Benelux 2022 – GC Powerlist

Benelux 2022

  • Industries

  • Powerlist

Agnieszka Kominkiewicz-Hibbert

Senior legal director EMEA and APAC | Bird

Information technology

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Alexandra Olbrechts

General counsel | napoleon games

Hotels, restaurants and leisure

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Amy Barcroft

Legal director privacy and commercial | Uber

Information technology

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Anna Hägg

Head of legal affairs and governance | Inter IKEA Systems

Consumer products

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Annabelle Vos

General counsel and chief compliance officer | Fugro

Energy and utilities

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Anne Hustinx

General counsel | royal schiphol group

Transport and infrastructure

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Anne Veldhuizen

General counsel | Rituals

Consumer products

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Antonio Benitez-Donoso

General counsel | KPMG Luxembourg

Commercial and professional services

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Axel Viaene

General counsel and company secretary | grandvision

Healthcare

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Axelle Heuvelmans

General counsel continental Europe and MENA | McCain

Food

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Barbara Renssen

General counsel | VolkerWessels Bouw & Vastgoed Ontwikkeling

Industrials and real estate

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Bastiaan De Bruijne

General counsel | Airports Council International (Europe)

Transport and infrastructure

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Baukje Dreimuller

General counsel | Renewi

Energy and utilities

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Beatrice Nelson-Beer

Chief legal officer, head of legal, regulatory affairs, compliance and human resources | pm international

Food

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Charmaine Abreu Lobo

Managing counsel | McKinsey & Company

Commercial and professional services

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Cristiane Rego

General counsel Europe and Asia | Braskem Netherlands

Materials and mining

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David van Passel

Assistant general counsel | Johnson & Johnson

Healthcare

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Diego Manzetti

Head of legal EMEA | AIG

Insurance

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Dominique Golsong

Group general counsel | Solvay

Materials and mining

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Donny Ching

Legal director | shell plc

Energy and utilities

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Dr Beatrice Vos

Deputy general counsel, head of legal OUS | elanco

Healthcare

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Dr. Michael Riha

General counsel and company secretary | eurofins

Healthcare

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Els Ponnet

Head of legal | BNP Paribas Fortis

Financials

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Els Steen

CLO Europe and Indonesia | Ahold Delhaize

Consumer products

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Emma Trogen

Deputy director general – head of legal department | Cosmetics Europe

Consumer products

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Emmanuelle Bourdeau

Head of legal department | Luxair Group

Transport and infrastructure

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Emmanuelle Charles

Group general counsel | Deloitte

Commercial and professional services

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Emmerik van Parys

General counsel | Ideal Standard International

Consumer products

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Ernst Van De Weert

Executive director global legal affairs | Heineken

Food

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Eva-Maria Erauw

Senior vice president and chief legal officer, general counsel | Radisson hotel group

Hotels, restaurants and leisure

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Flávia Kaczelnik

Vice president and associate general counsel EMEA | bcd travel

Hotels, restaurants and leisure

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Florence Hinner

General counsel | EXOR

Financials

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Francisca Comiche

General counsel | Rabobank

Financials

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Frederic Hendrickx

General counsel, vice president internal audit and risk | Bridgestone EMIA

Consumer products

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Géraldine Nolens

Executive vice president legal, security, EHS, audit, P&T | Umicore

Materials and mining

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Grégory Leboutte

Associate general counsel, WW channel programs and partner compliance counsel | hp

Information technology

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Gwenn Vanweddingen

Chief legal and compliance officer | B Medical Systems

Healthcare

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Helen Hayes

Senior director – northern and eastern Europe | Uber

Information technology

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Igor Makedonsky

Director group legal – general counsel | Proximus

Telecommunication services

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Ilse De Loof

Group general counsel, corporate secretary, director | LBC Tank Terminals Group

Energy and utilities

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Ine Joosten

General counsel and head of legal Belgium and Luxembourg | the adecco group

Commercial and professional services

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Ingrid Baeke

Legal manager | Colruyt

Consumer products

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Izabella Hus-Morawska

General counsel | Siemens Nederland

Information technology

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James King

General counsel | Randstad

Commercial and professional services

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Jan Ernst de Groot

Chief legal officer | Ahold Delhaize

Consumer products

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Jeff Bullwinkel

Associate general counsel and director of corporate, external and legal affairs, Microsoft Europe | Microsoft

