Download - 3 Mo - pdf file - Portail du droit belge

Download - 3 Mo - pdf file - Portail du droit belge

nominees & winners




3d Edition of the Belgian Legal Awards

6 March 2008

Hotel Le Plaza, Brussels


Legal Awards


the official



The Belgian Legal Awards highlight trends

in the legal sector

For the third year in a row, the Legal

Awards ceremony was “sold out”. The

Legal Awards 2008 are an undeniable success.

There are various factors which make this

event such a success.

1. The quality of our official partners and

especially the patronage provided for

the European chapter by the President

of the European Commission, Mr Barroso.

2. The good work provided by our numerous

media partners at both local and international


3. Our sponsors who truly are committed to

offering the most adequate and up to

date products and services to the legal


4. The jury of the Legal Awards which is undoubtedly

the most prestigious jury ever

gathered in this country. Our judges provide

this event with great legitimacy.

5. Last but not least, the lawyers and inhouse

counsels who have done a tremendous

job in compiling memos for the

jury with professionalism.

The competition was tight in many categories

and sometimes unbalanced. The

Legal Bailiff can attest that for several

categories, the Category chairman had to

use his casting vote to ensure a decision.

The real winners are the ones who have

been nominated in the different categories.

Being nominated shows that they are a

major player and that one needs to count

with them for this specific area of practice.

Brussels: home of ‘glocalisation’

In recent years, a new concept has appeared.

“Glocal”: the alliance between

“global” and “local”. Brussels is the hub for

“glocalisation” The world’s legal capital reflects

the regional character as well as the

international aspects of the law. The exposure

for the participants is thus even


One of this year’s objectives was to stress

the “euro” importance of Brussels-Legal.

That is the reason why an award for international

trade and for regulatory have been

added to the competion and anti-trust


Guarantees for the participants

and for the market

Lawyers are a demanding audience. They

have the right to be so. All year long, they

strive to provide precise and rigorous services

to their clients and colleagues. That is

the reason why, the organizers of the Legal

Awards have to perform above average.

In today’s business world, award ceremonies

have become the necessary part of

a professional life. Few events can claim to

offer as many guarantees as the Legal

Awards do:

• A large, diverse and independent panel of


• Ad hoc jury judging in their area of expertise

• A jury changing every year

The Legal Awards in figures


• A vast survey conducted among Belgium’s

most representative business organisations

• A demanding process of submission to

enable objective assessment. Judges

stressed that quality of the submissions

was very high and allowed the jury to

make impartial decisions.

• A process supervised by a legal bailiff

A novelty was brought up this year in order

to ensure even more transparency. Although

stricter than for many other equivalent

events, the criteria to award a prize

have been made clearer and more transparent.

Judges were asked to motivate

their decision and vote. Efforts have been

done in communicating (on stage and in

this official magazine) why awards were allocated.

Although a great success, such an event

needs to evolve. There is a range of points

that we would like to improve for next

year’s edition. We will request opinions and

feedbacks from all partners and participants

to keep the event at the top !

We hope to see you on 19th March 2009 for

the fourth Edition.

Laurent Marlière, President

Potential for more than 600 participants at the Ceremony / A jury of 100 proeminent professionals /

More than 200 explanatory memos adressed to the jury / A consolidated amount of 2500

business lawyers involved via their participating law firms / 20 official and media partners /

More than 50 press covers, articles, adds, TV interviewes, radio interviewes at national and

international level / More than 20.000 hits on the official web site

in this issue

Table of content


The Belgian Legal Awards

highlight trends in the

legal sector

Laurent Marlière explains the success

of the third edition and indicates

how to improve.


The Gala

A summary of the evening


Impressions of

a great evening

The photos


Members of the Jury

The names of the members of

the Jury in alphabetical order


And the winners are…

The law firms and legal departments

of the year





Thanks and tributes from participants



The Gala

High-end networking

The successful gala of the Belgian Legal

Awards at Le Plaza in Brussels constituted

hundreds of legal professionals from all

over Belgium and beyond.

Lawyers, in-house company lawyers and

counsels, as well as notaries, huissiers de

justice / gerechtsdeurwaarders, professors,

heads of institutions, consultants,

business professionals, members of the

press…etc were present. This gala provides

a unique opportunity for networking

in an informal and pleasant atmosphere.

It was the occasion for the Institute for

Company Lawyers to celebrate its 1,600th

member. President Jean Cattaruzza and

Director Anne De Wolf commented on the

relevancy for company lawyers and private

practitioners to meet in a less formal environment.


The ceremony, overseen by Caroline De

Mey (huissier de justice/ gerechtsdeurwaarder)

and facilitators, Marlène de

Wouters & Patrick Vyvey, paid tribute to

the law firms, legal departments, lawyers

and in-house practitioners of the year.

A panel of judges consisting of more than

one hundred personalities from the worlds

of economics, law and the academics

awarded the prizes in 18 categories with

around ten nominees per category.

The attendance showed a good mix

among law firms. The majority of the big

players were vastly present with their

“heavy weights”. They saluted the fact

that it is important that the business legal

profession ensures recognition of its

peers. International and global firms, domestic

full service firms, niche firms attended

as well.


