Firm Profile > Lydian > Brussels, Belgium

Lydian
TOUR & TAXIS
HAVENLAAN, AVENUE DU PORT 86C, B113
1000 BRUSSELS
Belgium

Insurance Tier 1

Lydian, which fields a circa 16-strong team, is the pre-eminent firm in Belgium for insurance law. Jointly led by industry heavyweights Hugo Keulers and Sandra Lodewijckx, the team offers enviable coverage of the market, including all areas of insurance, life and non-life insurance, and matters such as policy wording, the distribution of products and compliance, among many others. Keulers and senior associate Héloïse Fostier have been assisting Beluga Insurance Solutions NV and Integro Insurance Brokers Limited with the planning and execution of a strategy to counter the impact of a possible hard Brexit. On the contentious side, Keulers has handled most of the largest insurance disputes in Belgium over a period spanning more than 15 years. In addition to acting for most of the largest insurance companies with operations in Belgium, the firm generates mandates from insurance intermediaries, brokers, loss adjusters and insurance pools. Counsel Jo Willems and senior associate Marijn De Ruysscher are also recommended. Anne Catteau joined QBE Europe.

Testimonials

I really appreciate the proactiveness and responsiveness of the team members, and their professionalism in case management. In addition to having legal expertise, Hugo Keulers is an excellent coordinator and manager

We work with Lydian on a regular basis and appreciate the firm for its combination of regulatory and substantive insurance law capability. We do not know of any other Belgian firm with its breadth of practice in the insurance sector. Sandra Lodewijckx is our main contact and she is a very knowledgeable and intelligent attorney

Hugo Keulers is a very experienced lawyer and has vast legal knowledge. He is excellent at pointing out what matters and determining the right strategy in files. Sandra Lodewijckx is also a very experienced lawyer and she is very client-minded. Jo Willems is always keen on giving you the best service, and as quickly as possible

We use Lydian for all insurance-related issues in Belgium. Its team is very efficient, effective and user-friedly. Our go-to person is Hugo Keulers, who is always available to assist and point us in the right direction. He has unrivalled knowledge of the insurance market in Belgium

It is the number one insurance team in Belgium. Hugo Keulers has enormous standing in the market

Key clients

AIG Europe Ltd

HDI-Gerling Verzekeringen NV

XL Catlin / XL Catlin Insurance Company SE / XL Catlin Services SE, now Financial Insurance Company c/o AXA

Amlin Insurance SE

Zurich Insurance Plc

CNA Insurance Company Ltd

Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance (Global)

Aon Belgium BVBA/Aon Consulting Belgium NV

Ergo Insurance NV

Ethias SA

Belfius Insurance NV

Baloise Belgium NV

AEGON NV

Qover NV

Allianz Global Corporate

P&V Verzekeringen CVBA

SEB Life International Assurance Company

Dual Corporate Risks Ltd.

ARAG SE – Branch Belgium

DAS Belgische Rechtsbijstandsverzekering

FWU Life Insurance Luxembourg S.A.

Hiscox Europe Underwriting Limited

STIB-MIVB

TVM België N.V.

Liberty Mutual Group

Beluga Insurance Solutions NV

Alta Signa Group

Immoweb Financial Services SA

Arva

DKV

Dispute resolution Tier 2

Lydian has 'solid expertise in dispute resolution', with established expertise in insurance litigation. Commercial and corporate disputes, product liability cases, construction litigation and arbitration are included in the team's recent caseload. 'Team player' Hugo Keulers jointly heads the practice with Annick Mottet Haugaard. Counsel Jo Willems 'combines technical expertise with commercial skills and the ability to translate complex issues into simple solutions'.

Testimonials

They are a very responsive team, thorough and efficient‘.

Lydian provides an excellent service‘.

Hugo Keulers stands out. He obviously has very good knowledge about the insurance market and incredible skills within this field‘.

Jo Willems is a highly skilled lawyer with expertise in dispute resolution and commercial contracts‘.

