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Bird & Bird

AVENUE LOUISE 235 BOX 1, 1050 BRUXELLES, BELGIUM
Tel:
Work +32 2 282 60 00
Fax:
Fax +32 2 282 60 11
DX:
1050 BDE
Email:
Web:
www.twobirds.com

Belgium

Banking, finance and capital markets
Banking, finance and capital markets - ranked: tier 4

Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird's Scott McInnes , who was formerly a senior regulatory counsel at Mastercard prior to his arrival at the firm in 2016, is a well-known name in the payments sector. McInnes has expertise in the various commercial and competition law issues associated with the industry, and is knowledgeable about the regulation of payment services (including Payment Services Directive II, EU SEPA Regulation and EU Interchange Fee Regulation). He acts for a wide range of market participants in this area, such as card issuers, merchants and fintech companies. The firm is 'on top of the latest payments regulatory developments, knows the market very well and is able to apply the law to the set of facts/market dynamics'. Beyond the payments sector, the firm provides licensing and regulatory compliance advice to a wide range of other financial services providers, including insurance companies and brokers, and financial advisers. Paul Hermant and others advise longstanding client Ethias on matters related to governance, products and marketing, among other areas. On the transactional side, Hermant has over 30 years of experience of advising clients on acquisition and project finance, IPOs and derivatives. Underlining the firm's full-service approach to meeting the needs of clients, it recently launched a public affairs offering by hiring Francine Cunningham from the US Mission to the European Union. Senior associate Cedric Berckmans is another name to note.

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Commercial, corporate and M&A
Commercial, corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 5

Bird & Bird

The corporate team at Bird & Bird, headed up by Paul Hermant, is known for handling a range of corporate matters and transactions, particularly in the life sciences, TMT and financial services sectors. The group assisted Ethias with the transfer of part of its life insurance business to the Irish Monument Re Group, which included advising on the regulatory and tax aspects of the sale. It also offers ongoing corporate advice to many of its well-known clients.

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Competition: EU and global
Competition: EU and global - ranked: tier 4

Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird is 'the ideal legal partner for a business', with clients highlighting 'the level of expertise' at the firm and 'unique personal service'. Its credentials in cross-border competition matters are reflected by the fact that its Brussels team includes practitioners from nine different European countries. Under the leadership of José Rivas, the practice is gaining momentum; Takeshige Sugimoto and counsel Akihiro Kawashima have recently joined from Gibson Dunn, and senior counsel Lawrence Freeman is a notable arrival from Tesla. Clients also benefit from the expertise of Hein Hobbelen, who moved from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in 2017. Illustrative of the quality of its mandates, Anne Federle and Rivas are leading a team acting for Rubycon in its appeal before the General Court of the EU against the EC's decision to fine the client for its alleged involvement in a cartel with other capacitor manufacturers. In addition, Federle, Hobbelen and Scott McInnes provide competition and payments sector regulatory advice to Mastercard on a range of issues. The firm's broader work for clients also includes merger control, state aid proceedings, abuse of dominance investigations and public procurement.

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Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 4

Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird is acting for Leiden University Medical Centre in litigation concerning alleged breaches of a consortium agreement regarding the development of a vaccine; Benoit Van Asbroeck is leading on this matter. Paul Hermant is a key name for finance and corporate litigation.

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EU regulatory: Financial services
EU regulatory: Financial services - ranked: tier 2

Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird’s 'incredibly responsive' team garners praise for its 'pragmatic and business-focused advice', and is especially noted for its expertise in electronic banking, online payment and outsourcing matters. The group advises longstanding client Mastercard on payment regulation issues. The 'pragmatic' practice head Scott McInnes has 'excellent knowledge of the market'.

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EU regulatory: Food
EU regulatory: Food - ranked: tier 2

Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird's food practice has been advising clients on labelling issues, health claims, product classification and novel food matters, among other areas. Marc Martens and counsel Nicolas Carbonnelle are key contacts.

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EU regulatory: Pharma, medical devices and biotech
EU regulatory: Pharma, medical devices and biotech - ranked: tier 1

Bird & Bird

At Bird & Bird, department head Marc Martens and counsel Nicolas Carbonnelle are advising Pfizer on public procurement procedures concerning vaccine contracts. The duo are also advising sector organisations bio.be and pharma.be on the development of the Belgian legal framework for access to human biological samples for manufacturing advanced therapy medicinal products.

Leading individuals

Marc Martens - Bird & Bird

Next generation lawyers

Nicolas Carbonnelle - Bird & Bird

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EU regulatory: Privacy and data protection
EU regulatory: Privacy and data protection - ranked: tier 1

Bird & Bird

At Bird & Bird, Benoit Van Asbroeck’s group has been kept busy with GDPR compliance matters and data breach cases, among other areas. The firm is part of a consortium advising on an ongoing EU-funded big-data project. Takeshige Sugimoto is well known for handling data protection matters for prominent Japanese corporations. Senior associate Julien Debussche is also recommended.

Leading individuals

Benoit Van Asbroeck - Bird & Bird

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EU regulatory: information technology
EU regulatory: information technology - ranked: tier 1

Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird handles a range of public procurement, outsourcings, IT contracts and cybersecurity matters. Benoit Van Asbroeck and Marc Martens are key contacts.

Leading individuals

Benoit Van Asbroeck - Bird & Bird

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Employment
Employment - ranked: tier 3

Bird & Bird

Pieter De Koster's group at Bird & Bird is well known for handling a broad spread of employment matters for a client base of prominent international names, including Teva Pharmaceutical Industries. Collective dismissals have dominated the team's workload over the past year; compliance matters have also been prominent. Associates Anton Aerts and Mary-Ann Staar are also recommended. Christophe Delmarcelle left the firm in January 2018.

