Belgium

Review

Dispute resolution
Astrea

Independent law firm Astrea is based in Antwerp and has been dedicated to dispute resolution work since it was established in 2006. The firm have expertise in transport, logistics and arrest litigation. The firm also has experience in key areas of dispute resolution including financial litigation and arbitration. 

The dispute resolution consists of a team of 13 lawyers and is led by Marc Van Looveren. Marc Van Looveren led on a case for a leading diamond trader in a dispute about a commercial transaction. 

Clients for the firm include Microsoft and Alfa Bank. 

Client feedback 2021 

“Very skilled and punctual advice.”

“The firm excels in its knowledge & experience, particularly in maritime law. It has also excellent skills in communication and it is very accessible and available.” 

Ruud De Houwer 

“He has a great knowledge and experience in maritime law, he's a great communicator, fluent, easy and pleasant to work with, very accessible and available.”

Marc Van Looveren

“Very practical, quick minded and smart.”

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie’s dispute resolution team is led by three main partners, Keon De Winter, Daniel Fesler and Gregory Lebrun. The firm practices the full range of dispute resolution services including banking and finance, commercial, IP and employment.

The firm has a wealth of high-profile clients in commercial litigation including Apple, Michael Kors and Estee Lauder. Other key clients for the firm include Espirit, Calvin Klein, Unilever, JLL and Abercrombie & Fitch. 

Key industry sectors for the firm include media, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals and life science and real estate.

Case highlights include representing VolkerWessles group before the Antwerp commercial court. The case related to malpractice and financial fraud claims with up to €24 million in damages.

Another case highlight includes the firm's representation of Misses World Belgium – Misses Globe Belgium in a trademark infringement case of image rights and unfair prices. The case took place before the commercial court in Antwerp and resulted in the defendants paying damages amounting to more than €25,000.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is recognized as a top-tier firm with notable strengths in EU competition. The firm has a stellar team dedicated to the practice. In the practice, key names include Francisco Enrique Gonzalez-Diaz, Nicholas Levy, Robert Snelders and Antoine Winckler. The Brussels office has 12 partners, 2 senior counsel and 2 counsel dedicated to disputes work.

The firm acted as counsel to JCDecaux in a State aid complaint in relation to public furniture concessions in Brussels.

Th team successfully represented American Express in an antitrust investigation. The case concerning the invalid inspections carried out by the Belgian competition authority.

The remainder of cases worked on during the research period are highly confidential.

Garrigues

Garrigues EU competition team is comprised of six partners and 21 qualified lawyers based in the Brussels office. Key names in the team include José Luis Buendía, Angel Givaja and Alfonso Lamadri.

The team is led by Buendía who has experience in public competition law and led the majority of cases during the research period. The firm’s principal industry sectors include financial services, healthcare, media and telecommunications. Notable clients include Google, Banco Santander, Rolex and World Duty Free.

During the research period, the firm acted for Google and Alphabet, appealing against a €4.34 billion fine relating to an abuse of dominance claim.

The firm also acted for a number of leading banks and Spanish companies in a case relating to tax rules on purchase, lease and sale of new ships.
Laga

Since the formation of Laga and Deloitte Legal in September 2018, the firm has been steadily building its practice and team.

Hendrik Viaene joined the firm as partner from Stibbe. Wim Vandenberghe joined the team from Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton bringing with him over 14 years’ experience in EU regulations.

During the research period the firm advised The Belgian State before the General Court in Luxembourg regarding annulment proceedings served by press distributors. 

The firm advised US pharmaceutical company Tetraphase with compliance under EU competition law on pricing and parallel import.

Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkin’s Europe competition team includes 22 partners and counsel. In the Brussels office, the team is supported by 12 partners. 

Key members of the competition team include the likes of Marc Hansen, Lars Kjølbye, Javier Ruiz-Calzado and Sven Völcker. 

The team have represented clients before the EU and national courts as well as representing before the European Commission. In line with the firm’s braoder corporate and M&A strength the team has picked up some of its most complex work in the merger control area. In one example from the research period, the team advised Live Nation on its merger clearance for the acquisition of one of the largest music festivals in Europe, the Isle of Wright music festival.  

The firm also acted for the likes of Integra Lifesciences and Broadcom on merger control matters.   

Other notable clients for the firm include American Airline, The Carlyle Group, Live Nation, Facebook and Microsoft.  

New partner hires include Jacques-Philippe Gunther and Adrien Giraud who joined the global antitrust team as partners based in Paris and Brussels from Willkie Farr & Gallagher.  

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom is a leading law firm with a well-respected competition practice.

Bill Batchelor, Frederic Depoortere, Giorgio Motta, Ingrid Vandenborre are partners in the firm’s EU competition team.

In the past 12 months, the firm were busy with several merger control cases.

During the research period the firm advised a major UK bank in a high-profile investigation relating to raids of major bonds trading banks in the City.

Ingrid Vandenborre led on a case advising ABB in a power cable investigation by the European Commission. The firm advised Aspen Pharmacare Holdings in an abuse of dominance case before the European Commission.

Stibbe

Stibbe is a full-service law firm and is recognised for its strengths in commercial and transactions and white-collar crime. The firm has 16 lawyers dedicated to dispute resolution work including four partners. Key areas of disputes for the firm include banking and finance litigation, commercial disputes, international arbitration and corporate fraud and white-collar crime.

The firm has over 25 years dedicated to white-collar crime and fraud work and the department is headed by partner Hans Van Bavel. Case work for the firm includes tax fraud, economic fraud and money-laundering matters. 

In the litigation and arbitration department, key partners include Hans Van Bavel, Nicolas Résimont, Oliver Stevens and Paul Van der Putten. Ignance Vernimme and Philippe Campolini are key partners in the firm’s Intellectual Property department. Peter Wytinck and Sophie Van Besien are key partners in the EU, Competition & Regulated markets department. 

The white-collar crime time has five lawyers dedicated to this area and mainly focuses on work for corporate clients, assisting on matters such as money laundering, economic fraud, market manipulation and raids and interrogations. 

In a commercial and transactions case, the firm advised Perrigo (Omega Pharma) in the arbitration proceedings brough against the sellers for fraud and breach of warranties. All other cases worked on during the research period remain highly confidential, however the cases highlight the firm’s capabilities in commercial and transaction and EU competition work. 

The firm hired Philippe Campolini from Simont Braun who joins the Intellectual property department. Partner Sophie Van Besien joins the firms EU, Competition & Regulated markets department. 

Client feedback 2021 

“With regard to litigation they offer thorough analysis, accurate estimation on the case outcome and are effective in the resolution of cases.” 

Louis Bidaine 

“Responsive, analytical, easy to reach and offering effective solutions.” 

Philippe Campolini 

“Responsive, good leadership.”