Firm Profile > Clifford Chance > Brussels, Belgium

Clifford Chance

Banking, finance and capital markets Tier 1

Clifford Chance offers excellent coverage of particularly complex debt financing transactions, including those involving project finance, securitisation and structured finance, acquisition finance and debt capital markets. The group, which is co-led by Lounia Czupper and Bert De Maeyer, also has extensive expertise in all areas of financial regulation. A team including De Maeyer and senior associate Hélène Volkova is acting for the coordinating committee of lenders on the restructuring of Nyrstar, which involves advice on structuring the financing and security package in such a way as to minimise risk for the lenders across a number of jurisdictions. In addition to acting for lenders, the firm also has a strong profile among borrowers. A notable mandate saw De Maeyer and counsel Wim Aerts assist T-Power with a €210m refinancing of an existing facility agreement.

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Key clients

ING Belgium

AB InBev

European Investment Bank (EIB)

The Belgian State


Banque Degroof Petercam

KBC Bank

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

ABN Amro

Bank of New York Mellon

EU regulatory: Financial services Tier 1

At Clifford Chance, instructions involving the regulatory aspects of implementing strategies concerning the potential impact of Brexit remain prominent in the team's workload. For example, department head Lounia Czupper is advising clearing house LCH on the design and implementation of its Brexit strategy, including applying for EU equivalence with the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA).

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Key clients

ING Belgium


Belfius Bank


Goldman Sachs

Real estate and construction Tier 1

Clifford Chance’s 'very strong and very responsive' real estate team stands out for 'combining top-notch real estate, tax, financing and fund advice' when assisting clients with high-profile, high-value transactions. Department head Henri D’Ursel is 'a strong commercial leader in the market' and 'a tough negotiator'. Alexandre Ooms, 'a very strong tax partner', is noted for his expertise in advising on real estate tax issues. Counsel Pieter De Bock is 'brilliant'.

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Henri d’Ursel, the leading partner, is an exceptional lawyer who always gets you across the line. Very commercial and proactive, he comes up with unexpected and creative solutions for complex business and legal issues‘.

Henri d’Ursel is a great lawyer, with a great capacity to have a broad vision of the deal and bring the best advice‘.

Key clients

Union Investment Real Estate


Cerberus Capital Management

Marriott Hotels


Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 2

The corporate team at Clifford Chance handles the full range of corporate transactions and governance advice. The group counts large domestic and international companies and start-ups on its client roster. It also has particular experience assisting financial institutions and energy sector clients, and has been increasingly active in technology sector transactions; the group recently advised Sitecore on its acquisition of Stylelabs. Energy sector expert Xavier Remy heads up the team with Niek De Pauw. Other names to note include Henri D’Ursel, who has particular experience in corporate transactions in the real estate sector.

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Key clients





RSC Anderlecht







SPI (Sales Performance international)


Banque Degroof Petercam

Gilde Buyout Partners



Monaco Resources Group



Competition: EU and global Tier 2

Clifford Chance's Brussels team has an excellent record of handling high-profile and cutting-edge competition matters for household-name clients across a wide variety of industries. Illustrative of the practice's high end work, Thomas VinjeDieter Paemen, counsel Ashwin van Rooijen and senior associate Aleksander Tombiński acted for Fairsearch as the main complainant in the EC's Android investigation and as a leading intervener in the Google Search investigation; the EC imposed record fines in both cases (the Android investigation is now pending an appeal). Another highlight saw practice head Tony ReevesAnastasios Tomtsis, Vinje and others represent General Electric (GE) in the EC's Article 14(1) EUMR investigation into the client's provision of allegedly misleading information during the EC's review of its acquisition of LM Wind. In other developments, Dorothée Vermeiren made partner and of counsel Pierre-André Dubois joined from Luciano Di Via and Miguel Odriozola combine EU law expertise with knowledge about Italian and Spanish competition law respectively. Of counsel Michel Petite and counsel Jim Back are other key figures.

Industry focus: Energy Tier 2

Clifford Chance's energy team has 'an excellent understanding of the industry and many years of experience, which enables it to provide valuable services'. The group is frequently instructed on corporate, finance and M&A transactions and provides 'real added value on projects'; it is currently advising EuroAsia on the development and construction of the EuroAsia Interconnector. Practice head Xavier Remy, who handles a range of company, commercial and regulatory matters, and senior associate Patrice Viaene 'both stand out for their exceptional communication and interpersonal skills'.

