CMS > Brussels, Belgium > Firm Profile

CMS
CHAUSSÉE DE LA HULPE 178
1170 BRUSSELS
Belgium

Belgium > EU regulatory: Privacy and data protection Tier 1

CMS combines European and global data protection and risk management advice with a notable cyber breach response offering, working with a number of high-profile tech clients, many of which hold large amounts of sensitive data. The firm also provides an in-house data protection officer service, and has a strong presence within the digital economy sector. The practice is headed up by Tom De Cordier, a longstanding player in the data privacy space and a regular adviser to major companies on large-scale data projects, as well as a contributor to thought leadership on the subject.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Tom De Cordier: I appreciate the down to earth approach, the willingness to underpin advice with context, and most of all willingness to listen, really listen to the points being raised, perhaps in defence of a different viewpoint.’

Key clients

Facebook

McCain

Sotera

Vocalcom

Yondr

Work highlights

  • Representing Facebook before the Belgian Courts Facebook, Inc., in proceedings brought against Facebook, Inc., Facebook Ireland and Facebook Belgium by the Belgian Data Protection Authority for a series of alleged infringements of EU and national rules on privacy protection regarding the use of cookies and pixels.
  • Assisting Yondr in the implementation of the GDPR across all its operations globally.

Belgium > Industry focus: IT and telecoms Tier 1

CMS is well regarded by clients for its ‘dedicated, broad expertise‘. An impressive roster of blue-chip digital economy companies turn to the team for assistance with contentious and non-contentious matters, including cybersecurity issues, privacy infringement cases and regulatory questions. Dirk Van Liedekerke focuses on EU and Belgian competition law and communications law, working with various operators and platform providers across the board. Tom De Cordier is praised for his ‘truly supportive‘ approach in a range of TMC, data privacy and life sciences-based instructions.

Practice head(s):

Dirk Van Liedekerke; Tom De Cordier

Other key lawyers:

Alexis Laes

Testimonials

‘CMS is fairly unique given that their expert teams cover in essence all aspects of the IT, communications, media and entertainment industries. They work seamlessly together through the combination of the skill sets that are needed to obtain the best results for their clients.’

‘The CMS teams are fully dedicated to the matters which the client entrusts to them. They really care about their clients, work relentlessly in the best interest of their clients and always look for additional innovative arguments. Dirk Van Liedekerke and Alexis Laes really stand out in this respect.’

‘Dedicated, broad expertise in the area of data protection and information security, also in complex situations.’

‘Tom De Cordier knows our organisation, is truly supportive, and understands our business needs and requirements.’

Key clients

Proximus

Amazon

Cophana (McKesson)

Facebook

Sagi (Telio Group)

Cubic Telecom

HMD Global

Work highlights

  • Advised Proximus on all corporate and merger control aspects of the joint venture agreements that it has concluded with two alternative infrastructure providers (Eurofiber and DeltaFiber/EQT).
  • Representing Facebook in front of the Belgian Courts, in proceedings brought against Facebook, Inc., Facebook Ireland and Facebook Belgium by the Belgian Data Protection Authority for a series of alleged infringements of EU and national rules on privacy protection regarding the use of cookies and pixels.
  • Advised HMD Global on regulatory aspects regarding the launch of two services in Belgium.

Belgium > Competition: Belgian law Tier 2

CMS handles the full range of competition matters, including merger control, state aid, cartels, and damages claims, among others, with a strong capability on the contentious side of public and private enforcement proceedings. Sector focuses for the firm include air transport, rail and pharma, and the group is adept at handling state aid for national and regional authorities. The team is led by Annabelle Lepièce, who has an active advisory and litigation practice and specialises in aviation sector work, alongside Dirk Van Liedekerke, who has strong telecoms sector expertise and advises on investigations, merger control, and civil enforcement actions.

Other key lawyers:

Marguerite Soete

Testimonials

‘A strong team with vast experience in all facets of competition law.’

‘Dirk Van Liedekerke is a pragmatic competition lawyer with vast experience and vision. Looks for a pragmatic approach.’

Annabelle Lepièce: persistent, out of the box thinker when needed and well balanced leadership.

