Firm Profile > Van Bael & Bellis > Brussels, Belgium

Van Bael & Bellis

Customs, trade, WTO and anti-dumping Tier 1

Philippe De Baere leads Van Bael & Bellis' team, which stands out for its 'practical approach'. In the international trade space, De Baere, Benoît Servais, Fabrizio Di Gianni, Yuriy Rudyuk and Richard Luff are advising 80 international companies from the steel industry in an ongoing safeguard investigation - the largest of its kind to be initiated by the European Commission - concerning US restrictions on steel and aluminium imports. The practice also has an excellent reputation for its strength in WTO disputes. Pablo Muñiz is also recommended.

Practice head(s):


The practice given is extremely well tailored and it is effectively oriented to the specific issues required‘.

Key clients

Government of Japan

Government of China

Government of Ukraine


Industry focus: Healthcare and life sciences Tier 1

Van Bael & Bellis' life sciences team attracts praise for its 'outstanding knowledge of the pharma industry' and 'great competition law expertise'. 'Outstanding expert in pharma law' Catherine Longeval focuses on regulatory and product liability litigation and has a breadth of expertise which spans the biotech, medical devices, cosmetics and food supplement industries; Longeval jointly leads the practice with Peter L’Ecluse, who combines regulatory, competition and IP expertise. Other names of note include senior counsel Michael Clancy who specialises in EU competition law.


They are fast in replying, understand my company’s needs, they do not overcomplicate things. The quality of work is of a high standard.’

They provide clear and pragmatic advice tailored to our needs and the level of detail required for briefing senior management.’

Catherine Longeval and David Hull in particular stand out for their business-friendly approach to providing advice.

Catherine Longheval advice is not only professional, but down to earth and very rational, which provides us stable ground for negotiations with our partners.

Catherine Longeval has been a dedicated co-counsel on matters requiring regulatory expertise for our life sciences clients, both pharmaceutical and medical device companies. I rely on Catherine for her substantive knowledge and her responsiveness.

Catherine Longeval is extremely competent is the area of pharmaceutical law.

Key clients





CSL Behring



Eli Lilly

Gedeon Richter




Horus Pharma






Owens & Minor


Competition: Belgian law Tier 2

Van Bael & Bellis features prominently in all areas of Belgian competition law, with a particular strength in highly sensitive investigations. In a recent highlight, Peter L’Ecluse led a team, including associates Eléonore Waterkeyn  and Valérie Lefever, which defended two national meteorological services against allegations of abusive conduct in relation to the supply of meteorological data. Another key figure is Martin Favart, who is representing Belgian consumer association Test-Achats in the BCA's investigation into allegedly anticompetitive agreeements/practices by two leading pharmaceutical companies related to drugs used to treat an age-related eye disease. The firm's other work for clients includes follow-on damages actions and competition-related appeals, distribution, licensing and use of intellectual property rights, and assistance with merger reviews.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Coca-Cola European Partners

The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF)

Koninklijk Meteorologisch Instituut/Institut Royal Météorologique


Mitsui Group


Safran Group


Competition: EU and global Tier 2

In a recent development at Van Bael & BellisAndreas Reindl and Gabriele Coppo made partner. Also notable is that, in 2018, Michel Struys joined from Allen & Overy LLP. The firm has a longstanding track record featuring in many of the most significant competition matters seen in the Brussels market. In one highlight, a team including Reindl and Jean-François Bellis is representing Gigaset Communications as an intervening party in an appeal of the EC's decision in the investigation into Google's Android operating system. In another reputationally-sensitive matter, group head Andrzej Kmiecik and Tim Kasten represented a household-name global consumer brand in antitrust proceedings brought by the EC over an infringement in relation to vertical agreements. The team also has proven expertise in cartels and other horizontal agreements, as well as state aid cases; Struys is acting for Engie in appeal before the General Court of the EC's state aid and tax optimisation decision in 2018 ordering the Luxembourg government to collect €120m in back taxes from the client. On the merger control side, a highlight involved Kris Van Hove and associate Catherine Gordley assisting KDDI and Mitsubishi UFJ Securities with obtaining clearance from the European Commission of the creation of a joint venture,

