPP infrastructure projects are a prominent area of expertise for Monard Law's real estate practice, which also takes in litigation, predominantly for contractor clients. Recent work for the team includes assisting the lenders of Iret Development with the financing for the construction of a new police headquarters in Antwerp. Names to note are Stefaan Van Dyck and  Benoit Samyn.

Racine reports an uptick in instructions relating to construction projects, and is also adept at real estate disputes. Isabelle Cooreman is the key contact.

Interview with...

Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

Interview with...

Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

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