AKD > Brussels, Belgium > Firm Profile

AKD
5, Place du Champs de Mars
1050 Brussels
Belgium

Belgium > Industry focus: Retail Tier 1

AKD’s real estate and retail group has a long-established relationship with several high-profile retailers, assisting clients from the worlds of food and beverage, cosmetics, electric bikes and clothing, to name a few. The group supports its clients throughout the course of retail leases, acting for both tenants and – more latterly – landlords. Steven Ongena heads up the department; he possesses more than 26 years of experience in the market, and frequently represents industrial groups and retailers in distribution and agency agreements. At counsel level, Pol Cools is experienced advising both domestic and international clients, in the restructuring, expansion or establishing of their retail networks.

Practice head(s):

Steven Ongena

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team is clear in all aspects, including billing, communication, briefness and flexibility.’

‘We work with Pol Cools and Steven Ongena; a professional but human touch.’

‘A very dedicated team, combining strong legal advice with good industry knowledge.’

‘The team understands our needs, our capacities, and our limitations.’

‘Highly professional, but also very agreeable people.’

Key clients

Hilfiger Stores Belgium (PVH group)

Calvin Klein Stores Belgium (PVH group)

Furla

Claire’s Accessories

Dessange International

Jennyfer

Stella Bikes

IMDC (brand “Grain de Malice”)

RJB Belgium

Retif

Spadel

Esports Club

Work highlights

Belgium > Real estate and construction Tier 3

AKD‘s ‘sophisticated‘ and ‘broad‘ real estate practice is led by Steven Ongena and Simon Ceulemans, and advises domestic and international clients on matters including acquisitions and relocations. Clients range from investors and owners to occupiers, in the retail sector in particular. Counsel Pol Cools is also highly regarded, with broad experience in real estate transactions and structuring.

Practice head(s):

Steven Ongena; Simon Ceulemans

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team has a perfect balance between providing sound legal advice and practical commercial business advice.’

‘Simon Ceulemans is excellent.’

‘Sophisticated, broad real estate practice with forward thinking on business solutions and legal advice. Extremely responsive. Partners maintain the relationship and control over their deals instead of entirely delegating to an associate.’

‘Simon Ceulemans is a star. Tenacious, thoughtful and practical. He is also really pleasant to work with.’

‘Great team.’

‘Simon Ceulemans is an excellent real estate lawyer.’

Key clients

Hilfiger Stores Belgium (PVH Group)

Calvin Klein Stores Belgium (PVH Group)

Claire’s Accessories

Furla

Stella Bikes

IMDC (Grain de Malice)

Retif Belgium

RJB Belgium

Esports Club

KGAL

City of Antwerp

Willemen Infrastructure

Bank of New York Mellon

LEAPPP (a joint venture between Federale Verzekeringen and Willemen Infra)

All Budget Hotel

Europarcs

Wirtgen Invest

P3 Logistics

Work highlights

  • Advised German institutional investor KGAL on its first landmark investment in the Belgian market, by means of the acquisition of two office buildings on Avenue Louise in Brussels.
  • Advised Bank of New York Mellon on relocating its Brussels HQ to the Multi tower, a new office building in Brussels’ central business district that is currently under development.
  • Assisting a pan-European retailer with its re-entry into the Belgian market by negotiating a new lease for a flagship store in a leading shopping centre.

Belgium > Employment Tier 4

Julien Hick leads the employment and pensions team at AKD, which advises on issues including dismissals, union negotiations, and the implementation of new working practices. Hick has broad experience in corporate employment matters, and is supported by senior associate Heleen Franco.

Practice head(s):

Julien Hick

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘AKD is always available and you get feedback on your query in a very short time. They respond quickly to any situation. They think ahead of a situation/question to leave the final choice with the client.’

‘The team is very hands on and pragmatic.’

‘AKD delivers high-quality services by being very client-oriented and quick to respond. Their excellent communication skills (the team is fluently trilingual) makes the collaboration a pleasure.’

‘Julien Hick is an outstanding expert and trusted advisor. He is very involved in every project and goes the extra mile.’

‘Always reachable, always ready to find a solution adapted to the clients, exceptional knowledge in different areas of expertise.’

