Stibbe > Brussels, Belgium > Firm Profile


Belgium > Competition: Belgian law Tier 1

Stibbe handles high-profile and complex Belgian competition issues for a global client base, including major names in consumer goods, financial services, and automotives, alongside public sector bodies. The firm advises on merger notifications, cartel proceedings, and litigates up to Council of State level in damages claims and appeals against rulings by regulatory bodies. Peter Wytinck, a vastly experienced expert in domestic competition law with a particularly strong record in follow-on damages cases, heads up the team alongside Sophie Van Besien, who continues to handle a wide range of merger, cartel, and abuse of dominance cases in key sectors such as tech, pharma, and telecoms. Antitrust litigator Quentin Declève joined as counsel from Van Bael & Bellis in January 2023. Delphine Gillet departed for a position at the European Court of Justice.

Other key lawyers:

Work highlights

  • Representing British American Tobacco in appeals against the Dutch and Belgian Competition Authorities’ decisions concerning the tobacco industry to fine four major cigarette manufacturers.
  • Assisting the Antwerp Port Authority on its merger with the Port of Zeebrugge to create the Port of Antwerp-Bruges, one of the World’s leading ports and in 2021 the biggest merger filing in Belgium and only phase 1 procedure before the BCA.
  • Assisting Geberit, a market leader for sanitary products, in preliminary procedures (first instance and appeal), injunction procedures, and in damage claim procedures (dealing with infringements on competition, abuse of economic dependence and unfair competition law and contract law).

Belgium > Dispute resolution Tier 1

Lauded by some as ‘one of the best disputes firms in the Belgian market‘, Stibbe draws superlative praise from clients on account of its wide-ranging capabilities in market-leading proceedings, ranging from post-acquisition disputes and business interruption arbitrations to criminal fraud cases. The sizeable practice is headed up by Hans Van Bavel, a veteran trial lawyer with considerable experience in company-related criminal law proceedings taken before the various domestic and European courts. Other key figures at partner level include ‘outstanding‘ cross-border litigator Nicolas Résimont and Oliver Stevens; ‘a go-to lawyer in the Belgian market for all insurance-related disputes.‘ Also noted for their insurance litigation capabilities, counsel Sophie Bourgois is additionally well-versed in ICC, CEPANI, and ad hoc arbitration proceedings, while fellow counsel Pieter Wouters is noted for his niche expertise in product recall disputes. Counsel Elisabeth Baeyens has left the practice to become a judge at the Court of First Instance in the Province of East-Flanders. All named lawyers are based in Brussels.

Practice head(s):


‘The Stibbe litigation team provided us with great strategic and very practical advice, allowing us to focus on the strategy without getting lost in irrelevant details.’

‘Oliver Stevens clearly has a lot of litigation experience and is able to navigate disputes in a very strategic and practical manner, advising very effective strategies so that the client does not get lost in irrelevant details. He was assisted by a very good junior associate, Thomas Verheyen, who mastered all factual details of the case and prepared the stepping stones for our litigation strategy.’

‘Experienced and stable team that perfectly understand and knows our operations.’

‘Stibbe is one of the best disputes firms in the Belgian market. They are not a satellite office of a large international firm but, instead, provide dedicated and excellent service within the Belgian (and Benelux) markets. I recommend the firm to anyone that needs local advice.’

‘Nicolas Resimont, Oliver Stevens, and Sophie Bourgois are all excellent. Nicolas is a fierce and passionate advocate who you want on your side in any arbitration. Sophie has an amazing intellect. She has an excellent knowledge of the law and is able to quickly assimilate large amounts of information in short order. Oliver is a go-to lawyer in the Belgian market for all insurance-related disputes. I highly recommend all three.’

‘The quality of the advice received is always excellent – well documented from a legal point of view, but with a pragmatic approach that fits the client’s needs.’

‘Nicolas Résimont is an outstanding lawyer, very smart, with excellent knowledge of the law, and who really quickly understands the client’s needs and provides excellent advice, with a pragmatic approach.’

Work highlights

  • Assisting Private Insurer in a business-critical dispute that has arisen shortly after its acquisition by its new shareholder, P&V Insurances.
  • Successfully represented Perrigo in a multi-billion-dollar post-acquisition dispute (arbitration) against the former owner of Omega Pharma Invest NV.
  • Assisting PostNL in a very high profile social-criminal case before the correctional court of Antwerp.

Belgium > Environment Tier 1

Stibbe is sought out by clients including real estate investors and developers and public authorities for its expertise in matters ranging from major transactions and projects to national and European constitutional and regulatory questions. Practice head Jan Bouckaert is strong in environmental law and urban planning, while Guan Schaiko, who was made up to partner in July 2022, is broadly experienced in EU regulatory matters, and is the team’s leading Dutch speaker. Senior real estate development lawyer France Maussion is also recommended, as are counsels Olivier Di Giacomo, Bastiaan Schelstraete, and Stefanie Francois.

Practice head(s):


‘A renowned legal firm in the area of public law, including environment and urban planning law.’ 

‘Stibbe are unique in their capability to think strategically with the end result in mind.’

‘Dedicated team. Long-term collaboration with the same experts. Extended knowledge of the sector and the relevant legislation. Availability 24/7.’ 

‘They go the extra mile, and are well-informed about all the recent developments in case law. Their pragmatic approach is also very much appreciated.’

‘A strong team, with a wide range of knowledge and expertise. They are usually available for urgent questions, and provide thorough and reliable advice.’

‘Special mention for Jan Bouckaert and Guan Schaiko.’

‘Olivier Di Giacomo at Stibbe exceeds expectations. He has the unique capacity to integrate his legal approach fully with the client’s core values. He is fully result-driven and goal-oriented in his legal advice.’

‘Bastiaan Schelstraete has great expertise and availability.’

