Skip to content
City scape with housing and clock tower
City scape with housing and clock tower

Belgium

Our team of nearly 100 lawyers in our Brussels and Antwerp offices provides a full legal service to leading local and international corporations, financial institutions and public entities.

Having been in the market for more than 30 years, our Belgian clients appreciate our natural understanding of their industry and background. International clients come to us for our knowledge of the 'ins and outs' of doing business in Belgium.

The majority of our work is complex, large scale, urgent and international in nature. Unlike the majority of law firms in Belgium we provide clients with a full service covering: corporate, M&A, finance, litigation, commercial contracts, employment and benefits, intellectual property, IT, outsourcing, real estate, tax, environment, EU and competition and public law, and are consistently ranked first tier across most of these areas. This means our clients receive relevant, commercial advice with all perspectives integrated, without the need to piece together a jigsaw puzzle of input from different law firms.

Clients benefit from our seamless integration across legal practice areas and into Allen & Overy's international network, ensuring the sharing of knowledge, information, technology systems, processes and skills.

Our experience

Experience highlights

Experience highlights

Fagron, the Euronext Brussels listed global pharmaceutical compounding company, on the disposal of its non-core activities (including for example the EUR100 million sale of Corilus to AAC Capital) and subsequent debt and capital restructuring, including full renegotiation with banks and bond holders as well as an innovative combination of a EUR220m private capital raise with a backstopped rights issue.

Rentel NV, a subsidiary of Otary, on the financing, development, construction and operation of a new 309MW offshore wind project in the Belgian North Sea. This project is the fifth offshore wind project in the Belgian North Sea and will consist of 42 wind turbines with a capacity of 7.35MW each, that will deliver renewable energy to approximately 285,000 households. We were involved in the negotiations of all major project contracts, including turbine supply and O&M agreements, the regulatory framework and the required permits and authorizations. We also assisted Rentel on the project finance work including vendor due diligence.

The private shareholders of the SPV, on the refinancing of the Brabo I tramway DBFM project in Antwerp. This light rail PPP project aims to improve public transport and mobility in and around Antwerp, mainly through the construction of several tramline extensions. The refinancing of this project was complex as it also involved the restructuring of existing hedging arrangements and the participation of a fixed rate lender.

Ahold, on its EUR25 billion cross border merger with Delhaize. The merger creates Europe’s largest listed food retailer by market capitalisation and the fifth largest retailer in the U.S., with more than 6,500 stores globally. For this deal our teams in Belgium and the Netherlands worked together with our New York office to service the cross-border business needs of a multinational client. The deal entailed a “merger of equals” between two listed food retailers implemented in accordance with the European cross-border merger framework, which remains largely untested for non intra-group mergers and listed companies of this size. Our Belgian and Dutch tax teams assisted in the structuring of the transaction and the obtaining of the related tax rulings as well as designing the post-merger structuring of the combined group, including the demerger of the former Delhaize group assets and liabilities into the Belgian branch of a newly incorporated Dutch company and the subsequent cross border transfer and conversion of this Dutch company into a Belgian partnership limited by shares (a corporate transaction for which no specific legal regime exists to date), which our Belgian and Dutch corporate teams and Dutch notary office implemented.

Develop

Develop

iMinds on the merger with imec, a leading nanoelectronics research centre which resulted in the creation of a new world-class, high-tech research centre for the digital economy while further strengthening Flanders’ reputation as a technology epicentre and region focused on creating a sustainable digital future.

Allfin on its merger with Immobel, the listed Belgium-based real estate developer. This transaction creates the largest listed real-estate development group in Belgium.

Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP ) on EU Treaty and public procurement matters in relation to the construction of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline, which will transport Caspian natural gas to Europe.

A sustainable oil producer on the restructuring of its Belgium-based operations. The restructuring required sophisticated advice during the information and consultation phase as well as during the negotiations with trade unions, and for the establishment of termination packages.

Novartis Novartis on its first ever ‘telehealth’ project relating to the development of a new internet-enabled device for the treatment of patients.

Patrizia Immobilien on the acquisition of the Astro Tower from Santander.

Fund

Fund

BNP Paribas Fortis on the financing of the public takeover bid by TVH Group of the UK listed Lavendon Group, which is one of the largest public take-over bids launched by a Belgian family-owned business.

Waterland on the financing by ING Belgium NV, Belfius NV and KBC Bank NV, as lead arrangers, of its investment in United Petfood Producers, a manufacturer of dry pet food with activities in Belgium, France and Poland.

The Mandated Lead Arrangers in respect of USD700m borrowing base facilities for OW Bunker & Trading A/S following bankruptcy of the global OW Bunker Group. This was the largest bankruptcy in the shipping industry in recent years.

Goldman Sachs on the refinancing of Group Bernaerts holding office buildings and logistic facilities in Mechelen and Antwerp.

Bond issues for VGP, Allfin, Matexi and Ethias The issuers or arrangers on a large number of bond issues for VGP, Allfin, Matexi, Deceuninck, AB InBev, Penates Funding, Elia and Ethias.

