Loyens & Loeff Belgium ranked in The Legal 500 EMEA
The Legal 500 EMEA has published its rankings for 2021. We are glad to reaffirm our position as leading business law firm in Belgium with top rankings throughout our practice areas.
We are very pleased that our firm has been able to maintain a leading position throughout our practice areas this year and to reaffirm our Tier 1 position in the 2021 edition of Legal 500 in the practice areas Tax, Energy, and adding Dispute Resolution this year.
Dispute Resolution - Tier 1
Leading individuals - Hakim Boularbah
Next Generation Partners - Olivier van der Haegen
At Loyens & Loeff, the 'very professional and motivated' team represented the Kingdom of Spain in proceedings pertaining to damages claims brought against Spanish judge Pablo Llarena by former members of the Catalan Government for alleged defamation; the court has declared itself without jurisdiction on the grounds of the Kingdom of Spain's immunity, which also covers Llarena. Hakim Boularbah and Olivier van der Haegen jointly head up the department.
"Outstanding ability to mobilize the most precise and relevant piece of legal advice while connecting it with the upmost rigour with business facts and matters‘."
"Hakim Boularbah is an absolute outstanding contention specialist, whose precision and quality of legal analysis and approaches of recommendation makes him immensely valuable as leader of our contention defense team. His proximity to the client, ability to understand business reality while still figuring out the decisive legal matters to defend client rights are second-to-none. His ability to work as team player and team leader among several high-profile legal counsels are also greatly valuable in a complex legal set-up‘."
Energy - Tier 1
Leading individuals - Thomas Chellingsworth
Rising stars - Christine Delagaye
Rising stars - Bram Devlies
Loyens & Loeff's 'customer satisfaction-driven, committed and knowledgeable' energy team focuses on renewable projects – particularly following the EU's Winter Package guidelines – as well as new regulatory developments and M&A-related cases. 'Communicative and hands-on partner' Thomas Chellingsworth heads the practice and is 'a true expert', particularly in the regulatory aspects of offshore wind financings. Other recent matters handled by the practice involve power purchase agreements, financing due diligence and contractual force majeure crises following the Covid-19 pandemic. Associates Christine Delagaye and Bram Devlies are also recognised as 'a great asset' and 'an excellent energy contract negotiator', respectively.
"Very customer satisfaction-driven, committed, knowledgeable and integrated team. Very pleasant to work with and very good value for money."
"Thomas Chellingsworth is a very communicative and hands-on partner with vast experience in, and knowledge about, the energy sector and a business-oriented approach in his advice."
"Thomas Chellingsworth is a true expert."
"Christine Delagaye is a great asset to the team. She is technically excellent and provides clear, commercial advice."
"Bram Devlies is an excellent energy contract negotiator, with very up-to-date regulatory knowledge. He is a key name for power purchase agreements, onshore renewable energy projects and advice on renewable energy certificates."
"A lot of specialised knowledge in a wide range of disciplines: for every different question, there is a specialised lawyer."
"Professional, correct, thorough research, a lot of knowledge and the ability to apply this knowledge to specific cases. Thomas Chellingsworth and Christine Delagaye are open to consultation, easy to reach and strategically strong."
"Strong reputation in the area of project finance, in particular offshore wind farms financing and the regulatory aspects."
Tax - Tier 1
Leading individuals - Natalie Reypens
Hall of Fame - Christian Chéruy
The 'pragmatic' Natalie Reypens leads Loyens & Loeff's tax team, which provides 'excellent advice' across the entire spectrum of international and domestic tax matters. The practice draws upon the capabilities of the firm's banking and finance, corporate, employment and real estate departments to assist with the tax aspects of transactional mandates and restructurings. Transfer pricing issues are a notable pillar of the practice, and contentious work also features in the group's workload. Clients include entities operating in the retail, banking, technology and life sciences sectors, among others. Notable individuals include Nicolas Bertrand, Marc Dhaene, Bert Gevers and senior associate Aldo Engels. Of counsel Christian Chéruy is experienced in tax litigation and international tax matters.
"Partner Natalie Reypens is good at solving conflicts‘."