Work highlights

  • Assisting the Flemish Government with the new legal framework to introduce a “building shift” (Vlaamse bouwshift), aiming to completely stop the use of greenfield sites for construction in the Flemish Region by 2040.
  • Assisting BAM/Lantis with the legal challenges related to the local PFOS contamination in Zwijndrecht in Flanders and the interference with the construction works for the Oosterweelverbinding (a construction project for the Antwerp Ring Road) and the legal procedures concerning these challenges.
  • Assisting the Brussels-Capital Region in the drafting of a new regional urban planning regulation (RRU-GSV).

Belgium > Fraud and white-collar crime Tier 1

The ‘experienced and professional‘ corporate fraud and criminal law team at Stibbe has a strong reputation for its work in the range of white-collar crime matters, including corporate crime, insider trading, and corruption. The practice is headed by the ‘top-notchHans Van Bavel, who is known for ‘clear analytical thinking‘ and ‘in depth technical knowledge‘. David Verwaerde was promoted to counsel in January 2022, and focuses on anti-money laundering. Senior associate Charlotte Conings extends the firm’s cybercrime offering, working closely with Van Bavel and drawing on multidisciplinary support from the firm’s TMT practice group.

Practice head(s):


‘Experienced and professional team. Multi-disciplinary and expert legal services. Internal follow-up is well organised.’

‘Hans Van Bavel is top-notch. Clear analytical thinking, in depth technical knowledge and an utmost pleasure to work with. In Belgium one of the rare lawyers in this market that has a full overview and can deliver on all aspects.’

‘To the point approach, managing expectations and giving clear and concise advice.’

‘Hans Van Bavel is one of the best in the field, combining a calm attitude with sharp knowledge.’

‘Deep knowledge of the Belgium market. Recognition and availability.’

Work highlights

  • Assisting PostNL in a very high profile social-criminal case before the correctional court of Antwerp.
  • Assisting the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), a government-managed sovereign wealth fund and holding company headquartered in Tripoli, Lybia, in a file related to money laundering.
  • Assisting Crédit Suisse Group AG in a criminal inquiry conducted by the Federal Belgian Prosecutor. The inquiry concerns money laundering and acting as an illegal financial intermediary.

Belgium > Industry focus: IT and telecoms Tier 1

Stibbe handles a host of mandates for clients in the telecom space, frequently advising on legal challenges related to data retention legislation. Beyond this, the practice assists significant internet and social media service providers with domestic law queries and questions regarding the purview of intelligence agencies. Department head Erik Valgaeren, a practitioner with decades of experience, is internationally reputed for his extensive knowledge in the TMT sector. Names to note at senior associate level include Carolien Michielsen, who has worked on a number of key mandates of late.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


‘Erik Valgaeren and his team have the capability to analyse and strategically guide complex IT projects with excellent contract negotiation skills and a hands-on approach.’

‘Erik Valgaeren is an outstanding lawyer with a profound understanding of relevant IT developments in the market. He has the capacity to identify the critical needs of his clients in connection with IT projects.’

‘Highly experienced and easy to work with.’

‘Excellent cooperation, and great in-depth knowledge.’

‘They are very flexible and available.’

Work highlights

  • Assisted DigitalBridge in their acquisition of Telenet’s passive tower infrastructure.
  • Assisted Atrias on a conflict with Accenture concerning the implementation of the CMS-system and giving legal support for the renewal of their maintenance contract of CMS-system.
  • Assisted Proximus in litigation matters involving their telecom agents, including pre-litigation advice on the telecom sector as well as representing Proximus’ interests in case of litigation.

Belgium > Intellectual property Tier 1

Contentious work, especially multi-jurisdictional patent litigation, is a core focus for the intellectual property practice at Stibbe. Team co-lead Ignace Vernimme is especially well regarded in this sphere, with qualifications as an arbitrator and mediator in addition to his experience in litigation. Philippe Campolini, who leads the practice alongside Vernimme, has ‘superb expertise‘, and is particularly recommended for representing clients in the life sciences and medical device sectors in patent and trade mark litigation. He also has experience in transactional and advisory work.

Other key lawyers:

Erik Valgaeren; Gwennaëlle Kusters; Louis Bidaine


‘The practice has great expertise in patent litigation, in particular in the pharmaceutical industry. They also cover all aspects of IP law. They are really client-oriented and down-to-earth. They know how to work out a global strategy and are good team players in cross-border matters.’

‘Philippe Campolini and Ignace Vernimme are always available to provide the best advice possible to clients in a friendly atmosphere. It is always nice to work with both of them.’

‘Philippe Campolini is highly approachable, has superb expertise, and is a pleasure to work with.’

Work highlights

  • Representing ArcelorMittal in patent entitlement proceedings initiated by Tata Steel before the Luxemburg District Court.
  • Assisting Belmoca in a pan-European patent infringement case brought by Jacobs Douwe Egberts relating to its Nespresso-compatible cup.
  • Providing ongoing assistance to Morris Comics on all matters related to the management of the comic series “Lucky Luke”, including the drafting and revision of all copyright and trade mark-related agreements.

Belgium > Real estate and construction Tier 1

Transactional work is at the heart of Stibbe‘s real estate and construction practice, which handles sales, acquisitions, forward funding, and developments for a client base of domestic and international developers and funders. Team lead Matthias Maselis is recommended as an ‘outstanding lawyer‘, and is particularly adept at handling asset management and project work; these are also core areas of expertise for Rudy Nauwelaerts. Rony Vermeersch has a broad practice encompassing public-private partnerships (PPPs), joint ventures, and industrial construction projects, as well as dispute resolution, and senior associate Anneleen Quirynen is also noted.

Practice head(s):


‘The quality, client service and responsiveness are simply unparalleled. The team know what matters to an institutional investor. They are also very pleasant to work with.’