Marguerite Soete: young but bright, solution oriented and quick thinker.

Ability to cope with the requirements, constraints and specificities of government organizations. Good technical background and deep knowledge of the EU competition mechanisms and inner governance. Adequate soft skills in non quantitative negotiations.

Key clients

Proximus

Medi-Market

Thalys International

STIB (Brussels Intercommunal Transport Company)

FIFA

European Industrial Gas Association (EIGA)

Brussels Region

Walloon Region (Energy and Infrastructure)

KBC

Sowaer (Public owner of the Walloon airports)

Iris (Brussels public hospitals)

Belgacom International Carrier Services (BICS)

Oostend and Antwerp airports

Work highlights

  • Representing MediCare-Market against the Belgian Order of pharmacists in proceedings alleging several infringements of competition law.
  • Advised Proximus on the acquisition of Mobile Vikings.
  • Representing Proximus in the ongoing investigations regarding the RAN-sharing mobile network agreement that it has concluded with Orange Belgium.

Belgium > Fintech Tier 2

With a client base of international financial services providers and companies, CMS advises on projects and regulatory issues relating to cryptocurrency, payment services and e-money, asset management, and insurtech, with broad expertise across regulatory issues and cross-border work. The firm also leverages its international TMT offering to provide broad advice on IT and data issues to fintech and new technology clients. Banking, finance, and insurance regulatory specialist Benoît Vandervelde heads up the practice alongside Tom De Cordier, who focuses on IT and data privacy issues, and Dirk Van Liedekerke, an experienced adviser on electronic communications and competition law.

Practice head(s):

Benoît Vandervelde; Tom De Cordier; Dirk Van Liedekerke

Testimonials

‘Pragmatic approach to engagements made them a good choice for us, since we are a scaling fintech and needed quite focused and cost effective support.’

‘Benoît Vandervelde is extremely knowledgeable, responsive and collaborative. He takes time to explain complex issues and breaks them down in a way that makes it easy to digest and share with internal stakeholders. We have found him to be extremely helpful on a number of key issues relating to our Belgian entity and European business activities.’

Key clients

Qover

Worldline

Verve Capital Partners

The Forex Dictionary

Keyrock

Be Angels

Banque Casino

Quantessence

Monese

Humn.ai

Work highlights

  • Advised Qover on its strategic partnership with the neo-bank Revolut within 34 countries.
  • Advised Worldline on its divestment of business assets in Belgium and Luxembourg to BNP Paribas Fortis’ subsidiary Axepta.
  • Advising Monese on the negotiation of its partnership agreement with Belgian e-money institution PPS.

Belgium > Industry focus: Media and entertainment Tier 2

A litany of blue-chip media conglomerates, sports associations, and major corporations turn to the sizeable team at CMS for assistance with contentious and non-contentious assignments. IP disputes are a key strength for the cross-practice group, with recent highlights including high-profile anti-counterfeiting actions, trademark infringements and contractual breaches.  Tom Heremans acts for world-leading entertainment companies and international football organisations in a range of copyright and patent litigation proceedings. Managing partner Renaud Dupont is noted for his expertise in distribution agreements.

Practice head(s):

Tom Heremans; Dirk Van Liedekerke

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Amazon

Airbnb

Betfirst

City of Brussels

Clear Channel

Deliveroo

EURid

Facebook

FIFA

Netia

Proximus

Rank Group

Superbet

Tipik

Work highlights

  • Assisting Proximus with regard to the acquisition of Mobile Vikings, a Mobile Virtual Network Operator, from DPG Media.
  • Representing Facebook before the Belgian Courts in proceedings brought against Facebook, Inc., Facebook Ireland and Facebook Belgium by the Belgian Data Protection Authority for a series of alleged infringements of EU and national rules on privacy protection regarding the use of cookies and pixels.
  • Representing Airbnb in a preliminary ruling procedure before the EU Court of Justice in a transnational matter.

