Firm Profile > Bird & Bird > Brussels, Belgium

Bird & Bird

EU regulatory: Pharma, medical devices and biotech Tier 1

Bird & Bird's life sciences practice has been busy handling biobanking, public procurement matters, compliance issues and clinical trials for pharmaceutical, biotech and medical devices entities, among others. The team also counts advising companies on regulatory and implementation issues on the use of human biological samples as a key strength. Department head Marc Martens and counsel Nicolas Carbonnelle are the key contacts.

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Key clients

Louvain University

Janssen Pharmaceutica


EU regulatory: Privacy and data protection Tier 1

Benoit Van Asbroeck leads the team at Bird & Bird, which is a member of a consortium advising on an ongoing EU-funded big-data project. Other areas of instruction include data breach cases, e-privacy matters, GDPR compliance and data transfer matters. Senior associate Julien Debussche is noted. Takeshige Sugimoto left the firm in July 2019.

Fintech Tier 1

Bird & Bird's long-established reputation in the technology sector makes it a first choice for many clients. In Brussels, the team is particularly well-known for its strengths in the payments sector, where it provides comprehensive advice on the gamut of competition, regulatory and commercial legal issues. Clients include international banks, corporates and payment services providers. Scott McInnes and Paul Hermant advise fast-growing San Francisco-based technology company Stripe on its payments regulatory issues in Europe, including those relating to PSD2. Another name to note is Cathie-Rosalie Joly, who is based in Paris, but also admitted to the Brussels bar. She advises fintech clients on financial regulation, data protection and cybersecurity.

Key clients



Mastercard / Vocalink


BNP Paribas (France) and BNP Paribas Fortis (Belgium)


Danske Bank

Industry focus: Food Tier 1

Bird & Bird leverages its full service capabilities to provide well-rounded advice on the full range of contentious and non-contentious matters in the food and beverage sector; it also utilises the firm's international network in cross-border matters. Jean-Christophe Troussel, who advises on a range of commercial, IP and regulatory issues, heads up the practice group.

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Dr. Oetker


AB Inbev

Industry focus: Healthcare and life sciences Tier 1

Bird & Bird's 'highly responsive and knowledgeable' life sciences and healthcare team handles the full range of contentious and non-contentious matters in the sector, including regulatory, corporate and commercial, competition and IP issues. Regulatory expert Marc Martens heads up the international industry practice group and has particular experience advising on advanced therapies, clinical trials and data exclusivity mandates. Counsel Nicolas Carbonnelle is another name to note for regulatory matters, while IP partner Jean-Christophe Troussel is highlighted for patent and trade mark issues and corporate partner Paul Hermant handles transactional work.

Practice head(s):


Jean-Christophe Troussel and counsel Domien Op de Beeck provide particularly excellent support.

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Salutas Pharma





Janssen Pharmaceutica

Johnson & Johnson



Louvain University


Precision for Medicine Group

European Respiratory Society

Grand Hôpital de Charleroi


Industry focus: IT and telecoms Tier 1

Bird & Bird's TMT practice advises on the full spectrum of contentious and non-contentious issues including licensing work, outsourcings and joint venture agreements, IP protection, regulatory issues and public procurement mandates across the IT and telecoms sectors. Benoit Van Asbroeck, who combines data protection, commercial contract and public procurement expertise, and EU and competition specialist Hein Hobbelen jointly lead the practice.

Key clients

European Commission

UAB Bitė Lietuva

T-Mobile / Tele 2

Intellectual property Tier 1

Bird & Bird has been especially active in big-ticket patent litigation, often with a cross-border flavour, and reports an increase in licensing disputes. The group also handles copyright disputes and trade mark litigation, as well as non-contentious IP mandates. Jean-Christophe Troussel heads the practice; Benoit Van Asbroeck, associate Guillaume de Villegas de Clercamp and counsel Domien Op de Beeck are key contacts.

EU regulatory: Financial services Tier 2

Scott McInnes and Paul Hermant are the key contacts at Bird & Bird. The team is well known for its solid capabilities in assisting with online payment and electronic banking matters, and in this space, is advising software company Stripe on payment regulation issues.

Practice head(s):


Always happy to help and very knowledgable in the space.’

Scott McInnes is always responsive‘.

Key clients







EU regulatory: Food Tier 2

Counsel Nicolas Carbonnelle heads up Bird & Bird's food practice. The 'pragmatic' group has been advising food producer Dr. Oetker on labelling issues, novel food matters and EU recipe compliance, to name a few areas.