Practice head(s):


The team looks for cost-effective and time-efficient solutions and is not shy of engaging with the regulators/authorities in a formal or informal way using all of the firm’s available resources

The firm’s reputation in Brussels and throughout Europe is unmatched. Van Bael & Bellis is always my first call in the EU

Porter Elliot has the unique ability to explain complex nuances of EU competition law in a manner that clients can easily comprehend and use to effectively manage their business. Porter never fails to efficiently answer the call and he delivers results. I have never failed to successfully obtain transaction clearance under the deadline when he is at the helm

Markus Wellinger is not only very responsive and available in case of urgent situations but also for any question or issue raised to him, giving us as in-house counsel the valuable feeling that we are his unique client. His deep understanding of our business reality makes his advice and recommendations sharp, pragmatic and highly valuable. The firm’s good network of relationships with overseas-based local firms enables it to provide assistance in lots of jurisdictions, with Mr. Markus Wellinger always remaining closely involved in order to ensure a good monitoring and coordination

Van Bael & Bellis provides excellent advice both in terms of the legal analysis and commercial realities. I think they do this on a more cost-effective manner than other law firms that operate at this level of sophistication and client service

Kris Van Hove has a wide range of expertise and is excellent at working through both the finer legal points under EU law and the real world application of the law

Very well prepared, provides answers and advice very quickly, transmits confidence and high quality. Special mention to Kris van Hove and Catherine Gordley

Key clients



Coca-Cola European Partners

DAF and Paccar





Hyundai Merchant Marine

Japan Airlines

Neste group


Nippon Steel Sumitomo Metal Corporation


Quaker Chemical



Toyoda Gosei

Dispute resolution Tier 2

Van Bael & Bellis has 'excellent knowledge of the law', and has solid expertise in life sciences, competition and IP disputes. The 'fantastic' Catherine Longeval heads up the team; key contacts include Martin Favart, who is noted for his expertise in competition law, and Peter L’Ecluse, who is well known for handling instructions from the life sciences sector.

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Other key lawyers:

Key clients




Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 3

Van Bael & Bellis' corporate and M&A team handles the full range of transactions, from public M&A and capital markets work to private equity and venture capital matters, and joint ventures and insolvency and restructuring advice. 'Pragmatic lawyer' Michel Bonne leads the team and attracts praise for 'understanding the art of deal making in combination with a real sense of legal judgement and knowledge'. Bonne handles domestic and cross-border transactions with particular expertise in the renewable energy, finance, telecoms, real estate, pharmaceuticals, aviation and biotech arenas. The practice also benefits from 'an excellent team of young professionals', which includes senior associate Hannelore Matthys, who focuses on corporate transactions for clients in the agriculture, energy, insurance and financial services sectors.

Practice head(s):


Very dedicated team which was eager to come to a successful end to the project as efficiently as possible.

Michel Bonne leads an excellent team of young professionals: their dedication to the client is outstanding and the output of their work absolutely remarkable.

To my experience, the professionals I worked with are extremely prepared, very fluent in English, perfectly understand the client’s needs, are able to anticipate doubts and requests and efficiently provide timely and accurate answers.

The team is led by pragmatic lawyer Michel Bonne who understands the art of deal making in combination with a real sense of legal judgement and knowledge.’

Van Bael & Bellis has a very high and quick reaction degree.

They have a thorough knowledge of Belgian corporate law and are really familiar with the new Belgian Corporate Law.

They are open-minded and willing to think along with the client. Clear and open communication on what is feasible and what is not feasible.

The team is very patient and is willing to listen to understand our real needs instead of pushing their most preferred solution.

Michel Bonne is a key legal practitioner of the M&A market in Belgium he is clearly taking market share in the M&A legal practice in Belgium.