Exclusive and elegant

The option for this year’s edition was

rather more classical than last year,

judged too “hollywoodian”. Sobriety was

the keyword. The Art Deco theatre of 5

stars Le Plaza provided an exclusive venue

with enough space to gather this unique

concentration of business lawyers.

VIP desk, press & TV news interviews,

“mini-fair” with the latest products available,

orchestra, Lavazza coffee bars, sofas,…

The organizers have put forward a

professional organization likely to enhance

networking. After all, where else do you get

to meet all the big names of “Brussels legal”


Great location, nice music, champagne

and refined meal: this award ceremony

was definitely not just another boring academic


Pleasure for the eyes, pleasure for the

ears, pleasure for the taste buds, but also

pleasure to meet each other and to share

emotions, ideas, and business….


The European Legal Awards are placed under the Patronage of José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission.








Impressions of a great evening



in memoriam Patrick Vyvey


Lecteur multimédia (musique, vidéo)

Appareil photos (2 Mégapixels)

E-mails, qualité professionnelle

Lecture de pièces jointes

Navigateur web

Agenda, calendrier


Écran couleur haute-résolution

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Members of the Jury



Nathalie Alen Human Resource Sr Mgr, PriceWaterhouseCoopers

J-Chr. André-Dumont Company Lawyer, AGF Belgium Insurance

Ben Appel Company Lawyer, Vlaamse Media Maatschappij

Zak Attar * Principal, Neumann International

Patrick Baeten * General Counsel, Electrabel

Henk Bataille General Counsel, Suez Energy Services

Ann Bataillie Legal Counsel, De Ceuninck

Pierre Bernard * Secretary General, Elia

Marc Beyens Chief Legal Officer, Electrabel

Chantal Cabuy Human Resources Manager, Cofinimmo

Gauthier Cachbach Company lawyer, Caterpillar

Guy Callebaut * Head of Human Resources, Sodexho Belgium

Isabel Carion Vice-President Human Resources, UCB Group

Françoise Carlier Company Lawyer, Studio 100

Jean Cattaruzza * Head of Legal, ING Bank

Marcel Claes * Chief Executive, AmCham Belgium

Bruno Colmant President, Euronext

André Culot Conseil Fiscal, IEC

Samuel De Gols bedrijfsjurist, Hocké

Emmanuel De Groote Chief Compliance Officer, Euroclear

Marc de Hauw Head of Legal, Carrefour

Ann De Roeck * Secretary General, Dexia

Jeroen De Wachter General Counsel, FRS Global

Michel De Wolf Vice President, Institute of Auditors

Anne De Wolf * Director, Institute of Company Lawyers

Martine Delierneux * Company Lawyer, ING Bank

France Delobbe Corporate Legal Officer, Cofinimmo

Philippe Dewez CEO, Ustaxabroad

Benoit Evrard * Head of Commercial, Pyramiq

Fabrice Fages Secretary General, Euroarbitrage

Paul Falaise Fondé de pouvoir, Banque Degroof

Denis-Bruno Floor Company Lawyer, Imtech Belgium

Jan Ghyssaert Secretary General, Euronext

Michael Gillis Head of Regulatory & Public Affairs, Distrigas NV

Alain Godfroid Executive Vice-President Legal and Environment, Umicore

Dominique Golsong Corp. Secr. & Chief Legal Off., Goodyear Dunlop Tires Europe

Harold Grondel Director, Lexgo

Didier Hamann Directeur Général, Editions Sud Presse








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Dominique Hubart Managing Partner, Office Kirkpatrick

Nicolas Ide Senior Counsel, Swift

Christian Jacobs Managing Director, JP Morgan

Anne Jeswiet CEO, Gevers & partners

Kristien Kaelen Director, ACCE

Guy Keutgen President, CEPANI-CEPINA

Wolter Kymmel Director, ACCE

Philippe Lambrecht * Secretary General, FEB-VBO

Maxime Le Borne * Publisher, -

Thierry Lintermans Legal Director, Accenture

Michel Looyens Legal Director, Coca-Cola Enterprises Services

Dirk Lybaert Secretary General, Belgacom

Alain Mahaux CEO, BFM

Philippe Marchandise Honorary President, Institute of Company Lawyers

Claudia Moschini Company Lawyer, Eurobus Holding

Pierre Nicaise * President, Royal Federation of Notaries

Tim Pashuyzen ir Arch., Stylelabs

Gerben Pauwels Senior legal Adviser, KBC

Didier Pissoort Legal Counsel, Marsh

Nathalie Ragheno * Legal Counsel, Febelfin

Françoise Roels Secretary General and Group Counsel, Cofinimmo

Philippe Sacré General Counsel, Generali

Els Steen Company Lawyer, Delhaize

David Szafran Secretary General, Institute of Auditors

Aniana Taelman Senior Manager, Ernst & Young Tax Consultants

Dirk Tirez General Counsel, La Poste/De Post

Karen Van Brabant Company Lawyer, De Persgroep

André Van Ecke Administrateur Délégué, Cercle de Wallonie

Marie van In General Counsel Europe, Cytec

Ch-Albert van Oldeneel Company Lawyer, Assuralia

Michel Vermaerke Administrateur délégué, Febelfin

Thierry Vermeire Senior Manager Social affairs, Delhaize

Claudine Weyn * Director Business Unit Legal, Wolters Kluwer

* Category Chairman





Hubert Andre-Dumont Partner, McGuire Woods

Jean-Pierre Blumberg Managing Partner, Linklaters

Jean-Pierre Buyle Partner, Philippe & Partners

Olivier Clevenbergh Managing Partner, Stibbe

Bruno Colmant President, Euronext

Eric Cusas Managing Partner, Field Fisher Waterhouse

Johan De Bruycker Partner, Altius

Paul De Jonge Director, European Company Lawyers Association

Patrick De Wolf Partner, De Wolf & Partners

Anne De Wolf * Director, Institute of Company Lawyers

Xavier Dieux Managing Partner, Willkie Farr & Gallagher

Axel Haelterman Partner, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Guy Horsmans Hon. Dean of Faculty, UCL

