Ranked departments and lawyers
We would like to share with you that The Legal 500 EMEA has published its rankings today. The legal directory provides researched coverage of 88 countries and over 2,700 ranked law firms.
The most notable results in this edition are:
- Tax, Energy and Food reaffirm their Tier 1 position,
- Thomas Chellingsworth, Christian Chéruy, Natalie Reypens, Hakim Boularbah and Marc Vermylen are recognised as 'Leading Individuals',
- Koen Panis, Ariane Brohez, Wim Vande Velde, Kris De Schutter, Robrecht Coppens, Olivier van der Haegen are ranked as 'Next Generation Partners',
- Stéphanie De Smedt and Christine Delagaye are ranked as 'Rising Star'.
What clients and peers say about us:
- Tax – Tier 1
Loyens & Loeff's team provides standalone advice on the full range of domestic and international tax matters for clients in industries such as energy, real estate, retail, automotive and food and drink, among others. It also works closely with other departments, such as corporate, real estate, banking and finance, and employment. With this multidisciplinary approach the firm provides transactional support and also assists with state aid cases and corporate investigations. It also has a strong capability in the transfer pricing arena, where practice head Natalie Reypens leads a specialist group advising on transfer pricing policies, the set-up and conversion of business models, restructurings, profit allocation to permanent establishments and disputes. Xavier Clarebout is experienced in the tax aspects of corporate restructurings, M&A and structured finance transactions, among other areas. Saskia Lust and Nicolas Bertrand specialise in advising high-net-worth individuals and families on wealth optimisation techniques. Bertand was part of a cross-office team which assisted a client with the restructuring of its intragroup financing and treasury activities. Other key figures include Christian Chéruy, who leads the Belgian tax controversy and litigation group, Marc Dhaene, Bert Gevers and senior associate Aldo Engels.
Leading individuals: Christian Chéruy & Natalie Reypens
- Industry focus: Energy – Tier 1
The energy team at Loyens & Loeff is noted for its particular strength in renewable energy projects, and is regularly instructed on offshore wind farm developments. The group benefits from a multidisciplinary team, which handles transactional work, and also leverages the firm's wider regulatory, banking, administrative, competition and corporate experts; the group recently advised Northwester 2 on its offshore wind farm in the Belgian part of the North Sea. In addition to assisting developers and financial institutions with energy sector construction projects, the team also handles regulatory matters and disputes. Practice head Thomas Chellingsworth and senior associate Christine Delagaye are key names to note and attract praise for being 'solution-driven lawyers'.
Leading individual: Thomas Chellingsworth
Rising star: Christine Delagaye
Testimonials: 'Thomas Chellingsworth and Christine Delagaye are solution-driven lawyers, which facilitates deal-making.'
- Industry focus: Food – Tier 1
The multidisciplinary food and beverages practice at Loyens & Loeff counts Ferrero Benelux, Mondelez and Dawn Foods among its clients. The group advises on a range of issues including regulatory, IP, corporate and real estate matters and is jointly led by Bert Gevers and Kris De Schutter in Brussels, who focus on tax and employment law respectively. The group also benefits from the ability to work closely with its offices across the Benelux region.
- Banking, finance and capital markets – Tier 2
Loyens & Loeff is a strong choice for cross-border financing transactions, with its Benelux presence and ability to provide related support on regulatory and tax issues enabling it to win high-end work. The Brussels team is led by Marc Vermylen, who has a wealth of experience of secured and asset-based lending, project finance, securitisations, derivatives and debt restructuring. Vermylen is also sought out for his knowledge of Euroclear-related matters and settlement work. He works alongside Koen Panis, who has extensive expertise in real estate finance and PPP transactions. The firm has particularly made a name for itself in the renewable energy sector; Vermylen has led the advice to clients on the financing aspects of all offshore wind parks (which have reached a financial close) in Belgium to date. Recent highlights included him and others acting for 17 lenders on the development, construction and financing of SeaMade’s two offshore wind farm projects in the Belgian North Sea. In addition, the team also assisted Northwester 2 with securing the €700m financing for a 218.5 MW offshore wind farm. Senior associates Eveline Hellebuyck, Jan Missoul and Sarah Libregts are also recommended. Vanessa Marquette joined from Simont Braun.
Leading individual: Marc Vermylen
Next Generation Partner: Koen Panis
Testimonials: 'Marc Vermylen and Jan Missoul are excellent in getting things done and managing complex negotiations with numerous parties involved.'
- Commercial, corporate and M&A – Tier 2
The 'dedicated and efficient' corporate and M&A team at Loyens & Loeff has 'strong technical skills' and 'a high-level of expertise and broad experience in corporate matters, especially cross-border transactions'. Practice head Grégoire Jakhian attracts praise for being 'an outstanding lawyer' with particular expertise in the aviation and energy sectors, while Wim Vande Velde is frequently instructed in transactions in the real estate sector. Other name to note is Robrecht Coppens, who is particularly active in the start-up and venture capital space. The group benefits from the addition of Vanessa Marquette who joined from Simont Braun and has experience handling real estate, banking and insurance sector M&A.