Michel Bonne’s sense of client dedication and pragmatism makes him a key player in Belgium.

The advisers are very easily accessible. They deliver their advice and answers in very short notice and  always respect the indicated due date.

Van Bael & Bellis’ advisers have a very strong understanding of Belgian Corporate Law and have an accurate knowledge of our litigation files.

They assure a conscientious follow-up of all pending matters, propose timely and necessary actions to be taken.

Senior associate Hannelore Matthijs is very appreciated and is always willing to listen and answer your questions quickly. Together with her colleges she let us feel that our business is relevant to them and they want to achieve the best result for us.

Key clients







Federale Verzekering



IPL Plastics


Nethys / Elicio

NYK, K Line and Mitsui OSK Lines




EU regulatory: Privacy and data protection Tier 3

Van Bael & Bellis' 'very responsive' team, led by counsel Thibaut D’hulst, has been kept busy with GDPR compliance and e-privacy matters, among other areas. The client roster includes prominent global clients from the pharmaceutical, technology and healthcare sectors.

Practice head(s):

Key clients



Eisai Europe

Gedeon Richter


Intellectual property Tier 3

Peter L’Ecluse and counsel Thibaut D’hulst jointly head Van Bael & Bellis' IP practice. Recent instructions include handling trade mark disputes, patent litigation, data protection issues and trade secrets matters for clients drawn from the pharmaceutical, life sciences and sports industries, to name a few.  

Key clients


Canon Europe

FCR Media

Super League Triathlon

Employment Tier 4

The 'extremely experienced' and 'very responsive' team at Van Bael & Bellis has established strength in advising clients from the life sciences sector on social security matters, collective and individual dismissals and compliance matters, and has also been advising on restructurings. Litigation expert and department head Catherine Longeval 'exudes a complete command of her subject'. Counsel Sara Beutels provides 'clear and comprehensive' advice.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Key clients



Gedeon Richter

Van Bael & Bellis is a leading independent law firm headquartered in Brussels with offices in London and Geneva. Established in 1986, we house a multinational team of lawyers who provide specialised advice to clients ranging from FTSE 100 companies and government bodies to international trade associations and global law firms. Since our inception, we have developed a reputation as one of the most skilful teams of lawyers in our areas of expertise.


Van Bael & Bellis has a global client base. Our team consists of over 80 lawyers from more than 20 different countries who understand the subtleties of working within multiple jurisdictions and different cultural environments.


At Van Bael & Bellis, we are well known for our client-centred approach and our focused expertise in EU and national competition law, international trade and customs law, regulatory law, public international law, international dispute resolution as well as corporate and commercial law.


Our independent structure has enabled us to develop our firm in the way we believe best serves our clients’ needs. Moreover, our independence allows us to select the ‘best-of-the-best’ law firms anywhere in the world when working on projects involving jurisdictions beyond our in-house expertise.


Our working language is English, but we also work in many other languages, including Chinese, Danish, Dari, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Pashto, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish and Ukrainian.