Kristien Kaelen * Director, ACCE

Wolter Kymmel Director, ACCE

Howard Liebman Partner, Jones Day

Bob Martens Managing Partner Belgium, DLA Piper

Didier Matray Managing Partner, Matray Matray Hallet

Carl Meyntjens Partner, Ashurst

Bernard Peeters Partner, Tiberghien

Denis Philippe Managing Partner, Philippe & Partners

Benoit Strowel Partner, Howrey

Pierre van Ommeslaghe Partner, DLA Piper

Stanislas van Wassenhove Managing Partner, CMS De Backer

* Category Chairman


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law firm of the year >>>

Linklaters LLP

Jean Pierre Blumberg, Managing Partner

What do you think encouraged the jury to

give you the award for this category?

Our firm has been involved in a great many of

the high-end transactions in the Belgian

market since many years. We are somehow

fortunate to have been able to witness from

closeby many historical transactions that

have shaped and transformed part of Belgian

industry. We consider the Award to be a

recognition for the role we have been able to

play particularly in the field of M&A, public

takeovers and equity capital markets transactions

in a consistent manner for many


law firm of the year >>>


Jean-Philippe Cordier, Partner

Which elements, you think, have encouraged

the jury to give you the Award for this


The significant growth of Stibbe’s employment

law department was of course an

important factor. Such growth took place

around two partners, newcomer Jean-

Philippe Cordier (2005) and Herman Craeninckx,

who complement each other in many

respects. Stibbe made extraordinary efforts

during the last 2 years to become one of the

leading law firms in Belgium, amongst others

in employment law. The expansion of our

employment law department resulted in an

enlargement of our client base in 2006/7

with assignments from new clients considered

as “market leaders” or important players

in their field. This in turn led us to reflect on

the ways to provide an even better service to

our clients. It is so that a number of specializations

occurred in our team over the last

couple of years, e.g. outsourcing, trade union

delegations, well-being at work, psychosocial

power, etc.

Moreover, the team’s extraordinary results in

the field of employment law related litigation


What are the main changes in Belgian law


The market for private M&A is a very dynamic

and competitive one. In recent years, the

demand for services in this field has been

more streamlined and became more professional

under the influence of the private

equity players. While current market conditions

are not very amenable to these type of

investers, they have certainly been able to

put their mark on the way legal services are

to be delivered. In the field of public

takeovers, market conditions are such that

we will see (and have already seen) a marked

increase in hostile takeovers which may put

our recently renewed regulatory framework to

a test.

What are the main objectives for the year to


Our objectives are to maintain our market

position through a continued effort to deliver

a high quality service to our clients.


as well as the high level of availability of the

team have also probably convinced the jury.

Finally our ability to work out creative solutions

for clients faced with complex issues is

likely to be another element.

What are the main evolutions in that area of


Employment law is becoming an area where

more an more complex and technical legislation

is issued. Within that domain, it will thus

become necessary for labour lawyers to specialize.

This results in the need for an

employment law department to increase in

size. The trend is also to involve more and

more the workers in the life of their company.

At the same time, the economic outlook may

lead to companies deciding on redundancy

plans. Therefore, there might be much

restructuring work in the months to come.

What are your objectives for the year to


Because of its full service strategy, Stibbe

will keep providing its clients with a personalised,

quick, quality service which is the key

to the firm’s success. Stibbe will maintain the

close collaboration of a great number of specialists

working as a team in order to provide

a customised service.


The nominees were:

Altius I Clifford Chance LLP I DLA Piper UK

LLP I Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer I Jones

Day I Linklaters LLP I Lydian I Stibbe I Verhaegen

Walravens I Mc Guire Woods LLP

Stefan Maes (Forward),

Jean-Pierre Blumberg (Linklaters),

Charles Relecom (Swisslife)

We will strive to continue to give an excellent

training to our lawyers internally, at all levels,

since it is on them that the quality of our services

is based. Furthermore, we find it very

important to share our knowledge with our

clients in an informal way and independently

of a specific matter, which also allows us to

be informed of their concerns, so that we will

continue our seminars and debates.