‘Julien Hick and Heleen Franco are very pleasant to work with. Straight to the point. No waffling and they deliver in line with expectations. Strong follow-up.’ 

‘Never any surprises. They deliver according to the time-frame required. Proactive in relation to changes to the law.’

‘AKD is a very fine law practice. Heleen Franco and Julien Hick are very capable of making the complexities of Belgian labour legislation clear, simple and concise. Their service is always good and fast.’

Key clients

AG Real Estate

Medtronic

Spadel

Ncardia

Chemviron (part of Kuraray group)

Work highlights

  • Assisted several multinational companies with the implementation of a structural hybrid work programme, combining remote and office work.
  • Assisted a multinational offshore pipelaying company with a reorganisation exercise.
  • Assisted a multinational medical devices company in negotiations regarding the implementation of industry-level collective bargaining agreements on mandatory salary increases.

Belgium > Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 6

AKD focuses on cross-border transactions and projects work, handling M&A for clients in a variety of industries including financial services, chemicals, and tech, as well as advising funds and sellers on international private equity investments, equity raisings, and buy-and-build strategies. The team is led by Timothy Speelman, who has expertise in M&A, private equity deals, and corporate governance.

Practice head(s):

Timothy Speelman

Testimonials

‘Timothy Speelman: Excellent competence, very experienced, quick reaction times, technology expertise.’

Key clients

ING Belgium

Ncardia

Eurofins

CWS International

DFDS

Alcadon Group

Dessange

Remia

Ansul

Ammega

Dunas Resources

AKD is a leading Benelux law firm with offices in Brussels, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. With a team of 470 committed lawyers, tax lawyers and staff, it delivers high quality legal services based on a full-service approach. Its client base varies from large multinational companies to family-owned businesses, from financial institutions to high net worth individuals, and from the semi-public sector to listed entities.

From our Brussels office, our firm is perfectly positioned to assist any company in the Benelux that is doing business with the rest of the world, or companies from, for example, Asia or the US that are, or want to be, active in the Benelux.

We provide our clients with Belgian, Dutch and Luxembourg legal and tax advice with regard to, for example, corporate and M&A, real estate, IP, ICT, data privacy and security and commercial litigation.

Department Name Email Telephone
EU Law, Procurement Law & Competition Pieter Kuypers pkuypers@akd.eu +31 88 253 5083
Banking & Finance Hubert André-Dumont handredumont@akd.eu +32 2 629 4260
Corporate/M&A Timothy Speelman tspeelman@akd.eu +32 2 629 42 54
Tax Werner Heyvaert wheyvaert@akd.eu +32 2 629 42 88
IP & IP/Data protection & Privacy Paul van den Bulck pvandenbulck@akd.eu +32 2 629 42 39
Real estate and Construction Steven Ongena songena@akd.eu +32 2 629 42 28
Real estate Simon Ceulemans sceulemans@akd.eu +32 2 629 4250
Real estate and Construction Pol Cools pcools@akd.eu +32 2 629 42 16
Employment & Pensions Julien Hick jhick@akd.eu +32 2 629 4253

AKD is a leading Benelux law firm with offices in Brussels, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. With over 500 committed lawyers, tax lawyers and staff, it delivers high quality legal services based on a full-service approach. Its client base varies from large multinational companies to family-owned businesses, from financial institutions to high-net-worth individuals, and from the semi-public sector to listed entities.

From our Brussels office, our firm is perfectly positioned to assist any company in the Benelux that is doing business with the rest of the world, or companies from, for example, Asia or the US that are, or want to be, active in the Benelux.

We provide our clients with Belgian, Dutch and Luxembourg legal and tax advice with regard to, for example, corporate and M&A, employment, real estate, IP, ICT, data privacy and security and commercial litigation.

