Firm Profile > Strelia > Brussels, Belgium


Industry focus: Retail Tier 1

Clients appreciate Strelia's 'business-oriented' practice and its ability to 'anticipate clients' needs', with notable experience advising on the commercial relationships between retailers and their franchisees. Led by corporate and distribution specialist Olivier Clevenbergh, the team advises on the set-up and development of outlets and networks across Belgium, with a particular focus on suppliers’ contracts, joint purchasing structures and lease agreements. Renowned litigator Jean-Pierre Fierens oversees contentious matters, having recently assisted on various cases concerning the termination of tenders and franchise partnerships. Fierens works closely with 'smart, reactive and fast' disputes counsel Joanna Kraus-Kolber.

Practice head(s):

Olivier Clevenbergh

Other key lawyers:

Jean-Pierre Fierens; Joanna Kraus-Kolber


‘The lawyers of Strelia are practical and efficient in the sense that they understand our business. We don’t need to tell them the same thing twice. They are business-oriented and anticipate our needs. They are dedicated to respecting deadlines. A real business partner.

‘Joanna Kraus-Kolber is a solution-oriented lawyer who is not afraid to think outside the box. Smart, reactive and fast, Joanna not only masters the relevant legislation but she also understands the specific needs and challenges in the retail sector.’

Key clients


Burger Brands Belgium (operator of Burger King and Quick)


Lunch Garden

Sandler International

PCS Innotec



Philipp Plein International


Sally Beauty (Pro-Duo)

Insolvency and restructuring Tier 2

Strelia's restructuring and insolvency department leverages the firm's full-service offering to benefit from a range of corporate, tax and employment expertise. Led by the 'exceptional' Bart De Moor, the practice handles judicial reorganisation and bankruptcy-related matters, with a strong reputation for defending debtors during litigation proceedings. Clients recognise the firm's 'great network in Belgium', with De Moor and associate Marine Callebaut also regularly appointed as administrators or liquidators by the court.

Practice head(s):

Bart De Moor

Other key lawyers:

Marine Callebaut


Professional, targeted advice and implementation.’

Bart De Moor is multilingual and friendly, with outstanding technical skills.

‘Great network in Belgium.’

‘Bart De Moor is exceptional.’

Key clients

Photo Hall Multimedia NV

Free Record Shop (Mega) Store België


Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 3

Corporate boutique Strelia, which undertakes a mix of transactional and contentious work, has particular strengths in matters connected with the retail, financial services and food sectors. It is also increasingly making a name for itself in the biotech sector. In addition to handling domestic work, the firm is also sought out in cross-border deals. The practice is led by Olivier Clevenbergh, who led the advice to French film company Pathé on its acquisition of the Euroscoop group in 2019. Elsewhere, the team advises clients on joint ventures, and private equity and venture capital transactions, among other matters. Gisèle Rosselle and Laurent Verhavert are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Olivier Clevenbergh

Other key lawyers:

Gisèle Rosselle; Laurent Verhavert


Strelia is a “small” practice, led by accessible and friendly partners. The team is constituted of result-driven, proactive and enthusiastic lawyers.

Strelia provides a first-class and world-class M&A legal service and negotiation support while being very reactive and affordable for start-ups / scale-ups which is unique in the market.

We mainly work with Olivier Clevenbergh. What we appreciate in him is that he does not only advise on the legal issues but gives a broader guidance in the way we should make our deals, without being too intrusive.

I believe the manner in which Gisèle Rosselle approached us as a client and her approach to leading the negotiations can be summarized as: pragmatic if possible but firm and relentless on material items.

We mostly work with Gisèle Rosselle for our M&A projects and she is doing a great job in delivering accurate and timely work but also in thinking together with us in finding solutions to issues that arise. She knows our business very well.

Gisèle is straightforward and to the point, and is a good negotiator.

Reliable and accurate.