The nominees were:

CMS Debacker I Stibbe I Lydian

Jean-Philippe Cordier (Stibbe),

Herman Craeninckx (Stibbe),

Katrien Goosens (United Fund for Belgium)

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Mayer Brown LLP

The nominees were:

Mayer Brown LLP I Sidley Austin LLP I Hogan

& Hartson LLP

Kiran Desai (Mayer Brown Itl LLP),

Paul De Jonge (ECLA), Paulette Vander

Schueren (Mayer Brown Itl LLP),

Zak Attar (Neumann Itl)

law firm of the year >>>


Rudy Nauwelaerts, Partner

Which elements, you think, have encouraged

the jury to give you the Award for this


We think that Stibbe’s unique multidisciplinary

approach has probably influenced the

jury: inside the firm, a strong collaboration

has built up over the years between the

lawyers from the different practice groups

and this no doubt represents one of Stibbe’s

greatest assets. In the case of Real Estate &

Construction, our team works closely with

our Administrative Law and Environment &

Permit practices, but also with our Tax Law,

Corporate & Finance Law and other groups.

This multi-specialism team combines in the

most efficient way all the various aspects

relating to real estate activities.

Another element is that Stibbe’s Real Estate

& Construction practice is one of the largest

in Belgium, with specialists active in all three

regions of the country. This allows us to cover

all aspects of real estate : not only the pure

transactional side, but also elements such as

litigation, permits, etc.

Finally, the prominent role our firm has

played in virtually every major PPP project in

law firm of the year

>>> TAX

Linklaters LLP

The nominees were:

De Wolf & Partners I Freshfields Bruckhaus

Deringer I Tiberghien I Afschrift I CEW &

Partners I Jones Day I Linklaters LLP

Olivier Van Ermengem (Linklaters LLP),

Jean Vandevelde (Bruylant)


law firm of the year




Belgium last year, has probably contributed

to our success at the BLA as well.

What are the main evolutions in that area of


We believe that the practice of real estate

and construction will involve more and more

other areas of the law. The traditional transactions

are often replaced by complex structures

where financial, tax and corporate law

play a role at least as important as the principles

of civil law on which such transactions

used to be based.

What are your objectives for the year to


As mentioned above, Stibbe considers this

Award to be a clear acknowledgement by the

market that its full service strategy is paying

off. Therefore, our law firm will continue to

encourage the close collaboration between

our specialist lawyers, completely in line with

our credo “Stibbe – specialists through and

through”. So as to meet our client’s needs, we

will keep building ad hoc teams in order to

develop tailor-made solutions.

Our firm also considers this Award as a challenge

to remain one of the market leaders in

the Belgian real estate & construction area.

That is why our partners will continue to

The nominees were:

Citibank I Inbev I Trane I Fedex

Roel Staes (Fedex),

Anne Dewolf (IBJ),

Wibo Rigter (DataCert)

make strenuous efforts to maximize their

knowledge in their area of specialisation.

Finally, our firm will put special emphasis on

developing its property finance activities, in

which our real estate and construction team

will work seamlessly together with our financial

law specialists.

The nominees were:

Clifford Chance LLP I Van Cutsem Wittamer

Marnef & Partners I Linklaters LLP I Stibbe I

Verhaegen Walravens I DLA Piper UK LLP

Olivier Clevenbergh (Stibbe),

Pierre Nicaise (Fednot),

Mélanie Di Giacomantonio (Servcorp),

Marlène de Wouters,

Christine De Mey (bailiff)

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law firm of the year >>>

Philippe & Partners

Jean-Pierre Buyle, Partner

Which elements, do you think, have encouraged

the jury to give you the Award for this


Our law firm has been nominated in 2008 for

the first time in the Bank and Finance category.

However, the Bank and Finance team is

made up of several experts in the field. The

team has been working hard for many years

now. A lot of our lawyers are also active in the

academic world and regularly take a stand in

the field. We make it a point of honor to serve

our clients as best as we can. We always put

the quality of our work on the forefront. We act

in a diligent manner and so as to respect

deadlines. We also apply a moderate fee policy.

We assist our clients both on a national and

international level and in and out of court…

What are the main evolutions in that area of


When I started practicing as a lawyer, bank

and finance law was a very calm and serene

area of the law. Except for the law on cheques,

most of the field was governed by the Civil and

Commercial Codes and by general principles

of contract law. Today this area of law had

become a complex labyrinth of laws, codes of

conduct and regulations that intertwine in all

kinds of ways. We have to deal with texts that

are perfectly indigestible, that are forever

changing, with laws that do not have a defined

law firm of the year >>>


Johan Ysewyn, Partner

Which elements do you think have encouraged

the jury to give you the award for this


During the award ceremony, we were told that

the jury admired our “can-do” attitude as well

as the links we have - and try to foster - with

the competition regulators around the world.

I think that is a fair summary. I would like to

add that Linklaters has - by far - the largest

Belgian competition team in Brussels and

has been supporting a large number of major

Belgian corporates and banks in dealing with

their most complex competition issues. For

example, this year our team continued to

advise Suez in the Suez/Gaz de France merger,

which had a substantial impact on the

Belgian market and for which we had to

assess - and deal with - a host of legal, political

and economic issues. Finally, the Linklaters

Belgian competition practice can rely

on over 100 antitrust experts around the

globe to support our clients.


subject to apply to and with principles that are

sanctioned heavily on an administrative, civil

and penal level. This hyper-regulation has

however not prevented the markets and its

actors from being on the blink. We have seen

that recently… Too many rules are harmful in

every way.

Legal experts today are confronted more than

ever with having to keep their knowledge up to

date and not just in the legal field. Economy is

invading financial law a little more each day.