Department Name Email Telephone
Corporate/M&A, Private equity Timothy Speelman tspeelman@akd.eu +32 2 629 42 54
Tax Werner Heyvaert wheyvaert@akd.eu +32 474 01 13 63
IP & IT, Data protection & Privacy, Compliance & Integrity Paul van den Bulck pvandenbulck@akd.eu +32 2 629 42 39
Real estate and Construction, Commercial contracting, Litigation Steven Ongena songena@akd.eu +32 473 25 42 28
Real estate Simon Ceulemans sceulemans@akd.eu +32 484 50 61 37
Real estate and Construction, Commercial contracting, Litigation Pol Cools pcools@akd.eu +32 2 629 42 16
Employment Julien Hick jhick@akd.eu +32 477 65 80 07
EU law, Competition & Regulation, Public procurement, International litigation Pieter Kuypers pkuypers@akd.eu +32 496 12 21 94

AKD strengthens its energy practice with the arrival of Thomas Chellingsworth, Christine Delagaye and Laura Pellens

AKD has recruited a leading energy team to strengthen its energy practice. Hiring this team, consisting of partner Thomas Chellingsworth, counsel Christine Delagaye and associate Laura Pellens, underscores AKD's focus on the energy and climate transition and its commitment to supporting energy players in the challenges they will face over the decades ahead.

AKD elects new board

AKD has elected a new board. Carlos Pita Cao and Jan Kromhout have joined the board, with Carlos succeeding Erwin Rademakers as the firm's managing partner.

AKD expands tax practice in Belgium with the appointment of Frédéricq Jacquet as partner

AKD has taken on Frédéricq Jacquet for its tax practice as of 3 July 2023.

AKD welcomes five new partners

AKD has announced the appointment of five new partners in its Dutch and Luxembourg offices. Managing partner Erwin Rademakers: "We are immensely proud to have witnessed the strong growth of these new partners over the past few years.

AKD expands Belgian Banking & Finance capabilities with lateral partner Antoine De Raeve

AKD announces that Antoine De Raeve has joined the firm’s Belgian Banking & Finance team on 1 May 2023.

AKD further strengthens its Corporate & M&A practice with the hire of Wouter Kros as a partner

Leading law firm AKD Benelux Lawyers welcomes Wouter Kros as partner into its Corporate / M&A practice as of 1 June 2022. Wouter joins AKD from Loyens & Loeff, where he worked for 14 years covering M&A work for public and private companies. He has a strong track record of domestic and cross-border transactions where he has acted for clients including financial sponsors and corporates.

Ludo Luijks joins AKD’s M&A Tax team

AKD Benelux Lawyers has announced the appointment of Ludo Luijks as a partner in its growing international M&A Tax team. Ludo will join the team on 1 November.

Benelux firm AKD appoints partners: Passing the baton to the next generation

AKD Benelux lawyers has appointed five new partners, four of them "home-grown”, managing partner Erwin Rademakers clarifies. “It gives immense pleasure to see colleagues developing and, as next-generation partners, contributing to building the future of our firm.” 

AKD continues to expand in Brussels: Julien Hick appointed employment law partner

AKD Benelux lawyers is delighted to announce the appointment of Julien Hick as partner in Brussels.

Yann Hilpert appointed partner at AKD in Luxembourg

AKD Benelux lawyers is delighted to announce the appointment of Yann Hilpert as partner in Luxembourg.

Conny Staudt takes on partnership at AKD Benelux lawyers, “back to her roots”

Pieter Huys, who leads the team, comments: “We are thrilled to welcome Conny at AKD. Coming at a time where flexible employment has become a hot topic, her expertise in this field neatly complements our own expertise. Earlier this year, the Balanced Labour Market Act (Wet Arbeidsmarkt in Balans) came into force, the purpose of which Act is to make flexible employment less flexible and steady employment less steady. We find that this new legislation has given rise to many questions from our clients, duly aggravated by the uncertainties thrown up by the Covid-19 crisis. Conny's expertise and experience add real value to our team”.

AKD adds six new partners to Benelux footprint

AKD has appointed six new partners in Belgium and the Netherlands. Following the appointment of three new partners in Luxembourg earlier this year, AKD thus further increases its Benelux footprint.


Benelux law firm AKD expands with McGuireWoods’ Brussels team

Benelux law firm AKD expands its Brussels office by adding McGuireWoods’ Brussels team, following AKD’s strategy to be the first choice full-service legal and tax services provider in the Benelux. The incoming team consists of partners Hubert André-Dumont, Paul van den Bulck, Timothy Speelman, Steven Ongena, counsel Pol Cools, and four associates.