Department Name Email Telephone
EU and national competition (abuses of dominance, cartel investigations, the establishment and operation of distribution systems, joint ventures, the licensing and use of intellectual property rights, merger control and state aid)
EU and international trade (anti-dumping and other trade defence instruments, customs and export controls, investigations initiated by third countries, and WTO dispute settlement proceedings)
Public international law (territorial scope of application of treaties, treaty obligations, human rights and sanctions)
International arbitration (international arbitration proceedings under the rules of the major arbitral institutions, with particular expertise in disputes relating to foreign investment under bilateral investment treaties)
EU regulatory (agriculture, chemicals (REACH), consumer protection, data protection, environment, life sciences, product safety and energy)
Corporate and commercial (corporate, dispute resolution, employment, information technology, intellectual property, M&A and finance and unfair market practices)
Photo Name Position Profile
 Saud Aldawsari  photo Saud Aldawsari Associate Saud Aldawsari focuses on international trade law and international investment law…
Ms Sarah Arens  photo Ms Sarah Arens Associate Sarah’s practice focuses on Belgian business law, with a particular emphasis…
Mr Gábor Báthory  photo Mr Gábor Báthory Counsel Gábor Báthory practises EU and international trade law, EU competition law…
Mr Sergiy Beketov  photo Mr Sergiy Beketov Associate Sergiy Beketov specialises in international trade law and WTO matters. His…
 Jean-François Bellis photo Jean-François Bellis Jean-François Bellis is a founding partner of Van Bael & Bellis. Before…
Ms Sara Beutels  photo Ms Sara Beutels Counsel Sara Beutels focuses on all aspects of employment and social security…
Ms Katharina Bongs  photo Ms Katharina Bongs Counsel Katharina Bongs focuses on EU and German competition law and EU…
Mr Michel Bonne  photo Mr Michel Bonne Partner Michel Bonne focuses on corporate M&A. He has advised a wide…
Mr Richard Burton  photo Mr Richard Burton Senior Counsel Richard Burton specialises in EU and UK competition law. He…
Mr Ugur Can Hekim  photo Mr Ugur Can Hekim Associate Ugur Can Hekim focuses on all aspects of EU and international…
Ms Alicia Cauwenbergh  photo Ms Alicia Cauwenbergh Associate Alicia Cauwenbergh focuses on Belgian business law with a particular emphasis…
Ms Victoria Ciudin  photo Ms Victoria Ciudin Associate Victoria Ciudin focuses on all aspects of EU law, with a…
Mr Michael Clancy  photo Mr Michael Clancy Partner Michael Clancy focuses on EU competition law, including advising clients on…
Mr Gabriele Coppo  photo Mr Gabriele Coppo Trade & Customs Partner Gabriele Coppo regularly represents clients (including governments, industry…
Mr Victor Crochet  photo Mr Victor Crochet Associate Victor Crochet focuses on trade remedy and WTO law. Victor assists…
Mr Mats Cuvelier  photo Mr Mats Cuvelier Associate Mats Cuvelier focuses on international trade law, including WTO dispute settlement.
Mr Philippe De Baere  photo Mr Philippe De Baere Philippe De Baere is the firm’s managing partner. His practice focuses on…
Mr Quentin Declève  photo Mr Quentin Declève Associate Quentin Declève focuses on international litigation and arbitration, as well as…
 Manon Denis  photo Manon Denis Associate Manon Denis focuses on all aspects of employment and social security…
Mr Fabrizio Di Gianni  photo Mr Fabrizio Di Gianni Partner Fabrizio Di Gianni practises competition and trade law. He also assists…
 Floris-Willem Dierickx  photo Floris-Willem Dierickx Associate Floris-Willem Dierickx focuses on competition law and international trade law.
Mr Thibaut D’hulst  photo Mr Thibaut D’hulst Counsel Thibaut D’hulst focuses on data protection, intellectual property law, pharmaceutical law…
Mr Porter Elliott  photo Mr Porter Elliott Partner Porter Elliott specialises in all aspects of competition law, with particular…
Mr Reshad Forbes  photo Mr Reshad Forbes Senior Counsel Reshad Forbes specialises in the EU’s regulatory laws, in particular…
 Marc Freedman  photo Marc Freedman Associate Marc Freedman focuses on UK and EU competition law. Marc’s practice…
Ms Catherine Gordley  photo Ms Catherine Gordley Associate Catherine Gordley focuses on EU competition law.  She specialises in representing…
 Shaziea Habibi  photo Shaziea Habibi Associate Shaziea Habibi focuses on Belgian business law, with a particular emphasis…
Mr Samuel Hall  photo Mr Samuel Hall Associate Samuel Hall focuses on EU competition law as well as EU…
 Diljá Helgadóttir  photo Diljá Helgadóttir Associate Diljá Helgadóttir focuses on all aspects of EU competition law, as…
Mr David Hull  photo Mr David Hull David Hull practises EU competition law. David has a wide range of experience…
Ms Anna Jorna  photo Ms Anna Jorna Associate Anna Jorna focuses on all aspects of EU competition law.
Ms Etsuko Kameoka  photo Ms Etsuko Kameoka Counsel Etsuko Kameoka specialises in EU competition law, with a particular emphasis…