Just think about IAS rules, MiFid, Basle II or

competition law. Technical concepts have

become omnipresent. Those who have worked

on SEPA will not contradict this. There are also

financial products that few people understand

or that few can explain to others. This is worrying.

Mechanisms, products and structures

are becoming international which also makes

it harder for the legal expert to give an opinion.

Anglo-Saxon concepts (such as trusts, class

actions, compliance) and the English language

have « infiltrated » financial law. We forever

have to adapt which is an exciting challenge.

What are your objectives for the year to


Our department has grown as new members

have joined it in the last months. We must now

stabilize this growth by working on the team’s

coherence and by trying to benefit at best

from each lawyers specific expertise.

On an international level, we have been

approached by quite a few law firms and net-


What are the main evolutions in that area of


The Belgian Competition Authority now takes

a much stricter stance, both in relation to

mergers and anticompetitive behaviour. This

follows the so-called “modernisation” proposals

which have been adopted by the European

Commission and which result in the

national authorities now having a much

greater remit to deal with competition concerns.

In addition, there is a shift away from

merger control to a clear focus on anti-cartel

enforcement, with the Authority conducting a

number of dawn raids, notably in the consumer


What are the objectives for the year to come?

Now that the Belgian Competition Authority

has begun to use its enforcement powers

more vigorously, we believe that we will

increasingly be focusing on supporting our

clients in the area of cartels and abuse of

dominance investigations. This of course will

be in addition to the complex merger control

work which continues to be a key part of our



works. We must now make strategic choices.

We will consider each of our negotiating partners

by taking into account their professional

and human qualities first and foremost and we

will strongly bear in mind that we must preserve

our independence.

From the inside, our workshops and laboratories

will continue to investigate in order to be

able to anticipate the needs of our current and

future clients. We will concentrate specifically

on managing our documentation and on sharing

our knowledge with those who have trusted

us for so many years. Some of our skills, such

as corporate or patrimonial planification, will

be put forward more.

The nominees were:

Altius I Willkie Farr & Gallagher I Philippe &

Partners I Clifford Chance LLP I Freshfields

Bruckhaus Deringer I Linklaters LLP I Stibbe I

Ashurst I Modrikamen

Ann de Roeck (Dexia), Jean-Pierre Buyle

(Philippe & Partners), Marlène de Wouters

The nominees were:

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer I Howrey LLP

I Linklaters LLP I Ashurst I Sidley Austin LLP I

WilmerHale I Lovells LLP I Mayer Brown LLP I

Willkie Farr & Gallagher I Hogan & Hartson

LLP I O’Melveny & Myers LLP

Patrick Wilkins (The European Lawyer),

Yohan Ysewyn (Linklaters),

Zak Attar (Neumann International),

Marlène de Wouters

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law firm of the year >>>

Howrey LLP

Trevor Soames & Michael Schütte

co-managing partners

Which elements, you think, have encouraged

the jury to give you the Award for this


Howrey is an international law firm focused

on IP, Antitrust/Competition and Litigation.

The spectacular growth of Howrey’s Brussels

office, within 5 years only, is illustrative of

Howrey’s strategy for growth across Europe.

In 2007, the Brussels office has grown from

41 to 55 professionals, not by merger but by

through consistent recruitment of leading

legal talent in our areas of focus. More importantly,

53 lawyers are of European nationality,

only two US lawyers are practicing in

Howrey's Brussels office. A combination of

steadily increasing talent and impressive

client wins has brought Howrey to the first

tier across Europe, undoubtedly forming the

leading US law firm in Brussels.

What are the main evolutions in your area of


Howrey continues to build its reputation in

the increasingly important area of law at the

interface between IP and competition law, an

law firm of the year


Freshfields Bruckhaus


The nominees were:

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer I Stibbe I

LDR I Mayer Brown LLP I Monard D’Hulst I

DLA Piper UK LLP I WilmerHale

Laurent Garzaniti (Freshfields, Bruckhaus

Deringer), Florence Melchior (ELIA), Thomas

Janssens (Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer)


area in which Howrey is ideally positioned,

being a market leader in both Intellectual

Property and Competition. On another front,

as the market prepares for an expected

increase in corporate liability for private

damages, and a more contentious environment

overall, two of Howrey’s key strengths,

its litigation expertise and the use of its affiliate

economics consultancy CapAnalysis are

proving to be of much value to the firm’s

client base.

Howrey’s IP practice has seen a substantial

rise in the number of patent actions in Belgium

within the last several years and it is

predicted that there will be a gradual increase

in the number of European Patents. The presence

of insurers, an increase in legal and

technical assessments – resulting in more

investigations of patents, is likely to lead to

more settlements, mediation efforts and

speedier resolution of disputes. As regards to

the soft IP practice, we see that the trend of

clearly differentiated trade mark practices in

the US and the UK is coming to mainland


What are the objectives for the year to come?