‘Matthias Maselis is an outstanding lawyer who is able to find the right balance between complex legal risks and commercial considerations. He is a real problem-solver and brings clever solutions to the negotiation table. We always work with him when investing in Benelux.’

‘The Stibbe real estate team stands out for its excellence. They have a strong, large and specialised practice that is able to handle complex transactions in challenging time frames.’

‘Matthias Masselis is an outstanding lawyer with an exceptional ability to contribute to his clients’ business.’

‘What makes Stibbe unique is the commercial flair the real estate team has to come to a balanced deal that will result in a long-term partnership between the lessor and the tenant or the vendor and the buyer long after the signing of the transaction documents.’

‘Matthias Maselis is a great practitioner, exceptionally commercially minded, with a very good understanding of commercial implications and very hands-on.’

‘Matthias always goes above and beyond to help. He is available, quick, commercial and above all very pleasant to work with.’

‘Matthias Maselis has in-depth real estate investment and deal structuring knowledge.’

Work highlights

  • Advising RE Invest Belgium SA, an entity fully controlled by one of Brookfield’s private real estate funds, on the all-cash voluntary public takeover offer for all outstanding shares in Euronext Brussels-listed real estate company Befimmo SA.
  • Advising on the restructuring and distressed sale of the €4.66bn real estate portfolio of Belgian pension fund Integrale to Monument Assurance Belgium.
  • Advising Union Investment on the acquisition from Patrizia AG of the company which owns the Astro Tower skyscraper in Brussels.

Belgium > Banking, finance and capital markets Tier 2

Stibbe expanded its senior team with the promotion of Pieter Nobels, a specialist in debt capital markets including innovative green bonds, securitisation, and structured finance work, to partner in July 2022, and the January 2022 elevation of Pieter-Jan Leemen, a key name for acquisition, real estate, and project financing, to counsel. The firm continues to handle a wide range of financing mandates, including direct lending and club deals, on the borrower and lender-side, as well as maintaining an active role in DCM and project financing work. Wouter Ghijsels heads up the banking team, advising financial institutions, corporates, and public sector bodies on lending transactions, both domestic and cross-border.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Pieter Nobel; Pieter-Jan Leemen; Jan Peeters; Pascal Vanden Borre; Marie De Roeck


‘Great team- very efficient responsive and creative.’

‘Jan Peeters is outstanding and covering all grounds. Giving opportunities for the rest of the team to shine while having an eye on all parts of the transactions.’

‘Senior involvement of Stibbe people, pragmatic approach, not fighting for principles but seeking pragmatic solutions.’

‘Expertise in the financial markets.’

‘Marie De Roeck: able to manage a lot of work in a short timeframe.’

‘Stibbe has the unique capability to have the utmost professional and legally savvy team combined with strong commercial and client-focused thinking.’

‘Jan Peeters- Making complex client ideas seamless in execution and finding a way to merge client expectations with long term legal robustness is what makes Jan an incredibly strong partner, both at the negotiation table and when drawing up the legal documents to back up the discussions.’

Work highlights

  • Assisted Lone Star Funds with the acquisition finance package for the acquisition of 100% of the share capital of Manuchar NV.
  • Assisted BNP Paribas and ING Bank as joint lead managers of Leaseplan’s first public car lease securitisation in Belgium.
  • Assisted Brookfield Asset Management with its public takeover bid on Befimmo SA, a Belgian real estate investment trust (BE-REIT) listed on Euronext Brussels.

Belgium > Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 2

Stibbe‘s key strengths include M&A in regulated industries and the public sector, as well as a high volume of private equity transactions, in which the firm advises major Belgian businesses as sellers as well as international investors such as Digitalbridge. The firm is also noted for its work on cross-border transactions, and for listed companies in public markets and governance issues, such as takeover defence. Stefan Odeurs heads up the team, specialising in private equity deals, while Jan Peeters focuses on M&A, public markets issues, and corporate finance. The vastly experienced Pascal Vanden Borre remains active on M&A and corporate restructurings, and Jan Bogaert is a key name for strategic cross-border M&A in industrial sectors.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Pascal Vanden Borre; Jan Peeters; Jan Bogaert; Marc Fyon; Dries Hommez


‘They make things simple! Fast and efficient.’

‘Jan Bogaert is one of the best lawyers I have worked with. He is time efficient, goes directly to the point and is able to empathize with the client.’

‘Great team, very efficient, responsive and creative. Business friendly approach and deal making mindset. Ability to find solutions and provide alternatives. Very unique skillset for a law firm.’

‘Jan Peeters is outstanding and covering all grounds. Giving opportunities for the rest of the team to shine while having an eye on all parts of the transactions One of the best partners I have worked with in years across all European markets.’

‘Stefan Odeurs is an exceptional lawyer: Excellent competence, very experienced, emotional intelligence, quick reaction times.’

‘The team was cost-effective, we received great service at a reasonable price.’

‘Jan Bogaert’s availability was great, even on short notice and during busy periods, and we received pragmatic, to-the-point advice on our legal issues.’

Work highlights

  • Assisted Carpenter Corporation on the development and implementation of a “white knight” strategy and implementation of a poison pill in the course of a hostile public take over bid by Greiner on the shares of Euronext Brussels’ listed Recticel, by ultimately acquiring the engineered foam business of Recticel.
  • Advising EssilorLuxottica on the sale (together with GrandVision) of 142 Eye Wish stores in the Netherlands and 35 GrandOptical stores in Belgium to the Optic Retail International Group BENE, a member of MPG Austria.
  • Assisted DigitalBridge, a US based REIT on the acquisition of Telenet’s mobile telecoms tower business.

Belgium > Employment Tier 2

The employment team at Stibbe collaborates with lawyers from the firm’s corporate, litigation, tax, and EU competition law departments to provide support across the full range of employment matters. Team co-leads Elisabeth Matthys and Jérôme Aubertin each have broad experience in advisory and contentious work, with Matthys particularly recommended for her expertise in acting for clients in the sports sector. Notable practitioners at associate level include Dieter Demuynck, who is strong on social security law, and Jan Proesmans, who is especially well regarded in issues relating to insurance and pensions.

