Dechert LLP > Brussels, Belgium > Firm Profile

Dechert LLP

Belgium > Competition: EU and global Tier 3

Dechert LLP‘s ‘hard-working‘ Brussels-based team plays a key role in cross-border merger review proceedings, regularly advising global corporate clients on multi-jurisdictional clearances, as well as handling cartel and abuse of dominance cases, state aid issues, and antitrust litigation including appeals and follow-on damages. The firm’s standout expertise includes work in heavily regulated industries and in matters with national security implications in key sectors such as big tech and energy. Alec Burnside is a vastly experienced figure in the market, handling complex mandates for a significant range of key clients, while Clemens Graf York von Wartenburg is noted for his leading role in the metal packaging cartel investigation, as well as a number of private enforcement actions. Recently promoted partner Michael Okkonen is a key name for merger control and FDI matters, and senior associate Marjolein De Backer remains active in a number of complex investigations, often including issues at the intersection of competition and intellectual property.

Other key lawyers:

Alec Burnside; Marjolein de Backer; Michael Okkonen; Clemens Graf York von Wartenburg; Adam Kindane; Delphine Strohl


‘Unique feature of the team is that they are very responsive and quite low key and hands on.’

‘I worked with Adam Kidane and Clemens Graf York von Wartenburg. Both have outstanding knowledge in competition law, especially merger control. Both are THE go to address especially for tailor made advice. Very responsive and always a pleasure to work with.’

‘Communication has been easy and all individuals we worked with at Dechert have been always available and flexible. Their knowledge and availability has been of great help and brought a lot of added value to our work.

‘They have assembled a team of dynamic, smart lawyers with deep subject matter knowledge of antitrust and industry intersection, particularly in the tech sector.’

‘Alec Burnside is both smart and self deprecating; he has decades of experience but is always open to discussion. His colleagues Marjolein DeBacker and Delphine Strohl are so responsive and on top of the subject. This is an excellent team to work with.’

‘The team was very efficient in coordinating a multi-jurisdictional merger notification analysis. This is an area with lots of moving parts where thresholds may often change so it is helpful to have a team that closely monitors these developments and offers a one-stop shop approach.’

‘We received timely and concrete commercial advice from Michael Okkonen.’

Key clients


The Blackstone Group

Columna Capital

Court Square Capital

Crown Holdings, Inc.

CVS Health

Eli Lilly and Company

Fair Trade Advocacy Office

Griffon Corporation

Huhtamaki Oyi

JP Morgan


MiddleGround Capital

MidEuropa Partners

Nordic Capital

One Equity Partners (“OEP”)

Groupe Rossel

Scientific Games Corporation


SK Group

T. Rowe Price

US Ecology

Vestiaire Collective

Yelp, Inc. (NYSE: YELP)

Work highlights

  • Advised Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC in more than 25 transactions.
  • Advised Crown Holdings, Inc. a multinational company active in the design, manufacture and sale of packaging products and equipment for consumer goods and industrial products, on the merger control aspects of the sale of its European Tinplate business to KPS Capital Partners, LP.
  • Advised Getaroom in connection with inquiries received from the U.S. DOJ, the U.K. Competition & Markets Authority, and the Federal Competition Authority in Austria in connection with Booking Holdings’ acquisition of Getaroom.

Belgium > Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 4

Dechert LLP has strong US connections and is particularly active on behalf of private equity investors. The team advises on acquisitions and exits, joint ventures, and corporate governance issues, regularly handling cross-border mandates in industries such as pharma, telecoms, and hospitality. The practice is led by Eric Deltour, who is experienced in US, Europe, and Asia-domiciled transactions, supported by senior associate Geoffroy Fink, who has experience in the financial services space.

Practice head(s):

Eric Deltour

Other key lawyers:


‘Very strong team. Looking to facilitate the deal.’

‘Always available and to the point.’

Key clients

MiddleGround Capital


Work highlights

  • Advised MiddleGround Capital in connection with the acquisition of Plasman Holdings.
  • Advised Rossel in the joint acquisition, alongside DPG Media, of 100% of the shares of Audiopresse SA.
  • Advised a group of minority shareholders (and initial founders) in the sale of (their remaining) 35% of the shares of Newpharma Group.