Howrey’s proven business model of focusing

on three business essential practice areas

law firm of the year



The nominees were:

Verhaegen Walravens I Stibbe I Praxislaw I

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer I Philippe &

Partners I Racine & Vergels I Matray Matray &

Hallet I DLA Piper UK LLP I Tossens & Prioux I

Modrikamen I Linklaters LLP I Hanotiau & van

den Berg I CEW & Partners I WTT Law Firm I


Emma van Campenhout (CEPANI-CEPINA),

Dirk De Maeseneer (Praxislaw), Jacqueline

Linsmau (Praxislaw), Robert Pierce (PWC)


has resulted in spectacular growth in Europe

and particularly in Brussels. Howrey’s Brussels

office is now a self-sustaining leading US

law firm that serves both European and US

clients with activities around the globe. Our

objective for this year is to consolidate that

extraordinary growth and to continue providing

our clients with the highest standard of

service and legal advice.

The nominees were:

Jones Day I Mayer Brown LLP I Howrey LLP I

Mc Guire Woods LLP I WilmerHale I Hogan &

Hartson LLP I O’Melveny & Myers LLP I Sidley

Austin LLP

Marcel Claes (AmCham),

Michael Schütte (Howrey LLP),

James Harley (Lexis-Nexis)

law firm of the year


Van Cutsem Wittamer

Marnef & Partners

The nominees were:

Afschrift I Ashurst I McGuire Woods LLP I

Tiberghien I Van Cutsem Wittamer Marnef &

Partners I Verhaegen Walravens I Stibbe I

Tossens & Prioux I Field Fisher Waterhouse


Maxime Leborne (Lexgo), Sofie Storms

(Vialegis), Laurent Tainmont & Olivier d'ursel

(Van Cutsem Wittamer), Marlène de Wouters

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law firm of the year >>>


Paul Maeyaert, Partner

Which elements, you think, have encouraged

the jury to give you the Award for this


We think that our IP/IT practice has been

rewarded for its pragmatic approach, its open

mind on how to best co-operate with clients

while keeping our fees at a reasonable level,

and its ability to assess the chances of success

of possible litigation. Also, our efforts to

keep on top of the latest developments have

probably contributed to our success. In addition,

the events of last year confirmed not

only the professionalism and expertise of our

IP/IT team, but also our department’s multidisciplinary

nature. For, in 2007, Altius’

clients entrusted us with the management of

complex, high-level cases, before Belgian

and European courts, in a wide variety of sectors.

The firm represented clients from a wide

variety of industries (sports goods, textile,

apparel, tobacco products, foodstuffs, wine

and spirits, video games and leisure, pharmaceutical

products, applied art, motor vehicles,

flowers, etc.). With 17 member lawyers,

our IP/IT team is one of the strongest in Belgium,

able to cope with the widest possible

diversity of cases, and expanding its specialist

knowledge to an enviable extent. The

number of IP/IT cases handled by Altius grew

rapidly in 2007, allowing us to occupy key

award winning >>>

De Wolf & Partners

Patrick De Wolf

Which elements, do you think, have encouraged

the jury to give you the Award for this


It is said that the award for the Best Managing

Partner of the Year is linked with the personality

of the award winner rather than with

a department or a law firm.

We are however of the opinion that the award

2008 rewards the vitality of a professional

group (of lawyers and administrative staff)

which pushed the tough decision to integrate

into an interdisciplinary and international

environment, and led us in 2001 to become a

member of the Osborne Clarke Alliance.

This decision was put into practice with the

most extreme voluntarism and was continuously

supported by our clients. It ensured a

strong stability, offered us local focus and

international expertise, and extended our

reach towards international markets, in particular

in Asia and in Africa.


positions in all the most currently contentious

areas of IP and IT law. Finally, the

Altius IP/IT team’s profile was significantly

raised in 2007 by the promotion of two Associates,

Nicolas Clarembeaux and Gerrit Vandendriessche,

who became Partners, and the

recruitment of new team members. The large

increase in the number of requests received

by Altius to advise international public organisations

is evidence of the firm’s increased

reputation abroad.

What are the main evolutions in that area of


In IP, there has been much new legislation, at

all levels, which requires detailed daily monitoring.

The Belgian government has taken

measures to strengthen the specialist training

of the magistrates who hear and investigate

IP cases, which is encouraging. Belgium

also reviewed its Trade Practices Act following

the publication of EU Directive 2005/29

and plans to abolish the prohibition on joint

offers in the near future, which would boost

e-commerce and on-line advertising. Finally,

the law on on-line gambling and entertainment

is also under review.

What are your objectives for the year to


In 2008, it is our ambition to consolidate

Altius’ position as Belgium’s leading IP/IT law

firm. We can already count on the in-depth

specialist knowledge and experience of Paul


What are your objectives for the year to


We expect 2008, a year in which we moved to

a new and surprising premises and will celebrate

our 10th anniversary, to be a year of

consolidation of what we have achieved and

described here above.

Furthermore, we shall focus on the domestic

market, particularly in Kortrijk, where we

opened an office early this year. The fast

developments of our Kortrijk’s office are

already visible and more than promising.

Hence, an unstaffed halt, not a point of

arrival. What the poet utters “être du bond, ne

pas être du festin, son epilogue” (René Char)

summarizes the state of mind of this award

winner 2008.


Maeyaert, Christophe Ronse, Nicolas Clarembeaux,

Gerrit Vandendriessche and Olivier

Vrins. Senior Associate Philippe de Jong’s

expertise in plant variety rights and life sciences

is increasingly in demand. Altius’ top

priority is to jealously guard its independence

and its ability to provide top-quality legal

services at competitive prices, while favouring

a solution-minded and flexible attitude.

