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Focus on… Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick

Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick, is one of Belgium’s foremost full service business law firms. Based in Brussels, with a London representative office and independent since its creation in 1965, the firm has established an international reputation upon an unchallenged expertise.

Our clients are active in a broad range of industries including financial services and financial institutions, energy, real estate and construction, environment, retail, consumer goods and trade, public authorities and government agencies, automotive, funds and asset management amongst others. The firm has a strong advisory practice based on sector expertise and an in-depth knowledge of Belgian and European law. As an essential complement to its advisory activities, it represents clients in complex litigation before national, European and international courts, both judicial and arbitral, the Court of Cassation, the Council of State and the Belgian Constitutional Courts.

With over 100 lawyers, including 29 partners, Liedekerke is recognized for its ability to quickly mobilize competent, flexible and multidisciplinary teams anywhere.

Liedekerke opened its London office in 2007 and remains the only Belgian law firm in London. The firm has dedicated country desks whereby it works with leading law firms in each practice area to serve their clients.

In the last few decades, Liedekerke has developed strong relationships with major African market players, both private and public. The thorough understanding of their needs, combined with wide-reaching technical experience of the law and strong local know-how, enables Liedekerke to offer optimal solutions to its clients. The firm’s knowledge of the central African market and the sensitivities of its stakeholders are further borne out by its strong commitment to the corporate social responsibility programs of its clients and its own efforts to contribute to the development of the region. The firm is very much committed to Africa’s future and participates regularly in projects financed by international institutions. Liedekerke’s understanding of local legal systems and cultures enables its lawyers to cultivate relationships with skilled law firms in jurisdictions across Africa where the firm does not have offices, and to select the right local counsel for every assignment.

In 2014, “Liedekerke DRC SASU” has been opened as a subsidiary in Kinshasa, enhancing Liedekerke’s capability to provide local legal support and operational assistance to companies and other stakeholders active across Francophone Africa and the DRC in particular.

In May 2019, Liedekerke opened a second subsidiary in Africa, “Liedekerke Great Lakes”, in Kigali (Rwanda) to complement its current Africa offering.

Liedekerke is the exclusive member firm in Belgium for Lex Mundi – the world’s leading network of independent law firms with in-depth experience in 100+ countries worldwide. Lex Mundi is made up of premier independent law firms in each jurisdiction. Individually, each member firm is leader in its local market. Collectively, Lex Mundi firms provide global legal resources with unmatched depth and breadth. As indigenous firms in their home jurisdictions, the member firms possess in depth local market knowledge and relationships throughout government, courts and the business community.

Working with other Lex Mundi member firms, Liedekerke is able to seamlessly handle its clients’ most challenging cross-border transactions and disputes. Lex Mundi is a non-exclusive network, which means the firm remains free to work with other law firms and adapt to its clients’ preferences.

Liedekerke is also active in some other international networks and has privileged but non-exclusive relationships with other leading law firms that share the same high standards and vision.

The Energy Law Group which includes approximately 500 lawyers with specialist expertise in the energy and natural resources sectors, all belonging to eminent independent law firms; the Club de Abogados – Iberoamérica which gathers 19 Latin American law firms and 17 top class European firms) and the US/European Network (USEN) which counts 5 large North American firms and 13 European top tier law firms are the leading networks Liedekerke is proud to be a member of.

Through its memberships to these networks, the firm wants to ensure that in all cases and even in the utmost urgency, it can recommend the right partner in every jurisdiction.

Liedekerke, is committed to eliminating discrimination and promoting diversity and inclusion. The firm strongly believes having a diverse workforce and striving for equality will not only improve its impact on society and the community in which it operates, but also improve the firm’s culture and performance.

At the internal level and in terms of lawyers’ representation, the firm is quite proud to have reached a balance of 42% men and 58 % women. Liedekerke currently counts 52% female lawyers and 48% male lawyers in the mid-level associates category. Acknowledging that the imbalance is more marked among senior profiles, Liedekerke has recently been launching a series of initiatives aiming at reducing this gap. One of the most recent is the launch of a Gender Equity Unit, a team of lawyers and staff members who have been mandated to analyse the current situation and propose initiatives to ensure better gender equity within the firm.

Besides, Liedekerke, for several years, has been involved in various diversity and inclusion initiatives. Many of its lawyers, whether in Belgium or in Africa, make use of their experience and legal acumen to actively support non-profit organizations promoting tolerance and the integration of those who are different. Not only do they give pro bono legal advice but many of them invest their personal time, funds and efforts in a variety of socio-cultural projects.

The firm has been developing a number of initiatives in the past years and is increasing its involvement in Diversity and Inclusion groups, by setting up plans and priorities in order to, in a first stage, develop and increase internal awareness and skills with a view to allow its lawyers to promote D&I externally; and, in a second stage, launch and collaborate on different initiatives together with clients to increase the impact of such initiatives.

Liedekerke is proud to be one of the founding members of the Legal Diversity & Inclusion Alliance (LDIA), created in Brussels in January 2019. LDIA is an organisation through which a group of law firms commits to build a diverse and inclusive workplace in which everyone benefits from equal treatment and opportunities, irrespective of sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, memberships of a national minority, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation. Actions and initiatives proposed through LDIA include amongst others, the organisation of several events aiming at creating awareness around the importance and impact of developing Diversity & Inclusion efforts in the legal sector but also in society at large.

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