Belgium > Industry focus: Retail Tier 2

Jointly led by Renaud Dupont and Tom Heremans, the practice at CMS routinely works across multiple departments to handle commercial leasing contracts, distribution networks, IP protection cases, and e-commerce issues.  The team is also adept at cross-border restructurings and high-profile court proceedings before the domestic and European courts. Dupont's broad knowledge of distribution agreements makes him a key port of call for various multinational retailers, while Heremans works with major food stuff manufacturers and e-commerce companies on the full spectrum of IP and TMT concerns.

Practice head(s):

Renaud Dupont; Tom Heremans

Testimonials

‘Collaborative and reactive team.’

‘The team has a very good knowledge of the business of their customers. They are very responsive and deliver excellent legal work.’

‘Tom Heremans is our outside brain for legal work.’

Key clients

Amazon

Celio

Colruyt

Delhaize

Delvaux

Deliveroo

Go Sport

Hermès

iU (Beauty and healthcare products) – MediMarket

Kvadrat

Leonidas

Medi-Market

Mestdagh

Sportsdirect

Wolf Oil

Xiaomi

Work highlights

  • Assisted the Maxi Toys group in Belgium, France, Luxembourg and Switzerland in respect of a cross-border restructuring, whereby the majority of the Maxi Toys shops and the distribution centre were acquired by King Jouet, a subsidiary of Prenatal Retail Group.
  • Representing two US entities of Amazon in trademark infringement proceedings against Christian Louboutin before the Brussels Court and the Court of Justice of the EU.
  • Representing Medi Market in a litigation case, in particular an unfair competition dispute initiated by a competitor who claims that Medi Market exploits a pharmacy without the required permits.

Belgium > Insurance Tier 2

CMS advises insurers and brokers on claims defence and insurance coverage matters, as well as high-value market loss and catastrophe claims. The practice has expertise across W&I and D&O policies, insurance litigation, regulatory issues, and data protection for insurance sector clients, and has an active cross-border reach throughout Europe as well as domestic capabilities. An extensive senior team combines financial services regulatory and litigation expertise, and is led by Virginie Frémat, Carl Leermakers, Benoît Vandervelde, and Tom De Cordier, with senior associate Julie De Pauw a key contributor across policy reviews, liability, and claims.

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Benoit Vandervelde is hands on and thus provides advice which can be applied by companies.’

‘Benoit Vandervelde is easy to reach, giving short to the point advice and pleasant to work with.’

‘The are various disciplines from compliance to fiscal and business itself. It is useful to have the various people together inhouse, that avoids delays. Response times are very good.’

‘High level of service, outstanding insurance practice, very pragmatic with a market leading reputation for Cyber and Environmental Risks cases and insurance coverage cases.’

‘Virginie Fremat- high level of expertise, well respected, service oriented and pragmatic approach.’

‘Julie De Pauw- excellent technical and industry knowledge, handling complex liability cases.’

‘Competent and effective in resolving claims from various technical fields.’

‘We mainly have been working with Virginie Fremat. She handles our cases together with various colleagues, depending on the focus of the case.’

Key clients

Chubb

Financieel Adviesburo

Ardonagh Speciality

AIG Cyberedge

Allianz

Gothaer

AXA XL

Transact

Howden

Revolut

Cigna Life Insurance Company

Qover

Ecclesia

Willis

Indecs

Ardanta

Gallagher

Humn.ai

Aon

North Europe Life Belgium

North Europe Life Luxembourg

Work highlights

  • Advising Chubb on its obligations towards an insured under an environmental policy.
  • Advising asset manager Financieel Adviesburo on several claims from its clients/investors in a class 23 policy issued by a private insurer.
  • Advised Belgian InsurTech Qover on its strategic partnership with the neo-bank Revolut within 34 countries.

Belgium > Intellectual property Tier 2

Leveraging its formidable global footprint and cross-departmental practice, CMS handles IP mandates for blue-chip clients from the tech, media, consumer goods, chemicals and manufacturing sectors. Recent highlights for the team include counterfeit disputes, trademark oppositions and high-profile trademark infringement proceedings before both the Brussels Court and the Court of Justice of the European Union. The practice is jointly led by Tom Heremans, whose key clients include e-commerce companies and international football organisations, and Renaud Dupont, whose broad practice encompasses licence agreements and franchising. Lisbeth Depypere is recommended for her knowledge of trade secrets and advertising practices.