Other key lawyers:


‘Stibbe is a renowned Belgian law firm with a strong employment practice. Whenever my clients are in need of a Belgian lawyer, I will always choose Stibbe for their knowledge and professionalism.’

‘Innovative and responsive team.’

‘They work closely together and complement each other. They are always available and there is always someone who can help you with your case.’

‘A lot of expertise in different areas and detailed advice.’ 

‘Stibbe’s team has a deep knowledge and understanding of our business and our constraints. They are good business partners. They are available and prompt to answer and advise.’

‘Elisabeth Matthys is very hands-on and always prepared to think in terms of how your business works. I like her openness. Jan Proesmans is the master of details and very assured. He is very calm and radiates tranquility.’

‘Jérôme Aubertin is very responsive and straight to the point. He provides tailored and business-oriented advice.’

‘I had the pleasure of collaborating with Jérôme Aubertin. Jerome is a highly responsive individual. His professional approach and deep knowledge of his area of expertise along with his personality are a great asset.’

Work highlights

  • Advised Atos in relation to the global outsourcing of a substantial part of Agfa-Gevaert’s IT services to Atos, including day-to-day assistance with all employment and pensions-related aspects of this transaction, as well as assistance regarding the pricing arrangements.
  • Assisting the Port of Antwerp with all legal issues – including questions and strategic considerations relating to employment and pensions – following the historical merger between the Port of Zeebrugge and the Port of Antwerp to create the Port of Antwerp-Bruges, one of the world’s leading ports.

Belgium > EU regulatory: Information technology Tier 2

Led by specialist IT regulatory practitioner Erik Valgaeren, Stibbe advises major names in telecoms, electronic communications, tech, and software on the full range of regulatory considerations, including issues relating to cloud services, digitalisation and digital transformation projects, outsourcing and software procurement, and data governance. The team works with clients on compliance with existing regulations, as well as strategic advice on legislative developments, notably working with a number of public sector bodies, an area where administrative law expert David D’Hooghe provides a key contribution.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


‘Excellent cooperation, in-depth knowledge.’

‘They are very flexible, always available.’

Work highlights

  • Advising Crelan and AXA Bank (which Crelan acquired at the end of 2021) on the drafting and negotiation of several IT-contracts related to the use of the central banking software.
  • Advising Proximus on a strategic outsourcing of its data center activities.
  • Assisted Isabel Group by drafting written submissions with respect to a legislative proposal seeking to introduce a mandatory “IBAN name check” in Belgium to combat financial internet- and cyber-fraud.

Belgium > Fintech Tier 2

Belgium > Industry focus: Energy Tier 2

Stibbe acts for a growing number of heavyweight private sector energy companies and is proficient in the gamut of regulatory, contractual, and project-based work – particularly in the nuclear sector. Practice chair Frederik Vandendriessche is a highly experienced practitioner whose expertise is concentrated in regulatory frameworks and distribution grid operation. Associate Pieterjan Claeys is an energy and climate law specialist with proficiency in both contractual and regulatory matters, including the real estate aspects of energy infrastructure developments. New arrivals include associate Pauline Van Bogaert (from Schoups) and junior associate Natan Vermeersch – who joined the team in February and September 2022, respectively.

Practice head(s):

Work highlights

  • Assisting EDF Luminus on the CRM auction process and contemplated transaction for a new gas-fired power station in Seraing, Wallonia, southern Belgium (in collaboration with Herbert Smith Freehills, Paris). Transaction value: €600m
  • Advising ENTSO-E on its responsibilities under the Commission Regulation (EU) No 543/2013 of 14 June 2013 on submission and publication of data in electricity markets and amending Annex I to Regulation (EC) No 714/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council (“Transparency Regulation”) concerning both the mFRR- and aFRR-Platforms.
  • Assisting Elia Transmission Belgium on its obligations in the context of the gas phase-out plan (designation of crucial gas power plants) and interference with the EU solidarity mechanism on security of gas supply.

Belgium > Industry focus: Food Tier 2

Belgium > Industry focus: Healthcare and life sciences Tier 2

Situated within the firm’s larger IP department, the life sciences and healthcare team at Stibbe stands out for its strong track record in both contentious and non-contentious patent, copyright, and trademark matters. The team also advises public and private sector heavyweights, both domestic and international, on healthcare-related regulatory and transactional matters. Experienced IP expert Ignace Vernimme regularly represents clients before regulatory authorities and courts and Philippe Campolini acts for local and international life sciences and medical devices industry clients. Associates Gwennaëlle Kusters and Louis Bidaine are also noted for their IP work.


‘Availability, multidisciplinarity and effective teamwork’

‘Philippe Campolini and Louis Bidaine are able to synthesise complex facts in such a way as to make them understandable for a judge who would have to deal with a case and to identify and highlight the essential and striking elements that will serve their argument. They also take care to explore all possible strategies without rushing headlong in order to select the actions that will have the best chance of yielding positive results.’

Work highlights

  • Assisting Mylan in proceedings before the Court of justice of the EU against the European Commission in relation to an exemption granted to one of its competitors on the market exclusivity of its product Tobi Podhaler as an orphan medicinal product.
  • Representing ORA in ongoing proceedings against Precrix.
  • Successfully assisted Out& Out in obtaining a descriptive seizure order, which allowed Out&Out to have an independent expert search for evidence of infringement at the competitor’s headquarters.