Practice head(s):


Nicolas Carbonelle is an extraordinary asset. He is very pragmatic, with strong knowledge and always supportive‘.

Key clients

Dr. Oetker

EU regulatory: Information technology Tier 2

Benoit Van Asbroeck and Marc Martens jointly head Bird & Bird's practice, which counts IT contracts, cybersecurity and public procurement matters as key areas of expertise.

Key clients

The European Commission

Industry focus: Media and entertainment Tier 2

The technology communications and media team at Bird & Bird leverages a multidisciplinary team to advise clients in media-related arenas. The group is jointly led by IP and IT-sector expert Benoit Van Asbroeck and Hein Hobbelen, who focuses on EU and competition law.

Not-for-profit Tier 2

Bird & Bird's not-for-profit practice, which is jointly led by Paul Hermant and Brent Springael, assists Belgium-based and international trade and industry associations with all aspects of their operational requirements. The multidisciplinary team advises clients on their structure and establishment, governance, intellectual property and tax issues, among other areas. Anne Federle has been advising the European Petroleum Refiners Association (Fuels Europe) on competition law compliance for over 20 years. In addition, a team including Hein Hobbelen, Hermant, counsel Cedric Berckmans and Baptist Vleeshouwers is assisting ACE (Alliance for Beverage Cartons and Environment) with compliance with Belgian and EU competition law, and is also handling its Belgian corporate law issues. The group also recently acted for the same client on the establishment of a pan-European recycling platform, which was incorporated as a German association. In addition to acting for trade and industry associations, the firm has developed a strong profile advising European scientific institutions, particularly in the context of pan-European collaborative research projects.

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Key clients

International Currency Association





European Research Infrastructure on Highly Pathogenic Agents



ACE (Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment)



Employment Tier 3

Bird & Bird's team is 'very practical, with a business solution mindset'. Compliance matters have been prominent in the group's workload over the past year; restructuring, dismissals and contentious work has also been prominent. The client base includes prominent life sciences and technology entities. Pieter De Koster heads the department; counsel Cecilia Lahaye and senior associate Anton Aerts are key contacts.

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Key clients

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries

Gilead Sciences


Dispute resolution Tier 4

At Bird & Bird, the team is perhaps best known for its strength in IP litigation, however the group is also adept at handling corporate and financial disputes; Paul Hermant is a key figure in this area. The department is led by IP expert Benoit Van Asbroeck.

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Key clients


Leiden University Medical Centre

Schneider Electric

Garcia Barquero

Kuehne & Nagel

Tax Tier 4

Bird & Bird's tax practice is particularly active in industries such as aviation, life sciences, media and IT and e-commerce. Another area of strength is in the not-for-profit sector, where it handles a wide range of direct and indirect tax issues for a sizeable number of international associations with a presence in Belgium. The main contact at the firm is Brent Springael, who is a member of institutes such as the Tax and Legal Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) and the Belgian branch of the International Fiscal Association. Recent highlights included Springael acting as tax counsel to BBAM in an aircraft lease novation transaction. He also assisted UK non-profit organisation the International Currency Association with corporate and tax issues connected with the structuring of its conference activities in Europe. Also notable is that Springael has particular expertise in tax matters that have an interplay with intellectual property issues.

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Key clients


International Association of Privacy Professionals

Industeel Belgium

Cefaly Technology

ArcelorMittal Belgium

Liege Steel Industry (aka Liberty Liège Dudelange)


Swedish Orphan Biovitrium


Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 5

Bird & Bird's corporate and M&A team handles a range of corporate and commercial transactions and governance advice. It counts the life sciences, TMT and financial services industries among its sector specialisms, and has recently been particularly active in venture capital transactions. Paul Hermant leads the practice and has broad experience across M&A deals, IPOs, joint ventures and litigation.

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Key clients

Bootstrap Europe

PDC Line





EPICS Therapeutic

Titan Cement









Workday Inc (Workday Belgium)

Sompo Japan

Nippponkoa Insurance Company of Europe Ltd

Apollo Endosurgery


QlikTech Netherlands (Belgian branch)