Key clients

Zurich Insurance

CooperSurgical

Ethias

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty

AIG Europe

Employment Tier 2

Lydian's team is 'very practical in its approach, help clients immediately further with the next step and always available for urgent and quick questions'. Pensions work has formed the backbone of the recent workload for the group; other instructions include high-end dismissal cases, contentious work, collective dismissals and compliance matters. The 'very responsive' Jan Hofkens jointly heads the practice with pensions law expert Alexander Vandenbergen.

Testimonials

They are practical, to the point, co-operative and always available and easy to reach‘.

Key clients

Henrad

Sabam

Baloise

British American Tobacco

Scandinavian Tobacco Group

The Walt Disney Company

Nike

Environment Tier 2

Lydian's environmental practice, which is led by Wouter Neven, covers advice on permits, waste, contaminated properties and PFI/PPP projects (particularly in the water, waste and waste water fields). It also handles the environmental aspects of corporate, finance and real estate transactions. In addition, on the contentious side, environment-related litigation and enforcement also drive the workload. Reflective of the practice's high-end reputation outside of Belgium, it generates mandates from large overseas-headquartered corporates and international law firms but also acts for Belgian companies and public sector organisations. Recent highlights included Neven and senior associate Kyoto Van Herreweghe advising BNP Paribas Fortis on the environmental permit requirements connected with the establishment of its new headquarters in the centre of Brussels. Neven and Van Herreweghe are also representing Autonome Raad van het Gemeenschapsonderwijs (GO!)/Autonomous Council for Community Education in proceedings before the Flemish Council for Permit Disputes over the construction and operation of a school in Flanders. In January 2019, Iris Hemelaer and Bruno Stroobants made counsels, while Mehdy Abbas Khayli was promoted to senior associate.

Key clients

A&U Energie NV

Aleris Cooperation

Almafin Real Estate NV

Autonome Raad van het Gemeenschapsonderwijs (GO!) = Autonomous Council for Community Education “GO”

Belasco NV

BNP Paribas Fortis

Coordinatie Organisatie Constructie NV

Curon BVBA

DCA NV

DEMOCO NV

Flemish transportation company De Lijn

Gemeente Wemmel

Hugo en Jo Vanderschoot-Rutten

Iresco NV

KBC Verzekeringen NV

Kolmont Woonprojecten NV

Lumipaper NV

Michelmersh Brick Holdings PLC=

Nike Europe Holding BV

Norton Rose Fulbright LLP

Orrion Chemicals Regen BVBA

Schäfer Kalk Gmbh

Sting BVBA

Stora Enso Langerbrugge NV

Total

Visser & Smit Hanab

Vivalto Home Belgium SA

VK Engineering N.V.

Water-link ov

Fraud and white-collar crime Tier 2

Lydian fields a multidisciplinary compliance and internal investigations team, which is particularly active across employee fraud including privacy issues, whistle-blowing and dismissal for cause, insurance fraud and contractual fraud; the team is also frequently instructed by Belgian companies to handle internal investigations and litigation. The group includes practice co-heads Hugo Keulers and Jan Hofkens in Brussels, who focus on insurance fraud and employment matters respectively, and Antwerp-based co-head Yves Lenders, who specialises in issues relating to the criminal liability of directors and contractual fraud.

Intellectual property Tier 2

Annick Mottet Haugaard leads the IP team at Lydian, which has 'great knowledge of IP law' and is adept at handling copyright, design and trade mark litigation, notably for well-known clients drawn from the luxury goods sector. Bastiaan Bruyndonckx and counsel Olivia Santantonio are noted.

Key clients

Burberry

Toyota

BattleKart

Ferrari

Audemars Piguet

Real estate and construction Tier 2

The 'reliable and professional' team at Lydian provides 'in-depth advice across a wide range of real estate matters', and has established expertise in acting for international and national clients on both investor and developer-side mandates. Practice head Wouter Neven has 'a pragmatic attitude' and 'displays an excellent ability to manage complex real estate matters'. Counsel Bruno Stroobants is 'very proactive and knowledgeable'.

Testimonials

Wouter Neven is a good communicator and able to articulate issues succinctly‘.