Key clients





Imperial Logistics


Mvgm Property Management



Exmore Group

Keolis Group


Accor Invest

Renta Solutions

Agfa Graphics NV



Herschel Group


Union Biometrica


Newton Biocapital



Hydro Group (previously Sapa Group)

Vesalius Biocapital

Compugroup Medical

Iris Group

Epics Therapeutics

Novadip Biosciences


Korozo Packaging

Dispute resolution Tier 3

Jean-Pierre Fierens heads up the department at Strelia, which has 'a strong litigation practice, particularly in the field of disputes in insolvency and restructuring law'. The 'very reliable' team is also noted for its expertise in corporate litigation, as is evidenced by the fact that it is representing directors of Optima Bank in ongoing damages claims which arose after the bank was declared bankrupt. Bart De Moor is 'very knowledgeable and easy to work with'. Sébastien Ryelandt has expertise in banking litigation, while Olivier Clevenbergh is well-versed in handling commercial and corporate disputes. Other key names are counsels Gaetano Jannone and Joanna Kraus-Kolber, who is 'very reliable, dedicated and easy to work with'.

Practice head(s):

Jean-Pierre Fierens

Other key lawyers:

Olivier Clevenbergh; Bart De Moor; Sébastien Ryelandt; Gaetano Jannone; Joanna Kraus-Kolber


They are reliable, business-oriented, flexible, and capable of acting on a broad range of matters. Their commitment and quality of work is undoubtedly their strongest point‘.

Joanna Kraus-Kolber – flexibility, business orientation, accessibility, high communication skills, individual and responsive service‘.

‘A team that listens to your needs’.

Olivier Clevenbergh : availability; smartness in negotiation; human approach to complex litigations‘.

‘The trust we could place in Gaetano Janonne is very important. Not once did I question his judgment‘.

I have worked very closely with Gaetano Jannone. He follows up files meticulously, is punctual, perfectionist and has very good file knowledge‘.

Joanna Kraus-Kolber – very professional legal assistance, very effective, very helpful to the client, great communication skills‘.

Client-focused, efficient, solution and business-oriented. We appreciate the team’s flexibility and availability. It has a good mix of technical skills and pragmatism. Offers good value for money‘.

Key clients


Veritas Group

Vesalius Biocapital

Orange Belgium


The Belgian State

Private equity Tier 3

Gisèle Rosselle leads Strelia's team in Brussels, which is particularly noted for its work in the biotech sector, where it has a strong profile acting for life sciences investment funds and Belgian biotech companies. Elsewhere, the firm is also engaged in transactions involving other industries, such as manufacturing, technology and chemicals. In 2019, Laurent Verhavert acted for German investment fund JOIN Capital on a Series B private equity investment in Belgian tech company Proxyclick, alongside Five Elms Capital. Also notable is that the successful growth of the firm's private equity offering in Belgium has led to it opening an office in Luxembourg.

Practice head(s):

Gisèle Rosselle

Other key lawyers:

Laurent Verhavert


‘Strelia is a very good independent Belgian law firm that is perfectly adapted for international deals when targets are in Belgium. The corporate team has high technical skills, is very responsive and easy to work with.’

‘We mainly worked with Gisèle Rosselle and her team. Gisèle is extremely competent, responsive and understands the business aspects of transactions. She is very pleasant to work with.’

Key clients



HJJ Capital

EPICS Therapeutics



Synergia Medical



Alvalux Medical






Join Capital


Novadip Biosciences

Strelia is a business law firm composed of experienced partners and their teams looking to combine their expertise and strengths to provide high quality services to their clients.

The focus of Strelia is on Corporate / M&A, Capital Markets, Banking & Finance, Dispute Resolution, Restructuring & Insolvency, TaxCommercial Law and Employment & Benefits.

Our lawyers are used to working according to international standards. Many of them have worked in international firms before joining Strelia, some for more than two decades.