The nominees were:

Stibbe I Altius I Bird & Bird I DLA Piper UK LLP

I Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP I Howrey LLP I

Ulys I De Wolf & Partners I Olswang I Linklaters


Altius IP team, Jean-Marc Lauwers (ELSA),

Stijn Merks (Kroll Ontrack),

Marlène de Wouters

The nominees were:

Alexander Vandenbergen - Lydian I Carine

Van Regenmortel - Altius I Denis Philippe –

Philippe & Partners I Eric Cusas - Field Fisher

Waterhouse LLP I Jean-Pierre Blumberg -

Linklaters LLP I Luc Houben - Jones Day I

Olivier Clevenbergh - Stibbe I Patrick De Wolf

– De Wolf & Partners I Trevor Soames -

Michael Schütte - Howrey LLP

Philippe Lambrecht (FEB-VBO),

Patrick de Wolf (De Wolf & Partners),

Pierre Bury (Blackberry),

Marlène de Wouters


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award winning >>>

ING Bank

Jean Cattruzza, Head of Legal Department

Which elements, you think, have encouraged

the jury to give you the Award for this


The depth and complexity of this transaction

has certainly influenced jury members. A

transaction in relation to splitting the company,

followed by selling of one of the companies

split off by a third, and acute timing, it

was a great challenge to fulfil and our law

department has excelled at it with the utmost


award winning



The nominees were:

LDR I De Schrijver van Gehuchte Messiaen I

Van Gompel & Renette I Belexa I Monard


Benoit Evrard (D-Lex Pyramiq),

Bert Roelandts (LDR),

Peter De Smedt (LDR),

Isabelle Larmuseau (LDR)


What are the main evolutions in that area of


When issues are dealt with from a quality

legal department, it is not only an issue for

our department but also other businesses.

Thus it is crucial to trust colleagues, despite

the difficulty and depth of the issue at hand.

Therefore I think it is normal to treat this type

of issue internally; for our people, it is a great

deal more satisfying.

What are your objectives for the year to


To carry on working day by day to get the best

out of business by still hoping to have the

chance to deal with other interesting issues

which has allowed us to win the 2008 Legal



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The nominees were:

ING I Cofinimmo

Lien Thijs (ING),

Janice Derveaux (ING),

Tanguy Pollet (Swisslife),

Kristien Kaelen (ACCE)

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Elegis –

Hannequart & Rasir

Jean-François Henrotte, Partner

Which elements, you think, have encouraged

the jury to give you the Award for this


The jury recognised the outstanding way in

which the members of elegis – Hannequart &

Rasir exercise the legal profession on the

regional market. They rewarded the academic

reputation and the investment of the

members of the association in a bar currently

undergoing modernisation (Patrick Henry

is the current president of the Bar of Liège

and André Delvaux is approaching the end of

his term as a director of the Bar Association

(OBFG)). The firm’s interest in the issues

affecting the region (I won’t go into detail

here, given the importance I attach to professional

secrecy) and the sophisticated use it

makes of information and communication

technologies (such as our e-services module

or our secured extranet at the service of our

clients, for instance) seem to have convinced

the jury, which also highlighted its individualities.

As regards the latter point, however, I

prefer to draw attention to the excellence of

the association as a whole rather than cer-

award winning >>>

DLA Piper

Bob Martens, Managing Partner

What do you think encouraged the jury to

give you the award for this category?

I believe the jury recognized DLA Piper

because we are known for our in-depth

knowledge in various fields of law. In addition,

we have succeeded in gaining a leading

market position on the global scene (Asia,

Europe, the Middle East and the US) as well

as in Belgium (over 100 lawyers working

across offices in Brussels and Antwerp)

which makes us very attractive to work with,

especially for those Belgian companies with

international ambitions or operations. How

we work might also have played a role: we are

known for our hands-on approach, our pragmatic

and to-the-point and business-driven

perspective on legal issues is appreciated by

in-house counsels. Clients value the lengths

we go to in our involvement in their business

and our drive to achieve results.

What are the main changes in Belgian law


The Belgian legal market has changed rapidly

in the past decade. Ten years ago, it was

still dominated by local firms with no real


tain of its members, as we are convinced of

the abilities and the complementarity of

each of the lawyers in our firm, which would

not be what it is without each of its members

(from the trainee to the experienced partner).

What are the main evolutions in that area of


Companies and public authorities are

increasingly coming to realise that reliable

and competent lawyers can be found in

Antwerp, in Namur or in Liège and can be less

expensive that some Brussels-based

lawyers. This is not, of course, to denigrate

my esteemed colleagues (not least because I

am myself registered at the Bar in Brussels),

but to stress and to be very pleased to note

that certain clients appreciate the ability or

independence of lawyers in more concrete


What are your objectives for the year to


We are selected every year in the category of

the best association of lawyers in the Walloon

Region and we have been elected this

year, but we would like to be perceived for

what we are: elegis is one of the biggest independent

national associations, present in all

three regions. We would like existing clients

to continue to look at us in this way, new


integrated international partnerships. Today

the market is dominated by international or

global firms. The global economy will evolve

further and firms that genuinely embrace

this fact will become global players capable

of tending to the full spectrum of business

needs anywhere. Niche firms will also do well,

because they are highly specialized. These

will be the winning models for the next


The legal profession is also changing from a

strict procedural role to a more strategic one:

that is, lawyers are having to come off their

legal fence to provide real strategic advice.