Key clients

BNP Paribas Fortis

SVR-Architects

Democo

Vivalto Home Belgium

Kairos NV

Jansen Building Company

Banking, finance and capital markets Tier 3

Under the leadership of practice head Tom GeudensLydian has become a well-established player in the Belgian banking and finance market, as is evidenced by its work for domestic and international financial institutions, corporates and investment funds. In addition to generating work on a standalone basis, the firm also works closely with many international law firms, where it serves as Belgian counsel to both sponsors and lenders. Although the firm covers the full range of transactional work, it is particularly well-known for its strengths in asset-based lending, asset finance, trade and export finance and project finance. Geudens and others recently acted for ING Bank on its €240m asset-based financing to NLMK Plates. The firm also handles both debt and equity capital markets mandates. In addition, the workload is extremely varied on the regulatory side. Recent highlights have included advising clients on the registration, marketing and distribution of UCITS and non-UCITS funds in Belgium, as well as handling regulatory issues associated with payment services and corporate card activities. Pieterjan Van Assche joined BNY Mellon.

Testimonials

Tom Geudens is our go to Belgian lawyer for banking and finance work. He works across a number of different areas of banking and is aware of what clients in the London market are looking for, and adopts the necessary commercial approach in his advice

They are always very receptive and advice received is always concise, to the point and easy to handle

Tom Geudens is a first-class operator with a deep understanding of the law and the kind of issues which really matter to clients. He is supported by a strong team of associates

Key clients

Deutsche Bank

Wells Fargo London

Accell Group

Sligro Food Group

J.P. Morgan

Compass Bank

CME Group

Rent of Port

The House of HR

ING Bank

BNP Paribas

Bank of Montreal

Argenta Bank

Bank Nagelmackers

KBC Bank

ING Belgium

Citi Group

KBR Services

Total

Rabobank

ABN AMRO Bank

ING Belgium

Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 3

The corporate and finance team at Lydian attracts praise for its 'deal experience, knowledge and pragmatic approach', and is active across a broad range of sectors and counts ASIT Biotech, Michelmersh Brick Holdings and Secufund among its new clients. Peter De Ryck, who splits his time between Brussels and Antwerp, heads up the team alongside Patrick della Faille; De Ryck has particular experience in private equity and real estate transactions, while della Faille is a key name for distressed companies, which he advises on judicial restructuring mandates.

Testimonials

A balanced team which is able to provide the full range of services and best value for money on smaller M&A deals.

The team is methodical and clear in their advice.

Peter De Ryck has excellent negotiation skills.

Peter de Ryck and senior associate Elske Bleeker stand out.

Key clients

Naxicap Partners

The House of HR NV

Michelmersh Brick Holdings plc

Technicolor

Platinum Invest

Deutsche Flugsicherung

JP Morgan

Vivalto Home

3T Finance

ASIT Biotech SA

Alantra

FPB Invest SPRL

Battlekart

TUS International Ltd

E-Capital

Berkshire Partners LLC

LabCorp

Secufund

Hunter Douglas

Knorr-Bremse SfS

CityJet DAC

Dana

Vivalto

Industry focus: IT and telecoms Tier 3

Lydian's information and communications technology team is highlighted for its telecoms sector expertise and handles transactional, advisory and contentious matters for its client roster, which includes Orange Belgium and Deutsche Telekom. The group frequently receives referrals from foreign firms and benefits from its ability to work closely with lawyers in the firm's employment, tax, corporate, intellectual property and commercial teams. Bastiaan Bruyndonckx heads up the practice and has expertise across telecoms, privacy, data protection and cybersecurity mandates.

Testimonials

In-depth knowledge of the various legal topics within this domain, with good availability, a diverse team which can handle a lot and employ a pragmatic approach.

Lydian’s approach is more personable than other firms in our network. They’ll take time to understand the intricacies of our way of working.

Bastiaan Bruyndonckx is hands on and a pleasure to work with.

Bastiaan Bruyndonckx and Olivia Santantonio helped us understand the obligations for GDPR compliance and have helped us to navigate data breaches. They are pragmatic and business-minded, and I appreciate their ability to apply the theory of the law in a realistic way to our business.

Key clients

Plivo Inc.

Orange Belgium NV

Megaport Ltd.

