Firm Profile > Van Bael & Bellis > Brussels, Belgium

Van Bael & Bellis

Customs, trade, WTO and anti-dumping Tier 1

Van Bael & Bellis' 'very proactive' team garners praise for its 'specialist knowledge and experience of EU trade law and anti-dumping investigations'. In a headline case, Philippe De Baere, alongside Fabrizio Di Gianni, Richard Luff, Yuriy Rudyuk and Benoît Servais, is representing 80 international companies from the steel industry in a safeguard investigation initiated by the European Commission as a response to US restrictions on steel and aluminium imports; this investigation is the largest of its kind initiated by the Commission. Other highlights include acting for EU rice producers in the first safeguard investigation initiated under the Generalised Scheme of Preferences regime, concerning imports of rice from Cambodia and Myanmar. WTO disputes are another area of expertise. Jean-François Bellis and Pablo Muñiz are other key names.

Industry focus: Healthcare and life sciences Tier 1

Van Bael & Bellis has 'a good mix of regulatory, competition, privacy and IP lawyers well versed in the specificities of the life sciences sector'. The practice acts for large global pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical devices companies, among others. Catherine Longeval attracts praise for 'fighting very hard for her client's cases' and 'will not hesitate to go in the trenches to look for a solution', and is particularly noted for her expertise in regulatory matters and product liability. Peter L’Ecluse jointly heads the practice alongside Longeval and has a broad practice encompassing regulatory, competition and IP issues. David Hull and recently promoted senior counsel Michael Clancy are highlighted for handling competition law matters for life sciences sector clients. Koen T’Syen was recently promoted to counsel.

Competition: Belgian law Tier 2

Van Bael & Bellis' Belgian competition law practice, which is co-led by Martin Favart and Peter L’Ecluse, is a well-established force in high-stakes, reputationally-sensitive antitrust investigations. Favart and associate Charlotte Woolfson are advising Belgian consumer association Test-Achats (as the complainant) on the Belgium Competition Authority's investigation into allegedly anti-competitive agreements between two pharmaceutical companies concerning treatments for age-related eye disease. Elsewhere, the team is also highly sought-after for advice on mergers and joint ventures, litigation and the establishment and operation of distribution systems. In 2018, Kris Van Hove and counsel Koen T’Syen assisted Belgian DIY retail chain Intergamma with the Belgian merger control aspects of its acquisition of 151 DIY stores from Ireland-based CRH. Associate Valérie Lefever is another highly rated practitioner in the team, whose other active clients include Safran Group, Allianz and bpost Bank.

Competition: EU and global Tier 2

Van Bael & Bellis' longstanding track-record in headline behavioural and transactional competition mandates ensures that it consistently attracts high-end work from blue-chip clients, such as AstraZeneca, Bloomberg, Coca-Cola European Partners and Halliburton. Praised for its 'in-depth analysis' of matters across the entire competition law spectrum, the group includes Porter Elliott, who is currently advising Quaker Chemical on the EC's review of its proposed acquisition of Houghton International for $1.4bn. Jean-François Bellis and Tim Kasten recently represented Viscas in a General Court appeal of the European Commission's decision to fine the client for its alleged involvement in a global market/customer allocation cartel in the power cables sector. In 2017, Andrzej Kmiecik, who heads the practice, was the lead adviser to Toyoda Gosei on the EC's investigation into an alleged cartel among car safety equipment suppliers over the supply of occupant safety systems to Japanese car manufacturers. The 'highly attentive' Andreas Reindl, who recently made partner, 'can quickly grasp the main issue, even when limited information is provided'. Another newly-promoted partner is Gabriele Coppo. In the air freight sector, Johan Van Acker, who is praised for his 'excellent relationship management', and Kris Van Hove are acting as coordinating counsel to Japan Airlines in eight follow-on damages actions across various European jurisdictions. David Hull, senior counsel Michael Clancy and Markus Wellinger are also names to note.

Dispute resolution Tier 2

Van Bael & Bellis provides 'very valuable legal advice', particularly on disputes in the competition, life sciences and IP sectors. Arbitration is another core area of instruction for the team. Catherine Longeval leads the group, which includes Peter L’Ecluse, who is noted for his expertise in patent litigation from the life sciences area, and competition law expert Martin Favart.

Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 3

The 'very well-organised and highly-skilled' corporate and M&A practice at Van Bael & Bellis provides advice 'calibrated to the commercial risks' and frequently acts for a range of private equity and corporate clients on domestic and cross-border transactions. Practice head and 'great negotiatorMichel Bonne led a team acting for Intergamma on its €510m acquisition of its largest franchisee, Van Neerbos Groep. In another work highlight, the group also acted for Elicio on the merger of two offshore wind farms. The team has recently been bolstered by the arrival of counsel Amaury de Borchgrave from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton; he is praised for his 'commercial nous and deft negotiating' skills.

