Claeys & Engels > Brussels, Belgium > Firm Profile

Claeys & Engels

Belgium > Employment Tier 1

Working across six offices nationwide, Claeys & Engels' boutique employment law practice enjoys a stellar reputation among its formidable roster of blue-chip domestic and international clients. Best known for its work in the finance, food, transport, and manufacturing sectors, public sector mandates are, increasingly, a core focus for the group. The large team is jointly led by two partners: chairman Chris Engels, an expert in dismissal and European labour law; and Olivier Wouters , a specialist in reorganisations and collective bargaining who also serves as the firm’s managing partner. Inger Verhelst  is recommended for her capabilities in individual and collective labour law issues, including discrimination cases, and often appears before the labour courts and European Court of Justice.

Practice head(s):

Chris Engels; Olivier Wouters

Other key lawyers:

Inger Verhelst


‘The C&E team is highly professional and complementary: experts working very well together to combine expertise in advice that is looked at from different perspectives.’

‘The major difference with other legal firms I have worked with is the exceptional combination of technically correct and smart advice that is at the same time pragmatic and operational: no ivory tower approach, on the contrary.’

‘C&E’s main strength is the pairing of strong technical expertise with pragmatic advice. In particular: – Best in class for employment law – Talented people – Client minded and eager to learn about the client – Accessible, available & responsive – Very much solution oriented – Openness to new technology – Transparency in billing. In short, a truly modern law firm as it should be.’

‘I predominantly work with Chris Engels. Chris stands out for the depth of his experience and expertise whilst never losing sight of a sensible and workable solution for the client. You feel confident with his advice. A great pleasure to work with.’

‘They are very hands-on and practical.’

‘Claeys & Engels combines solid and very professional knowledge in labour law issues with a keen eye on how to approach this in day to day operational HR practice.’

‘Our collaboration with Olivier Wauters is excellent, his flexible approach and outstanding legal knowledge is combined with a practical and down to earth mind, that keeps track on the day to day HR practice.’

The firm: At Claeys & Engels, we offer a full range of legal services in all areas concerning human resources including tax law, data protection and supplementary pension schemes. We like to think that what sets us apart is how we partner with our clients and accomplish results that matter to our client’s business.

Each question is dealt with by a specialist team of lawyers experienced both in providing advice and in litigation.

In view of the growing internationalisation of the economy, Claeys & Engels is actively participating in a specialist international network.

We offer a personalized service in view of what our clients want. This can be a memo with legal references, a short confirmation by e-mail or a second opinion via phone.

With a large team of specialized HR lawyers in six different offices across Belgium, we are where you need us to be. And as a founding member of Ius Laboris, we offer HR law services for cross-border legal issues in all major jurisdictions.

Chris 2 761 47 12
Olivier 2 761 46 24
Number of partners : 14
Number of lawyers : 70
Number of lawyers at the Brussels’ office : 48
Ius Laboris
Partner : Bart Adriaens
Partner : Luc Bihain
Partner : Dieter Dejonghe
Partner : Isabelle De Somviele
Partner : Chris Engels
Partner : Jean-Paul Lacomble
Partner : Henri-François Lenaerts
Partner : Patrick Maerten
Partner : Sophie Maes
Partner : Jan Van Gysegem
Partner : Bart Vanschoebeke
Partner : Inger Verhelst
Partner : Jean-Yves Verslype
Managing Partner : Olivier Wouters
Counsel : Nicholas Thoelen
Counsel : Fabienne Raepsaet
Counsel : Ward Bouciqué
Counsel : Frédéric Henry
Counsel : Gaëlle Willems
Counsel : Joris Beernaert
Other offices : Antwerp
Other offices : Ghent
Other offices : Hasselt
Other offices : Kortrijk
Other offices : Liège

At Claeys & Engels we recruit, develop and retain all people regardless of their background, race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. At entry levels the vast majority of our lawyers are female and we proud ourselves that we have a high number of female partners at partnership level.