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Industry focus: Food
Industry focus: Food - ranked: tier 1

Bird & Bird

The food and beverage sector practice at Bird & Bird frequently assists well-known companies with a range of local and multinational projects. The team acts for Dr. Oetker on a range of food regulatory, consumer law and IP matters. It was also instructed by ACN Europe to advise on the packaging, marketing and advertisement of several products, including cereal bars, meal replacement shakes and food supplements. Recently promoted counsel Nicolas Carbonnelle is a key name to note.

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Industry focus: Healthcare and life sciences
Industry focus: Healthcare and life sciences - ranked: tier 1

Bird & Bird

The life sciences and healthcare practice at Bird & Bird acts for a client list including BCI Pharma, Epics Therapeutic and Express Scripts. The team is regularly instructed by Pfizer and is assisting with highly sensitive negotiations concerning vaccines contracts with several governments, as well as with general advice relating to tendering procedures. It advised Bio.be and pharma.be on EU regulatory framework issues regarding cells and tissues; the department also advises the latter on public procurement, reimbursement issues and clinical trials. Co-head of the firm's global life sciences group, Marc Martens, heads the practice and has particular experience advising on biotech products and advanced therapies. Recently promoted counsel Nicolas Carbonnelle is a key point of contact for the coordination of cross-border projects.

Leading individuals

Marc Martens - Bird & Bird

Next generation lawyers

Nicolas Carbonnelle - Bird & Bird

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Industry focus: IT and telecoms
Industry focus: IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 1

Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird's TMT practice is able to handle a range of projects for¬†IT and telecoms sector clients.¬†It is instructed by¬†Proximus on several regulatory, competition law and corporate matters and recently assisted the company's subsidiary Telindus¬†on the acquisition of Ion-IP.¬†In another work highlight, the department is instructed by¬†Sap on data protection and IT considerations relating to its enterprise threat detection product.¬†A team including Benoit Van Asbroeck¬†and Julien Debussche¬†forms part of a consortium¬†of¬†academics and industry experts¬†that assists the European Commission with research projects including in relation to the¬†use of big data. Hein Hobbelen¬†‚ÄĒ who splits his time between Brussels and The Hague¬†‚ÄĒjointly heads¬†the practice alongside Van Asbroeck and is a key name to note for competition law.¬†The team's¬†regulatory expertise was bolstered by the arrival of senior public affairs manager Francine Cunningham¬†from the US Mission to the European Union.

Leading individuals

Benoit Van Asbroeck - Bird & Bird

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Industry focus: media and entertainment
Industry focus: media and entertainment - ranked: tier 2

Bird & Bird

The technology, communications and media practice at Bird & Bird handles a range of contentious and non-contentious matters for clients in the sector, with particular expertise in broadcasting and film; advertising, marketing and communications; and content licensing and distribution. The group acted for Dimoco Europe on matters relating to the company's intervention in payment transactions between Belgian-licensed online betting or gambling services providers and mobile network operators. Competition lawyer Hein Hobbelen joined the team from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and heads the practice alongside Benoit Van Asbroeck, who specialises in data protection and IP.

Leading individuals

Benoit Van Asbroeck - Bird & Bird

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 1

Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird has a strong international presence for IP matters, and is adept at handling complex non-contentious and contentious IP work. Recent work for the team includes representing B. Braun Melsungen in cross-border patent litigation against Becton Dickinson. Other areas of instruction include trade mark litigation, copyright disputes, and protection of trade secrets. The well-regarded Jean-Christophe Troussel heads the practice, in which Benoit Van Asbroeck is a key figure. Bruno Vandermeulen left the firm in December 2018.

Leading individuals

Benoit Van Asbroeck - Bird & Bird

Jean-Christophe Troussel - Bird & Bird

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Not-for-profit
Not-for-profit - ranked: tier 1

Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird's prominence in the not-for-profit sphere has made it a first port-of-call for Belgium-based trade and industry associations, European scientific institutions, and other international NPOs. The firm draws upon strengths across multiple practice areas to cover a wide range of issues. Paul Hermant has more than 20 years of experience advising international associations and federations on their structure, membership, governance and M&A. Hermant co-heads the practice with Brent Springael, who is the head of the tax group in Brussels. Other notable individuals include competition partner Anne Federle and senior associate Mathieu Relange, who assisted the European Petroleum Refiners Association (Fuels Europe) with an antitrust audit. The firm also has experts in areas such as employment law, intellectual property and data protection. Hein Hobbelen, whose practice is split between Brussels and The Hague, is also recommended.

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Tax
Tax - ranked: tier 4

Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird's team has niche experience of tax matters that interface with intellectual property issues. Brent Springael and senior associate Pierre Hechtermans acted for Mediahuis in an application to extend the application of a tax ruling (which stated that the freelance journalist industry was able to benefit from a special tax regime for copyright remuneration) to freelancers in the audio-visual sector. The group also acts for clients including Ironshore, Richemont and Sabam, among many others.

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Further information on Bird & Bird LLP

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Bird & Bird LLP in other jurisdictions.

United Arab Emirates

Offices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai

Australia

Offices in Sydney

Belgium

Offices in Brussels

China

Offices in Beijing and Shanghai

Czech Republic

Offices in Prague

Germany

Offices in Munich, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, and Hamburg

Denmark

Offices in Aarhus and Copenhagen

Spain

Offices in Madrid

Finland

Offices in Helsinki

France

Offices in Paris and Lyon

Hong Kong

Offices in Hong Kong

Hungary

Offices in Budapest

India

Italy

Offices in Milan and Rome

London

Offices in London

Netherlands

Offices in The Hague and Amsterdam

Poland

Offices in Warsaw

Sweden

Offices in Stockholm

Singapore

Offices in Singapore

Slovakia

Offices in Bratislava

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