Dechert has a multinational identity that is fundamentally diverse. The firm’s commitments to diversity and inclusion are not simply words written on a website – they are guiding principles that all those at Dechert should live by every day. The numbers speak for themselves – 43% of our Policy Committee (the senior management team) are women or diverse partners, 62% of the lawyers promoted to partner in January 2021 are women or diverse, and 77% of the most recent incoming class – Dechert’s future – are women or diverse.

The following are just some of the key measures that Dechert has undertaken to improve diversity and inclusion at the firm.

Affinity Groups
To effect change, affinity groups identify and address diversity and inclusion-related issues, and create new and recurring programming focused on the attainment of professional and business development skills. They offer enhanced mentoring opportunities, retreats and educational workshop for diverse attorneys. Our affinity groups include:

  • Asian Affinity Group
  • Black Lawyers Alliance
  • Dechert’s Family Network
  • Global Women’s Initiative
  • Latino Affinity Group
  • LGBTQ Affinity Group
  • Dechert Heroes (Veterans Affinity Group)

Aspiring Solicitors
Dechert is an Affiliate Partner of Aspiring Solicitors (AS). 2020/2021 marks the fifth successful year of Dechert’s sponsorship of the organization’s national Commercial Awareness Competition, with the winners offered a vacation scheme and opportunity to interview for a training contract at Dechert.

Diversity and Inclusion Week
As part of the firm’s inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Week (July 20-24, 2020), Dechert hosted journalist and filmmaker Afua Hirsch for a provocative conversation about race, identity and belonging, as well as how what we learn (or don’t learn) about our history has an impact on racism and inequality today.

The firm also held fast-paced virtual quizzes focused on diversity, inclusion and world culture, with a charitable donation made to the winning teams’ chosen charities focused on social justice.

Diversity Champions
Recognizing the individuals who serve as role models for the inclusive, open culture we value, Dechert offers the Diversity Champions award. In 2020, our people submitted 100 nominations. Four Diversity Champions were recognized at our annual all-hands event, with honorees each awarded a bonus.

Global Women’s Initiative
Members of Dechert’s Global Women’s Initiative (GWI) meet regularly with firm leadership to identify and implement initiatives that promote opportunities for women to advance and lead throughout the firm. Individual offices provide additional formal and informal support for women lawyers.

GWI initiatives include formal and informal mentoring, development training, meetings and events for summer associates, internal and external networking, special interest events, and leadership training. The GWI launched the Sponsorship and Sustained Support (SASS) program for senior women associates to help navigate the path to partnership.

Inclusive Leadership
Commitment to diversity and inclusion stems from the top. Our partners have been participating in quarterly, interactive sessions on inclusive leadership since 2018. Topics include affinity bias, attribution bias, covering, in and out groups, priming, unconscious bias, and inclusive leadership in times of crisis. Interactive sessions include dramatizations that prompt conversations long after the programming ends.

This program continues today, with the February 2021 session focused on actionable allyship. Inclusive leadership training has also been expanded to associates and business service professionals.

TESTIMONIAL: “Dechert consistently provides differentiating legal advice, particularly on large, complex transactions.”

TESTIMONIAL: “The firm did a great job throughout the entire process. They have been proactive and delivered quality advice. As always, a pleasure working with such a great team.”

COMPANY/FIRM: Credit Suisse
TESTIMONIAL: “We continually have the highest degree of confidence in the work product and coverage of the Dechert team, and they are always a pleasure to work with.”

COMPANY/FIRM: Saint-Gobain
TESTIMONIAL: “Saint-Gobain frequently turns to Dechert to defend the company in its most consequential, high-stakes litigation in the United States. Their sophistication, depth of experience, and legal creativity – especially in the area of complex mass tort litigation, is simply unrivalled. When the case is unprecedented and alleged to be perilous, there is no better partner to have in the trenches than Dechert.”