Clifford Chance > Brussels, Belgium > Firm Profile

Clifford Chance

Belgium > Banking, finance and capital markets Tier 1

Clifford Chance has an experienced team with expertise across financing transactions, regulatory issues, and capital markets work, both debt and equity. The team advises international banks and financial institutions as well as public sector bodies on large-scale project financing matters, bank lending, bonds issues, and public listings. Bert De Maeyer takes the lead on bank lending and financing, including project and real estate finance, Lounia Czupper has a strong record in financial regulation and structured finance, particularly complex cross-border bonds issues, while Niek De Pauw leads on corporate financing and equity capital markets matters. At senior associate level, Wim Aerts has a strong record in DCM work, with Hélène Volkova and Valérie Demeur noted for their debt restructuring and ECM expertise respectively.

Practice head(s):

Bert De Maeyer; Lounia Czupper; Niek De Pauw

Other key lawyers:

Wim Aerts; Helene Volkova; Valerie Demeur


Professional – available – looking to deliver best service for the client.’

‘Wim Aerts – outstanding knowledge of local market, ran a very swift process, knowing what to focus on.’


Key clients

ING Belgium

BNP Paribas Fortis


AB InBev

European Investment Bank (AIB)

The Belgian State

Patrizia AG


Banque Degroof Petercam


BofA Securities Europe SA

Goldman Sachs

Bank of America Merrill Lynch


The Bank of New York Mellon

Work highlights

  • Advised the lenders of Hamon & Cie (International) SA on the debt restructuring and recapitalisation of Hamon.
  • Advised the European Investment Bank as lender on the financing of the Arcadis Ost Offshore Wind Farm.
  • Advising ING Bank on an amendment, resyndication and increase of the borrowing base facilities for Traxys SA.

Belgium > Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 1

Clifford Chance advises on a wide range of major transactions, including cross-border M&A, joint ventures, and private equity investments, regularly leading on global mandates from its Brussels office. The team is also active across project financing and innovative activist shareholder issues, a relatively new development within the Belgian market. Alongside private equity investors, clients include a wide range of energy, tech, telecoms, and financial services companies. Practice heads Xavier Remy and Niek De Pauw combine transactional expertise with strong regulatory and corporate law knowledge, specialising in energy work and capital markets-related matters respectively. Senior associate Patrice Viaene continues to build his profile within private equity, particularly energy investments.

Practice head(s):


Very commercially focused team with an ability to break down the complex to the simple. The team I would liaise with most are Patrice Viaene and Audrey Demeyer. Both are exceptional calibre lawyers who always bring a solution driven mindset to any deal.’

‘Patrice Viaene – brilliant negotiating skills and always available. Patrice has the uncanny ability to motivate all stakeholders in a transaction to finding a solution.

‘Audrey Demeyer  is a very diligent adviser and always quick to respond to requests.’

‘Very client and service focused.’

‘Patrice Viaene is without doubt the most exceptional associate I have ever worked with.

Key clients




THI Holdings

Ardian / Dedalus Holding


Mitsubishi Corporation

Mitsui & Co.



Degroof Petercam

Corialis / CVC



Sitecore / EQT


Amavi Capital


Merieux Equity Partners



Antenna Group


Work highlights

  • Advised EQT Infrastructure on its joint venture agreement with Proximus for the roll-out of a fiber network for at least 1.5 million households and businesses in the Flemish Region of Belgium.
  • Advised Kingspan on the acquisition of 100% of the Logstor group.
  • Advised Corialis and its management on the sale of the Corialis group by CVC Capital to Astorg and the subsequent reinvestment by management and CVC Capital into the structure majority owned by Astorg.

Belgium > EU regulatory: Financial services Tier 1

Clifford Chance advises banks, funds, asset managers, and other investors on a wide range of regulatory issues relating to insurance products, derivatives, and licensing, with notable expertise in anti-money laundering and risk management advice. Alongside major institutional players, the firm also advises start-ups and challengers such as fintech companies and challenger banks. The practice is led by Lounia Czupper, who advises a wide range of lenders and regulated financial institutions on compliance and product development.

Practice head(s):

Lounia Czupper

Key clients

ING Belgium

AB InBev

JP Morgan


Bank Degroof Petercam

Deutsche Bank

Crédit Agricole



BNP Paribas Fortis

Work highlights

  • Advised on Euroclear security agreements for a number of large banks and financial institutions and for the European Investment Bank.
  • Provided a Belgian legal opinion to LCH Limited on membership, insolvency, security, set-off & netting and client clearing, and the impacts thereon resulting from the end of the Brexit transition period.