Banking, Finance and Capital Markets - Tier 2
Leading individuals - Marc Vermylen
Next Generation Partners - Koen Panis
Loyens & Loeff is well known for its strengths in project finance transactions with a nexus to the renewable energy sector, and it has a notably strong track record of advising on the financing aspects of offshore wind farms. The practice is led by Marc Vermylen, who is experienced in assisting investors and lenders with secured and asset-based lending, securitisation transactions and project finance. In addition, he is very well known for his extensive knowledge of Euroclear-related matters. Koen Panis is a key name for real estate PPP-related work and real estate finance. Counsel Eveline Hellebuyck and senior associate Jan Missoul are also recommended.
"Loyens & Loeff have a pragmatic approach, helping to find and deliver sensible solutions to issues, without over-complicating matters and working closely with counterparts to resolve technical issues for us as the client‘."
"Marc Vermylen and his team have a practical and pragmatic approach to problem-solving‘."
Commercial, Corporate and M&A - Tier 2
Rising stars - Godfried Ampe
Next Generation Partners - Wim Vande Velde
Loyens & Loeff is one of the leading firms in the Benelux market, as is evidenced by the sizeable volume of corporate transactions it handles. Its team in Brussels, which is led by Grégoire Jakhian, is equally strong in domestic and cross-border deals. Recent highlights included Robrecht Coppens, counsel Godfried Ampe and senior associate Mathias Hendrickx. The group's diverse expertise also includes corporate structuring, public and private M&A, corporate restructuring, and private equity and venture capital transactions. Coppens heads up the firm's multidisciplinary, cross-office start-up and venture capital team. Wim Vande Velde and Aubry Daerden are also recommended.
"Very efficient in managing acquisitions. Wide range of expertise and was able to get an appropriate supporting legal advisor on any area we needed help with. Very good at support after deal closed."
"Grégoire Jakhian: Always personally available when needed (including small and difficult cross-border transactions); great partner during negotiations: generally diplomatic and eloquent (with intellectual superiority), even with difficult counterparts, but spares no argument/confrontation in case required; high standard of legal work."
"Reactivity, ability to listen, pragmatic aspect, the advice is adapted to the concrete aspects and the life of the company and not theoretical. Proven legal skills."
"I was very impressed with L&L’s focus on our specific needs in the transaction they handled for us. Their service was not just exactly tailored to our specific needs, but most importantly it was also delivered in a timely and cost-effective manner."
"I worked with Filip Jorens (Senior Associate) and Robrecht Coppens (Partner). Both were incredibly responsive and particularly Filip Jorens impressed me with his attention to detail and exceptional resourcing, always in compliance with our specific needs in the respective transaction."
Employment - Tier 2
Next Generation Partners - Kris de Schutter
Loyens & Loeff's 'very practical' team garners praise for its 'in-depth knowledge' of employment law, as well as its 'tangible and realistic advice' to clients. The scope of its experience includes restructurings, individual and collective dismissals, employee benefits and transactional support matters. The 'straightforward' Kris De Schutter jointly leads the group with Filip Saelens.
"In-depth knowledge and very reachable‘."
"Pragmatic and hands-on approach. Very responsive‘."
"Helpful, solution oriented, good listeners’."
"Filip Saelens has an intelligent, pragmatic approach, balancing legal and business realities"
Industry focus : Food - Tier 2
Employment and labour specialist Kris De Schutter is the key name at Loyens & Loeff, which leverages its multidisciplinary expertise to offer strong corporate, IP and tax experience in matters in the food and beverages sector.
Industry Focus : Healtcare and Life Sciences - Tier 2
Loyens & Loeff's healthcare and life sciences group benefits from its firm-wide multidisciplinary approach to assist clients with corporate, employment, tax and public law matters. Ongoing cases involve the negotiation of contractual agreements and revisions – concerning recent PPE procurement and employer/employee-side rights in light of the Covid-19 pandemic – as well as large-scale transactional management and pharmaceutical-related acquisitions. Restructuring and benefits specialist Filip Saelens heads the team alongside counsel Stéphanie De Smedt, who was promoted in January 2021; Valentijn De Boe is another key contact for public-private partnership and administrative issues.
Insolvency and Restructuring - Tier 2
The insolvency and restructuring department at Loyens & Loeff specialises in financial reorganisations, with a cross-practice set-up drawing on the firm's aviation, employment and real estate know-how. Well versed in transactional work and litigation relating to companies experiencing financial distress, the team has regularly been instructed following the introduction of the Belgian government's Covid-19 response measures. Led by new hire Vanessa Marquette, the team also includes Marc Vermylen, newly promoted disputes partner Olivier van der Haegen, who are praised for their 'professionalism, flexibility and know-how'.
