Simont Braun > Brussels, Belgium > Firm Profile

Simont Braun
Avenue Louise 250 (10)
1050 BRUSSELS
Belgium

Belgium > Fintech Tier 1

Simont Braun has a dedicated digital finance team, with expertise across the full range of fintech and insurtech products. The firm advises on licence applications, contracts, regulatory compliance, and marketing issues, with specific areas of expertise including anti-money laundering, data protection, e-commerce, and e-signature. The practice is led by the ‘very knowledgeableJoan Carette, who advises on financial services and IT regulatory issues, and Philippe De Prez, who has particular expertise in advising foreign fintech companies on their entry into the Belgian market.

Practice head(s):

Philippe De Prez; Joan Carette

Testimonials

‘A strongly integrated team, capable of covering end-to-end our projects, at a very affordable price. Strong theoretical and practical knowledge of financial products regulations. The team is highly responsive and consistently proposes alternative solutions for every legal issue they raise.’

‘The team has in-depth industry and regulatory knowledge. They work at a fast pace and really know what they are doing.’

‘Philippe De Prez – very kind, polite, and responsive. Joan Carette – very knowledgeable in regulatory practice and data protection.’

The regulatory fintech team at Simont Braun is on the ball, they have the required expertise and follow the developments in the market and related developments in legal frameworks.

Each of the team members is very pleasant to work with; responsive, kind, professional and highly experienced.

The team upholds a high quality standard and offer their clients perfect service, both in terms of output, timing thereof as well as fees.

Philippe De Prez is very commercial in a positive way; highly skilled and an extremely nice person and therefore great to work with.

Key clients

Aion Bank

Ebury

Wise

The European Commission

NewB

Belgian Mobile ID

Oney

Viva Wallet

Taptap Send

Work highlights

  • Advised Aion Bank on the launch of a complete offer of new products and services.
  • Advising Belgian Mobile ID on the development of the itsme® app, used by both the public sector and the private sector as a KYC, authentication and e-signature tool.
  • Advising NewB on the development and setting up of its different banking products.

Belgium > Dispute resolution Tier 2

Simont Braun is regularly engaged by a broad roster of commercial and public sector clients on domestic and cross-border litigation, arbitration, and mediation, appearing before all Belgian courts, Benelux courts, and the European Court of Justice. The team is particularly noted for its wide-ranging experience in class action lawsuits. Practice co-head Paul Alain Foriers is a highly experienced practitioner who regularly pleads before the Supreme Court. Fellow co-head Rafaël Jafferali has niche expertise in contract law and tort law, and is currently leading a major case on behalf of the European Union, working closely with civil and commercial mediator Fanny Laune.

Practice head(s):

Paul Alain Foriers; Rafaël Jafferali

Other key lawyers:

Fanny Laune; Steven Callens

Testimonials

‘Personal involvement of partners, outstanding quality of work, and the people are a pleasure to work with.’

‘Steven Callens stands out for his sharp legal analysis and dedicated approach.’

Work highlights

  • Representing the European Commission and the 27 Member States in landmark proceedings against AstraZeneca with the aim to accelerate the delivery of Covid-19 vaccines.
  • Representing Test-Achats, a consumer organisation acting on behalf of about 40,000 passengers, in a class action against Ryanair for the cancellation of about 200 flights in summer 2018.
  • Representing DRS Belgium BV in proceedings before the Brussels Enterprise Court. In these proceedings, more than 2,000 former individual shareholders of the Arco group claim compensation for the loss of their investment from the Arco group, Belfius Bank, a former board member of Arco and the Belgian State.

Belgium > EU regulatory: Financial services Tier 2

Simont Braun has a strong focus on financial services regulatory work, advising financial services providers on regulatory issues relating to their establishment within the Belgian market. The firm regularly engages with the NBB and FSMA in relation to licence applications, the introduction of new products and services, and regulatory investigations. Clients include major international banks, neo and challenger banks, and other innovative financial services and credit providers. The team is led by Joan Carette, a specialist financial services practitioner with in-house regulatory experience, alongside Philippe De Prez , known for his work with international financial services clients.