Practice head(s):

Tom Heremans; Renaud Dupont

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team has good IP subject matter expertise in Belgium. Their written work product is strong.’

‘Tom Heremans and Renaud Dupont are trusted IP partners who bring expertise and common sense to bear.’

‘Very straightforward advice and communications.’

‘CMS Belgium is engaged and very professional. CMS Belgium excellently handle the cross-border aspects of the matter.’

‘They listen to the client and understand what is important for us. When giving the advice, they take into account the specificities of the client and the urgency of the topic.’

‘I have worked with Tom Heremans at CMS on several matters. I look to Tom for matters in the Benelux countries related to litigation and possible litigation and for complicated opinions. Tom is extremely smart and creative yet has a practical and strategic view of matters.’

‘Tom Heremans and Lisbeth Depypere are highly knowledgeable lawyers. They provide honest assessment on the chances of success. They have a good understanding of the commercial interests and the focus of their clients.’

Key clients

Amazon

FIFA

Delvaux

Delhaize

EURid

PPG

Birkenstock

TIPIK Communication agency

Bruker

Base Solutions

BE Micron

Wolf Oil

Eko-Okna

H Young (Operations) Lt

Aveve Group

Colruyt

Glutton

Go Sport

Work highlights

  • Representing two US entities of Amazon in trademark infringement proceedings against Christian Louboutin before the Brussels Court and the Court of Justice of the EU.
  • Representing FIFA in litigation initiated by a Belgian individual who claims to have invented the Video Assisted Referee system (VAR).
  • Representing Bruker in a dispute concerning the copying and use of Bruker’s IP and trade secrets by a former employee.

Belgium > Aviation Tier 3

Led by Annabelle Lepièce, the team at CMS handles European and public regulatory and competition law matters for clients in the aviation sector, including state aid matters and regulatory investigations, alongside compliance matters in areas such as ground handling and security. The firm has a strong record in acting for airlines and airports, with a number of major Belgian and international clients. Lepièce has represented public sector clients up to European Commission level, and has a strong focus on air transportation and the aviation sector.

Practice head(s):

Annabelle Lepièce

Key clients

EasyJet

Shannon Airport

Sowaer

Paris-Beauvais Airport

Lyon Airport

Aeroports de Catalunya

Belairbus

Qatar Airways

French Airports Association

Airports Council International

Oostende and Antwerpen airports

Béziers airport

Region Occitanie

Cluj Napoca Airport

Lille Airport

Alyzia

La Rochelle Airport

Strasbourg Airport

Work highlights

  • Advised EasyJet on several state aid matters, in particular with regard to a negative decision relating to the grant of an aid for the relaunch of air routes by the Slovenian Minister.
  • Advised SOWAER on the notification to the European Commission of an aid scheme in favour of the Walloon Charleroi and Liège airports in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Represented Beziers Airport in  an investigation by the European Commission of alleged aid to Ryanair and to the airport following a complaint by Air France lodged in 2017.

Belgium > Banking, finance and capital markets Tier 3

CMS has a strong record in debt capital markets and financing matters, advising domestic and international banks on an array of transactions including commodities, real estate, corporate, and acquisition finance, as well as advising on loan restructuring and banking regulatory work. The team primarily advises international banks as lenders and a combination of corporates and investment funds as borrowers, and regularly handles cross-border mandates in collaboration with its wider network. The practice is led by Benoît Vandervelde, who primarily advises on financing transactions and loan restructuring, Bruno Duquesne, a real estate finance specialist, and corporate finance-focused Arnaud Van Oekel.

Testimonials

‘Excellent technological support, great network over several countries allowing the firm to render excellent advice in multiple jurisdictions deals at a high level. Great flexibility in proposing secondees during times we need more support. Very pleasant team with great know-how.’

‘Benoît Vandervelde is a very efficient and pleasant partner with great know-how in legal finance matters allowing a great work for our bank. Same goes for Bruno Duquesne.’