"Professionalism, flexibility and know-how."
"Good lawyers who provide clear and commercial advice."
"Marc Vermylen is very good."
Not-For-Profit - Tier 2
Under the leadership of corporate partner Grégoire Jakhian, Loyens & Loeff has established itself as a key adviser to a number of European institutions. It also acts for large associations and foundations in sectors such as food and beverages, finance, and sports and charities, among others. The cross-practice group includes Filip Saelens (who leads the employment and benefits practice), indirect tax head Bert Gevers and Nicolas Bertrand. Also recommended is senior associate Mélanie Schollaert, who is experienced in handling domestic and cross-border M&A, corporate restructurings and various other corporate issues.
"The company offers quick and always reliable information or support. They are able to basically offer expert advice and all matters of relevance to us as a not-for-profit organisation."
"Their responses are always of a timely fashion and always meet any given deadlines."
"The ability to reach key interlocutors even at non-office hours and obtain feedback and responses at short notice. One can fully and unconditionally rely on their service at any time, especially should there be an emergency."
"They have a good international network for matters that go beyond Belgian borders."
"Their conduct and professionalism is of the highest standard and it is a pleasure to engage with them."
"The lawyers at Loyens seek to truly understand the client and what they are trying to accomplish, and then offer practical, understandable guidance."
Private Equity - Tier 2
Next Generation Partners - Robrecht Coppens
Loyens & Loeff's Brussels team, which is a core part of the firm's wider global network, is adept in handling strategically significant private equity and venture capital transactions for its clients. Grégoire Jakhian leads the group, which advises private equity houses, institutional investors and target companies, among other clients. In addition to acting for global behemoths, the firm also advises start-up and venture capital firms. It leverages its strengths in a wide range of disciplines to cover all the intricacies of complex deals, including corporate, finance, regulatory and tax. Wim Vande Velde and senior associates Aubry Daerden and Filip Jorens are also recommended.
"Approachable and knowledgeable."
"Robrecht Coppens is a lawyer with the customer in mind."
Real Estate and Construction - Tier 2
Next Generation Partners - Ariane Brohez
Christophe Laurent leads the 'excellent' team at Loyens & Loeff. Ariane Brohez and counsel Julien Lecler are key contacts.
"Highest level of competency in the market in major fields of real estate and corporate. Great expertise in M&A in combination with to-the-point advice make the firm a great partner for acquisitions and transactional work‘."
"Julien Lecler has demonstrated a high level of dedication and commitment, in combination with his overall high knowledge and legal insight‘."
"Great knowledge on real estate topics‘."
"Christophe Laurent has worked with us for a number of years and has patience, great knowledge of both the law and practical business matters. He works extremely hard and is very approachable and a pleasure to work with‘."
EU Regulatory: Privacy and Data Protection - Tier 3
Rising stars - Stéphanie De Smedt
Loyens & Loeff's team is 'very strong in the privacy and data protection space - they know the legal space very well'. The group has been very active recently in handling data transfer matters, data breaches and GDPR compliance issues for clients from the retail, technology, healthcare and financial services sectors. Counsel Stéphanie De Smedt, who is 'very astute and very clever', co-heads the practice with Filip Saelens and Rotterdam-based Kim Lucassen.
"Stéphanie De Smedt – always responsive, very smart‘."
"Stéphanie De Smedt has excellent insights. She is courteous and great to work with‘."
The Legal 500 EMEA
Since 1991 The Legal 500 EMEA provides readers with an annually updated, impartial, third-party opinion on the leading law firms and lawyers in countries across the region.