Belgium > Industry focus: Media and entertainment Tier 2

Belgium > Insolvency and restructuring Tier 2

The insolvency and restructuring team at Stibbe is especially well known for its ‘good work on cross-border cases‘. Paul Van der Putten co-heads the team, with thorough knowledge of restructuring, bankruptcy, and liquidation procedures, while co-lead Oliver Stevens handles dispute resolution for clients, including creditors such as major financial institutions and insurance companies. ‘Very professional and experienced‘ counsel Pieter Wouters is also recommended, with expertise extending to advising on distressed acquisitions.

Other key lawyers:


‘Stibbe is a well known top law firm. Good work on cross-border cases.’

‘Pieter Wouters is a very professional and experienced lawyer. Good commercial understanding. Solution orientated.’

‘The team is strong in determining legal strategies (long and short term). Good focus on all aspects of the case, not just procedural.’

‘Pieter Wouters has very strong knowledge of jurisprudence.’

‘Straightforward advice. Always evaluating multiple options to come to the best advice. Swift response time.’

Work highlights

  • Assisted KBC Bank in the framework of very challenging reorganisation and bankruptcy proceedings pertaining to its borrower, Antwerp diamond trader Exelco.
  • Assisting the National Bank of Belgium after the liquidation of Belgian insurer Apra Leven.
  • Assisted Cegeka in the bidding process on certain assets of Getronics Belgium in the framework of the latter’s judicial restructuring procedure.

Belgium > Insurance Tier 2

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.

Practice head(s):

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.’

Work highlights

  • 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.

Belgium > Private equity Tier 2

Stibbe has a solid private equity deal flow, advising domestic and international private equity and venture capital funds, as well as management, on a combination of bulge-bracket and mid-market buyouts, minority investments, and exits, also offering solid financing, regulatory, and fundraising expertise. Alongside playing a key role in cross-border European deals, the team is also regularly involved in Belgian and European elements of high-value global transactions, often working with major UK and US platforms. Stefan Odeurs leads the team, and advises funds and sellers on buyouts, investments, and turnaround transactions. Dries Hommez is noted for his work on complex global deals, and Jan Peeters combines transactional work with financing and capital markets expertise.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Work highlights

  • Advised Conny Vandendriessche on the sale of of 100% of the shares in House of HR NV  to Bain Capital.
  • Assisted Sun European Partners with the acquisition of Sports & Leisure Group Invest NV (SLG), an artificial grass business headquartered in Belgium, from, among others, Chequers Capital.
  • Assisted Lone Star Funds (as purchaser) on the contemplated acquisition of 100% of the share capital of Manuchar NV.

Belgium > Tax Tier 2

Stibbe‘s tax practice works closely with the firm’s teams in Amsterdam and Luxembourg, and is a key port of call for investment fund clients, where the ‘very knowledgeableHenk Verstraete and counsel Giovanni Smet are especially recommended. Team head and indirect tax specialist Wim Panis is well regarded for his ‘deep technical knowledge‘, while Lizelotte De Maeyer, promoted to counsel in January 2022, focuses on the intersection between tax law and fundamental rights to privacy.

Practice head(s):


‘The Belgian tax team at Stibbe provides high-quality work and straight-to-the-point advice. They have excellent knowledge not only of the legislative environment but also of the practices of the local tax authorities.’

‘They have excellent knowledge in the various areas of taxation. You can count on their advice on whatever tax topic!’

‘Stibbe’s tax team consists of skilled individuals that combine great technical tax knowledge with a pragmatic approach.’

‘The members of the team are available, even at short notice, and constantly meet the client’s expectations in terms of scope of work and timing.’

‘They differentiate themselves from others through the broad experience the individuals have, and as a relatively small team they can interact easily to get updated on all aspects of a case.’

‘Years of experience and outside-the-box thinking.’

‘Wim Panis is an excellent practitioner. He has deep technical knowledge and is able to use it to provide to-the-point and useful solutions for the client. He has great listening skills, and is able to quickly understand the client’s issue and needs. He combines this with the ability to explain complex technical issues in an understandable and effortless way. He always seems calm and patient, which makes him a key asset to have at your side as a client during stressful negotiations. He is also a great team player. He is very committed to his work and his clients.’

‘Henk Verstraete is a very knowledgeable tax lawyer and always available to help.’

Work highlights

  • Assisted Pro-Manage/Conny Vandendriessche in the sale of House of HR to Bain Capital, a record-breaking transaction in the Belgian market.
  • Assisted the Flemish Government Department of Agriculture and Fisheries in the drafting of the legislative framework on the reduction of emissions for agriculturists.
  • Obtained a landmark decision for private individuals concerning the treatment of carried interest structures.

Belgium > EU regulatory: Financial services Tier 3

Stibbe primarily focuses on the regulatory aspects of financial services transactions, including insurance and mortgage portfolio transactions and mergers, as well as broad regulatory compliance and enforcement issues relating to AIMFD, UCITS, and MiFID, among other key regulations. Clients include international banks, financial investors and funds, and financial services institutions. Practice head Jan Peeters has a strong focus on financial services regulatory issues, supported by Pieter Nobels, who was promoted to partner in July 2022 and combines transactional and compliance expertise.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Pieter Nobel



‘Jan Peeters has accompanied us all those years. I appreciate his and his team’s responsiveness. A partner we can definitely rely upon.’

Work highlights

  • Advised Integrale on the takeover by MonumentRe of the insurance portfolio of Integrale.
  • Assisted Euroclear with an update of its multi-jurisdictional Fund Asset Protection Opinion for Belgium to get an understanding of the Belgian law aspects governing the protection of assets held in or through the Euroclear system.
  • Advised Madison Dearborn Partners on the Belgian (regulatory) aspects of the successful take private of MoneyGram International, Inc, a global leader in the evolution of digital P2P payments.