Our team comprises both native French speakers and native Dutch speakers. All our lawyers are fluent in English. Several of them have studied and/or worked abroad, notably in the United States or in the United Kingdom.

Our aim is to provide our clients with a professional and personalised service.

We believe in the complementarity of transactional and contentious work. A good agreement is an agreement which can stand the test of a court decision, and it is in our experience critical that lawyers arguing cases in court also have direct experience in negotiating deals.

While delivering practical results, we place a high importance on the technical knowledge of law. Many of our lawyers have academic functions and/or write articles in their field of activities, which ensures that we have access to in-depth and updated know-how.

Department Name Email Telephone
Dispute Resolution, Commercial Jean-Pierre Fierens 0032 2 627 00 90
Managing Partner, Corporate M&A, Commercial, Dispute Resolution Olivier Clevenbergh 0032 2 627 00 90
Corporate / M&A, Capital Markets, Banking & Finance Gisèle Rosselle 0032 2 627 01 92
Corporate / M&A Laurent Verhavert 0032 2 627 00 90
Dispute Resolution, Commercial, Restructuring & Insolvency Bart De Moor 0032 2 627 00 90
Employment & Benefits Herman Craeninckx 0032 2 627 00 90
Tax Benoît Malvaux 0032 2 627 00 90
Dispute Resolution Sébastien Ryelandt 0032 2 627 00 90
Corporate / M&A Dirk Leermakers 0035 2 20 88 23 10
Corporate / M&A, Banking & Finance Etienne de Crépy 0035 2 20 88 23 12
Photo Name Position Profile
Mr Olivier Clevenbergh photo Mr Olivier Clevenbergh Olivier Clevenbergh is partner in the corporate & finance practice. He also…
Mr Herman Craeninckx  photo Mr Herman Craeninckx Herman Craeninckx is partner in our employment and benefits practice. He specialises…
Mr Bart De Moor  photo Mr Bart De Moor Bart De Moor is a partner in our dispute resolution practice and…
Mr Jean-Pierre Fierens  photo Mr Jean-Pierre Fierens Jean-Pierre Fierens is a partner in our dispute resolution practice. He specialises…
Mr Dirk Leermakers  photo Mr Dirk Leermakers Dirk Leermakers is a partner in the corporate & finance practice in…
Mr Benoît Malvaux  photo Mr Benoît Malvaux With over 20 years of experience, Benoît Malvaux is a partner in…
Mrs Gisèle Rosselle photo Mrs Gisèle Rosselle Gisèle Rosselle is a partner in our corporate & finance practice. She…
Mr Sébastien Ryelandt photo Mr Sébastien Ryelandt Sébastien Ryelandt is partner in our dispute resolution practice. He has over…
Mr Laurent Verhavert  photo Mr Laurent Verhavert Laurent Verhavert is partner in our corporate & finance practice. He specialises…
Mr Etienne de Crépy  photo Mr Etienne de Crépy Etienne de Crépy is partner in our corporate & finance practice in…
IBA (International Bar Association)
ABA (American Bar Association)
EELA (European Employment Lawyer Association)
Belgian Centre for Arbitration and Mediation (Cepani)
International Association of Lawyers (UIA)
AmCham American Chamber of Commerce
INSOL - International Association of Restructuring

Strelia recognises and values the importance of being different. We believe that each individual’s unique set of talents, skills, social backgrounds, culture, personal characteristics, and their differences in gender, beliefs, sexual orientation, and nationalities contribute to creating a stronger workforce and a better law firm. We therefore take diversity very seriously and persist in continuing our pursuit of becoming a diverse and inclusive firm.