‘CMS Belgium have a strong and efficient legal team with deep experience in various fields of law. CMS have offices in various jurisdictions across the world, and it is always CMS Belgium who coordinate other CMS teams which is very convenient.’

‘Arnaud Van Oekel is a very experienced professional, and it is always a pleasure to work with him. He is reachable and flexible to meet the client’s needs, and has a deep knowledge of the market.’

‘Real legal and business partners. Always available, for complex and simple questions with an attention to fair billing.’

‘Benoit knows about the business and its needs. He is very pragmatic in his approach.’

Benoît Vandervelde is an excellent finance lawyer. Benoit is very competent and knowledgeable. He is responsive and adds value by giving succinct legal advice with a keen commercial view.

Excellent legal team that works very well under pressure and within tight deadlines.

Key clients

Weerts Logistic Group

ING Belgium

Société Générale

Helaba

Deutsche Bank

Commerzbank

Novelis

Prime Capital – Robus

UBS Asset Management

Natixis Bank

Opel Finance

RCI Financial Services

Aareal Bank

Banque Casino

Crédit Agricole CIB

BlackRock

Berenberg

FCE Bank

Celyad

Euroclear

Apcoa Parking

Superbet

BROWN BROTHERS HARRIMAN & CO

Work highlights

  • Advised Deutsche Bank on a secured bond issuance under its collateralised debt programme.
  • Advised Apcoa Parking Belgium on a secured notes offering placement of €685m and an additional super senior revolving credit facility in the amount of €80m.
  • Advised Superbet on the €400m financing of the acquisition of Napoleon Games Group, a leading Belgian operator active in the online, retail arcade and sports betting business.

Belgium > Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 3

CMS is active in M&A and corporate finance transactions, with strength across a variety of sectors, most notably life sciences, telecoms, and digital. The firm’s cross-border capabilities are notable, with the Brussels-based team working with the firm's international offering on multijurisdictional transactions across Europe and globally. Practice head Vincent Dirckx primarily handles corporate finance, advising investment funds and venture capital investors alongside listed and non-listed issuers. Carl Leermakers and Arnaud Van Oekel are active dealmakers, advising domestic and international companies on M&A, with Leermakers also handling corporate governance issues. David Prync was promoted to partner in mid-2021, and advises on cross-border M&A and private equity deals.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Very strong team and extremely knowledgeable. Indicates very well risks and pitfalls.’

Arnaud Van Oekel: He was highly dedicated, very pragmatic and smart his its approach to the deal.

‘Virginie Frémat is an excellent legal advisor supported by other team members. Thinks with the client, outlines well the advantages / disadvantages and risks of various solutions. Reliable lawyer. Very good availability.’

‘Very good professionals, cooperating together to meet the client’s needs on a timely basis while maintaining professional standards.’

‘Arnaud Van Oekel is an excellent M&A lawyer.’

Key clients

Biogroup

Proximus

Korys

Thalys International

D’Ieteren

Rank Group

Netflow Software

Dalkia

Coty Inc.

BeAngels

HiPay

Umedia

Ikea

Ecclesia

Wabco Europe

Worldline – Ingenico

Régie des Bâtiments

Celyad

Shareholders of the Belgian football club Football Club Waasland-Beveren

P.H.I. Data

Toshiba TEC

Ancala Partners

Scaldis

Group Lagarrigue (Naxicap)

Superbet

Group François

Work highlights

  • Advised the French labgroup Biogroup on the acquisition of the Belgian clinical lab Group CMA-Medina.
  • Advised Proximus on the acquisition of Mobile Viking from DPG Media.
  • Advising Thalys International on its alliance project with Eurostar.

Belgium > Dispute resolution Tier 3

CMS acts for global corporations and multinational associations in high-profile disputes that frequently have a strong cross-border aspect. The team is especially noted for its presence in the tech and online marketplace space, where it handles business-critical IP-related mandates. The practice is led by Renaud Dupont, a specialist in copyright, trademarks, and patents, who routinely acts for leading multinationals in the media, retail and chemical sectors. IP specialist Loïc de Hults is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Renaud Dupont

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘CMS Brussels shows an outstanding track record of providing stellar legal advice to tech firms in a wide range of areas, from commercial matters to tricky litigation cases over privacy analysis. Their encyclopaedic knowledge of EU law is truly unique.’