Practice head(s):

Philippe De Prez; Joan Carette

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Derval

Testimonials

The team has an in-depth knowledge of financial services laws and ancillary subjects such as AML laws. They know the industry, the regulator, and understand clients’ needs. They work with great speed and focus. It is a pleasure to collaborate with them on projects.’

‘Philippe De Prez is extremely knowledgeable about the laws and industry. He is a quick thinker and has a very structured approach to things. He is very responsive and very polite.’

‘Thomas Derval is very engaged and has a practical mindset. He is very knowledgeable in (consumer) credit laws and intent on finding good solutions for his clients.

‘Great people, very approachable and hands on. They have a fintech attitude which is extremely helpful in this fast paced environment which is a massive extra compared to the big “classic” law firms. They are very responsive and provide an excellent service.’

‘Philippe De Prez is one of the greatest lawyers I’ve worked with. Extremely hard working, very knowledgeable, has great connections in Europe who can help further with legal advice in most of the countries and mostly he is super approachable. His fintech knowledge is great, as well as his reputation with the regulator which is also helpful when building connections.’

Key clients

Aion Bank

Ebury

Wise

NewB

Belgian Mobile ID (app itsme)

Viva Wallet

Société Générale

ABN AMRO Private Banking

Oney

The European Commission

Taptap Send

Work highlights

  • Advised Aion Bank, Belgium’s first next generation digital bank, on the launch of a complete offer of new products and services.
  • Advised NewB on securing its licence as a credit institution and advising it on the development and setting up of its different banking products.
  • Advising the ABN AMRO Banking group on all its Belgian financial regulatory and insurance questions (PSD2, MiFID/MIFIR, consumer credits), contractual drafting and litigation matters.

Belgium > Insurance Tier 2

Simont Braun offers strong regulatory expertise to established and challenger insurance clients, with notable capabilities in life insurance, insurtech, and the start-up insurance space. The practice also works with clients on transactions, commercial contracts, and tax issues. The practice is jointly led by counsel Thomas Derval, who is active on behalf of life insurance clients and focuses on litigation, financial regulatory specialist Philippe De Prez , and Joan Carette, who combines financial services and innovation technology expertise.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Derval; Philippe De Prez; Joan Carette

Testimonials

We don’t need only to know laws and regulations but also how to implement them in our activities. Simon Braun’s lawyers have this purpose in mind by identifying pragmatic solutions to assist us in order to comply with rules without fundamental changes of operational system.’

Transparency, access to different skills (insurance, tax, civil law, ….).

Belgium > Intellectual property Tier 2

Simont Braun is highly regarded by a diverse roster of Belgian and international clients for the depth and breadth of its IP offering. Noted for its interdepartmental approach - particularly with the firm's Supreme Court team - the group routinely prosecutes and defends in patent, copyright, and trademark litigations before the EU General Court and the Court of Justice. The practice is jointly led by two partners: Eric De Gryse, who handles cross-border disputes for clients in the pharmaceuticals, chemicals, engineering, and retail sectors; and Emmanuel Cornu, a renowned trademark specialist. Patent litigator Fernand de Visscher continues to lead high-level cases on behalf of various world-leading corporates.

Practice head(s):

Eric De Gryse; Emmanuel Cornu

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

Simont Braun is unique in that it has a rich experience of patent litigation and capability of understanding highly technical matters.

Simont Braun’s creative approaches on legal issues help clients to find solutions in difficult situations.

‘High skilled team, very efficient and proactive.’

‘Emmanuel Cornu is an IP expert who provides clear and efficient strategies.’

‘The relationship with Simont Braun is a very long-lasting one. Working with them, I especially appreciate their high professionalism, the deep knowledge of IP matters, especially in the field of trademarks and patents, as well as concerning geographical indications. We appreciate the contact with clients, and the clarity of their opinions.’

‘I’m very satisfied with the comprehensive services they are offering me, I really believe that Simon Braun is the most accurate law-firm in the Benelux and it is difficult to find an equivalent firm, having the same level of professionals.’

‘They have a calm, no-nonsense approach and give the client confidence that they are well versed in the details of Belgian procedural laws. They have also been prepared to dig into the details of the technical case and working well with the broader team, provided excellent legal submissions on validity issues.’