Belgium > Real estate and construction Tier 1

Clifford Chance maintains its strong record in high-value real estate transactions, advising investors, REITs, and corporate portfolio holders on cross-border acquisitions, sales, and investments. Alongside its transactional work, the team also advises on construction and development issues, leasing, and financing matters. The practice is led by Henri d’Ursel, who is highly experienced in transactions and development matters for leading domestic and international clients, with Pieter De Bock specialising in environmental and urban planning law.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


‘Clifford Chance is known in the Belgian market as being the legal advisors for the largest and most complicated real estate transactions.’

‘The Clifford Chance team is highly knowledgeable in the Belgian real estate market, they are very responsive and are business and solution minded.’

‘The team is well appreciated by the market players and their presence in a transaction permits transactions to be swiftly completed.’

‘Henri d’Ursel is an exceptional lawyer and very well known by the Belgian and Luxembourg real estate players. He is very creative in finding solutions and is always very business minded. He is very proactive and available.’

Key clients

The Belgian State’s Holding and Investment Company (SFPI -FPIM)

GAC Capital

Patrizia Frankfurt Kapitalverwaltungsgesellschaft


Union Investment Real Estate

Quest Investment Partners

J. Safra Sarasin Group



The Coca-Cola Company

Deka Immobilien Investment GmbH

Colonies Belgium

KanAM Grund

Firce Capital



Work highlights

  • Advised Patrizia on the successful sale of a building situated at the Rue Joseph II 12-16 in Brussels.
  • Advised Patrizia on the successful acquisition of Quadoro Investment Belgium’s real estate portfolio.
  • Advised Patrizia on the successful sale of the Triomphe 172 property in Brussels.

Belgium > Competition: EU and global Tier 2

Clifford Chance handles major strategic merger clearances and behavioural cases, and is frequently involved in a number of high-profile proceedings in the tech, life sciences, and financial services sectors. Of particular note is the firm’s antitrust technology work, with practice head Thomas Vinje advising global technology giants on EU investigations into anti-competitive behaviour, state aid, and merger issues. The firm also represents clients before the EC and European courts in litigation, with Dorothée Vermeiren a key name for cartel litigation and follow-on damages cases. Anastasios Tomtsis plays a leading role in major international merger clearances, alongside retail sector behavioural cases, while Richard Blewett offers notable multijurisdictional merger and investigations expertise, having previously worked in the firm’s Hong Kong and Beijing offices. Dieter Paemen specialises in the intersection between IP and antitrust issues. Ashwin Van Rooijen was promoted to partner in mid-2021, specialising in abuse of dominance cases.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Vinje


‘This law firm offers a significantly high level of service in terms of response time, business acumen/industry knowledge, appropriateness of advice, strength-in-depth of team and value for money.’

‘The depth and breadth of their knowledge ensures that they are able to support every client’s business needs successfully and provide high quality, innovative legal solutions in the increasingly complex area of legislation and practice.’

‘The people in the team are extraordinary – high availability – practical – solution oriented – high expertise. it is a real pleasure to work with them.’

‘Aleksander Tombinski – he is always solution oriented. If asked they are available to help last minute. He has the ability to explain a complex matter in a way that is understandable for operational people. He always tries to find the best and most practical solution. And above all, his knowledge of the file is excellent, even regarding elements that happened several years ago.’

‘This team has very good connections to the European Commission, especially DG Com. They understand the legal and political environment and give unique advice.’

‘Thomas Vinje: great strategist, well connected.

Ashwin van Rooijen: excellent at handling matters, great knowledge.

Key clients











General Electric (GE)

EPIC Games

Antin Infrastructure Partners and Eurofiber NV

Philip Morris International

China Baowu Steel Group Corporation Limited (China Baowu)

Ardian Infrastructure


Hellenic Financial Stability Fund

Air Malta

Italy Air Transport

Athens International Airport S.A.

Fraport Greece

Work highlights

  • Representing Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite, in its European Union antitrust complaint against Apple for alleged abuse of the latter’s dominant position.
  • Advising GE and GECAS on its merger control filings across approximately 20 jurisdictions, including the US, EU and China.
  • Representing FairSearch, the original complainant in the case that led to the Android Decision, in Google’s appeal of the Android Decision before the General Court.