Belgium > EU regulatory: Pharma, medical devices and biotech Tier 3

Stibbe provides dedicated public law and intellectual property expertise to life sciences and pharma clients, which include medical device and product producers, hospitals, and research universities, advising clients on Belgian and European regulatory compliance alongside providing representation in disputes with pharma regulatory bodies and intellectual property authorities, as well as European courts. Experienced intellectual property and life sciences litigator Ignace Vernimme leads the practice alongside Philippe Campolini, who is primarily focused on compliance advice.

Other key lawyers:

Louis Bidaine


‘Availability, multidisciplinarity and effective teamwork.’

‘Philippe Campolini and Louis Bidaine are able to synthesize complex facts in such a way as to make them understandable for a judge who would have to deal with a case and to identify and highlight the essential and striking elements that will serve their argument. They also take care to explore all possible strategies without rushing headlong in order to select the actions that will have the best chance of yielding positive results.’

Work highlights

  • Representing Mylan, a global leader in generic and biosimilar pharmaceutical products, in proceedings before the Court of justice of the EU against the European Commission in relation to an exemption granted to one of its competitors on the market exclusivity of its product Tobi Podhaler as an orphan medicinal product.
  • Advising CSL Behring Herziening wet on a government tender for the processing of Belgian blood in medicines whereby one pharmaceutical company is granted the exclusivity of this market.
  • Advising CSL Behring on a new pricing model for advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs) whereby the payments for the products are spread out over several years to lighten the financial burden of the social security systems.

Belgium > EU regulatory: Privacy and data protection Tier 4

Stibbe combines regulatory compliance advice to global TMT clients with representation in litigation before the Belgian DPA and European courts, including challenges to existing and proposed regulations and data breach response cases. The firm’s expertise includes work on data transfers, cross-border internal compliance issues, particularly advice to US clients on compliance with the EU Privacy Shield, and GDPR work, with practice head Erik Valgaeren a specialist in the intersection of data and privacy regulation with commercial tech, telecoms, and e-commerce concerns. Associate Carolien Michielsen has a strong focus on data and cybersecurity in relation to new technologies, AI, and digitalisation projects.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Carolien Michielsen; Sarah De Wulf; Jan Joos


‘Theoretical and practical knowledge.’

‘Erik Valgaeren: precision, knowledge, reactivity.’

‘Stibbe is very responsive and professional, the team understands our needs and issues, provide comprehensive analysis and pragmatic solutions. As a firm with a strong presence within Europe, Stibbe understands the local privacy and data compliance practice well, which provides us insight to implement our compliance framework.’

‘Erik Valgaeren and Sarah De Wulf are very professional. Both of them have very good knowledge and experience pertaining to GDPR and data compliance. Our concern about data compliance are addressed accordingly and timely and they also understand our business model well.’

‘The team are very willing to work on cross-border issues and under time pressure. We appreciate their in-depth knowledge on regulatory matters and data protection.’

‘Eric Valgaeren and Jan Joos are pragmatic and very responsive. Eric’s deep knowledge is greatly appreciated.’

Work highlights

  • Advise the Flemish Government on their project to set up a “data utility company” in order to enhance a safe and fast flow of all types of data and to create a data driven ecosystem through data pods of citizens.
  • Represented ING Belgium in a dispute before the Dispute Chamber of the Belgian Data protection Authority, following an investigation by the Inspectorate Service of the Data Protection Authority of – amongst others – ING’s IT systems.
  • Advised Bridgestone on the GDPR implications of the contemplated use of an HR-recruitment application provided by the external vendor Beamery Ltd and on the preferred (customizable) settings of that application in light of compliance with GDPR.

From its main offices in Amsterdam, Brussels and Luxembourg, together with a branch office in London, Stibbe handles complex legal challenges both locally and cross-border. By understanding the commercial objectives of clients, their position in the market and their sector or industry, Stibbe can render suitable and effective advice. From an international perspective, Stibbe works closely with other top-tier firms on cross-border matters in various jurisdictions. These relationships are non-exclusive enabling Stibbe to assemble tailor-made integrated teams of lawyers with the best expertise and contacts for each specific project. This guarantees efficient coordination on cross-border transactions throughout a multitude of legal areas, irrespective of their nature and complexity.