Information technology

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Jeremy Entwisle

General counsel EMEA | Hoya Corporation

Healthcare

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Johan De Bruycker

Group general counsel | Ageas

Financials

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John K Broussard

Associate general counsel, EAI | LyondellBasell

Materials and mining

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Jonathan Gimblett

Senior vice president and general counsel Europe | Prologis

Industrials and real estate

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Kirk R. Crowder

Head of legal EMEA | Subway international

Hotels, restaurants and leisure

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Klaas Evelein

Global general counsel foods unilever | Unilever

Consumer products

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Kristof Callebaut

Legal director | S.A.P Belgium

Information technology

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Kurt Verheggen

General counsel | Barco

Information technology

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Lara Y. Barrett

Vice president and senior counsel, development EMEA | Marriott International

Hotels, restaurants and leisure

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Laurens Dalmijn

General counsel | IMCD

Materials and mining

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Leticia G. Lizardo

Group general counsel and chief compliance officer | CQLT SaarGummi Technologies

Consumer products

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Loreto Reguera

Legal director for global privacy policy | accenture

Commercial and professional services

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Magali Declercq

Head of legal | Jan De Nul Group

Industrials and real estate

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Marc Duvieusart

General counsel | BESIX

Materials and mining

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Maria Rocha Barros

Senior vice president and chief legal officer | booking.com

Hotels, restaurants and leisure

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Marije Janssen

General counsel | Royal Reesink

Materials and mining

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Marius van Haaren

General counsel Benelux and public affairs director, the Netherlands | L'Oréal Benelux

Consumer products

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Marnix van Ginneken

Executive vice president and chief legal officer | Philips

Healthcare

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Marten Bezemer

Head legal affairs | Van Oers United BV

Food

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Mathilde Fabre

Global privacy, legal director | PVH Corp (Tommy Hilfiger & Calvin Klein)

Consumer products

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Michael Coates

General counsel and chief ethics and compliance officer | Shell

Energy and utilities

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Michael Koebele

General counsel | Kia Europe

Consumer products

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Michael Koenig

Associate general counsel digital media, Kindle and devices EU | Amazon Europe Core Sarl

Consumer products

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Milica Antic

Head of legal Netherlands | Google

Information technology

#GCPowerlist Benelux 2022

Mireille Giesen-Onclin

General counsel | HelloFresh

Food

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Nicolas Dupont

Group general counsel | Dexia

Financials

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Nicolas Pourbaix

Senior counsel, legal director | amgen

Healthcare

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Nicole Evers

General counsel | EY

Commercial and professional services

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Nynke Hupkens-Sipma

Director legal affairs | Achmea

Financials

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Olga Prokopovych

Legal director, Eurasia region | veon

Telecommunication services

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Osama Hussain

General counsel | Irdeto

Information technology

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Patrice de Hemptinne

General group counsel and company secretary | TCR

Transport and infrastructure

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Peter Van den Bulck

Global director intellectual property | Anheuser-Busch InBev

Food

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Phillip Eyskens

Group general counsel; covid-19 crisis coordinator; global transformation leader | Bekaert

Materials and mining

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Raluca Radu

General counsel and co-founder | Fairphone and Lisi Foundation

Consumer products

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Roel Straetmans

General counsel - group legal and tax director | Puratos Group

Food

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Samia Guessabi-Colombijn

Vice president legal excellence Northern Europe, legal ambassador Benelux | Accor

Hotels, restaurants and leisure

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Sarah Woodhouse

General counsel food and refreshment and general counsel markets: Europe and South East Asia, Australasia | unilever

Consumer products

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Saskia Mermans

Group general counsel | KBC Bank Group

Financials

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Sheila Jassies

General counsel EMEA and SSA | Cofco international

Food

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Steven Clement

General counsel | EY – Belgium

Commercial and professional services

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Sylvie Vanden Bruel

Associate general counsel, business development – M&A – antitrust at UCB | UCB

Healthcare

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Taida Pasic

General counsel | Dept Agency

Information technology

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Thai Rubin

Chief legal officer | SES

Telecommunication services

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Thibaut Grégoire

General counsel international markets and Europe | mastercard

Financials

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Thomas Hartnett

General group counsel and company secretary | nostrum oil & gas plc

Energy and utilities

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Thomas Oremus

Director legal and integrity | ASR Nederland

Financials

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Titus Engels

Former general counsel | WeTransfer

Information technology

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Tom Alexander Mulder

Executive vice president and chief legal officer | malvern panalytical

Healthcare

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Tulay Sonmez

General counsel | Dragone

Sports and media

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Volker Weisshar

General counsel | Sonos

Consumer products

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Vroukje van Oosten Slingeland

General counsel | ING

Financials

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Wauthier de Bassompierre

General counsel – member of executive committee | Sofina

Commercial and professional services

#GCPowerlist Benelux 2022

Wieteke van de Kamp

General counsel | Avedon Capital Partners

Information technology

#GCPowerlist Benelux 2022

With heightened attention from shareholders, stakeholders, and regulators, companies are facing unprecedented scrutiny. The increased requirements of disclosure and compliance for companies have led the role of the general counsel to go through significant changes in the scope of their role – from being legal advisors to becoming proper business partners.