Mr. Visscher is senior partner having a long experience in IP litigations and provides a well-balanced view supported by a good sense of how and what judges would think. Mr. De Gryse is a partner who is energetic and makes a good combination with Fernand.

Work highlights

  • Successfully acted for the main ISPs in Belgium: VOO, Nethys and Brutélé, in landmark procedures against the SABAM.
  • Representing ASSIA in complex patent litigations.
  • Assisting Bruges Central Hostel in trademark litigation proceedings.

Belgium > Real estate and construction Tier 2

Simont Braun offers an integrated service across real estate transactions, construction, and public law issues, with a strong specialism in development projects, contracts, and planning matters. The team regularly acts for city municipalities and other public sector clients, advising on all aspects of public procurement and project development. Practice head Manuela von Kuegelgen is a respected name within the real estate development space, and regularly contributes to legislative and regulatory developments, while counsel Laura Grauer specialises in PPP and PFI projects, combining administrative and real estate expertise. Fellow counsel Renaud van Melsen advises clients on a diverse range of projects, particularly within hospitality.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Laura Grauer; Renaud van Melsen; Béatrice Thieffry

Testimonials

‘Simont Braun has a very specialized team of lawyers, each dedicated to their zone of competence.’

‘Béatrice Thieffry definitely stands-out in terms of knowledge, availability, client orientation and negotiation skills.’

One-stop shopping’ real estate team dedicated to the client.

Strong experience in the real estate sector and on the construction side as well.

They have the ability to quickly grasp the issue raised and target the real points of attention.

They are true deal makers.

A real trust relationship is established and we can feel that our objectives are fully aligned.

Belgium > Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 3

Simont Braun advises on domestic and cross-border mid-market M&A, with a strong record in the public sector and real estate deals. Other areas of strength for the team include advice to shareholder groups of listed and unlisted international companies, alongside corporate dispute resolution and litigation. The corporate offering also has integrated tax expertise. The team is led by Sandrine Hirsch, who advises listed and unlisted companies on M&A and corporate governance issues, while Paul Alain Foriers combines corporate law and litigation expertise. Active dealmaker Tom Swinnen joined from EY Law in November 2021.

Practice head(s):

Sandrine Hirsch

Other key lawyers:

Paul Alain Foriers; Steven Callens; Tine Bauwens; Tom Swinnen; Sander Van Loock

Testimonials

‘The team is friendly, skilled and fast.’

‘Steven Callens is a sharp, calm and intelligent partner. Tine Bauwens is a very dedicated and experienced associate.’

‘Good follow up of law changes and on time feedback for clients.’

‘The corporate team at Simont Braun is truly excellent. It has a sound and deep knowledge of of all key areas of corporate and M&A law and it is able to translate its knowledge and skills rapidly into practical advice. In addition, it is really a pleasure to work with the team. It is collaborative and it is able to act quickly.’

‘Sandrine Hirsch is an extremely skilled and thorough corporate/M&A lawyer with a sharp eye for detail. Moreover, Sandrine Hirsch is able to grasp almost directly the essence of the matter at hand and to rapidly provide sound, customized and practical advice. I recommend her most highly.’

‘Availability, transparency with respect to client and coaching and physical attendance in key meetings, meticulous attention to detail (where the devil lies), fees in line with deal size (coming down to an hourly fee below current practice), international coverage and experience, excellent lawyers.’

‘They know our business so well, they “feel” the transactions, they know what’s important to us, so they help us focus. Deals are closed way quicker with the help of Simont Braun than with other law firms. They help us avoid negotiation pitfalls, they don’t waste our time and don’t spend too many hours doing so while working with a small specialized team rather than with an army of juniors.’

‘Steven Callens and Sander Van Loock know our business so well, they are so pragmatic I sometimes forget they are lawyers. I really like to work with them.’