Banking and Finance Wouter 2 533 54 73
Banking and Finance Marc 2 533 53 25
Corporate and M&A Marc
Corporate and M&A Jan
Corporate and M&A Dries
Corporate and M&A Pascal Vanden
Corporate and M&A Stefan
Corporate and M&A Julien
Commercial, corporate and M&A Jan
Competition Peter
Dispute resolution and arbitration Nicolas Ré
Dispute resolution and arbitration Oliver
Environment Jan
Environment France
Fraud and white-collar crime Hans Van
Healthcare and life sciences Ignace
Insolvency and restructuring Paul Van der
Insolvency and restructuring Dries
Insolvency and restructuring Stefan
Insolvency and restructuring Jan
Insolvency and restructuring Oliver
Insolvency and restructuring Pieter
Intellectual property Ignace
Employment and Benefits Jérôme
Employment and Benefits Elisabeth
Private equity Stefan
Private equity Dries
Public Law David D'
Public Law Bruno
Public Law Frederik
Public Law Nathanaelle
Real estate and Construction Rony
Real Estate and Construction Dries
Real Estate and Construction France
Real Estate and Construction Nicoals Ré
Real estate and Construction Rudy
Tax Henk
Tax Wim
Sports Elisabeth
TMT , IT and data protection Erik
Capital markets Pascal Vanden
Capital markets Dries
Capital markets Stefan
Capital markets Jan
Construction Rony
Commercial, Corporate and M&A Julien
Tax Henk
Compliance and Sanctions Hans Van
Compliance and Sanctions Peter
Corporate Fraud and Criminal Law Hans Van
Corporate Investigations Nicolas Ré
Corporate Investigations Hans Van
Data Protection Erik
Environment and Planning Jan
Environment and Planning France
EU Law, Competition and Regulation Peter
Foreign Investments Jan
Foreign Investments Stefan
Information Technology Erik
Insurance and Reinsurance Stefan
Insurance and Reinsurance Jan
Insurance and Reinsurance Oliver
Insurance and Reinsurance Paul Van der
Intellectual Property Ignace
Investment Management Dries
Investment Management Stefan
Investment Management Jan
Litigation and Dispute Resolution Nicolas Ré
Litigation and Dispute Resolution Oliver
Litigation and Dispute Resolution Hans Van
Litigation and Dispute Resolution Paul Van der
Pensions Jérôme
Pensions David D'
Pensions Bruno
Pensions Frederik
Procurement Law David D'
Procurement Law Nathanaëlle
Procurement Law Bruno
Procurement Law France
Procurement Law Frederik
Unfair Competition and Consumer Protection Peter
White Collar Crime Hans Van
Litigation and Dispute Resolution Nicolas Ré
Litigation and Dispute Resolution Oliver
Litigation and Dispute Resolution Hans Van
Litigation and Dispute Resolution Paul Van der
Energy & Natural Resources Frederik
Investment Funds Jan
Investment Funds Wouter
Investment Funds Dries
Investment Funds Jan
Private Equity Wouter
Private Equity Dries
Private Equity Stefan
Private Equity Jan
Private Equity Pascal Vanden
TMT Erik
Insolvency and Restructuring Dries
Insolvency and Restructuring Stefan
Insolvency and Restructuring Jan
Insolvency and Restructuring Oliver
Insolvency and Restructuring Paul Van der
Projects Jan
Projects David D'
Projects Nathanaelle
Projects Bruno
Projects Rudy
Projects Nicolas Ré
Projects Frederik
Intellectual property Philippe
Healthcare and Life Sciences Philippe
Real Estate and Construction Matthias
Projects Matthias
Competition Sophie Van
Compliance and Sanctions Sophie Van
EU Law, Competition and Regulation Sophie Van
Unfair Competition and Consumer Protection Sophie Van
Ian Arnouts photoMr Ian ArnoutsCounsel
Jérôme Aubertin photoMr Jérôme AubertinPartner.
Jan Bogaert photoMr Jan BogaertPartner  
Julien Bogaerts photoMr Julien BogaertsPartner
Jan Bouckaert photoMr Jan BouckaertPartner.
Sophie Bourgois photoMs Sophie BourgoisCounsel
Manuel Campolini photoMr Manuel CampoliniOf Counsel
Philippe Campolini photoMr Philippe CampoliniPartner
David D'Hooghe photoMr David D'HooghePartner.
Leen De Vuyst photoMs Leen De VuystCounsel  
Dieter Demuynck photoMr Dieter DemuynckCounsel
Olivier Di Giacomo photoMr Olivier Di GiacomoCounsel
Marc Fyon photoMr Marc FyonPartner
Wouter Ghijsels photoMr Wouter GhijselsPartner.
Delphine Gillet photoMs Delphine GilletCounsel
Dries Hommez photoMr Dries HommezPartner.
Nathanaelle Kiekens photoMs Nathanaelle KiekensPartner
Benoît Kohl photoMr Benoît KohlOf Counsel
Sebastien Leroy photoMr Sebastien LeroyCounsel
Bruno Lombaert photoMr Bruno LombaertPartner
Matthias Maselis photoMr Matthias MaselisPartner
Irene Mathy photoMs Irene MathyCounsel
Elisabeth Matthys photoMs Elisabeth MatthysPartner.
France Maussion photoMs France MaussionPartner
Rudy Nauwelaerts photoMr Rudy NauwelaertsPartner.
Stefan Odeurs photoMr Stefan OdeursPartner.
Wim Panis photoMr Wim PanisPartner 
Jan Peeters photoMr Jan PeetersPartner
Jan Proesmans photoMr Jan ProesmansCounsel
Nicolas Résimont photoMr Nicolas RésimontPartner
Tom Ruys photoMr Tom RuysOf Counsel
Giovanni Smet photoMr Giovanni SmetCounsel
Audry Stevenart photoMr Audry StevenartSenior Counsel
Oliver Stevens photoMr Oliver StevensPartner
Erik Valgaeren photoMr Erik ValgaerenPartner
Hans Van Bavel photoMr Hans Van BavelPartner
Sophie Van Besien photoMs Sophie Van BesienPartner
Paul Van der Putten photoMr Paul Van der PuttenPartner
Pascal Vanden Borre photoMr Pascal Vanden BorrePartner
Frederik Vandendriessche photoMr Frederik VandendriesschePartner
Rony Vermeersch photoMr Rony VermeerschPartner
Ignace Vernimme photoMr Ignace VernimmePartner
Henk Verstraete photoMr Henk VerstraetePartner
Pieter Wouters photoMr Pieter WoutersCounsel
Peter Wytinck photoMr Peter WytinckPartner
Number of lawyers Benelux : 419 lawyers
at this office : 148 lawyers
Contact : Wouter Ghijsels (managing partner)
Other offices : Amsterdam
Other offices : London
Other offices : Luxembourg
Other offices : New York

Corporate Social Responsibility

As a reputable, international law firm, we feel a strong sense of responsibility for the development of a more sustainable society. This is why we ensure that CSR remains an integral part of our firm and culture.

First and foremost, our CSR contribution to society is rooted in effective legal advice and relevant pro bono work. We use our knowledge and expertise to advise organisations that otherwise do not have access to high-quality legal advice. In doing so, we opt for the more complex legal issues with social relevance, or cases that set a legal precedent.

Furthermore, we believe that when people are able to develop to their full potential, this contributes to a better, safer, more diverse and prosperous society. Therefore, we enable young people to seize opportunities, pursue their dreams and ambitions, and overcome any obstacles that stand in the way of their personal growth. We do this by entering into partnerships with organisations that help children and young adults develop knowledge and skills they can use to build a good future. In addition, we work with institutions that enable young talent to develop to the highest level.

