Image of Henk Vanhulle

Henk Vanhulle

Tax Partner, Brussels

“I have more than 30 years’ experience of providing clients with authoritative standalone and transaction-related domestic and international tax advice that best meets their commercial requirements. I also represent clients in contentious tax issues and investigations, offering a full perspective on their tax-related issues.”


Professional experience

Education and qualifications


Henk is widely acknowledged as one of Belgium’s foremost tax lawyers. He has more than 35 years’ experience with advising corporates, financial institutions and funds on Belgian, EU and international tax matters, including their tax planning and structures.. He also advises on the tax aspects of transactions, including in the fields of corporate M&A, capital markets, finance and real estate. He has a strong track record in R&D tax incentives. Henk advises clients on the tax aspects of equity incentive plans, such as share plans, stock options, leverage share plans, co-investment and carried interest schemes. He assists clients during tax investigations, administrative and court proceedings (including the European courts).

Henk maintains excellent contacts with the Belgian tax authorities (including the ruling commission, central tax authorities, and the Government). He has obtained a number of important and innovative rulings on tax issues in relation to R&D incentives, equity incentives and the application of the DRD regime.

Henk heads the firm’s Belgian tax practice. Formerly, he was the national managing partner in Belgium, the firm’s global head of tax and served for six years on the firm’s Partnership Board.

For almost two decades, Henk has been recognised as a Band 1 practitioner in Chambers Europe and Legal 500.

Work highlights

Henk has led on, or has been a principal adviser on, many market-leading deals. These include advising:

  • Elia Group on its 2019 reorganisation under which the Belgian regulated activities were transferred to a newly established company, including obtaining tax rulings confirming complex tax issues specific to the regulated electricity business;
  • Mohawk on a strategic tax litigation case concerning taxation in the hands of a Belgian company of patent income earned by another foreign group company, holder of the patents, as a result of which the Court of Appeals annulled the tax assessments
  • a private equity company on a tax investigation conducted by the special fraud squad in relation to carried interest
  • Ahold Delhaize on its transfer pricing dispute where we obtained a full annulment of tax assessment of EUR 377 million
  • A global retail company in its dispute regarding the salary withholding tax exemption for night and shift workers
  • A French CAC 40 listed group on its cross-border merger of a Belgian company with a French company triggering a deemed liquidation from a Belgian income tax perspective whereby a ruling was obtained;
  • An international bank on the retroactive application of the bank tax where we obtained annulment of the tax before the court;
  • Seven international groups which obtained a so-called excess profit ruling in their state aid disputes with the European Commission before the European courts.
  • Belfius Bank: advising on its first issuance of €500m additional tier 1one securities, including obtaining a tax ruling confirming the tax deductibility of the coupon and the non-application of various anti-abuse measures.
  • A Dutch headquartered private equity group on the structuring of their co-investment and carried entitlements.

Professional experience

Henk is a member of legal & tax committee of the American Chamber of Commerce, of the IFA Belgian Branch, and of the De Warande Business Club, Brussels.

He has been teaching corporate tax at the Vlerick Business School and at Catholic University of Leuven.

Henk has spoken at many seminars on tax topics, as well as writing extensively on these subjects.

Education and qualifications

Henk studied law at the Catholic University of Leuven, obtained a special tax degree from the Ecolé Supérieure des Sciences fiscales of Brussels and holds a master’s in law from University of Illinois College of Law.

He speaks English, Dutch and French.