Proton World International NV

Calyos SA

Easynet Belgium NV

Orion Pharma

Clarity Genomics


In-service Aircraft for Global Observing System IVZW

The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment

Partnership For Advanced Computing in Europe IVZW

Competition: EU and global Tier 5

José Rivas heads up Bird & Bird's multinational competition team, which attracts a large and diverse portfolio of high-profile, cross-border work. Its coverage of all the main subsets of competition law is complemented by its knowledge about sector-specific regulatory issues. Scott McInnes is an expert in competition and regulatory issues impacting the payments sector, particularly card payments. Hein Hobbelen has specialist expertise in the areas of technology and communications, media, entertainment and sports. Hobbelen was recently part of the team which acted for T-Mobile Netherlands as an interested third party on the re-notification of the Liberty Global (UPC)/Ziggo transaction at the EC.  Anne Federle is particularly knowledgeable about the automotive industry. The team also includes of counsel Lawrence Freeman, who joined in 2018 from Tesla. The firm also generates work from clients in other industries. In one example, Rivas is part of a cross-border group, which is acting for Easyjet before the General Court of the EU in an appeal of an EC decision on State aid concerning funding granted to Sardinian airports. Of counsel Serge Durande joined from DG COMP.

Practice head(s):


Apart from their high technical skills, when you work with them you really feel that they form part of your own team. Their practical approach to the problems, the speed in their analysis and responses make this practice unique

Key clients


Bitė Lietuva



European Commission

European Petroleum Refiners Association

European Thermal Paper Association (ETPA)




John Bean Technologies

John Deere



Otto Bock



PRS for Music



T-Mobile Netherlands

Yanfeng Automotive Interiors (YFAI)

The firm: Bird & Bird is an international law firm, with a long-established reputation for having a rare and invaluable grasp of strategic commercial issues. The firm combines exceptional legal expertise with deep industry knowledge and refreshingly creative thinking, to help clients operating at the forefront of their industries to achieve their commercial goals.

Bird & Bird has over 1,200 lawyers and legal practitioners with broad advisory transactional and contentious capability, with a particular focus on key industry sectors. The firm has an extensive international reach with 28 offices in 19 countries across Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, offering a seamless, cross-border service between locations and sector and practice groups.

The Belgian office, which brings together 40 lawyers from more than ten different countries, offers expert advice across a broad range of areas including corporate, commercial, competition, employment, privacy and data protection, intellectual property, regulatory and tax. The team has strong expertise in the life sciences, electronics, technology and communications, aviation and aerospace, energy, and food and beverage sectors. Furthermore, the Belgian office is also the hub of Bird & Bird’s international competition and EU practice.

Located in Brussels, the heart of the European decision-making community, the firm is able to closely follow and influence the developments of European law, particularly in its chosen sectors. This enables it to keep its clients abreast of key developments in EC law.

Areas of practice: Underpinned by deep client and industry knowledge, the firm’s key sectors include:

Automotive: advising on all stages of a life cycle of a motor vehicle, from initial design, to sales and distribution, through to disposals.

Aviation, aerospace, defence and security: advising on asset management and financing, civil aviation matters, including airlines, regulatory and competition issues, and aerospace and defence, including PPP/PFI and product liability.

Electronics: advising clients operating in or serving the electronics industry, from R&D and component manufacturing, to technology licensing agreements.

Energy and utilities: advising large multinationals, investors, project companies and large energy consumers on electricity generation, energy trading, renewable energy, cleantech and climate change, and upstream oil and gas.

Financial services: advising global clients in the financial services sector, such as global retail and investment banks, investors and hedge funds, on transactions, regulatory issues, commercial contracts and dispute resolution.

Food and beverage: advising on a full range of areas, including branding, labelling, health claims, fair trade and patents on novel foods.

Life sciences and healthcare: advising clients in biotechnology, bioinformatics and pharmaceutical companies on licensing and drug development agreements, R&D collaboration, IP acquisitions and joint ventures.

Media and entertainment: advising clients from across the media spectrum on a wide range of issues, including exploitation across all forms of digital media and emerging areas, such as user-generated content exploitation.

Sports: advising clients such as national and international sports governing bodies, event organisers and sponsors on issues including exploitation of commercial rights, brand management, regulatory and disciplinary issues.

Technology and communications: advising on matters ranging from smaller innovative projects to some of the largest, most complex and ground-breaking transactions and disputes of recent years. Its team includes lawyers with a particular focus on communications, devices and components, digital tech and eCommerce, and software and services as well as a number of more specialist industries including data centres, postal and satellites.