  • 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.
DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Corporate, M&A and Capital Markets Sandrine Hirschsh@simontbraun.eu
Intellectual Property Fernand de Visscherfdv@simontbraun.eu
Real Estate, Public and Administrative law Manuela von Kuegelgenmvk@simontbraun.eu
Dispute resolution (Supreme Court), Corporate M&A Paul Alain Forierspaf@simontbraun.eu
Dispute resolution, Commercial law Béatrice Thieffrybt@simontbraun.eu
Intellectual Property Emmanuel Cornuec@simontbraun.eu
Corporate M&A and Dispute Resolution Steven Callenssca@simontbraun.eu
Financial Services and Digital Finance Joan Carettejoan.carette@simontbraun.eu
Financial Services and Digital Finance Philippe De Prezphde@simontbraun.eu
Dispute Resolution Rafaël Jafferalirj@simontbraun.eu
Corporate M&A Axel Maeterlinckam@simontbraun.eu
Intellectual Property Eric De Gryseedg@simontbraun.eu
Construction law Thomas Brauntb@simontbraun.eu
Tax law Jacques Malherbejma@simontbraun.eu
Financial Criminal Law Jean-François Terlindenjft@simontbraun.eu
PhotoNamePositionProfile
Thomas Braun photoMr Thomas BraunPartner specialised in Construction Law and Real Estate. Mediator in civil and…
Steven Callens photoMr Steven CallensSteven Callens specialises in M&A, corporate law, corporate governance and dispute resolution.…
Joan Carette photoMrs Joan CarettePartner
Emmanuel Cornu photoMr Emmanuel CornuPartner specialised in Intellectual Property.
Eric De Gryse photoMr Eric De GryseEric De Gryse is a specialist in intellectual property law. He mainly…
Philippe De Prez photoMr Philippe De PrezSenior Financial law & FinTech lawyer with a strong focus on financial…
Paul Alain Foriers photoMr Paul Alain ForiersLawyer at the Supreme Court and professor at the Université Libre de…
Sandrine Hirsch photoMrs Sandrine HirschSandrine Hirsch has a wide experience in the field of business law…
Rafaël Jafferali photoMr Rafaël JafferaliPartner Rafaël Jafferali is a specialist in litigation (including arbitration and proceedings before…
Axel Maeterlinck photoMr Axel MaeterlinckPartner Axel Maeterlinck has a broad experience in domestic and cross-border M&A and…
Tom Swinnen photo Tom SwinnenTom Swinnen specialises in corporate and M&A (incl. venture capital and private…
Jean-François Terlinden photoMr Jean-François TerlindenPartner Jean-François Terlinden is a specialist in criminal law, financial law and tax…
Béatrice Thieffry photoMrs Béatrice ThieffryBéatrice Thieffry has a wide experience in the area of business law.…
Laurent de Brouwer photoMr Laurent de BrouwerOf Counsel specialised in Marketing, Advertising, Consumer Rights and Unfair Competition. Laurent…
Fernand de Visscher photoMr Fernand de VisscherPartner specialised in patents, copyright, media and designs as well as transactional…
Manuela von Kuegelgen photoMrs Manuela von KuegelgenManuela von Kuegelgen is a specialist in real estate transactions and administrative…
Number of lawyers : 45
English
French
Dutch
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 a co-founding member of the Legal Diversity & Inclusion Alliance (LDIA), a collective effort by several law firms in Belgium and nominated as an Outstanding Network/Group for the Chambers Europe Awards 2021 within the Diversity and Inclusion categories. 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. LDIA is a very young initiative (early 2019), and beyond these initiatives, its ultimate goal is to increase awareness of law firms and of the legal sector in Belgium in order to achieve concrete results and improvements regarding diversity and inclusion. In this framework, Simont Braun organises internal events to raise awareness on diversity matters. The next event will take place on 8 March for the International Women’s Rights Day – we are hosting the author of the book “All people are equal, including women” (Dirk Van Gerven).

Gender diversity: We have always placed great emphasis on empowering and retaining women all the way to the top. Since its founding, our firm has always had in average one-third of female partners. Gender diversity, with women becoming leaders, even before gender diversity and quotas (in certain areas) became an important topic, felt natural. We have continued on this path, and currently, 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, just as our communication & marketing manager. Simont Braun is an active member of WILL (Women in Law and Leadership) and of Women on Board.

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.