Firm Profile > Simont Braun > Brussels, Belgium
Simont Braun Offices
Avenue Louise 250 (10)
Simont Braun > The Legal 500 Rankings
Fintech Tier 1
Simont Braun has had significant involvement in the fintech arena since its establishment of a specialist digital finance team in 2014. Under the joint leadership of Catherine Houssa and recently promoted partner Philippe De Prez, the firm has proven itself as one of the very leading players in the market, having advised on groundbreaking projects involving areas such as alternative lending, micro savings, robo-advisory, blockchain, ICOs and virtual currencies. In addition, since 2016, it has handled about half of all licence applications in Belgium from payment services and e-money institutions. Having assisted the client with successfully applying for a payment service licence with the Belgian National Bank in 2017, De Prez and Thomas Derval are acting for Ebury UK Limited on a group restructuring and the opening of more than branches in other EU member states. Further underlining its traction in the market, the firm is a founding member of fintech Belgium, which is the first and largest community of fintech companies nationally.
Catherine Houssa; Philippe De Prez
Other key lawyers:
‘The team is highly responsive and proactive. A very smooth and seamless cooperation. I work with Philippe De Prez on a regular basis for pan-European fintech matters. Philippe is very pragmatic and very business-driven‘
‘Catherine Houssa is our main contact at Simont Braun. She has a very comprehensive understanding of both legal and regulatory issues. Her excellent contacts with the National Bank of Belgium makes her a great advisor for all regulatory matters‘
‘Simont Braun has been able to build an interesting all-round fintech practice in a relatively short period of time. The time and effort put in by some members of the group to launch a Belgian crowdfunding sector association is remarkable. We have mutual clients in the fintech payments sector and have found the team to be very approachable, cooperative and knowledgeable. Our experience with the group is that it is pragmatic and on the ball‘
‘Simont Braun is THE specialist firm in fintech in Belgium‘
‘Good level of knowledge of financial regulations in Belgium. Good level of involvement in the fintech community and exposure to fintech projects. Engagement structure and terms can be adapted to startups‘
Ebury Partners UK Ltd
Banca Monte Paschi Belgio
Intellectual property Tier 2
Simont Braun's 'responsive' team has solid expertise in IP litigation, with patent and trade mark infringement disputes prominent in the group's workload. Transactional IP is another area of instruction. Fernand de Visscher and Eric De Gryse jointly head the practice; Emmanuel Cornu, who advises clients drawn from the luxury goods and telecoms sectors on IP matters, is a name to note.
Fernand de Visscher; Eric De Gryse
Other key lawyers:
‘They are very commercial in their outlook, thinking about practical solutions for clients rather than just the letter of the law‘.
Real estate and construction Tier 2
Simont Braun's 'rigorous and meticulous' team has 'strong expertise in the real estate sector', and leverages the expertise of its public and administrative law practice to provide a multidisciplinary service to a broad client roster. The 'very reactive' practice head Manuela von Kuegelgen has 'very good negotiation skills'. Associate Laura Grauer is a key contact.
Manuela von Kuegelgen
Other key lawyers:
‘Manuela Van Kuegelgen is technically very experienced, customer oriented and available‘.
The Urban Development Corporation
Common Community Commission (COCOM)
‘Flexibility of the team which has been able to adapt to the requirements in a professional way.‘
‘Simont Braun has a strong corporate/M&A team with thorough and solid knowledge and skills in all aspects of Belgian corporate law. The team is flexible and hands-on.‘
‘Strong level of diplomacy and always focus on the interest of the client. Negotiate the key items. Good presence of the partner during the process.‘
‘Sandrine Hirsch is simply excellent, hands-on, responsive, thorough legal advice.‘
‘Steven Callens is an excellent M&A lawyer, easy to work with.‘
Belgian group of shareholders of AB InBev
Bank Degroof Petercam
SCRL and Hydrobru SCRL
Financière de Tubize
Urban Development Corporation of the Brussels-Capital Region (Société d’Aménagement Urbain – SAU)
REWE ZentralFinanz eG
Laboratoire Français du Fractionnement et des Biotechnologies (LFB) SA
Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert
Banque Rothschild (France)
International Real Estate (IRE)
Société Générale and ADL
ENGIE New Business
AXA Belgium SA
AXA Investment Managers
Dispute resolution Tier 3
At Simont Braun, recent work for the 'efficient' team includes acting for consumer protection company Test-Achats in a prominent class action against Ryanair. IP litigation is another core area of instruction for the group. Paul Alain Foriers and Rafaël Jafferali jointly head the department.
Paul Alain Foriers; Rafaël Jafferali
‘Rafaël Jafferali has excellent knowledge and understanding of the most complex legal issues. He approaches them from a practical angle, not purely theoretical‘.
The Belgian State
Simont Braun > Firm Profile
- A leading Belgian independent business law firm numbering some 50 lawyers.
- An integrated and multidisciplinary structure providing tailored advice on innovative cross-practice projects.
- A high level of involvement from the partners; comprehensive and practical advice; long-term perspective with clients.
- Assists a broad spectrum of industries through dedicated expert teams.
- Promotes excellence, flexibility and efficiency via its recognised specialists.
- Significant academic and legislative involvement with several lawyers being university professors, teaching assistants, active in professional associations and/or actively participating in legislative work.