Temasek

Orange Belgium NV

Deutsche Telekom AG

Deutsche Telekom AG

Morrison & Foerster LLP

MetaSwitch Networks Ltd.

Deutsche Telekom AG

Industry focus: Transport Tier 3

Lydian's transport practice is singled out for its expertise in port projects, port developments, railway accidents and logistics outsourcing projects. The group handles commercial and contentious matters for its clients, which include STIB-MIVB and Lineas Group, and works closely with the other departments including the employment, public law and M&A teams. Yves Lenders, who is particularly active in railway sector litigation, heads up the team.

Key clients

Lineas

Lineas Group

Port + NV

STIB-MIVB

Insolvency and restructuring Tier 3

Lydian's insolvency and restructuring team is highlighted for its strength in corporate restructurings and reorganisations, workforce restructurings and issues arising from the recovery of assets from distressed companies. Litigator Yves Lenders and corporate and finance expert Patrick della Faille jointly head up the practice; Lenders represents directors, shareholders and creditors in insolvency proceedings, while della Faille assists companies with judicial restructurings.

Testimonials

On top of being a very good lawyer, Patrick della Faille is a financial analyst, hence he has the capacity to understand IFRS and accounting manipulations much better than a lawyer without this financial expertise. Patrick is able to understand sophisticated fraud that would otherwise look benign.

Patrick della Faille has the gift to be able to explain with simple words complex fraud and accounting manipulations to non-financial experts.

Key clients

De Rouck Geomatics

Mensura

Verona

Desmedt Ballestra

Prefarails

Team Kalorik

The firm: Lydian is a full-service Belgian business law firm with an Anglo-Saxon approach to practising law. Through a fine blend of transactional law expertise and litigation skills, we deliver straight to-the-point solutions that add true value.

We listen to what is important and provide practical and personalised advice in a constantly changing world. That requires fresh thinking and tech savviness combined with proven experience. We believe that when knowledge travels, opportunities arise. We think client-focused, act fast and speak frankly in a language that you understand. We make sense, not nonsense. Expect accessible personalities, open minds and a pragmatic bullet point approach.

From our offices in Brussels, Antwerp and Hasselt, we work as an extension of your team. Our lawyers cherish a close client-lawyer relationship, while their sophisticated approach outperforms the service of many competitors. Lydian believes in integrity, authenticity and consistency.

Our mission is to find solutions through excellent legal insight and strong business instinct. That is how we exceed expectations, deliver consistent results and forge long-term relationships with industry leaders.

Areas of practice: Lydian advises on a broad range of Belgian business law matters, including corporate matters, commercial matters, intellectual property (IP) law, information and communication technology (ICT), information governance and data protection (privacy) law, dispute resolution, employment, real estate, regulatory matters and tax.

The firm’s lawyers have specialised expertise in the fields of finance, insolvency and restructuring, energy, public sector, insurance and reinsurance, life sciences and healthcare, outsourcing, ports and logistics, pensions, real estate development, investments and telecommunications, media and technology (TMT).