‘The team is very proactive and solutions oriented. Also, what is remarkable, is the fact that the team is pragmatic.’

Key clients

Facebook

Amazon

Deliveroo

NH Hotel/Pharochim

Delvaux

Dalkia Biogaz Belgium

Tronox

Sogepa (Investment Fund)

Mestdagh

City of Brussels: Eurostadium

CHUBB/Argenta

Brussels Region

A.C.P./Deloitte

FIFA – Diarra

Work highlights

  • Representing Facebook in proceedings brought against Facebook, Inc., Facebook Ireland and Facebook Belgium by the Belgian Data Protection Authority for a series of alleged infringements of EU and national rules on privacy protection regarding the use of cookies and pixels.
  • Representing two US entities of Amazon in trademark infringement proceedings against Christian Louboutin before the Brussels Court.
  • Representing Deliveroo in a commercial litigation against the Belgian non-profit organisation Productions Associées (which is part of the SMart group), employer of (most of) the bikers who provided delivery services through Deliveroo’s platform in Belgium.

Belgium > Employment Tier 3

CMS‘ multi-office practice regularly works with key players in the disruptive economy, advising major tech players on various multi-jurisdictional employment matters. Collective dismissals, reorganisations, and (domestic and pan-European) pension issues are all core areas of expertise for the practice, which is jointly helmed by Elke Duden, Sophie Berg and Gaël Chuffart . Karen Dereepere is the driving force behind the team’s Covid-19 hub.

Practice head(s):

Sophie Berg; Gaël Chuffart; Elke Duden

Other key lawyers:

Karen Dereepere; Sofie Kusters

Testimonials

‘The team is knowledgeable and pragmatic. They understand our business needs and are building legal solutions around that. This is what we are expecting from outside counsel. They are open to discussions and extremely responsive.’

‘Sophie Berg and Gaël Chuffart both stand out for their legal expertise, reactivity and pragmatism.’

‘Good, young team.’

‘The CMS team goes the extra mile to know and understand the client. One of their strengths is being able to anticipate our needs.’

‘Elke Duden has a great pulse on the market and an ability to provide practical advice and solutions to issues we are facing. I am impressed by her ability to hone in on the legal issues that a particular set of facts poses and to explain that to us and our clients.’

‘The team are deeply knowledgeable about employment and pensions practice in Belgium which is invaluable for an international business like us. They have recently supported and advised us through a complicated divestment and legal demerger and both their advice and their practical support was excellent.’

‘Elke Duden has been exceptional in her confident advice, great stakeholder management, depth of understanding and flexibility. Sofie Kusters also provided very practical support such as completing registration forms and drafting letters and communication materials for us.’

Key clients

Qatar Airways

LVMH

Electronic Arts

AT&T

ExxonMobil Petroleum & Chemical BV

ZEISS

Accenture

Accor Hotels

Celio

Korn Ferry

Lloyd’s Register EMEA

SNCF

Pension Funds – J&J/General Motors/Euroclear

Lear Corporation

DP World

Work highlights

  • Assisting Celio in the context of a reorganisation of its activity in Belgium, involving a relocation of some Belgian positions to France.
  • Advising DP World with regard to day to day HR and employment matters, in particular related to termination of employment contracts, company policies etc.
  • Providing advanced technical assistance to Accenture in its HR day-to-day management, social elections process, and implementation of Covid-related measures.

Belgium > Industry focus: Healthcare and life sciences Tier 3

CMS' cross-practice collaboration and multilingual capabilities make it a popular choice for a varied roster of pharmaceutical heavyweights, industry associations and hospital groups. The team is especially renowned for its public procurement capabilities, working with some of the largest Europe-wide governing bodies on high-profile, cross-border projects. Joint practice heads Bruno Fonteyn and Virginie Dor are noted for their expertise in health sector regulation and EU-wide health and social care procurement mandates, respectively.