Next Generation Partner: Wim Vande Velde
'They articulate information in a very detailed way and fast way. They have prepared very nice documents for our inquiries. A very professional and prompt team.'
'They are even proactively guiding us on matters without us knowing about the legal changes in Belgium.'
'They have been one of the firms we use from time to time especially for M&A transactions in Europe. They have also provided general advice to our operations and helps us understand and fulfil the regulatory requirements.'
‘Very good understanding of client’s needs. Available and reactive. Ability to comply with client’s deadlines. Very good knowledge of Belgium corporate law. Pragmatic.'
'Compared to other firms, L&L have a practical knowledge and approach that makes sense to business people, not just to lawyers.'
'Robrecht Coppens is extremely smart, very knowledgeable and he gave the right guidance to resolve an issue in between partners.'
'Grégoire Jakhian has very broad experience, is a very good listener. His advices are very valuable.'
'Aubry Daerden is a promising lawyer. Efficient and responsive.'
'Robrecht Coppens is extremely intelligent, highly experienced and very responsive. Importantly for a U.S.-based client, his English is perfect, both in legal terms and in business terms.'
- Dispute resolution – Tier 2
Hakim Boularbah's group at Loyens & Loeff reports an uptick in instructions involving class actions, alongside handling high-profile arbitration matters. In the latter space, the team is acting for the National Bank of Kazakhstan in a challenge to a third party garnishment order; this forms part of an ongoing dispute with two Moldovan investors regarding an arbitral award. In January 2020 Olivier van der Haegen was promoted to partner.
Leading individual: Hakim Boularbah
Next Generation Partner: Olivier van der Haegen
- Employment – Tier 2
Filip Saelens heads Loyens & Loeff's employment team, which stands out for its 'pragmatic and fast advice'. Restructurings, employee benefits, transactional support matters and business migration issues have been prominent in the group's workload. Kris De Schutter is also noted.
Next Generation Partner: Kris De Schutter
- Real estate and construction – Tier 2
Loyens & Loeff is 'very knowledgeable in Belgian real estate'; high-value transactions and acquisitions are core strengths of the practice. The 'outstanding' Christophe Laurent leads the team, in which Ariane Brohez is a name to note.
Next Generation Partner: Ariane Brohez
- Private equity – Tier 2
The private equity team at Loyens & Loeff handles a range of M&A and corporate transactions, as well as fund formations and the regulatory aspects of deals. It is frequently instructed on cross-border matters and receives referrals from international law firms; in a recent transaction, led by practice head Grégoire Jakhian, the group acted for UK-based private equity company Equistone Partners Europe on its sale of France-based manufacturer Averys to Blackstone Group. Other names to note include Wim Vande Velde, who has particular experience in the real estate and private equity sectors, and newly promoted partner Robrecht Coppens, who leads the start-up and venture capital team.
Next Generation Partner: Robrecht Coppens
- Not-for-profit – Tier 2
Fielding experts across all relevant areas of law, Loyens & Loeff has become a destination firm for many European institutions, and large associations and foundations across a multitude of industries. Corporate partner Grégoire Jakhian and associate Mélanie Schollaert assisted Paris-based Meridiam SAS with forming a public utility foundation known as Africa Infrastructure Fellowship Program (AIFP), which contributes to the improvement and promotion of infrastructure projects across Africa and supports the continent's economic growth. Jakhian, who heads up the not-for-profit practice, also leads the specialist aviation team. In addition, he has expertise in areas such as manufacturing and energy, among others. Jakhian, tax expert Nicolas Bertrand and others provide ongoing assistance to a NGO with a wide range of matters, including GDPR, contract reviews and debt recovery.
- EU regulatory: Privacy and data protection – Tier 3
The team at Loyens & Loeff provides 'hands-on advice' to clients drawn from the technology, financial services, construction, healthcare and retail sectors on GDPR compliance matters, data transfers and data breaches. Filip Saelens, Rotterdam-based Kim Lucassen and senior associate Stéphanie De Smedt ('reliable and accurate') are the key names.
Rising Star: Stéphanie De Smedt
- Industry focus: Healthcare and life sciences – Tier 3
The healthcare and life sciences group at Loyens & Loeff fields individuals from several practice groups and advises on employment, tax, regulatory, soft IP, public law and corporate matters. Employment and benefits specialist Filip Saelens heads up the team with senior associate Stéphanie De Smedt, who has particular expertise in privacy and data protection issues.
- Insolvency and restructuring – Tier 3
Loyens & Loeff's cross-departmental insolvency and restructuring team has experience acting on the full range of transactional work and litigation relating to companies in financial distress. The practice has particular expertise in financial restructurings and benefits from the group's experience in structured finance work, securitisations and regulated markets.
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.