Joost Verlinden

Joost Verlinden

Dispute Resolution Partner, Brussels

Clients turn to me for their most challenging, high-profile business disputes. My goal is to work with them to resolve these disputes before they escalate and – if litigation or arbitration becomes inevitable – to win all their cases.

Overview

Professional experience

Education

Overview

Joost is widely recognised as a leading litigator, handling both domestic and cross-border litigation as well as national and international arbitration. He has significant experience in the full array of commercial disputes: accountants’ liability, banking litigation, construction cases, contractual disputes, contentious regulatory, corporate litigation (including post-acquisition claims and shareholders’ disputes), competition litigation, insolvency disputes, product liability, sovereign debt issues and white-collar crime. He represents clients before all Belgian courts and acts as counsel and arbitrator in CEPANI, Belgian Federation of Diamond Bourses, ICC, SCC, UNCITRAL and ad hoc arbitrations. 

Joost is the author of numerous articles on arbitration, class actions, civil procedure, corporate litigation, insolvency law and product liability. He is constantly recommended as a leading attorney for dispute resolution in Belgium by Chambers and Legal 500. According to clients, Joost is “an excellent litigator: very intelligent, pragmatic, client focused and flexible”; “toughextremely thorough and always giving clear, straightforward advice” (Chambers).

Work highlights (Deals/Mandates)

Joost has successfully represented clients in domestic and cross-border litigation and in national and international arbitration. Highlights include:

  • assisting creditors with the seizing of assets (bank accounts, securities, diamonds, airplanes, helicopters etc.) and the enforcement of ICC and ICSID awards, UK and US judgments in unprecedented cases against foreign states and state-owned entities 
  • defending a bank in civil and criminal proceedings in Belgium and in New York against allegations relating to an alleged scheme of misappropriation of diamonds and diamond sales proceeds by one of its customers
  • assisting a leading provider of audit, consulting, tax, and advisory services in its liability cases, including white-collar crime aspects
  • assisting a telecommunications company in a contractual dispute with wholesale customers, in a mini-trial, in summary proceedings and in subsequent court proceedings
  • assisting a financial institution in a class action avant la lettre relating to the sale of financial products by its independent agents following the financial crisis in 2008-2009
  • assisting an independent insurer in a case on directors’ liability following the bankruptcy of a coal trader in the port of Antwerp
  • assisting the sellers of the Belgian market leader in gaming and sports betting in a post-acquisition dispute 
  • assisting a medical devices, pharmaceutical and consumer packaged goods manufacturing company in civil and criminal cases, including product liability matters and disputes following the termination of exclusive distributorship agreements
  • assisting the financial advisor of a family office throughout the pre-trial and trial phase in the framework of a criminal prosecution, involving a judicial inquiry in Belgium and in so-called tax havens based on allegations of participation in a criminal organisation, money laundering, tax fraud, forgery and abuse of trust
  • assisting an oil company in a dispute relating to the 2003 Act on Gas Station Dealer Contracts
  • assisting a manufacturer of automotive parts, electronics and HVAC equipment with its defence against a claim for indemnification made by a chemical producer on the basis of alleged defects in a refrigeration unit that broke down and necessitated the shutting down of a part of a chemical plant
  • assisting a bank in summary proceedings against the association of its independent agents following a restructuring of its network
  • defending a global materials technology and recycling group and its insurer in a product liability matter giving rise to proceedings in Belgium, the US, France and Germany
  • assisting the national railway company in arbitration cases under the Cepani arbitration rules against various post-acquisition claims following the sale of its subsidiary, an international freight forwarders and logistics services provider, to a private equity company
  • defending a telecom company in an arbitration matter relating to the termination of an agency agreement and in related court proceedings 
  • representing banks specializing in wealth management services in mismanagement actions filed by institutional and retail investors that are unhappy about the performance of their portfolio in the wake of the financial crisis
  • defending a European construction group in a case subject to Spanish law and ICC arbitration in London relating to the construction of an oil refinery in the Antwerp port area
  • assisting a leading independent manufacturer of sealants and adhesives in a dispute following the takeover of a company in China; coordinating its defence in Belgium, China and Hong Kong following arbitration matters under the rules of CIETAC, HKIAC and SHIAC 
  • assisting a US commercial property casualty insurance in relation to an industrial fire
  • assisting a diamond mining company in arbitration proceedings before the Federation of Belgian Bourses in Antwerp in a damages claim resulting from the termination of a contract with a local agent, and in related court proceedings
  • advising a stainless steel producer in a multi-party arbitration under the Cepani arbitration relating to the liability of subcontractors in the framework of complex technical services
  • assisting the shareholders of a bank with their claim for just satisfaction before the European Court of Human Rights for the loss caused by the unlawful expropriation of the bank by a foreign state
  • defending a biopharmaceutical company in arbitration proceedings and before the ordinary courts against post-acquisition claims relating to soil pollution 
  • defending world's largest food and beverage company against claims filed by a strategic and powerful alliance between five independent retailers

Professional experience

Joost has been a member of the bar since 1988 and a litigation partner at Linklaters LLP since 1998. Between 1988 and 1991, he worked as an assistant professor in the Institute of Civil Procedure at the K.U. Leuven (Catholic University of Leuven) led by professor Lemmens (currently Judge to the European Court of Human Rights). In the same years, he worked for the law firm Goemans, Mirdikian & Geerts in Antwerp. Following his studies in Germany in 1990-91, he was admitted to the Brussels bar and joined De Bandt, van Hecke & Lagae (today Linklaters LLP). He led the litigation and arbitration practice of Linklaters LLP in Belgium between 2007 and 2015.

His recent publications include:

Click here to view more of Joost's publications. 

Education

Joost obtained a law degree from the K.U. Leuven (Catholic University of Leuven) in 1988. In 1990-1991, he followed an exchange programme for foreign lawyers in Tübingen, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt am Main, organised by the German Academic Exchange Service (D.A.A.D., Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst). Joost works in Dutch, English, German and French.