Practice head(s):

Bruno Fonteyn; Virginie Dor

Testimonials

‘Very hands-on knowledge and ability to provide very practical examples to the business. Feedback received was really what we needed, being very hands on, easy to understand feedback to specific practical questions.’

‘I don’t know that many lawyers that are able to provide such practical advice (no theory but really a precise and clear answer to specific business cases) as well as Virginie Dor.’

Key clients

Moderna

Biogroup

French Group Lagarrigue

Synlab

European Commission – Euriphi

MedTech Europe

Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc

Medi-Market

Getinge

Hospital of Charleroi

CHWAPI (one of the largest hospital groups situated in Belgium (Tournai)

OraSure

SOFIPOLE

Work highlights

  • Assisted Moderna with the submission of its tender for the Covid-19 vaccines’ tender launched by the EU Commission on behalf of the Member States and the negotiations on the advanced purchase agreement (APA) between Moderna and the EU Commission.
  • Assisted Biogroup, the French largest lab group, in connection with the acquisition of the Belgian clinical lab Group CMA-Medina, the leading player in medical lab testing in Belgium.
  • Assisted French group Lagarrique with the acquisition of Belgian group Aqtor!, specialised in the fitting, manufacturing and delivery of products of prosthetics, orthotics, bandage, mobility aids and orthopaedic shoes.

Belgium > Insolvency and restructuring Tier 3

CMS advises distressed companies and their directors on pure and soft insolvency proceedings, alongside cross-border business restructurings and judicial reorganisations. The team has particular strength in the retail sector, with a number of national and international clients within the space, and also regularly advises financial institution and investments funds on handling the insolvency of debtors. The practice is led by Virginie Frémat, who has experience in distressed M&A and restructuring transactions, alongside Jean-François Goffin, who takes the lead on insolvency processes and has notable expertise in directors’ liability issues.

Key clients

Novelis

Howden

Dekra

Maxi Toys

CNA

Nethys (Credis)

Republic of Albania

Sogepa (Investment Fund)

GE Healthcare/Medex

iU

Philcarbon/Upgrade Energy

Torfs

J. IDE

Work highlights

  • Advised the Maxi Toys group in Belgium, France, Luxembourg and Switzerland on a cross-border restructuring.
  • Advised iU in Belgium and Luxembourg on judicial reorganisation by transfer under judicial supervision in Belgium for the Belgian and Luxembourg stores.
  • Represented the Republic of Albania in a dispute concerning en-route charges collected by Eurocontrol from a wealthy Italian businessman.

Belgium > Real estate and construction Tier 3

CMS has a strong focus on commercial property, advising asset managers, investors, and developers on transactions, developments, and construction contracts primarily within the hotel and hospitality sectors. Work includes property financing, occupancy agreements, and an array of cross-border real estate investments. The practice is led by Bruno Duquesne, who advises on domestic and cross-border transactions and financing matters. Pierre-Axel Chabot specialises in retail and hotel sector work, including transactions, contracts, and construction disputes. Senior associate Catherine Matton is active across acquisitions, lease agreements, and construction.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Excellent technological support, great network over several countries allowing the firm to render excellent advice in multi-jurisdictional deals at a high level. Great flexibility in proposing secondees during times we need more support. Very pleasant team with great know-how.’

‘Benoît Vandervelde is a very efficient and pleasant partner with excellent know-how in real estate matters.’

‘They are a very user friendly and highly skilled team. They offer clear commercial advice and will provide an opinion rather than sitting on the fence.’

‘Bruno Duquesne-commercially bright and very easy to deal with. Always good quality considered advice.’

Catherine Matton-very organised and always on top of the issue at hand. Has a forensic grasp of the detail.

‘The team was very well rounded and had expertise in every area where we needed assistance. Its definitely a comprehensive practice.’

‘Pierre-Axel Chabot is a great lawyer; very hands on and thorough. He was easy for an American company to work with.’

‘CMS Real Estate team knows how to adapt and advise foreign clients with great clarity and patience. Very business oriented, with an ability to remain firm while being commercial which allows quality transactions to be signed quickly.’