For more information, visit www.lydian.be

Department Name Email Telephone
Commercial and litigation Annick Mottet Haugaard
Commercial and litigation Hugo Keulers
Commercial and litigation Yves Lenders
Commercial and litigation Sandra Lodewijckx
Commercial and litigation Bastiaan Bruyndonckx
Commercial and litigation Jo Willems
Corporate Peter De Ryck
Dispute resolution Hugo Keulers
Dispute resolution Annick Mottet Haugaard
Dispute resolution Yves Lenders
Dispute resolution Jo Willems
Employment, pensions and benefits Jan Hofkens
Employment, pensions and benefits Alexander Vandenbergen
Employment, pensions and benefits Isabel Plets
Employment, pensions and benefits Jurgen De Vreese
Finance Tom Geudens
Intellectual property (IP) Annick Mottet Haugaard
Information and communication technology (ICT) Bastiaan Bruyndonckx
Information governance and data protection Bastiaan Bruyndonckx
Information governance and data protection Annick Mottet Haugaard
Information governance and data protection Isabel Plets
Insurance Hugo Keulers
Insurance Sandra Lodewijckx
Ports and logistics Yves Lenders
Real estate, environment and regulatory Wouter Neven
Real estate, environment and regulatory Jens Debièvre
Tax Geert De Neef
Photo Name Position Profile
Mrs Kato Aerts  photo Mrs Kato Aerts
Mrs Eveline Ankaert  photo Mrs Eveline Ankaert
Mr Bastiaan Bruyndonckx  photo Mr Bastiaan Bruyndonckx
Mrs Florence Colpaert  photo Mrs Florence Colpaert
Mr Geert De Neef  photo Mr Geert De Neef
 Marijn De Ruysscher photo Marijn De Ruysscher
Mr Peter De Ryck  photo Mr Peter De Ryck
Mr Jurgen De Vreese  photo Mr Jurgen De Vreese
Mr Jens Debièvre  photo Mr Jens Debièvre
Mrs Lore Derdeyn  photo Mrs Lore Derdeyn
Mrs Héloïse Fostier  photo Mrs Héloïse Fostier
Mr Tom Geudens  photo Mr Tom Geudens
Mrs Iris Hemelaer  photo Mrs Iris Hemelaer
Mr Jan Hofkens  photo Mr Jan Hofkens
 Caroline Hoste photo Caroline Hoste
Mr Hugo Keulers  photo Mr Hugo Keulers
Mr Yves Lenders  photo Mr Yves Lenders
Mrs Sandra Lodewijckx  photo Mrs Sandra Lodewijckx
Mrs Annick Mottet Haugaard  photo Mrs Annick Mottet Haugaard
Mr Wouter Neven  photo Mr Wouter Neven
Ms Isabel Plets  photo Ms Isabel Plets
 Olivia Santantonio photo Olivia Santantonio
Mr Bruno Stroobants  photo Mr Bruno Stroobants
Mr Alexander Vandenbergen  photo Mr Alexander Vandenbergen
Mr Jo Willems  photo Mr Jo Willems
Number of lawyers : 85
Dutch
English
French
German
Spanish
Other offices : Antwerp
Other offices : Hasselt

Jan Hofkens, Partner

The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence.

What has been your greatest achievement, in a professional and personal capability?

In a law firm, it is all about teamwork and people. You can only deliver high quality services to your clients when you have a strong team of experienced and talented lawyers around you. I am very proud of the team of 17 employment lawyers that we have created over the years, which is known for is hard and qualitative work, but where we also have a lot of fun. This team allows us to tackle the most complex employment issues and handle very demanding projects within tight timeframes. I consider this as one of the greatest achievements in my career.

What do you do differently from your peers in the industry?

We consider ourselves as business partners to our clients. We are not only there to give the correct legal input (this is the Olympic minimum), but we go the extra mile and always try to translate the complex legal framework into practical and useful solutions. We take into account the clients specific needs, the company culture, the industrial relations and the client’s business goals. Straight and to-the-point advice is the hallmark of Lydian, and we try to prove this every day.

I am often more a sounding board for my clients, discussing the tactical approach in a file and the way forward. We invest a lot in long-term relationships with clients, which allows us to put the client’s questions always in a broader perspective.

Moreover, we consider employment law not as a niche on its own, but embedded in the broader legal landscape. There are always connections with other areas, such as corporate law, commercial contracts, criminal law, etc. Being part of a full service law firm allows our team of employment lawyers to include these aspects in the advice to our clients, which ultimately results in better and more complete advice.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. The legal profession is challenging and not always easy, but you can learn fast if you are open to new challenges. As employment lawyers, you are dealing with one of the most (if not the most) important assets of a company, and involved in the core business of the client. It allows you to get involved in various types of companies in different industries, which broadens your experience and views. Be open for these experiences, and, last but not least, enjoy!

Can you give me a practical example of how you helped a client add value to the business?

Good social relations are crucial for a company to deliver better business results. I dare to say that we contribute to these social relations in our daily advisory, especially when we are involved in difficult restructuring projects. Getting the project done within a tight timeframe, at the budgeted cost and without (too much) industrial nuisance, is of great value to our clients.

