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Clifford Chance

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Banking, finance and capital markets
Banking, finance and capital markets - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance's market-leading practice covers the full scope of business-critical banking and finance transactions - and sophisticated equity and debt capital markets matters - for a client roster including investment banks, development banks, sponsors, supra-national institutions and governments.¬†Bert De Maeyer¬†and¬†Niek De Pauw¬†recently¬†advised the creditors (led by BNP Paribas Fortis) on the ‚ā¨435m restructuring, recapitalisation and refinancing of Hamon. In 2017, a notable highlight saw De Maeyer and counsel¬†Wim Aerts¬†assist EQT with the financing aspects of its acquisition of Desotec from AAC Capital. De Mayer jointly heads the practice with¬†Lounia Czupper, who was the lead adviser to Econocom on its ‚ā¨200m convertible bond issue. Senior associate¬†Val√©rie Demeur¬†is another name to note in the group. Other clients include Standard Chartered Bank, European Investment Bank and ING Belgium. Philippe Hamer has retired from private practice.

Leading individuals

Bert De Maeyer - Clifford Chance

Lounia Czupper - Clifford Chance

Next Generation Partners

Wim Aerts - Clifford Chance

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Commercial, corporate and M&A
Commercial, corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 2

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance's corporate team, which is jointly led by¬†Niek De Pauw¬†and¬†Xavier Remy, was instructed by¬†Royal Sporting Club Anderlecht on the sale of the club to Alychio following a competitive auction process. It also advised Gfi Informatique on its¬†‚ā¨196m¬†voluntary public takeover bid¬†of¬†IT company Realdolmen. In another key transaction, De Pauw¬†led a team that acted for¬†Nikon Metrology on the sale of its coordinate measuring machines business across France, the UK, Germany, Italy and the US, to ASF Metrology. The department's client roster spans from large corporates such as Elia to start-up and scale-up companies including Deliverect, which Remy¬†and 'truly exceptional' senior associate Patrice Viaene¬†are advising on a financing round.¬†Changes to the team include Philippe Hamer's retirement and the¬†departure of Sylvain Cailleau¬†to Allen & Overy Luxembourg.

Next Generation Partners

Niek De Pauw - Clifford Chance

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Competition: EU and global
Competition: EU and global - ranked: tier 2

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance's high-calibre team stands out in cases that raise novel legal issues; global antitrust head Thomas Vinje, Dieter Paemen and counsel Ashwin Van Rooijen are acting for FairSearch as an intervener in an appeal brought by Google over the EC's decision to impose a fine for Google's allegedly abusive practices in online search. In addition, the same team is representing FairSearch in the EC's investigation into Google's practices in relation to the Android operating system. Also notable is that Brussels antitrust practice head Tony Reeves, Anastasios Tomtsis, Vinje, of counsel Michel Petite (who divides time between Brussels and Paris) and others are representing General Electric (GE) in an EC investigation into allegedly incorrect/misleading information provided by the client during the EC's review of the client's planned acquisition of LM Wind in 2017. The firm also acts for GE in global merger control matters, and assisted the client with the competition aspects of the sale of GE Industrial Solutions to ABB. Counsel Jim Back advises on competition issues in sectors such as energy, telecoms and life sciences. Of counsel Pierre-Andre Dubois joined in January 2019 from Sébastien Ryelandt is now with Strelia.

Leading individuals

Thomas Vinje - Clifford Chance

Tony Reeves - Clifford Chance

Next Generation Partners

Dieter Paemen - Clifford Chance

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Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 3

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance houses 'a very professional' team. The group reports an uptick in insolvency and restructuring-related litigation; clients include Belfius Bank, Kone and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Dorothée Vermeiren was promoted to the partnership in May 2019. Sébastien Ryelandt is now with Strelia.

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EU regulatory: Financial services
EU regulatory: Financial services - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance reports an increase in instructions regarding the regulatory aspects of implementing strategies concerning the potential impact of Brexit. In this space, practice head Lounia Czupper is advising a prominent French and a major US bank on the design and implementation of their Brexit strategies, involving a restructuring process. Other work includes assisting an asset management firm with obtaining an investment firm licence, so that it can relocate to Belgium. ING Belgium, EIB, HSBC, KBC and Belfius Bank are included in the client roster.

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Employment - ranked: tier 3

Clifford Chance

At Clifford Chance, the group advised Nikon Metrology on a multi-jurisdictional transfer of employees to ASF Metrology. Other clients include Unilever, Sanoma, Aegon and Coca-Cola. Counsel Gert Cuppens leads the team.

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Industry focus: energy
Industry focus: energy - ranked: tier 2

Clifford Chance

The energy sector practice group at Clifford Chance is experienced in providing regulatory, corporate, finance, tax and litigation advice in key transactions and projects in the industry. A team led by Xavier Remy, and including senior associate Patrice Viaene, is instructed by EuroAsia on the coordination of a cross-border infrastructure project for the development and construction of the EuroAsia Interconnector. The group also continues to advise Elia on its modular offshore grid project, including assisting with regulatory and public procurement aspects, and the drafting and negotiation of the engineering procurement and construction contract. Eneco, Fluxys, Eandis and Publigas are all clients.

Leading individuals

Xavier Remy - Clifford Chance

Next Generation Partners

Patrice Viaene - Clifford Chance

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Private equity
Private equity - ranked: tier 2

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance's private equity department is headed up by Niek De Pauw and draws on the expertise of the firm's corporate, tax and finance practices. The group advised SPI Management on the management buyout of SPI together with Kartesia, which utilised a unique financing structure. Other notable instructions include handling venture capital vehicle Alychlo's acquisition of Royal Sporting Club Anderlecht and acting for EQT on the financing of its acquisition of Desotec from AAC Capital. Other key names to note include Xavier Remy and Alexandre Ooms for corporate and tax matters respectively.

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Real estate and construction
Real estate and construction - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance’s highly regarded real estate practice is a synergy of real estate finance, tax proficiency and corporate real estate expertise. The team is well known for handling high-value, complex transactions; for example, practice head Henri D’Ursel led the advice to Union Investment Real Estate on the sale of the Corporate Village office development. Pieter De Bock and senior associate Lise Gruber are key contacts. Alexandre Ooms has extensive experience in real estate tax matters. Matthias Maselis, previously a senior associate with the firm, joined Stibbe as a partner in September 2019.

Leading individuals

Henri D'Ursel - Clifford Chance

Next Generation Partners

Pieter De Bock - Clifford Chance

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Tax - ranked: tier 3

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance's tax team in Brussels 'goes hand in hand' with big-ticket, cross-border corporate and M&A deals, as well as financing transactions. It is also notably active in the real estate space, where it provides input on fund structurings, financings and investments. Tax litigation is another mainstay of the practice.¬†Alexandre Ooms¬†leads the team, which includes senior associate¬†Pierre-Olivier van Caubergh¬†('a smart guy'). Ooms¬†advised French listed company Gfi Informatique on the Belgian and French tax aspects of its proposed ‚ā¨196m acquisition of Belgian listed IT company Realdolmen. KanAm, Mitiska and Cobepa are among other active clients.

Next Generation Partners

Alexandre Ooms - Clifford Chance

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