IPOs of Asit Biotec, Bone Therapeutics and Celyad We have been instructed on most of the Belgian IPOs since 2008. We worked with Bone Therapeutics on its Euronext Brussels and Paris IPO. Additionally, having advised Celyad (at the time Cardio3 BioSciences) on its Euronext Brussels and Paris IPO, we consequently worked with its team on the EU aspects of its USD100.1m NASDAQ IPO and on its EUR32m pre-round private placement with investors in the U.S. and Europe.

Manage risks & reputation

Manage risks & reputation

A leading polymer producer in its collective bargaining negotiations with its social partners including negotiations on bi-annual wage rounds, pension plan regularisation, job security arrangements, blue- and white-collar harmonisation and end-of-career arrangements.

Toyota on the worldwide data protection aspects for the integration of telematics technology in its cars.

Intel, in litigation relating to its flagship INTEL and INTEL INSIDE trademarks. This has resulted in a number of third parties having to change their corporate names and trade names. We also assist Intel in customs actions against counterfeit goods.

A leading insurance company on a wide variety of compliance issues relating to MiFID, commission structures and market practices, including the impact of consumer protection rules.

A leading Belgian bank on a risk assessment in relation to the reorganisation of the self-insured medical plan (with an internal medical fund) to an insured medical plan following (i) changes in insurance regulations and (ii) important developments in case law in relation to occupational medical plans.

A listed Belgian-based fresh food group on several corporate governance issues on the set-up of professional relationships for its executive committee members and related compensation issues. This included a comprehensive legal analysis and assessment of existing compensation and professional structures, in the context of the international operations of the client, and advice on the viability, from a legal, tax and corporate governance perspective, of proposed structures and policies.

Defend

Defend

Tempo-team on a challenge launched by a competitor before the Belgian State Council, with regard to a four year framework agreement that was awarded to Tempo-Team by a government entity. We successfully intervened on behalf of our client as the Belgian State Council dismissed the claims and upheld the award decision.

Major industrial operators across Europe in a string of multi-jurisdictional litigation proceedings challenging the various national implementation measures to implement an EU Commission Decision limiting the number of effectively available free emission allowances, despite such allowances being eligible under the rules of the EU emissions trading scheme. The objective was to encourage the European Commission to re-calculate the allocations provided to the whole sector and our clients were keen to ensure that this was not perceived as a wholesale challenge of the ETS scheme.

Several multinationals in relation to “LuxLeaks” tax investigations; not only on investigations by the Belgian Special Tax Unit, but also investigations by the European Commission. This includes advising on the interaction between tax rules and state aid.

A major financial service provider in relation to a number of cybersecurity incidents, including assisting in criminal and regulatory investigations, and advising on aspects of liability, insurance and loss recovery.

A NYSE Euronext listed company in litigation with market regulator FSMA following an investigation into alleged breaches of market abuse and transparency regulations.

A leading European manufacturer on successfully defending its interests in non-compete litigation by obtaining preliminary injunctions in first instance and appeal proceedings against a former senior executive in order to enforce compliance with contractual non-compete provisions.

Our offices

Antwerp
Brussels

News & insights

Glass office buildings

Publications: 28 NOVEMBER 2019

Optional VAT regime on immovable lease – New Royal Decree establishing the modalities of the option

As from 1 January 2019, taxpayers may opt to charge VAT on the letting of immovable property for professional use. On 25 November, the new rules fixing the timing and modalities of the “option” have been published. 

Read more

Publications: 06 NOVEMBER 2019

D&O insurance and the new BCC

Will the new BCC affect D&O insurance and to what extent?

Read more

Publications: 09 OCTOBER 2019

New EU Whistleblower Directive adopted – scandals necessitated reforms

Whistleblowers have been making headlines almost every month these past years – and this follows a string of scandals such as LuxLeaks, Panama and the Paradise Papers as well as Dieselgate and Cambridge Analytica, which have exposed the limited assistance available for people seeking to expose wrongful corporate behaviour in the public interest.

Read more

Publications: 02 OCTOBER 2019

Cookies consent does not escape the GDPR: The CJEU issued its decision in the Planet49 case

On 1 October 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) issued its long-awaited decision in the case Planet49 (Case C‑673/17). The decision clarifies the requirements for valid cookie consent under Directive 2002/58 (ePrivacy Directive).

Read more

Recognition

Download our office brochure

We partner with our clients on a long-term basis. In today’s world, legal risk management is an integral part of running a business, going well beyond the strict confines of a particular transaction.

Press contact

Glenn Deduytsche
Glenn Deduytsche

BD Officer

Antwerp

Antwerp
  • Allen & Overy (Belgium) LLP

    Uitbreidingstraat nr 72/b3

    Antwerp

    B-2600

  • View office

 

Follow us on social media

 

Follow us on Twitter@AllenOveryBelgium                      Allen & Overy Belgium