Mr Tim Kasten  photo Mr Tim Kasten Partner Tim specialises in EU competition law, with a particular emphasis on…
Mr Andrzej Kmiecik  photo Mr Andrzej Kmiecik Partner Andrzej Kmiecik focuses on competition law, with particular expertise in merger…
 Nicholas A. Lawn  photo Nicholas A. Lawn Partner Nicholas Lawn leads Van Bael & Bellis’ London-based International Dispute Resolution…
Ms Pei Fang Lo  photo Ms Pei Fang Lo Senior Counsel Pei Fang Lo focuses on international trade law and corporate…
Ms Catherine Longeval  photo Ms Catherine Longeval Partner Catherine Longeval specialises in litigation before the Belgian courts and advises…
Mr Richard Luff  photo Mr Richard Luff Partner Richard Luff specialises in international trade law, with a particular focus…
Mr Peter L’Ecluse  photo Mr Peter L’Ecluse Partner Peter L’Ecluse focuses on life sciences, competition law and intellectual property…
Ms Hannelore Matthys  photo Ms Hannelore Matthys Associate Hannelore Matthys focuses on corporate law with an emphasis on cross-border…
 Yaron Moszynski  photo Yaron Moszynski Associate Yaron Moszynski focuses on Belgian business law.
 Emmanuelle Mouzon  photo Emmanuelle Mouzon Associate Emmanuelle is an associate who specialises in corporate law focusing on…
 Pablo Muñiz photo Pablo Muñiz Partner Pablo Muñiz is head of the customs practice of Van Bael…
Ms Charlotte Nassogne  photo Ms Charlotte Nassogne Senior Counsel Charlotte Nassogne focuses on EU, as well as national Belgian…
 Isabella Omrod-Bufill  photo Isabella Omrod-Bufill Associate Isabella Omrod-Bufill practises all aspects of EU law, with a particular…
 Adriana Pérez-Gil  photo Adriana Pérez-Gil With over ten years of experience in the Mexican private and public…
 Maria-Olga Papadopoulou  photo Maria-Olga Papadopoulou Associate Maria-Olga is an associate who specialises in competition law and European…
 Todor Papanov  photo Todor Papanov Associate Todor Papanov is a UK qualified solicitor based in our London…
Mr Francesco Pili  photo Mr Francesco Pili Associate Francesco Pilli focuses on EU and Italian competition law as well…
 Giovanni Pregno  photo Giovanni Pregno Associate Giovanni Pregno focuses on Italian and EU competition law as well…
Ms Joanna Redelbach  photo Ms Joanna Redelbach Associate Joanna Redelbach practices international trade law, with a particular emphasis on…
 Agnieszka Paulina Regiec  photo Agnieszka Paulina Regiec Associate Agnieszka Paulina Regiec focuses on international trade law, WTO matters and…
Mr Vincent Reijns  photo Mr Vincent Reijns Associate Vincent Reijns focuses on all aspects of Belgian business law, with…
Ms Stephanie Reinart  photo Ms Stephanie Reinart Senior Counsel Stephanie Reinart focuses on EU and German competition law as…
Mr Andreas Reindl  photo Mr Andreas Reindl Partner Andreas Reindl focuses on European competition law. In particular, he has…
 Charlotte Reyns  photo Charlotte Reyns Associate Charlotte Reyns focuses on commercial and regulatory law.
Mr Steve Ross  photo Mr Steve Ross Associate Steve Ross focuses on EU competition law, as well as EU…
Mr Yuriy Rudyuk  photo Mr Yuriy Rudyuk Yuriy Rudyuk specialises in international trade law with a particular focus on…
Mr Aldo Scalini  photo Mr Aldo Scalini Counsel Aldo Scalini specialises in EU law, with a particular focus on…
 Benoît Servais photo Benoît Servais Partner Benoît Servais specialises in EU and WTO trade law, with a…
 Alex Stratakis  photo Alex Stratakis Based in London, and with almost 15 years of experience in all…
Mr Michel Struys  photo Mr Michel Struys Partner Michel Struys practises EU and competition law. Michel Struys has a…
Mr Koen T’Syen  photo Mr Koen T’Syen Counsel Koen T’Syen specialises in commercial litigation and competition law. Koen has…
Mr Johan Van Acker  photo Mr Johan Van Acker Partner Johan Van Acker specialises in EU and national competition law.  His…
Ms Isabelle Van Damme  photo Ms Isabelle Van Damme Partner Isabelle Van Damme specialises in international trade law (WTO and preferential…
Mr Kris Van Hove  photo Mr Kris Van Hove Partner Kris Van Hove focuses on EU and national competition law, as…
Ms Justine Van den Bon  photo Ms Justine Van den Bon Associate Justine Van den Bon focuses on Belgian business law, as well…
 Lucas Verborgh  photo Lucas Verborgh Associate Lucas Verborgh practices trade law with a particular focus on customs…
Ms Margot Vogels  photo Ms Margot Vogels Associate Margot Vogels focuses on Belgian business law, as well as all…
Mr Markus Wellinger  photo Mr Markus Wellinger Partner Markus Wellinger focuses on competition and regulatory issues.   Markus represents…
Mr Andreas Wuylens  photo Mr Andreas Wuylens Associate Andreas Wuylens focuses on Belgian business law, with a particular emphasis…
Ms Charlotte de Meeûs  photo Ms Charlotte de Meeûs Associate Charlotte de Meeûs focuses on Belgian business law, as well as…
Mr Thomas de Visser  photo Mr Thomas de Visser Associate Thomas de Visser practises trade law, EU competition law and EU…
Number of lawyers : 84
Other offices : London
: Geneva