This year’s The Legal 500 GC Powerlist: Benelux 2022 stresses how in-house legal counsel in Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg have adopted a more strategic position over the tumultuous last two years, taking an active part in the decision-making process at the highest level of their corporations. The seat at the table is today a reality for general counsel, with business partners turning to their legal departments for advice on critical areas such as commercial, reputational, sustainability, and risk management.

The Benelux nations, despite their own unique histories, have a long history of working together. Now a dynamic economic and political union that attracts international business thanks to its strategic location and modern infrastructure while simultaneously boasting world-class home-grown companies, the outlook for Benelux is a rosy one. Even during the challenges brought by the pandemic, the in-house legal teams within the region have acted following the objectives of their organisations, engaging in blockbuster deals, and increasing growth. Thanks to the partnership between legal counsel and business partners, Benelux has managed not to be highly impacted by the pandemic when compared with other European regions.

Benelux’s legal teams have demonstrated themselves to be resilient and innovative, finding original solutions to overcome challenges and promote the long-term growth of their internal clients. During the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses routinely turned to in-house counsel as strategic partners and trusted advisors. General counsel acted rapidly and advised the board to provide added value to the companies, navigating an unprecedented crisis and all the risks that came with it.

The pandemic has accelerated trends that were already present pre-pandemic and provided the opportunity to change the way legal teams operate, as well as contribute to their ability to adapt. Additionally, the new work-life format–particularly the explosion in remote working–has demonstrated the efficiency of in-house lawyers as key advisors even when out of the office. ‘The pandemic forced in-house counsel to think out of the box while increasing flexibility,’ reported one in-house lawyer.

The sincerest gratitude is extended to every in-house lawyer who participated in The Legal 500 GC Powerlist: Benelux 2022. In this edition, we celebrate your success in circumnavigating the challenges of the past year and for your established value to your respective organisations. I am deeply honoured to present this list of Benelux’s finest, innovative and acclaimed in-house lawyers.


Sara Maggi

Researcher
GC Powerlist Series

Arendt

Arendt logo

At Arendt we understand the crucial role of the legal team in successfully supporting the ambitions of the companies they represent, and so we are delighted to share in these celebrations and congratulate all who have been recognised in The Legal 500’s GC Powerlist: Benelux.

Since we last co-sponsored this event in 2019 with our friends at Houthoff and Liedekerke, so many things have happened that were unimaginable a few years ago, and it is no understatement to say that there has been unprecedented change across the globe. Businesses have had to react quickly to these changes, whether enabling their services to continue through the pandemic or working with their global teams in response to political tensions and conflict. The demand on legal teams has never been greater to provide support, insight and guidance on how their companies should react to these challenges. Legal and compliance teams, and the GCs who lead them, are now at the forefront of enabling change; supporting the development of new environmental, social and governance strategies, harnessing technology, adapting to the needs of an agile workforce and assessing where and how their businesses operate across multiple jurisdictions.

Tonight, we recognise and applaud the legal teams and GCs who play such an important role in helping their companies overcome hurdles and implement their strategies by successfully navigating legal and regulatory challenges. Often managing legal teams across different geographical locations, GCs have a broad remit to ensure that cross-border activities can continue to operate at a time of dramatic global change. It is not only core legal skills that are required for the successful GC, but managing internal departments, external counsel, budgets and profitability are all key areas of the role.

Increasingly, external legal advisors need to be more than just purveyors of legal advice, but real business partners who have a global view and help GCs and legal teams navigate and anticipate the changing legal, tax and regulatory landscape. As a full-service law firm, Arendt offers a comprehensive and integrated approach to help GCs and their legal teams to overcome all these new challenges by providing them with practical answers to their legal, regulatory and tax questions.

