Banking and Capital Markets
Our Banking practice encompasses both transactional and regulatory expertise. Whether our clients seek top teams for acquisition and takeover financing, syndicated credit facilities, borrowing base, project financing, derivatives, export credit or real estate finance, we can provide the highest-quality advice available in the Belgian market. In addition, we have vast experience in combined bank-bond financings and refinancings.
Banking in Belgium increasingly requires thorough knowledge of the regulatory framework. Our long-standing contacts with the local regulatory authorities and our skilful expertise in financial regulation, internet banking and private banking give our clients a major competitive advantage.
Our Capital Markets lawyers have advised on most of Belgium’s landmark transactions. The sheer size and expertise of the team, which can also draw on the resources of our market-leading Corporate group, have enabled us to advise on virtually all significant IPOs in Belgium over the past decade, including the largest ever in Belgium. Similarly, we have been involved in the vast majority of major recent regulatory capital Tier 1 and Tier 2 issues, as well as hybrid financings and convertible bond issues.
Our integrated Banking and Capital Markets team covers the spectrum of domestic and cross-border securities, bank financings, issues of equity, warrants, convertibles and other equity-linked instruments, as well as debt (including MTNs). We also have vast experience of private placements and public offerings in Belgium and throughout Europe.
Antitrust & Foreign Investment
Our Brussels-based team is regarded by corporates, regulators and peers as one of the leading Antitrust & Foreign Investment practices. We are part of a worldwide group, which enables us to scale up easily and to rely on specific expertise or skills in other offices. Our Brussels team itself is markedly international.
What sets us apart is our track record of success in dealing effectively and efficiently with complex matters by providing top-rate legal advice and astute strategic counselling, and our ability to access and talk easily with decision-makers, as well as our belonging to a broader, truly integrated team.
We handle cases before the European Commission, as well as across Europe and the world, co-ordinating filings for global deals or the defence in conduct investigations.
The Brussels practice has a strong track record assisting clients in merger reviews. In recent years, we have successfully supported clients in getting their deals through in a number of challenging merger reviews.
We are at the forefront of defending clients in cartel investigations and other conduct investigations, including dominance cases. Our lawyers have first-hand experience in litigating as well as settling follow-on damages cases.
Our State Aid practice is among the very best in Brussels and we have assisted a number of clients on investigations into banking rescue packages and tax rulings.
Gerwin van Gerven
Corporate / M&A
Our multilingual Corporate team advises on M&A, privatisations, private equity transactions, corporate restructurings or insolvency, initial or secondary public offerings, equity or equity-linked securities and specialist corporate advisory work.
Our combination of expertise in Belgian law and insight into cross-border transactions is unrivalled. Our team of dedicated Corporate partners undertakes transactions of an unparalleled volume, variety and size. We act for an enormous range of clients on public and private M&A transactions, including large multinationals, leading Belgian companies, private equity houses and financial institutions.
We also have long-standing experience in private equity, and our integrated multijurisdictional team continues to advise a number of the world’s leading private equity funds on buy-outs, exits and portfolio restructuring.
Our lawyers also undertake specialist advisory work for listed and non-listed companies (including advice on corporate governance, directors’ liability and disclosure requirements), employee incentive and stock option plans, corporate restructurings, joint ventures and shareholder agreements.
An-Sofie Van Hootegem
Litigation, Arbitration & Investigations
We specialise in a range of different types of matters, including in the fields of banking, capital markets (derivatives and structured products), tax, property and finance, competition and antitrust. We also represent clients in M&A disputes and insolvency-related litigation, as well as in professional negligence, commercial distribution and product liability cases.
We have also developed a particular expertise in fraud and white-collar crime cases, human rights related litigation, injunctions and regulatory investigations, as well as in energy, natural resources and infrastructure and construction cases.
We look to bring disputes to an early and successful conclusion through strategic and creative thinking, as well as analysis of the opponent’s negotiating weaknesses, procedural tactics or creative settlement approaches. We also have extensive experience of the issues and tactics in regulatory investigations.
Our lawyers are as familiar with arbitration as they are with litigating in court, and are experienced in settling disputes for clients in the way most suited to each matter, including mediation, adjudication and expert determination handling arbitrations involving international commercial contracts, post-acquisition claims, construction and banking liability. Our clients include a wide range of Belgian and international financial institutions and corporate entities.
We guide our clients through major corporate restructurings and cutting-edge collective or individual employment matters. We have also developed a unique expertise in advising on the setting-up and management of pan-European pension funds.
We offer a dedicated, experienced and flexible team that will be put together based on the client’s needs in each case, whether it is part of a wider transaction or a standalone employment matter. Through our practical approach of combining reliable technical know-how with a sound commercial understanding, we provide our clients with straightforward advice that they can directly apply in their business.
Our team stands out by demonstrating cross-border and commercial capability, technical excellence and innovative solutions to the specific cases of our clients.
Nele Van Kerrebroeck
Financial Regulation and Investment Funds
Our team of contentious and non-contentious financial regulation lawyers advises on all aspects of the regulation of financial services institutions. Our standing as key advisers to our clients on their most sensitive and reputation-threatening regulatory issues is demonstrated in the work that we do.