Belgium > Dispute resolution Tier 2

Clifford Chance acts for a strong roster of key Belgian companies, multinationals, banks, and public bodies in a host of contentious mandates. Highly regarded as an ‘excellent litigator and strategic thinker’ by clients, practice head Dorothée Vermeiren is a prolific litigator and arbitrator. Nathan Tulkens is experienced in commercial and corporate disputes, representing large global retailers and financial institutions in high-stakes proceedings. Nicolas Vanderstappen is noted for his expertise in shareholder litigation and arbitration capabilities under CEPANI rules.

Practice head(s):

Dorothée Vermeiren

Other key lawyers:

Nathan Tulkens; Nicholas Vanderstappen


‘A practice that is theoretically strong whilst also hands-on and pragmatic. Not afraid to take a position.’

‘Dorothée Vermeiren will look at issues from all angles and will raise potential blind spots.’

‘We have built up a good cooperation with Clifford Chance in very short time to resolve a main problem in international tax fraud and evasion. For us the international network and experiences of a Law office such as Clifford Chance was (in association with the price level) a main factor in our decision to give them the assignment.’

‘Dorothée Vermeiren is very professional and involved, solution-oriented, good communicator.’

‘Dorothée Vermeiren is an excellent litigator, strategic thinker, and knows her files well.’

Key clients

Amazon EU

The Belgian State




ING Belgium


Liberty Liège-Dudelange


Manchester Securities Corp.

AIMCo (Alberta Investment Management Corporation)



Lucerne Capital Management

ION Holding



Ena Investment Capital

Work highlights

  • Represented Amazon in a strategic dispute against brick-and-mortar booksellers claiming violations of the Belgian book price regulation.
  • Represented the Belgian State before the Brussels enterprise court against claims brought by approximately 8,000 ARCO shareholders claiming compensation in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and the ensuing insolvency of the ARCO companies, and in litigation before the US courts aimed at recovering fraudulently reclaimed taxes from various US pension funds.
  • Successfully advised Carrefour on an investigation conducted by the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) in relation to a joint purchasing alliance between Carrefour and Provera (the purchasing central of the Louis Delhaize group).

Belgium > Industry focus: Energy Tier 2

A stellar roster of Belgian and foreign clients turn to Clifford Chance for assistance in the full gamut of energy and infrastructure matters, including major renewable power projects and associated financings. Recent highlights for the team include international offshore wind and green hydrogen developments, transnational gas infrastructure projects and broad regulatory reviews for various operators. Practice head Xavier Remy is an experienced corporate and commercial adviser on high-value transactions, privatisations, and group structure and governance matters. Patrice Viaene combines expertise in energy and infrastructure.

Practice head(s):

Xavier Remy

Other key lawyers:


‘High expertise in very complex issues, high level of services, excellent collaboration, high degree of commitment.’

‘Excellent technical knowledge and an extensive expertise in gas industry and in complex cross-border infrastructure projects.’

‘Practical and hard working team who delivered us a great outcome on the realisation of our project. The team was always available and flexible and had a very balanced approach in negotiations.’

‘Very responsive and professional team with many long-term client relationships.’

‘Xavier Remy is a very experienced lawyer, very amicable, has an excellent overview of files, and is able at all times to find solutions for potential issues.’

‘Very experienced team with the ability to think outside of the box and to provide solutions to for complex problems.’

‘The individuals I worked with quickly became part of the team and were sincerely interested about the project, going the extra mile for its success. I wish to particularly mention Patrice Viaene who supported us in so many ways, and to highlight his business mindset and his ability to conduct balanced negotiations.’

Key clients

3i Infrastructure

50 Hertz








European Investment Bank


Hellenic Gas Transmission System Operator SA

Macquarie Capital

Mitsubishi Corporation








Work highlights

  • Advising Elia on the possible development and construction of a multifunctional offshore energy island in the North Sea within the concession zone for the next generation offshore wind farms.
  • Advising Thyssenkrupp on its bid to construct the very first pioneering green hydrogen plant in Belgium on an industrial scale for a consortium between Eoly (part of the Colruyt group), Parkwind and Fluxys.
  • Advising the electricity and gas distribution system operator Resa on the regulatory challenges ensuing from its ambition to support new energy innovation projects.