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Clifford Chance supported us during the entire negotiations securing a result oriented approach with a strong customer focus in order to achieve the end goal within the intended time.

The Clifford Chance LLP legal team consists of certified experts who are well experienced in developing both EPC contracts for large energy infrastructure projects.

Their experience, procedures and know-how enable them to provide insights regarding the industry and to create solid contracts that guarantee accountability and are free from ambiguities.

Their experienced professionals provided valuable insights to our Company resulting in contracts that are well defined, fair and that safeguard the interests of the companies involved.

Patrice Viane takes the lead within the team and I must say that he’s really business minded and is a ‘get things done’ kind of guy.

Patrice Viaene has a strong drive to achieve the final end result ensuring our customer focus by being balanced during negotiations.

Xavier Remy and Patrice Viaene both provided excellent legal services and stand out due to their exceptional communication and interpersonal skills.

They are solution-oriented individuals, providing pragmatic solutions for complex problems.

Private equity Tier 2

Clifford Chance's private equity practice, which includes corporate, tax and finance experts, is instructed by a combination of local and international private equity funds including IK Investment Partners, Gilde Buy Out Partners, KKR and EQT. Practice head Niek De Pauw handles corporate and M&A transactions, with a particular focus on acting for private equity clients. Corporate and energy expert Xavier Remy is also a key name to note, and advised a consortium of funds on its €2bn acquisition of Macquarie's stake in Brussels Airport.

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Key clients

IK Investment Partners





Gilde Buy Out Partners



Partners Group



Dispute resolution Tier 3

Restructuring and insolvency-related litigation has been prominent in the workload for the 'extremely knowledgeable' and 'very efficient' team at Clifford Chance. The group has also been kept busy handling arbitration matters. Practice head Dorothée Vermeiren is 'very responsive, smart, client focused and results oriented'.

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The team is extremely responsive and is very punctual‘.

Dorothée Vermeiren combines punctuality and resolution with an exceptional legal knowledge. She has the ability to explain complex legal matters to our management in an understandable way‘.


Key clients

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

ING Belgium


PSA Antwerp

Employment Tier 3

The 'smart and commercially sensible' counsel Gert Cuppens leads the team at Clifford Chance, which is assisting Pasec NV with a collective dismissal of over 100 employees. Other areas of instruction include restructuring, employee transfers and termination cases.

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Nikon Metrology

Tax Tier 3

Clifford Chance's Belgian tax practice, which is integrated into the firm's wider global network, is an equally strong performer handling mandates on a standalone basis and working with other departments. Alexandre Ooms  leads the team, which has a strong track record across all types of transactional, advisory and contentious tax matters. One of the many areas of strength is in the REIT space; the tax practice has been involved in setting up most of the major private and institutional REIT structures in Belgium. Also notable is that the team is highly active assisting private equity and fund clients with carried interest structuring. In one highlight, Ooms and senior associate Pierre-Olivier van Caubergh are acting for Belgium-based investment fund Mitiska on the structuring of its carried interest vehicle. Other drivers of work include advice on transfer pricing and Brexit-related tax issues. On the contentious side, Ooms is representing a multinational company in a dispute with the Belgian tax authorities over a 'leveraged recap' transaction; this is one of the first and largest claims based on anti-abuse rules which were introduced in 2012.

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The team is easy to work with, highly responsive, helpful with prompt and valuable feedback (as needed), and efficient

Alexandre Ooms is very knowledgeable about a broad range of subjects, always up-to-date and has a very pragmatic and great commercial sense. I very much appreciate his clear and to-the-point communication and briefings. He is very constructive and has a great ability to anticipate solutions. Associate Baptiste Antoine is also very knowledgeable and helpful, responding to queries raised by the client in an efficient way

Alexandre Ooms is a trusted adviser, who brings great expertise to fiscal matters

Pierre-Olivier Van Caubergh interacts with clients in a very personal and tailored way. His commitment to deliver is very strong

State of the art knowledge of current market practices, well-suited advice and a very pragmatic approach makes it very pleasant to work with Clifford Chance

Key clients




AB InBev

Real IS


Patrizia Immobilien


Union Investment



Gilde Buy-Out Partners

Home Invest


The firm: Clifford Chance is one of the world’s pre-eminent law firms, with significant depth and range of resources across five continents. As a single, fully integrated, global partnership, it prides itself on its approachable, collegial and team-based way of working. The firm always strives to exceed the expectations of its clients, which include corporates from all the commercial and industrial sectors, governments, regulators, trade bodies and not-for-profit organisations. It provides them with the highest quality advice and legal insight, which combines the firm’s global standards with in-depth local expertise.