Marc VermylenManaging Partner Belgium Attorney at Law
Marc Vermylen is Managing Partner of Loyens & Loeff Brussels. He is a member of Loyens & Loeff’s Banking & Finance Practice Group and heads the global Projects Team at Loyens & Loeff. He is recognised worldwide as an expert and influential lawyer in banking law and finance law.T: +32 2 743 43 15 M: +32 475 52 31 66 E: [email protected]
Christian ChéruyAttorney at Law
Christian Chéruy is a member of our International Tax Services Practice Group in Brussels. He is also part of the Belgian Tax Controversy and Litigation Team. Christian is a former local managing partner and non-executive Chairman of the Loyens & Loeff Benelux Board.T: +32 2 743 43 03 E: [email protected]
Hakim BoularbahAttorney at Law Partner
Hakim Boularbah, attorney at law, is Partner and heads the Litigation & Risk Management practice group in our Brussels office. He focuses on cross-border litigation and international arbitration. He is also a member of the France Region Team and of the US Region Team.T: +32 2 773 23 50 M: +32 499 51 32 99 E: [email protected]
Koen PanisPartner Attorney at law
Koen Panis is a partner in our Brussels office where he is a member of the Banking & Finance Practice Group, the Energy Team and the Real Estate Team. He specialises in international and local finance transactions.T: +32 2 773 23 90 M: +32 497 53 38 36 E: [email protected]
Kris De SchutterPartner Attorney at law
Kris De Schutter is partner in and chairman of the Employment & Benefits practice group in Belgium. He has over 18 years all-round experience in collective and individual employment law, with a particular focus on transformation, especially from a holistic view linked to alternative (flexible) remuneration, restructurings and change processes.T: +32 2 700 10 13 E: [email protected]
Natalie ReypensPartner Attorney at Law
Natalie Reypens is a member of the Loyens & Loeff International Tax Services Practice Group and heads the Belgian Transfer Pricing Team. She is a partner in our Brussels office. She focuses on corporate and international tax law.T: +32 2 743 43 37 E: [email protected]
Olivier van der HaegenPartner Attorney at Law
Olivier van der Haegen, attorney at law, is Partner and member of the Litigation & Risk Management practice group in our Brussels office. He is experienced in dispute resolution, and focuses on international commercial arbitration. He is also a member of the Restructuring & Insolvency Team and of the France Region Teams.T: +32 2 773 23 52 M: +32 492 22 06 91 E: [email protected]
Stéphanie De SmedtCounsel Attorney at Law
Stéphanie De Smedt, attorney-at-law, is a member of the Litigation & Risk Management practice group in our Brussels office. She is head for Belgium of the IP/IT Team, the Data Protection Team and the Life Sciences Team.T: +32 2 773 23 77 E: [email protected]
Thomas ChellingsworthPartner Attorney at Law
Thomas Chellingsworth is a local partner in our Brussels office. He is recognised as a leading energy law expert, with extensive experience of electricity and gas projects and litigation. He heads our Energy & Utilities and Competition & Regulatory Teams.T: + 32 2 743 43 43 E: [email protected]
Wim Vande VeldePartner Attorney at Law
Wim Vande Velde is a local partner in the Corporate and M&A Practice Group in Belgium. He has extensive experience in national and international M&A transactions for both listed and non-listed companies, as well as in corporate restructuring.T: +32 2 743 43 96 E: [email protected]
Christophe LaurentPartner Attorney at Law
Christophe Laurent, Partner, heads the Real estate practice group in our Brussels office. He focuses on real estate transactions and taxation. He is also a member of the Investment Management/Funds team.T: +32 2 743 43 05 M: +32 476 39 06 90 E: [email protected]
Christine DelagayeSenior associate Attorney at Law
Christine Delagaye is a member of the Loyens & Loeff Corporate & M&A Practice Group in Belgium and a member of the Energy & Utilities and Competition & Regulatory Teams. She is a senior associate in our office in Brussels.T: +32 2 743 43 61 M: +32 4 76 97 46 41 E: [email protected]
Grégoire JakhianPartner Attorney at Law
Grégoire Jakhian heads the Corporate and M&A Practice Group, the Aviation team, the French Desk and the Non-profit team in Belgium. Grégoire has extensive experience in cross-border M&A transactions, take-over bids, corporate finance dispute resolution (including arbitration) and civil law.T: +32 2 743 43 54 E: [email protected]
Julien LeclerCounsel Attorney at Law
Julien Lecler, Counsel, is a member of the Real Estate practice group and of the Public & Administrative Law practice group in our Brussels office. He focuses on all aspects of real estate law (civil law, rights in rem, construction law, leases) including public real estate law.T: +32 2 773 23 59 M: +32 473 71 34 39 E: [email protected]