Diversity & Inclusion

The world around us is changing rapidly. A greater variety of skills is needed, both in society and in the workplace, to find solutions to increasingly complex problems. We must therefore look beyond cultural, financial, religious, political and regional boundaries and be able to work and live alongside people who are different from each other.

Diversity and inclusion have been high on Stibbe’s agenda for years. To provide our clients with high-quality legal advice, we need people who bring in different views, ideas and experiences. In addition to people’s qualities and skills, a diverse composition of teams in areas such as gender, sexual orientation, skin colour, cultural and socio-economic background, religion, disability and age is indispensable. An inclusive culture is essential so that everyone feels at home and can be themselves at Stibbe, and has the opportunity to develop to their full, unique potential.

Both in the legal sector and within our own firm there is still much to be gained in this area. To further embed diversity and inclusion in our culture, services and working methods, we set up activities and partnerships that focus on attracting, retaining and growing diverse talent and on working together in an inclusive way, both internally and externally. In addition, we support initiatives aimed at promoting diversity within our sector and in the business community as a whole, and we participate in social debate where necessary and relevant.

Stibbe is pleased to be one of the founding members of the Legal Diversity & Inclusion Alliance (LDIA), a collective effort by several law firms in Belgium. By joining the LDIA, member firms affirm their commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive work environment, exchanging good practices on diversity and inclusion, and raising awareness of non-discrimination and diversity issues by combining efforts in organising events, workshops, trainings, etc

Stibbe is an independent international law firm with deep roots in its three home jurisdictionsFrom our main offices in Amsterdam, Brussels and Luxembourg, together with our branch offices in London and New York, we handle our clients’ complex legal challenges both locally and cross-border. In addition to our own international presence, as an independent law firm, Stibbe can cooperate closely with other international top-tier firms. These relationships are non-exclusive and enable us to assemble a tailor-made, integrated team of lawyers with the best expertise and contacts for each specific matter.  

This top-tier network guarantees the best quality in each and every one of the jurisdictions with premium reputations in all of the business areas relevant for our clients. Our network enables us to connect you with the individual specialists our clients are looking for in almost all jurisdictions. When we do so, we will always see to it that we contact the individual lawyer we would be referring our client to, in order to ensure through a personal touch that they also provide the best client service. 

We exchange ideas and experiences with a number of preferred firms in our international network regarding new developments and trends in the legal sector and concerning the use of technology in the workplace. 

Wouter Ghijsels & David Orobio de Castro , Managing Partners Brussels and Amsterdam

Stibbe Managing Partners share insights on Benelux legal market.

What do you see as the main points that differentiate Stibbe from your competitors?

Stibbe is a full service independent Benelux law firm with main offices in Brussels, Amsterdam and Luxembourg and branch offices in London and New York.

Our independent position ensures that we always deliver the best services to our clients by teaming up with the referral partner within our extensive network who will be best placed to assess the specificities of the matter at stake in its jurisdiction.

In addition to outstanding legal experience, our multidisciplinary teams understand clients’ commercial objectives, their position in the market and their sector or industry, which allow us to render the most tailored and pragmatic advice possible. We maintain close business relationships with our clients, who count on us to deliver the hands-on, step-by-step advice they need on their most strategic operations.

Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?

The firm is growing as a whole, and the lateral hires and promotions of the past year across the Benelux are a testament to that. Overall, we have had an increasingly successful year across all practices.

Our Corporate and M&A practice benefited from the M&A market picking up in the third and fourth quarters of 2020. Other growing practices are Compliance and Sanctions, Environment (especially EU regulatory and health and safety regulations) , Energy (especially digital and green energy projects) and Real Estate (logistics and data centres, warehouses). We also see an increase in (Alternative) Dispute Resolution matters in the Benelux, with arbitration being particularly on the rise. Our top-tier Litigation and ADR teams have attracted a number of important disputes, some of which entail novel questions stemming from the COVID-19 crisis.

What’s the main change you’ve made in the firm that will benefit clients?

The already fast-paced digitalization of our offer has substantially evolved, allowing our clients and workforce to benefit from increasingly innovative solutions and initiatives. We had already been investing in adequate and robust IT infrastructure prior to the outbreak of the pandemic, which allowed both our lawyers and business services to seamlessly adapt to remote working overnight without any disruption in the delivery of our services to clients. Furthermore, we organize trainings in creative problem-solving and on efficient ways of channeling energy. Stibbe is also proud to support initiatives that foster diversity, which is why we were one of the founding members of the Legal Diversity and Inclusion Alliance. We believe that a diverse, inclusive, and supportive culture promotes creativity, innovation, and inspiration and these will contribute not only to the success professional career of our people, and, by consequence, to the success of our clients. That’s why we are taking concrete actions to turn innovation and inclusion from a skill-set into a mind-set for our people, and we believe that this will only add to the benefits that our clients can expect from Stibbe.

Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?

We already extensively used technology in our interaction with clients, and we continue to invest in the digitalization of our office and in solutions to automate our business operations further and better.

Our IT infrastructure and applications continually evolve and we continuously look for the best technologies in the market.

Stibbe has also heavily invested in cyber security measures over the past few years. Implementing a Managed Security services strategy allows us to focus on our core business and to keep a peace of mind when it comes to the tech environment through which we deliver our services.

Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?

Building close business relationships with our clients, understanding their commercial objectives, their position in the market and their sector or industry, allows us to render suitable, effective and strategic advice.

Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three years’ time?

As an independent Benelux law firm, we are able to provide our clients with high-end legal services. The goal of everything we do is to render the most beneficial and tailor-made advice to our clients. Thanks this approach and to our excellent relationships with leading international firms, we have increasingly been on the receiving end of big ticket cross-border mandates, which we reasonably expect to increase in the near future.