- International impact as a member of The Interlex Group, a worldwide non-exclusive network of selected law firms, in addition to strong bilateral and independent relationships with various other top foreign law firms.
- Uncompromising stance regarding professional ethics (especially independence and confidentiality), paying particular attention to maintaining sound internal governance.
- Diversity is part of our DNA, whether in terms of gender, profile or background.
|Corporate, M&A and Capital Markets||Sandrine Hirschemail@example.com|
|Banking & (Digital) Finance, Financial Services||Catherine Houssafirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Intellectual Property||Fernand de Visscheremail@example.com|
|Real Estate, Public and Administrative law||Manuela von Kuegelgenfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Dispute resolution (Supreme Court), Corporate M&A||Paul Alain Foriersemail@example.com|
|Dispute resolution, Commercial law||Béatrice Thieffryfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Intellectual Property||Emmanuel Cornuemail@example.com|
|Corporate M&A and Dispute Resolution||Steven Callensfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Financial Services and Digital Finance||Philippe De Prezemail@example.com|
|Dispute Resolution||Rafaël Jafferalifirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Corporate M&A||Axel Maeterlinckemail@example.com|
|Intellectual Property||Eric De Grysefirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Construction law||Thomas Braunemail@example.com|
|Tax law||Jacques Malherbefirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Financial Criminal Law||Jean-François Terlindenemail@example.com|
|Employment, Compensation and Benefits||Pierre Van Achterfirstname.lastname@example.org|
Staff FiguresNumber of lawyers : 45
LanguagesDutch English French German Spanish
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AND PRO BONO
Social equity and economic efficiency are major concerns at Simont Braun. These issues are an important part of our strategy and we continually strive to actively defend the fundamental values of social commitment.
We promote a fairer and more equitable world, a process that starts in-house. In the workplace, we ensure the well-being of all our staff while enhancing diversity and reducing our environmental footprint. To this end, we also enter into partnerships with businesses, non-profit organisations and civil society.
PRO BONO WORK Every year Simont Braun provides hours of legal support to non-profit organisations and vulnerable individuals. Some of our lawyers are also involved in the drafting of key legislative texts on a pro bono basis.
ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITMENT – In our day-to-day activities we are committed to a healthier, cleaner and sustainable planet. We are continuously adapting our behaviour and have implemented a series of measures to reduce our environmental footprint. We also make sure that our selection criteria for external providers incorporate these issues.
DIVERSITY – Diversity is part of our DNA, whether in terms of gender, profile or background. We have always placed great emphasis on empowering and retaining women, all the way to the very top. One-half of our associates and one-third of our partners are women. Two of our five executive committee members are women, and our past and current managing partners are women. Such a high proportion of women in leading positions is rare in law firms and, more generally, in the corporate world.
We are also a member of Women In Law and Leadership (WILL). This is a Brussels-based project for all law firms designed to support talented women on their way to becoming leaders, providing them with the tools they require to succeed.
Simont Braun is a sponsor and Sandrine Hirsch is a member of Women on Board, a non-profit association created by women dedicated to promoting access by women to directorship roles within Belgian enterprises.
Simont Braun is also a co-founding member of the Legal Diversity & Inclusion Alliance (LDIA), a collective effort by several law firms in Belgium. By joining LDIA, member firms confirm their commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive working environment, to the exchange of good practices on diversity and inclusion, and to raise awareness of non-discrimination and diversity issues by combining efforts to organise events, workshops, training and other activities. Simont Brauns LDIA membership is a further demonstration of the firms commitment to diversity and inclusion. As the legal industry in Belgium deepens its focus on matters related to diversity and inclusion, Simont Braun is delighted to be among the firms leading this effort.
In more general terms, and as illustrated by our numerous pro bono activities, we are striving to achieve greater diversity, both internally and with our external partners.
DONATION POLICY Every year Simont Braun allocates a budget to support a number of selected charities.
Simont Braun offers legal services to both domestic and international clients. Our teams have broad experience in assisting large multinationals seeking for advice in Belgian law and in cross-border disputes.
Our integrated structure makes us the go-to law firm for multidisciplinary (and innovative) projects as we are able to handle them with clarity and efficiently.
The Interlex Group – Simont Braun is the Belgian member of The Interlex Group, one of the most renowned international associations of leading law firms around the world, maintaining contacts on a non-exclusive basis. It consists of 48 law firms in 60 countries and is ranked by Chambers & Partners among the “Elite Legal Networks”.
Strong bilateral and independent relationships – We have also established close relationships on a bilateral and non-exclusive basis with foreign law firms, chosen for their particular expertise in specific sectors or areas of law.
Excellent language skills – Our teams provide assistance in French, Dutch and English. In addition, many of our partners and associates are able to provide legal services in other languages, including German, Italian, Spanish and Polish.
Belgium: Fintech (2nd edition)
Published: October 2019
Authors: Catherine Houssa Philippe De Prez Thomas Derval Charlotte De Thaye
This country-specific Q&A provides an overview to Fintech (2nd edition) laws and regulations that may occur in Belgium.
Published: November 2019
Authors: Catherine Houssa Philippe De Prez Thomas Derval Charlotte De Thaye
This country-specific Q&A provides an overview to Fintech laws and regulations that may occur in Belgium.