Intellectual property Tier 3

Peter L’Ecluse heads the IP practice at Van Bael & Bellis, which is best known for acting for life sciences and pharmaceutical companies in anti-counterfeiting matters, trade mark issues, patent litigation, and domain name procedures, among other areas. Senior associate Thibaut D’hulst is a name to note.

Employment Tier 4

Van Bael & Bellis' team advises on compliance matters, contentious work, social security cases and corporate support for clients primarily drawn from the life sciences sector. Practice head Catherine Longeval is well known for her expertise in litigation, and garners praise for her 'clear and calm advice'.

Van Bael & Bellis is a leading independent law firm based in Brussels. Established in 1986, we house a multi-jurisdictional team of lawyers who provide specialised advice to clients ranging from multinational corporations and government bodies to international trade associations and international law firms. Since our inception, we have developed a reputation as one of the most skilful teams of lawyers in our areas of expertise. We have a second office in Geneva exclusively dedicated to WTO matters.

Van Bael & Bellis has a global client base. Our team consists of nearly 70 lawyers from over 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, EU trade and customs law, regulatory law, 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, Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, 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)
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
Ms Rosa Aldonza  photo Ms Rosa Aldonza
Ms Sarah Arens  photo Ms Sarah Arens
Mr Gábor Báthory  photo Mr Gábor Báthory
Mr Sergiy Beketov  photo Mr Sergiy Beketov
Mr Jean-François Bellis  photo Mr Jean-François Bellis
Ms Sara Beutels  photo Ms Sara Beutels
Ms Katharina Bongs  photo Ms Katharina Bongs
Mr Michel Bonne  photo Mr Michel Bonne
Mr Richard Burton  photo Mr Richard Burton
Ms Eugenia Caracciolo-Drudis  photo Ms Eugenia Caracciolo-Drudis
Mr Michael Clancy  photo Mr Michael Clancy
Mr Gabriele Coppo  photo Mr Gabriele Coppo
Mr Victor Crochet  photo Mr Victor Crochet
Mr Vladyslav Darahan  photo Mr Vladyslav Darahan
Mr Philippe De Baere  photo Mr Philippe De Baere
Mr Quentin Declève  photo Mr Quentin Declève
Mr Fabrizio Di Gianni  photo Mr Fabrizio Di Gianni
Mr Thibaut D’hulst  photo Mr Thibaut D’hulst
Mr Porter Elliott  photo Mr Porter Elliott
Mr Martin Favart  photo Mr Martin Favart
Mr Reshad Forbes  photo Mr Reshad Forbes
Ms Catherine Gordley  photo Ms Catherine Gordley
Ms Helga Gudmundsdottir  photo Ms Helga Gudmundsdottir
Mr Marcus Gustafsson  photo Mr Marcus Gustafsson
Mr Simón Hernández  photo Mr Simón Hernández
Mr David Hull  photo Mr David Hull
Ms Etsuko Kameoka  photo Ms Etsuko Kameoka
Mr Tim Kasten  photo Mr Tim Kasten
Mr Andrzej Kmiecik  photo Mr Andrzej Kmiecik
Ms Valérie Lefever  photo Ms Valérie Lefever
Ms Pei Fang Lo  photo Ms Pei Fang Lo
Ms Catherine Longeval  photo Ms Catherine Longeval
Mr Richard Luff  photo Mr Richard Luff
Mr Peter L’Ecluse  photo Mr Peter L’Ecluse
Ms Hannelore Matthys  photo Ms Hannelore Matthys
Mr Pablo Muñiz  photo Mr Pablo Muñiz
Ms Charlotte Nassogne  photo Ms Charlotte Nassogne
Mr Francesco Pili  photo Mr Francesco Pili
Ms Joanna Redelbach  photo Ms Joanna Redelbach
Mr Vincent Reijns  photo Mr Vincent Reijns
Ms Stephanie Reinart  photo Ms Stephanie Reinart
Mr Andreas Reindl  photo Mr Andreas Reindl
Mr Steve Ross  photo Mr Steve Ross
Mr Yuriy Rudyuk  photo Mr Yuriy Rudyuk
Mr Aldo Scalini  photo Mr Aldo Scalini
Mr Benoît Servais  photo Mr Benoît Servais
Mr Michel Struys  photo Mr Michel Struys
Mr Koen T’Syen  photo Mr Koen T’Syen
Mr Johan Van Acker  photo Mr Johan Van Acker
Ms Isabelle Van Damme  photo Ms Isabelle Van Damme
Mr Kris Van Hove  photo Mr Kris Van Hove
Ms Margot Vogels  photo Ms Margot Vogels
Mr Markus Wellinger  photo Mr Markus Wellinger
Mr Thomas de Visser  photo Mr Thomas de Visser
Number of lawyers : 70
Other offices : Geneva