Firm Profile > Simont Braun > Brussels, Belgium

Simont Braun
Avenue Louise 250 (10)

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.

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

Key clients



Ebury Partners UK Ltd

Oney Banque




Viva Wallet





mozzeno SA

Funding Circle


EML Payments




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.

Other key lawyers:


They are very commercial in their outlook, thinking about practical solutions for clients rather than just the letter of the law‘.

Key clients








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.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


Manuela Van Kuegelgen is technically very experienced, customer oriented and available‘.

Key clients

The Urban Development Corporation

Europa Capital



Common Community Commission (COCOM)

Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 3

Simont Braun's 'flexible and hands-on' corporate, M&A and capital markets practice is a popular choice for cross-border and multi-disciplinary transactions, as well as corporate and governance advice. The team has experience across a number of industries and has recently seen an increase in insurance sector work. Practice head Sandrine Hirsch frequently advises shareholders of listed entities and handles regulated M&A, while Steven Callens has particular experience in the marketing, renewable energy and food and agricultural industries. Other names to note include Paul Alain Foriers, who recently advised on the new Belgian Companies Code. Vanessa Marquette, who has experience handling real estate, banking and insurance sector M&A , moved to Loyens & Loeff.

Practice head(s):


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.

Key clients


Belgian group of shareholders of AB InBev

Bank Degroof Petercam


SCRL and Hydrobru SCRL

Financière de Tubize

P&V Assurances

Urban Development Corporation of the Brussels-Capital Region (Société d’Aménagement Urbain – SAU)

REWE ZentralFinanz eG

CPH Banque

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

Inclusio Fund

FN Herstal

Icoms Detections

Nicols Group

AXA Belgium SA

AXA Investment Managers


SAMU Social

Screen Services




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.


Rafaël Jafferali has excellent knowledge and understanding of the most complex legal issues. He approaches them from a practical angle, not purely theoretical‘.

Key clients

The Belgian State






  • 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.
Department Name Email Telephone
Corporate, M&A and Capital Markets Sandrine Hirsch
Intellectual Property Fernand de Visscher
Real Estate, Public and Administrative law Manuela von Kuegelgen
Dispute resolution (Supreme Court), Corporate M&A Paul Alain Foriers
Dispute resolution, Commercial law Béatrice Thieffry
Intellectual Property Emmanuel Cornu
Corporate M&A and Dispute Resolution Steven Callens
Financial Services and Digital Finance Joan Carette
Financial Services and Digital Finance Philippe De Prez
Dispute Resolution Rafaël Jafferali
Corporate M&A Axel Maeterlinck
Intellectual Property Eric De Gryse
Construction law Thomas Braun
Tax law Jacques Malherbe
Financial Criminal Law Jean-François Terlinden
Photo Name Position Profile
Mr Thomas Braun  photo Mr Thomas Braun Partner specialised in Construction Law and Real Estate. Mediator in civil and…
Mr Steven Callens  photo Mr Steven Callens Steven Callens specialises in M&A, corporate law, corporate governance and dispute resolution.…
Ms Joan Carette photo Ms Joan Carette Partner
Mr Emmanuel Cornu  photo Mr Emmanuel Cornu Partner specialised in Intellectual Property.
Mr Eric De Gryse  photo Mr Eric De Gryse Eric De Gryse is a specialist in intellectual property law. He mainly…
Mr Philippe De Prez  photo Mr Philippe De Prez Senior Financial law & FinTech lawyer with a strong focus on financial…
Mr Paul Alain Foriers  photo Mr Paul Alain Foriers Lawyer at the Supreme Court and professor at the Université Libre de…
Mrs Sandrine Hirsch  photo Mrs Sandrine Hirsch Sandrine Hirsch has a wide experience in the field of business law…
 Rafaël Jafferali photo Rafaël Jafferali Partner Rafaël Jafferali is a specialist in litigation (including arbitration and proceedings before…
Mr Axel Maeterlinck  photo Mr Axel Maeterlinck Partner Axel Maeterlinck has a broad experience in domestic and cross-border M&A and…
Mr Jean-François Terlinden  photo Mr Jean-François Terlinden Partner Jean-François Terlinden is a specialist in criminal law, financial law and tax…
Mrs Béatrice Thieffry  photo Mrs Béatrice Thieffry Béatrice Thieffry has a wide experience in the area of business law.…
Mr Laurent de Brouwer  photo Mr Laurent de Brouwer Of Counsel specialised in Marketing, Advertising, Consumer Rights and Unfair Competition. Laurent…
Mr Fernand de Visscher  photo Mr Fernand de Visscher Partner specialised in patents, copyright, media and designs as well as transactional…
Mrs Manuela von Kuegelgen  photo Mrs Manuela von Kuegelgen Manuela von Kuegelgen is a specialist in real estate transactions and administrative…
Number of lawyers : 45


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 Braun’s LDIA membership is a further demonstration of the firm’s 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.

Independent, flexible and international: Simont Braun is a Belgian independent firm having strong and tailored international connections. We build such connections notably by actively cooperating with foreign law firms sharing our values and standard of excellence, and thanks to our active involvement in international associations. Hence, when international cooperation is required, we can choose the most adequate law firm to work with to offer the best guidance and solution to our clients.

We are also the Belgian member of The Interlex Group which is ranked as an Elite network by Chambers and of XLNC, an association of independent accounting, law and management consulting practices from across the globe.