Firm Profile > Lydian > Brussels, Belgium
TOUR & TAXIS
HAVENLAAN, AVENUE DU PORT 86C, B113
Lydian > The Legal 500 Rankings
Insurance Tier 1
Lydian's 'internationally-focused' team 'knows the market' and is 'unique in Belgium in its knowledge about jurisprudence, case law and compliance in the insurance business'. Working alongside 'top-class international insurance lawyer' Hugo Keulers, are Sandra Lodewijckx and counsel Anne Catteau, who are 'always accessible and open-minded'. In addition, counsel Jo Willems, and senior associates Marijn De Ruysscher and Héloïse Fostier, are highly regarded. Keulers is well-known for his involvement in most of the largest and high-value insurance disputes in Belgium in the last 15 years. His expertise includes areas such as product liability, D&O, advance loss of profit insurance and all risk property. Lodewijckx's background in private practice is complemented by her previous experience of working at ING Insurance (now Vivium). She assists clients with issues such as the distribution of insurance products, regulatory compliance, corporate governance and reviews of policy wording, among other matters. The team's recent work included advising CNA on the Belgian law aspects relating to its clinical trial insurance policy, product liability policy and professional insurance policy. Another highlight involved assisting insurtech company Qover with the policy wording of its products, and also with cooperation agreements with third parties, such as Immoweb and Deliveroo. The firm also acts for HDI Global SE, XL Catlin, Hiscox and AIG, among others.
Dispute resolution Tier 2
The 'solution-driven' and 'client-focused' team at Lydian is well known for its strength in insurance litigation, and reports an uptick in product liability disputes from the life sciences sector. Other areas of instruction include construction litigation, white-collar crime matters, commercial and corporate disputes and competition litigation. The 'always available' Hugo Keulers heads the practice; Yves Lenders, Sandra Lodewijckx and Annick Mottet Haugaard are other key names. The firm is acting for the Belgian subsidiary of Vivaldi Biosciences in a dispute relating to an alleged process development and manufacturing agreement between the client and biomanufacturing company Univercells.
Employment Tier 2
Lydian's 'very responsive' team is singled out for its 'very dynamic spirit and client-focused approach'. Jan Hofkens is 'a great employment lawyer'; he jointly heads the practice with the 'outstanding' Alexander Vandenbergen, who is the key name for pensions work. In a major highlight, the team assisted the Flemish Department of Integration with a prominent transition project, which involved the collective dismissal of over 180 employees.
Environment Tier 2
Lydian is a destination firm in its own right for environmental work from large and mid-sized Belgian and international companies, as well as public sector entities. It also generates a significant amount of referral work from international law firms, thanks to the full-service capabilities of its team in corporate transactional work, enforcement of environmental law, litigation, advisory/counselling and energy regulatory matters. Practice head Wouter Neven, along with senior associate Kyoto Van Herreweghe, is advising Total on the environmental law issues associated with the expansion of its current site at the port of Antwerp. Senior associate Iris Hemelaer is another notable individual.
Fraud and white-collar crime Tier 2
Employment, insurance and criminal law are core areas of expertise for Lydian's cross-practice fraud and white-collar crime team. Nike is a key client. Jan Hofkens, Yves Lenders and Hugo Keulers are the names to note.
Intellectual property Tier 2
Trade mark litigation is a core strength of Lydian's IP practice, notably in the area of counterfeiting disputes; recent work includes acting for Gucci in a dispute regarding the counterfeit use of the brand name. Other clients include Burberry, Chanel and Toyota. Annick Mottet Haugaard heads the department, in which Bastiaan Bruyndonckx and senior associate Olivia Santantonio are other key names.
Real estate and construction Tier 2
Lydian's real estate practice has a strong focus on developer and investor clients at a national and international level. Department head Wouter Neven has expertise in property transactions, and is known for handling commercial, retail, residential and office developments; he is leading the advice to BNP Paribas Fortis on the ongoing construction of the company's new headquarters in Brussels. Senior associate Bruno Stroobants is also recommended.
Lydian acts for clients on a standalone basis, and also works closely with international law firms on cross-border matters. Led by Tom Geudens, its 'accessible' team has a particularly first-rate reputation in asset-based lending, asset finance, project finance, and trade and export finance. Its workload is broader, and also covers other areas, such as acquisition/leveraged finance, real estate finance, bond issuances and bank regulatory work. In a recent highlight, Geudens and senior associate Pieterjan Van Assche were among the advisers to Naxicap and The House of HR on a €680m financing transaction - arranged by JP Morgan, ING Bank, KBC Bank and KKR Corporate Lending - which was part of a global restructuring of The House of HR group. Another matter involved Geudens, Patrick Della Faille, van Assche and senior associate Virginie Bazelmans acting for elderly care homes operator Vivalto Home Belgium on a €101m private placement of notes. Investment funds are another area of strength, with members of the group assisting clients such as Pine Bridge and Aviva Investors with navigating the Belgian regulatory aspects of registering, offering and marketing UCITS and non-UCITS funds. Elsewhere, entities such as Airplus Lufthansa and TakeAway.com instruct the firm on matters related to payment services, consumer credit and related regulatory issues. Counsel Caroline Hoste is a recent hire from Jan De Nul Group, while Pieter Meeus has departed the firm to become a legal counsel at AG Insurance.
The corporate and finance department at Lydian handles a range of domestic and international transactions. The group assisted Novelis with the Belgian aspects of its $2.5bn acquisition of Aleris Corporation, which was structured as a reverse triangular merger, whereby a newly established Novelis subsidiary merged with Aleris Corporation forming the Belgian entity Aleris Aluminum Duffel. The department also acted for private equity fund Naxicap Partners on the Europe-wide restructuring of the House of HR group. Peter De Ryck jointly heads the team with Patrick della Faille.
Bastiaan Bruyndonckx heads the information and communication technology group at Lydian, which acts for technology companies and corporates in other sectors on a variety of IT-related matters. It assisted Airspan Spectrum Holdings with obtaining a 4G spectrum licence in Belgium through the acquisition of a Voyacom from Datang Telecom. The group is also advising Orange on several matters, including on its substantial second generation IT outsourcing project. Getronics, Osudio and Thales are among its new clients.
Industry focus: Transport Tier 3
Yves Lenders heads the ports and logistics team at Lydian which has experience assisting clients with development and outsourcing projects as well as in related litigation. The group also has experience handling claims following rail accidents.
Insolvency and restructuring Tier 3
The insolvency and restructuring team at Lydian handles a range of reorganisations, M&A transactions and liquidation proceedings. The team was instructed by Verona, and a Belgium private equity fund as shareholder, in the judicial reorganisation of the company. Key names to note include Yves Lenders and Patrick della Faille, who are regularly instructed by creditors and in liquidations respectively.
Lydian > Firm Profile
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
|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|
|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|
|Ports and logistics||Yves Lenders|
|Real estate, environment and regulatory||Wouter Neven|
|Real estate, environment and regulatory||Jens Debièvre|
|Tax||Geert De Neef|
Staff FiguresNumber of lawyers : 85
LanguagesDutch English French German Spanish
OtherOther offices : Antwerp Other offices : Hasselt
Jan Hofkens, Partner
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.