Belgium > Private equity Tier 2

Clifford Chance advises a combination of local and international private equity sponsors on transactions, fund structuring, tax issues, and employment considerations relating to their investments and buyouts. The firm has developed its presence in deals within the tech sector, alongside infrastructure, and also has a long-standing strength in the energy sector. Practice head Niek De Pauw advises sponsors and portfolio companies on acquisitions, exits, and joint ventures, including in the telecoms infrastructure space, while Xavier Remy is noted for his work on energy sector PE investments. Alexandre Ooms focuses on tax structuring for private equity clients, while senior associate Patrice Viaene advises a number of private equity houses and venture capital investors on transactions and financings, and also has a strong record in energy transactions.

Practice head(s):

Niek De Pauw


‘Niek De Pauw- commercial spirit, no-nonsense, effective oversight, team player.’

‘Arthur Barbé- very trustworthy and reactive. The kind of person you want to see accompanying the partner on a file.’

They think along with the client.

Key clients

Consortium APG /QIC/Swiss Life/PMV






Marnix Luxembourg Holding SARL







Work highlights

  • Advised EQT Infrastructure on its joint venture agreement with Proximus for the roll-out of a fiber network for at least 1.5 million households and businesses in the Flemish Region of Belgium.
  • Advised Verlinvest on the sale of its majority shareholding of Valtech SE.
  • Advising various portfolio companies of Merieux Equity Partners.

Belgium > Tax Tier 2

Clifford Chance combines strong transactional tax expertise with notable real estate taxation work and involvement in complex cross-border tax disputes, particularly related to the cum-ex proceedings. The team advises a number of high-profile private equity clients on transactional tax elements, alongside real estate developers, asset managers, and institutional investors, as well as advising governments and public sector bodies. The practice is led by Alexandre Ooms, a versatile practitioner with a strong record in transactional and real estate tax alongside tax litigation. Senior associate Baptiste Antoine is a key member of the team, focusing on real estate and VAT matters.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Baptiste Antoine; Stijn Van Walleghem


‘Very responsive and efficient.’

‘Alexandre Ooms. Experienced lawyer with a very good understanding of the market.’

‘The exceptional quality of their lawyers.’

‘All of the lawyers are exceptional. Specially Alexandre Ooms and Stijn Van Walleghem.’

‘The team is highly professional, always quick in responding and supports with excellent, to-the-point advice considering the client’s needs. Based on in-depth knowledge about the subject matter, advice is pragmatic and solution-focussed. It is a pleasure working with the team and, overall, we have been very pleased with the services provided.’

‘Alexandre Ooms is always available to discuss issues and ensures that clients receive an excellent service. Based on very clear reasoning he comes up with practical solutions to complex tax matters at short notice. Fully understanding the client’s needs, tailored high quality advice is provided and our demands are consistently considered and implemented as part of the negotiations.’

Key clients


EDF Investissements Groupe SA

ENGIE Electrabel SA

Deka Immobilien

Banque Degroof Petercam


Union Investment


Real IS

Belgian Brewers Association

J. Safra Sarasin Group

Swiss Life Dynapierre

AEW Invest GmbH



Mérieux Equity Partners

Belgian State




GH Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Verlinvest on the sale of its majority shareholding of Valtech SE.
  • Advised Corialis and its management on the sale of the Corialis group by CVC Capital to Astorg and the subsequent reinvestment by management and CVC Capital into the structure majority owned by Astorg.
  • Representing a large private equity client before the Supreme Court in a high-profile case on the direct application in Belgium of the recently strengthened EU anti-tax abuse provisions.

Belgium > Employment Tier 3

Clifford Chance‘s ‘pragmatic and solution-oriented’ employment team assists a number of large domestic and international corporations with restructurings, industrial relations matters, terminations, and the associated litigation – often with a cross-border element. Practice head Gert Cuppens is a prolific counsel who routinely represents clients before the labour court and serves as a deputy judge of the Brussels Employment Tribunal.

Practice head(s):

Gert Cuppens


‘Very responsive and capable team. Easy to work with. Pragmatic and solution focused.’

‘Gert Cuppens has consistently provided us with prompt, pragmatic advice, tailored to client needs.’

Key clients

Coca-Cola Belgium


LBC Tank Terminals

Royal Sporting Club Anderlecht

Fero Group




RTL Belgium


Work highlights

  • Advised various clients in relation to the different stages of the Coronavirus outbreak.
  • Advised Kidiliz on the employment aspects of its judicial reorganisation.
  • Advised Coca-Cola Belgium in relation to a transfer of employees at Coca-Cola Belgium’s headquarters.

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

Henri d'Ursel photo Henri d'UrselHenri 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.