Key clients

Tesla

Atenor

Co-Living

Immowal

NH Hotels

Eiffage Développement

Standard International

Ennismore Hotel Hoxton

Aareal Bank

M&G Real Estate

Castleforge – Phicap

WeWork

Aroundtown

Unibail Rodamco

DSV

Logicor

HNW individuals led by HSBC Private Bank in Luxembourg

Work highlights

  • Advising Standard International on the negotiation of a long-term hotel management agreement with a view to operate a brand new 5 star hotel currently under development in old iconic Brussels towers being entirely refurbished.
  • Advising Immowal on the open bid process for the choice of a 15.000 m2 office building to be taken into occupation for a 20 year period
  • Advised NH Hotels on the sale of a hotel located in Ghent.

Belgium > Tax Tier 3

CMS combines local and international tax expertise, encompassing direct and indirect taxation, and advises a number of major international clients on tax elements of restructurings, cross-border mergers, and issues relating to VAT and duties. The team is led by Olivier Querinjean, a specialist in corporate tax, who advises companies and investment funds on transactional tax issues. Stéphanie Houx has bolstered the firm’s indirect tax capabilities since her arrival from Allen & Overy LLP in early 2021, and has a notable focus on the real estate sector.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The CMS team tends to make itself very available’

‘Highly educated professionals with a lot of attention to details. I have been working with Olivier Querinjean since 2014 and always very happy to work with him on very different kind of subjects.’

‘Multidisciplinary law firm with a growing tax practise, with access to the CMS network.’

‘Stéphanie Houx has strong experience and expertise in VAT matters.’

Key clients

Apcoa Parking

Biogroup

Superbet

The Rank Group

Amazon

Toyota

EDF

Airbus Defence and Space

STIB = Brussels Intercommunal Transport Company (local public transport operator in Brussels)

Eli Lilly

Deliveroo

Kpler

HiPay Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Superbet on the acquisition of Napoleon Games Group from Waterland.
  • Advised Airbus on Belgian corporate and tax aspects of the merger of two French group entities.
  • Advised EDF on the restructuring of the Belgian companies of EDF.

Germany > Public sector > State aid Tier 3

CMS' state aid practice focuses on assisting with large-scale projects and advising the public sector, including several federal states and the Federal Republic of Germany's finance agency; here, the group was particularly active in advising on pandemic-related stabilisation funds. The team also acts before German and European courts and in complaint procedures before the Commission. After the previously Frankfurt-based Heinz-Joachim Freund retired, the practice is now only represented in Brussels. Practice head Michael Bauer draws on longstanding experience and leads the competition and EU team.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Broad range in the specialist areas; many years of experience involving young people.’

‘Specific view of the peculiarities of public clients; good communication skills both towards clients and third parties involved.’

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DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Banking and finance
Commercial
Competition and EU
Consumer products
Corporate and M&A
Dispute resolution
Employment and pensions
Energy
Environment
Hotels and leisure
Infrastructure and project finance
Innovation
Insolvency and restructuring
Insurance and funds
Intellectual property
Life sciences and healthcare
Private equity
Public law
Public procurement
Public-private partnerships
Real estate and construction
Tax
TMT
Data protection and information security
Number of lawyers : 163 (Brussels/Antwerp/Luxembourg)
English
Dutch
French
German
Italian
Portuguese
Spanish
Serbian
Swedish
Greek
Chinese
Contact : Renaud Dupont
Other CMS alliance member firms : CMS Adonnino Ascoli & Cavasola Scamoni, Italy;
Other CMS alliance member firms : CMS Albiñana & Suárez de Lezo, Spain;
Other CMS alliance member firms : CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre, France;
Other CMS alliance member firms : CMS Cameron McKenna, UK;
Other CMS alliance member firms : CMS Derks Star Busmann, Netherlands;
Other CMS alliance member firms : CMS von Erlach Poncet, Switzerland;
Other CMS alliance member firms : CMS Hasche Sigle, Germany;
Other CMS alliance member firms : CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz, Austria;
Other CMS alliance member firms : CMS Rui Pena Arnaut, Portugal
Other CMS alliance member firms : CMS Luxemburg