Financial activities in Belgium increasingly require a thorough knowledge of the Belgian and EU regulatory framework. Clients can benefit from our long-standing contacts with the Belgian and European supervision authorities and our skilful cutting-edge expertise in financial regulation (including regulatory capital requirements, clearing and settlement, payment services, (OTC) derivatives, custody, reorganisations, MiFID (II), ESG, etc.).
Our Financial Regulation practice also advises on complex governance-related matters and is often involved in cross-border M&A transactions in the financial sector and in group reorganisations as well as regulatory investigations.
Our team is a leader in the investment funds and asset management market (both retail funds and institutional funds) and works with all key asset managers that are active on the Belgian market. Investment funds are increasingly important in the economy as an alternative source of financing and as partners for the development of new projects in the infrastructure, real estate and biotech sectors. We are active on many fronts, including sectors funds formation, authorisations for new fund managers, capital raising, distribution, ESG conversion, and more.
Andreas Van Impe
Our FinTech team consists of experts in all areas of legal practice specifically concerned by this sector, namely TMT/IP, financial regulation and mainstream corporate. Uniting lawyers from these key areas of practice as one single team allows us to offer clients a complete package of FinTech advice. We provide synthesised specialist support on the full spectrum of legal issues in the FinTech field, including blockchain technology and cryptocurrency, ICOs and other innovative financial products, Big Data, digital payments and digitisation, besides other regulatory aspects.
Andreas Van Impe
Our team provides its clients with legal advice on IP/TMT matters, as well as in the context of litigations. It has a wide experience in patents, trade marks, software and copyrights, as well as in the areas of unfair competition and parasitic behaviour. We work closely with other departments within the firm, in particular the M&A, Competition, Tax and Banking practices.
Our advice covers all aspects of IP protection, including patents and know-how, trade marks, copyrights, designs and models, unfair competition and parasitic behaviour, domain names and software.
Our fields of expertise include the collection of evidence/search and seizure (saisie-contrefaçon and reports), infringement and unfair competition proceedings, litigation, preliminary injunction proceedings, revocation and lack of use actions, claims for ownership of IP rights, negotiation and drafting of IP contracts, employee’s inventions litigation, due diligence of IP rights portfolio, R&D tax incentives and the use of IP as collateral for financing purposes. We also handle market practices, unfair competition and other consumer-related issues.
Pieter Van Den Broecke
We have organised our Real Estate practice in a unique way, offering an integrated one-stop approach combining all areas of relevance for real estate transactions. Our team includes specialists in real estate M&A, real estate investment and development, real estate finance, projects and project finance, tax, real estate funds, capital markets derivatives and structured finance and real estate disputes, as well as construction, environment, planning/zoning and energy. This enables our Real Estate practice to perform market-leading international deals from origination to financing and on to securitisation/capital markets.
We help our clients to create value, share risk, enhance returns and mitigate tax costs using an ever-widening range of innovative and complex structures.
Long-standing clients of our firm include national and multinational real estate owners, users, developers, contractors and investors (including funds and Sicafis), who entrust us with a broad range of advisory, litigation (including administrative litigation), and transactional work, ranging from the investment in, or sale of, real estate assets, the structuring of real estate projects and the listing of real estate companies, but also the day-to-day management of real estate.
Our multilingual team of tax lawyers is highly experienced in advising clients on their most challenging transactions and structures. Praised by clients and acknowledged as a market leader, the team is ranked Tier 1 by all renowned legal and tax directories. Part of our value proposition to clients is to keep them updated on the planned and anticipated amendments in tax rules and regulations so that they are prepared for the change as it happens. Clients benefit from our excellent relationship with tax authorities, which makes us well positioned to give the most up-to-date advice.
Our transactional practice covers domestic and cross-border M&A, finance and real estate transactions including corporate restructurings, the structuring of complex finance deals, real estate structures and employee share schemes.
Our Tax advisory practice includes domestic and international tax planning, including advice on and implementation of optimal international tax structuring of holding activities, R&D and IP activities, financing activities, sales and marketing activities, and contract manufacturing, logistics and distribution activities, as well as advice on complex corporate tax and VAT matters.
We also represent clients in tax and VAT litigation (both at the administrative appeal level and before courts) and criminal tax litigation, in close co-operation with our first-class Dispute Resolution practice.
Guido De Wit
The team provides guidance on complex transactions in relation to telecommunications/e-business projects, IT and outsourcing agreements, as well as personal data protection.
The Brussels TMT practice is recognised globally for its thorough and high-quality analysis, as well as its pragmatic and commercial approach. It covers the full range of TMT regulatory and contractual issues, assisting clients on key transactions, whether at a national or global level. It works seamlessly across jurisdictions and practice areas (such as M&A, Employment, Finance and Dispute Resolution) to offer an integrated and efficient service and to provide our clients with comprehensive guidance which is closely adapted to their needs.
We advise, draft and negotiate contracts in the context of acquisitions of companies and their assets in the telecom and media sectors, telecommunications agreements, information technology agreements (software licensing, maintenance and integration, etc.) and outsourcing agreements (including offshoring, data centres and cloud computing).
We also have a deep expertise in data protection (data protection policies, transfer solutions including binding corporate rules, compliance due diligence, dealings with data protection authorities, and big data projects), e-business regulatory and commercial transactions (including e/m-health, e-money, website policies), as well as telecommunication regulatory.
Tanguy Van Overstraeten