Types of work undertaken
Capital markets: the capital markets practice concentrates on securities transactions and other products sold into the capital markets. The practice is founded on a full-service US and UK securities law capability, complemented by local securities law expertise in each of the key financial centres. It provides practical, integrated legal advice covering the full spectrum of global capital raising activities including public and private domestic and international offerings of traditional debt and equity securities as well as convertible and other derivative and structured securities.

Corporate: the corporate practice handles some of the world’s largest and most complex M&A transactions. It combines global transaction capability with a full service of English, US and civil law expertise in the key financial centres across Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific. In addition to mainstream M&A, the firm also encompasses leading specialist practices in: commercial contracts, competition and antitrust, communications, energy, healthcare, financial institutions, funds, investment banking, insurance, media and technology, and private equity.

Finance: Clifford Chance’s finance practice is the leading international finance practice of any law firm. The practice provides highly commercial and practical advice across the full spectrum of financial products including syndicated lending and leveraged and acquisition finance, asset finance, derivative products, project finance, financial regulatory, insolvency, restructuring and structured finance.

Litigation, dispute resolution and risk management: the firm has experience in virtually all segments of the business and financial markets across multiple jurisdictions. The lawyers work with clients to resolve disputes efficiently and effectively – whether through arbitration, litigation or other techniques.

Real estate: Clifford Chance’s leading real estate practice offers UK, European, Asian and US real estate capability. The practice advises the real estate industry’s leading players on the entire property ‘life-cycle’ from the initial acquisition, development, leasing, joint venturing and financing through to the final exit, as well as tax structuring, PFI/PPP, corporate outsourcing, planning, environment and litigation.

Tax, pensions, employment and incentives: Clifford Chance has one of the world’s largest international tax groups within a single law firm. The firm is uniquely placed to provide leading edge advice to clients, and the practice is structured on an integrated global basis. Local tax groups within the practice work closely with areas such as securitisation, securities, M&A, corporate restructuring, private equity, real estate and funds.

The pan-European VAT group advises on all areas of VAT and has particular strength advising on novel and complex issues in the structured finance, financial services, corporate finance and real estate sectors.

The team of experienced employment, employee benefits, ERISA, immigration and pensions specialists work with clients from a wide range of sectors to address local and cross-border issues.

International offices:Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Bangkok, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Casablanca, Dubai, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Jakarta*, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Moscow, Munich, New York, Paris, Perth, Prague, Rome, São Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, Warsaw, Washington, D.C., Riyadh**

*Linda Widyati & Partners in association with Clifford Chance

**Clifford Chance has a co-operation agreement with Abuhimed Alsheikh Alhagbani Law Firm in Riyadh

Photo Name Position Profile
 Henri d’Ursel  photo Henri d’Ursel Henri d’Ursel heads the Brussels real estate team. Henri’s expertise covers all…
Number of partners : 550
Number of other fee-earners : 3,300

Advice To My Younger Self: Reflections of Successful Women Lawyers

Women lawyers open up about their careers and defining choices

Advice To My Younger Self: Reflections of Successful Women Lawyers is published by The Legal 500‘s GC Magazine in collaboration with Clifford Chance. Now in its second release, the book is a practical resource for anyone interested in charting a successful career path at a law firm or by moving in-house. It features interviews with 20 women partners, alumnae and in-house counsel, with additional contributions from members of Clifford Chance’s senior management and US-based recruiting team. Visit our website to learn more about practical tips for building your career.

RISING LAWYERS open up about their priorities and strategies for success

Their Voices: Insights from Today’s Rising Lawyers by The Legal 500‘s GC Magazine in collaboration with Clifford Chance. Geared primarily for students and junior lawyers, the book is a practical resource for those considering law school or just beginning a legal career. Twenty junior lawyers offer diverse perspectives on what inspires them about the law, and the strategies that are helping them stay in touch with their priorities and define the future of their careers. Their Voices also provides insights for senior lawyers as they mentor the next generation of leaders.