Department Name Email Telephone
Arbitration Benoit Van Asbroeck
Banking and finance Paul Hermant
Brands and trade marks Jean-Christophe Troussel
Brands and trade marks Benoit van Asbroek
Commercial Benoit Van Asbroeck
Competition and EU José Rivas
Competition and EU Anne Federle
Competition and EU Scott McInnes
Competition and EU Hein Hobbelen
Copyright Jean-Christophe Troussel
Copyright Benoit Van Asbroeck
Corporate Paul Hermant
Dispute resolution Marc Martens
Dispute resolution Benoit van Asbroek
Patents and know-how Bruno Vandermeulen
Patents and know-how Marc Martens
Patents and know-how Jean-Christophe Troussel
Privacy and data protection Benoit Van Asbroeck
Regulatory and administrative Marc Martens
Public sector contracts and disputes Marc Martens
Tax Brent Springael
Number of lawyers : 1,200
at this office : 40
Other offices : Aarhus
Other offices : Abu Dhabi
Other offices : Beijing
Other offices : Bratislava
Other offices : Budapest
Other offices : Copenhagen
Other offices : Dubai
Other offices : Dusseldorf
Other offices : Frankfurt
Other offices : Hamburg
Other offices : Helsinki
Other offices : Hong Kong
Other offices : London
Other offices : Luxembourg
Other offices : Lyon
Other offices : Madrid
Other offices : Milan
Other offices : Munich
Other offices : Paris
Other offices : Prague
Other offices : Rome
Other offices : Shanghai
Other offices : Singapore
Other offices : Stockholm
Other offices : Sydney
Other offices : The Hague
Other offices : Warsaw

Bird & Bird is an international law firm with a focus on helping organisations being changed by technology and the digital world. With over 1300 lawyers in 28 offices across Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific, the firm is ready to help clients wherever they are in the world. Bird & Bird’s history stretches back to the 1830s, with the firm formally established in 1846. Even back then, the firm’s excellence in client service and passion for key industries attracted leading innovators.

As technology allowed innovations and ideas to travel more quickly, the need to protect the ideas and innovations of its clients encouraged the firm to expand its international capabilities. In 1998, Bird & Bird became one of the first law firms to organise around key sectors, enabling it to share its deep industry knowledge more effectively across the firm.

Bird & Bird combines this commercial understanding of its clients’ businesses with its leading legal expertise and the international reach its clients need to achieve their goals.

Main areas of practice

For the past decade, Bird & Bird has been the go-to international legal firm for companies working with disruptive technology. Whether traditional businesses leveraging cutting-edge technology or start-ups changing the status quo, the firm guides its clients through all the regulatory, legal and commercial aspects of this fast-moving environment. Bird & Bird’s lawyers combine exceptional legal expertise with deep industry knowledge and refreshingly creative thinking, to help clients operating at the forefront of their industries to achieve their goals.

The firm currently works with over half of the first 100 companies in the Fortune 500 and nearly two-thirds of the world’s 100 most innovative companies, as named by Forbes. Over a third of Bird & Bird’s clients have been with the firm for more than a decade; testament to the high-level of service and legal expertise it delivers.

Bird & Bird’s wide-ranging practice in Latin America has been going from strength-to-strength since its inception ten years ago, working on projects across Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. These projects have involved transactional work, dispute resolution and regulatory matters across multiple sectors including energy and projects, transport and aviation, food and beverage, TMT, life sciences and healthcare, employment, and financial services.

The firm’s offices in Madrid and London have spearheaded Bird & Bird’s activity in the region, making the most of Madrid’s connection in culture and language, as well as the extensive experience and expertise in the region of its individual lawyers. As a result, the firm has developed a very strong network of relationships with some of the most renowned and prestigious local firms in Latin American Countries.

Department Name Email Telephone
Automotive Christian Kessell
Aviation and defence Paul Briggs
Aviation and defence Leo Fattorini
Energy and utilities Matt Bonass
Energy and utilities Hermenegildo Altozano
Financial services Christian Bartsch
Financial services Stefano Febbi
Retail and consumer Mark Abell
Tech and comms Graeme Maguire
Practice areas
Commercial Simon Shooter
Commercial Fabian Niemann
Competition and EU law Pauline Kuipers
Competition and EU law Morten Nissen
Corporate Stefan Silvestri
Corporate Peter Veranneman
Dispute resolution Peter Knight
Finance Trystan Tether
Finance Raimondo Maggiore
Franchising Mark Abell
Intellectual property Morag Macdonald
Intellectual property Christian Harmsen
Outsourcing Mark Leach
Privacy and data protection Arian Mole
Privacy and data protection Ruth Boardman
Real estate Jonathan Baker
Regulatory and administrative Jan Byok
Tax Andrew Brown
Trade and Customs Richard Eccles
Trade and customs Brian Mulier
Partners : 310
Other fee-earners : 1,300
Total staff : 2,225