Litigation, Arbitration & Investigations Partner, Brussels
“I assist clients with risk analysis and management and help them resolve their business-critical disputes. I specialise in competition law, energy law, regulatory investigations and human rights-based defence cases. I aim to help clients make sense of complex contentious situations, offering clear, practical and obtainable solutions.”
Education and qualifications
Xavier is an expert in civil procedure and international private law, with emphasis on energy litigation and competition law. His practice includes litigation, arbitration and regulatory investigations.
Xavier has special expertise assisting clients with human rights-based defence, advising on compliance, governance, policy, supply chains and general human rights standards and principles.
Xavier has advised on a wide range of disputes. Those that can be disclosed include:
- defending Belgian railway operator NMBS/SNCB in several cases relating to advertising in rail stations and on the rail network, and involving issues of tendering procedures, state aid and allegations of cartel
- assisting ORES, the biggest distribution system operator in Wallonia, in challenging the new methodology for the calculation of the energy distribution tariffs imposed by the Walloon regulator CWaPE for the regulatory period 2019-2023
- defending Fortis Holding (now called ageas) in parallel prosecutions by the Dutch and Belgian financial supervisory authorities and their review courts for alleged miscommunication to the regulators and the market
- representing ENGIE in various legal proceedings before the Constitutional Court and other courts directed against the “nuclear tax” for breach of the fundamental rights to property and non-discrimination, as well as the prohibition of State aid
- advising Bank of New York Mellon (BNYM) in the context of a third party garnishment order by the enforcement judge in Brussels, involving Kazakhstan assets. Following the garnishment order, BNYM froze the assets of the National Fund of Kazakhstan, worth some US$22bn
- defending Lhoist Industrie in proceedings lodged by the Abbey of Rochefort seeking injunctions blocking the implementation of an administrative authorisation granted to Lhoist to perform aquifer pumping tests
- defending ageas in numerous legal proceedings that have been launched following the rescue transactions that safeguarded the continuity of Fortis Bank in 2008, including claims for damages by former shareholders and claims by former bondholders to unilaterally extend the maturity date of hybrid bonds
- defending an investment management firm against damages claims based on alleged wrongful fulfilment of discretionary management obligations
Xavier is one of the Linklaters team that contributes to the United Nations Global Compact, an initiative that examines the role that general counsel have within global corporations to secure long-term commercial success by a focus on corporate sustainability.
Education and qualifications
Xavier studied law at the University of Brussels.
He speaks English, French and Dutch.