Since our inception in 2013, we have progressed significantly in terms of gender diversity. At Strelia, women account for 10% of all partners and 50% of all counsel and associates. We constantly take steps to steer our discussions and actions towards promoting our culture of diversity, inclusion, and work-life balance, which are some of the main pillars of our hiring and retention programs. Strelia is also one of the key members in promoting gender diversity by organizing the Women in Law and Leadership program every year, inspiring female associates of Belgian law firms to take on leadership roles and coaching them on how to advance in their careers. Our lawyers and staff have various ethnic backgrounds, and we stand by this commitment of inclusion. Moreover, Strelia is aware of some clients’ demand for diverse lawyers to assist them and handle their matters, and we take this preference to heart. We are sensitive to their requests and do our best to form a team that can meet their criteria.

In early 2019, Strelia joined the Belgium-based Legal Diversity & Inclusion Alliance (LDIA). Our membership demonstrates our commitment to not only promoting diversity and inclusion in the legal industry but also making collective efforts with several law firms in Belgium to champion this. LDIA member firms affirm their commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive work environment, exchanging good practices on diversity and inclusion, and raising awareness of non-discrimination and diversity issues by combining efforts in organising events, workshops and training.

Strelia is also a proud sponsor of DIApositief, which stands for “diverse and inclusive law profession” (in English). DIApositief is an initiative of the Dutch-speaking Brussels Bar whose mission is to raise awareness about the legal profession among young migrants and to aspire them to pursue their studies and career in law. What drives our sponsorship in this initiative is the fact that we acknowledge Brussels’s diversity (it is the second most diverse city in the world, after Dubai), and we want to do as much as we can to play an active role in supporting the next generation of lawyers, who are migrants or come from migrant families.

We clearly see the legal industry in Belgium jump on the “Workplace Diversity and Inclusion” bandwagon, and Strelia is pleased to be among the firms leading this.

Dirk Leermakers, Partner & Head of Luxembourg Office

Partner & Head of Luxembourg Office Dirk Leermakers explains how Strelia is adapting to clients’ changing needs

What do you see as the main points that differentiate your firm from your competitors?

At Strelia, we define ourselves as an independent, topquality and cost-efficient law firm that provides high-end services on a human scale. We aim to provide services that rival those of international firms in terms of quality. Moreover, due to our smaller leverage ratio and competitive hourly rates, we can guarantee our clients that a partner will always be their prime point of contact, and that the teams we put together to handle an assignment are lean and efficient. Our experience has been that clients value the personalised service we offer. For practice areas we do not cover, such as competition law or environmental law, we team up with other specialised boutique firms.

Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?

The main practice area in which we expect growth in the Luxembourg market is that of investment funds, particularly alternative investment funds (AIFs). Over the past fifteen years or so, the Luxembourg legislator has at regular intervals created new tools to attract fund promotors to the country. This started with the introduction of the specialised investment fund (SIF), following up on the SICAR-law and securitisation law enacted shortly before. More recently, Luxembourg created a new corporate structure, the special limited partnership, that compares well to a common law limited partnership and which fund promotors, judging by its success, find very convincing. Following the introduction of the restricted alternative investment fund (RAIF), promotors can now set up alternative funds without the prior approval of the regulator.

Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?

As more and more legal products become commoditised, technology drives us to add value in more distinctive ways. The Strelia business model, predicated on personal involvement of partners and efficient staffing, is uniquely fit to address the challenges facing the legal profession in years ahead. Standardised document production can be easily shifted among law firms, or from a law firm to another service provider. The intimate knowledge of a client and its business, and of a client’s needs and expectations, that flows from a longstanding relationship between a partner and the client’s CEO or general counsel, is not so readily substitutable.

Where do you see the firm in three years’ time?

Strelia’s business model has proved its success in our home market, Belgium, as is recognised by our clients and peers. We believe our formula will meet an equal level of success in Luxembourg, our second home market. Being a fully integrated law firm, Strelia’s human and technological resources are shared between both offices, which makes our offering even more attractive. In three years’ time, we expect to have put together a group of partners and lawyers that will allow us to service our clients in those practice areas that are critical in Luxembourg. The main challenge we encounter in Luxembourg and which we share with all other firms, is attracting top legal talent, given the strength of the market and its ongoing growth.