Diversity & Inclusion

Van Bael & Bellis is committed to cultivating an inclusive and diverse working environment for the benefit of our lawyers and clients. With the establishment of a Social Responsibility and Diversity (SRD) Committee, we create value for our members by enabling discussion, hosting networking events and implementing programmes that support diverse approaches to leadership. We recognise that a productive team is one where dialogue is encouraged, and dynamic individuals are allowed to thrive.

In order to continue to provide the highest standards of legal services and ensure we are well-positioned to meet the evolving needs of our clients in a rapidly developing global marketplace, we seek to attract, retain, and develop the best legal talent from a wide array of backgrounds and legal traditions. We foster a culture within the firm that recognises the benefits of diversity of knowledge, experiences, and perspectives. We strive to provide a welcoming and inclusive work environment, and to remain attuned to sustainability and social responsibility in our work.

Van Bael & Bellis’ SRD Committee is composed of senior lawyers, management personnel and associates. The Committee assists the firm in achieving its diversity aims by:

· developing programmes and initiatives, such as mentoring, that promote opportunities for all lawyers and staff members to reach their full professional potential;

· promoting gender equality at all levels of seniority, through formal and informal training, opportunities, clear communication, and other programmes and initiatives;

· building on the firm’s existing diversity to raise awareness and create policies and programmes to promote an inclusive work environment;

· encouraging the firm to consider sustainability and social responsibility goals in its business activities.

Pro Bono

Van Bael & Bellis’ aim is to positively impact communities, at home and abroad, by sharing our knowledge and experience. We do this by assisting developing countries and organisations in negotiations on the reform of the Investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism. We also assist such clients in general capacity building in WTO dispute settlement and intervention as a third party in WTO panel proceedings.

Van Bael & Bellis is a member of TrustLaw, Thomson Reuters Foundation’s global pro bono legal programme.