Along with Houthoff and Liedekerke, we are proud to say that many of the companies represented here this evening are our clients, some for many years. In this increasingly unpredictable business environment, we are sure of only one thing: we will continue to work with you, together, facing the challenges and opportunities that 2022 has to offer.

Houthoff

Houthoff logo

The GC Powerlist celebrates general counsel and their teams and Houthoff is a proud sponsor of this GC Powerlist: Benelux 2022.

It is our daily business as lawyers to work closely with our clients, general counsel and their legal professionals to contribute to the ambitions and success of the companies they represent. The challenges they encounter and their professionalism in such circumstances is outstanding.

The playing field of legal departments is so rapidly changing that when working together intensively as we do, you can easily see the resilience and high-level knowledge they constantly bring to the table. Many companies are still dealing with the consequences of the Covid-19 crisis, which has resulted in various legal issues. Whilst we sincerely hope to have come to the aftermath of the pandemic, all sectors are faced with the results of very impactful geopolitical developments. This too leads to demanding legal challenges and complex legislation. Navigating through these circumstances, whilst helping the business accelerate, often in an international context, is not for the faint-hearted.

To contribute to a company’s success means that general counsel have to help implement environmental, social and governance goals, embrace new digital possibilities and safeguard an organisation’s compliance. And yes, also work with external counsel like us. At Houthoff we are committed to helping legal teams, and their boards, in their endeavours concerning long-term and sustainable successes. We feel privileged to do so, because we get to experience and learn from the passion and power of our counterparts first-hand.

Congratulations to all individuals recognised in the GC Powerlist: Benelux 2022. At Houthoff, we wish all legal professionals great success in all that lies ahead.

Liedekerke

Liedekerke logo

We are extremely proud to be one of the three sponsors for yet another year of The Legal 500’s GC Powerlist: Benelux and to join The Legal 500 in recognising Benelux’s top general counsel. It is an honour to co-host the GC Powerlist Benelux event and to congratulate all general counsel who have been instrumental in bringing their companies to the next level by providing them with the necessary tools to succeed in their goals.

In the past two years, the world has gone through a global pandemic, increase in social activism, geopolitical changes, and many other major developments in numerous areas, that will forever pivot and impact businesses and individuals for the unforeseen future.

Businesses have been increasingly forced to rethink their way of working and approaching challenges and planning. We have moved from simpler times where we saw less and slower changes, where organisations and legal teams faced a world that was more reliable and could anticipate risks and challenges based on old assumptions, and therefore achieve a simpler vision of the future, to a new VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) environment, where geopolitical issues, globalisation and new and disruptive technologies are bringing their share of intricacies and are impacting all industries, making risk analysis and future planning much more complex.

In this new landscape where uncertainty has become more apparent, legal teams need to have their finger on the pulse and be even more strategic and future-oriented; they need to assimilate mass amounts of information in shorter times, they must rapidly evaluate how to act and react all while under time pressure to manage more risks and complexity. They need to go far beyond those old assumptions and can no longer use only past experiences to plan and assess the future, but need to take into consideration a whole array of (new) elements to bring their organisation a real added-value as trusted business advisors.

Their role has therefore been profoundly redefined, and they need to become even more agile in a dynamic, rapidly changing legal market, assess fluctuations, anticipate risks and challenges and how to cope with them and evolve and adapt with the changes rather than being disrupted by them.

In short, their resilience and adaptability must be bulletproof.

The general counsel present tonight have certainly impressed us by their adaptability and ability to accept change, and their capacity to go the extra mile to be able to support their businesses in meeting challenges and embracing new opportunities.

Alongside our friend firms Arendt and Houthoff, Liedekerke is proud to praise – through the GC Powerlist: Benelux – those who are visionaries and are instrumental in enabling their businesses to leverage the changes to succeed as organisations. We are delighted to not only be a legal advisor for them but a true business partner who will continue to accompany them and guide them in these endeavours.

GC Powerlist: Benelux 2022

On 9 June 2022, The Legal 500 was in Brussels to celebrate the launch of the second edition of the GC Powerlist: Benelux. Our research editor Allan Cohen and private practice lists development manager Simon Wilton were joined by top GCs from Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg for a wonderful reception at the Steigenberger Wiltcher’s hotel, on the prestigious Avenue Louise.

A huge thank you to Arendt, Houthoff and Liedekerke for sponsoring the publication and partnering with us to celebrate the best in-house legal talent in the region, and to Vincent Busschaert (managing partner at Liedekerke) and Lara Y Barrett (vice president and senior counsel at Marriott International) for speaking and sharing their insights at the event.