For some international clients, we set up a customized alliance of law firms to service their international needs in various countries. This is always done with the help of our good friends, and our strong relations with law firms in other countries which are crucial to make this a success. We have developed IT tools and platforms to facilitate such alliances, which streamlines the work for the client, making our services more transparent and contributes to knowledge sharing and quality improvement. Ultimately this results in more efficiency and lower legal spend. Being able to propose and implement such an approach to international needs, strengthens the long-term relation with the client, and results in better performance of legal services.

Within your sector, what do you think will be the biggest challenge for clients over the next 12 months?

The war for talent is back: there is a shortage on the labour market, especially for a large number of so-called bottleneck positions. This is a growing challenge for many employers, and will inevitably have an impact on recruitment and the way employers deal with their workforce. It triggers issues such as hiring employees from other countries to get the job done, investing in life-long training and education, wellbeing at the workplace, diversity in the workforce, new forms of employment beyond the traditional borders of employer subordination, etc. New concepts will have to be developed to structure the more flexible employment relation for a younger generation with different expectations, approach, attitude and work ethics. We help our clients to think out of the box and design the workforce of the future.

Wouter Neven, Partner

The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence.

What has been your greatest achievement, in a professional and personal capability?

In the fast-paced and competitive world of real estate in which our clients have to do business, they need confidence, pragmatism and speed. We succeed in delivering this with high quality services to our clients thanks to a strong, motivated and well-oiled team of experienced and talented lawyers. I am very proud of the great team of more than 20 highly motivated real estate lawyers that we have built up over the years. The team hangs together tremendously and is known in the market for its hard work and high quality work, but we also enjoy it a lot. The client feels this fantastic atmosphere and can appreciate it enormously. This team enables us to tackle the most complex real estate issues and handle very demanding projects within tight deadlines. I consider this to be one of the greatest achievements of my career.

What do you do differently from your peers in the industry?

We consider ourselves business partners for our customers. Not only are we there to provide the right legal input (this is the Olympic minimum), but we always go the extra mile and try to translate the complex legal framework into practical and usable solutions. We take into account the specific needs of the client, the corporate culture, the market and the client’s business objectives. Direct and to-the-point advice is Lydian’s trademark, and we try to prove it every day.

I am also very often a sounding board for my clients, discussing the tactical approach in a case and the way forward. We invest a lot in long-term relationships with clients, so we can always put the client’s questions in a broader perspective.

We also often offer our clients business opportunities. When we see these, we contact our clients and bring them into contact with other players. They appreciate this enormously.

We will also put the interests of our clients first in every advice and also take a position. Clients don’t expect long advice where they don’t know which direction to take at the end of it. We really help them to choose and always dare to take a position, which customers greatly appreciate.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. The legal profession is challenging and not always easy, but you can learn quickly if you are open to new challenges. The real estate world is a hard world where everything goes very fast. You can live and work at 200km/hour with your clients. Be open to these experiences and, last but not least, enjoy them!

But also make room and certainly time for the friendships that also exist in this world. The real estate world consists of many fascinating people and you can work with them and/or be friends in a fantastic experience.

Can you give me a practical example of how helped a client add value to the business?

In the real estate world, being able to respond quickly to opportunities is crucial. Seeing in time (preferably before competitors) is also crucial for a real estate company to achieve better operating results. I dare to say that in our daily advice we contribute to the quick discovery and/or secureness of these opportunities.

For some international clients, we set up a customized alliance of law firms to service their international needs in various countries. This is always done with the help of our good friends, and our strong relations with law firms in other countries which are crucial to make this a success. We have developed IT tools and platforms to facilitate such alliances, which streamlines the work for the client, making our services more transparent and contributes to knowledge sharing and quality improvement. Ultimately this results in more efficiency and lower legal spend. Being able to propose and implement such an approach to international needs, strengthens the long-term relation with the client, and results in better performance of legal services.

Within your sector, what do you think will be the biggest challenge for clients over the next 12 months?

The challenge for the next 12 months is the financial crisis. The corona virus has turned the world completely upside down. The question is how financing and transactions will evolve even further.

Not only the owners but also the users of commercial real estate are hit hard by this crisis.

Everyone will have to do their part. This will be a huge challenge for the real estate world and the business world in general.