The establishment of the Belgian Institute of

Legal Counsels and the rise in numbers of inhouse

counsels will result in a more need of

specialized legal expertise and assistance

with multi-tasking and complex projects.

What are the main objectives for the year to


Being recognized as “best law firm of the

year” has, as a consequence, that DLA Piper,

has from now on, to concentrate all efforts to

become “better then best”. We do believe

that we can achieve this ambition by concentrating

our energy on the client interests.

These interests are at the very heart of our

business, and we strive to achieve excellence


clients to find this out and to call upon our

abilities to assist them in their projects or

their litigation at national or international

level and, why not, to be selected or even

elected in the category of the Belgian association

for the year 2009!

The nominees were:

Geradin I Bours & Associés I Matray Matray &

Hallet I Proesmans & Henry I Celes I Maréchal

Wenric Vito & Rosu I Elegis - Hannequart &


Jean-François Henrotte (Elegis),

Nathalie Van Damme (Elegis),

Benoit Evrard (D-Lex Pyramiq),

Marlène de Wouters

in everything we do for them. We do believe in

long-term relationships with our clients

based on openness and honesty and will continue

to built out these relationships. In order

to be able to even better serve the clients

needs, we will also further invest in our firm.

We will develop in several practices, like

finance law and corporate law and are open

for discussion with lawyers in all practices

that our willing to be part of our challenging


The nominees were:

Altius I De Wolf & Partners I DLA Piper UK LLP

I Stibbe I Linklaters LLP

Ann de Roeck (Dexia),

Bob Martens (DLA Piper LLP),

Marlène de Wouters

comments book

I want to thank you for the excellent organization of this great

event and the invitation. I think everyone was impressed with the

venue and organization.

Wolter Kymmell, Director ACCE


Encore bravo pour les Legal Awards! Très bien organisés!

Emmanuel Plasschaert, Président Conférence du Jeune Barreau


Encore bravo pour cette édition très réussie.

Cécile Louchard, Senior Manager, PriceWaterhouseCoopers


Met aanmerkelijk meer bezoekers dan vorig jaar blijkt dat de

Belgian Legal Awards in een behoefte voorziet voor een jaarlijks

‘networking event’ in de juridische hoofdstad van Europa.

Michel Klompmaker, Publisher


Félicitations pour le succès. A la prochaine édition. Amitiés.

Christian Miroir, BFM


Many thanks for an excellent evening team. Bravo.

Zak Attar, Principal, Neumann International AG


Mes félicitations pour cette soirée qui fut à nouveau un beau


Olivier Clevenbergh, Managing Partner, Stibbe


It means a lot to our lawfirm to receive the award ‘Law Firm of the

Year (Flanders)’. Many thanks for the organisation of the event!!

Isabelle Larmuseau, LDR Milieuadvocaten


Nos félicitations pour l'organisation de la cérémonie d'hier soir.

Nous n'avons pas gagné, mais nous nous sommes bien amusés.

Jean-Luc Wenric, Maréchal, Wenric & Associés


Nous tenions à vous féliciter pour votre évènement qui était,

selon notre responsable sur place, magnifique.

Danielle Braff, Importateur Exclusif, Lavazza


I just want to quickly congratulates you on the big success. Even

the food and the service were excellent (especially considering

how many people had to be served).

Howard M. Liebman, Partner, Jones Day


Congratulations for this success!


Patrick Wilkins, Publisher and Chairman The European Lawyer Ltd.

Encore une fois toutes nos félicitations pour la brillante soirée

d’hier. Vous êtes parvenus à faire des Belgian Legal Awards un

événement incontournable du monde juridique belge. Encore

bravo et poursuivez sur votre lancée.

Pascal Hollander, Partner, Hanotiau & van den Berg


All the Freshfields partners and associates present yesterday

would like to thank you for the evening last night. The pleasant

dinner and the perfect organisation charmed everyone. The partners

and associates who participated to the gala had a beautiful

evening and a good opportunity for them to meet their colleagues.

We look forward to the next edition of the Legal Awards.

Gisèle Trauscht, Business Development & Communications


Encore toutes nos félicitations pour la magnifique soirée des

Legal Awards, l'organisation était vraiment impressionnante!

Benoît EVRARD, Pyramiq SA




The Belgian Legal Awards 2008 Official Magazine

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© copyright 2008

special thanks to

Zak Attar, Derek Benton, Piet Bourgeois, Philippe Brack,

Mr & Mme Braff, Jean Cattaruzza, Benoit Evrard,

Olivier Dengis, Ann De Roeck, Pascal De Roeck,

Véronique De Ruddere, Carole De Ruyt, Anne De Wolf,

Mélanie Di Giacomantonio, Harold Grondel, Sam Hemamda,

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Christian Miroir, Pierre Nicaise, Tanguy Polet, Wibo Rigter,

Alison Sharp, Jean Vandeveld, Patrick et Elsi Vyvey,

Patrick Wilkins, Claudine Weyn and many others.


Legal Awards


Thank you all for coming

and see you next year!

Merci à tous et

à l’année prochaine!

Hartelijk dank voor uw komst

en tot volgend jaar!


Legal Awards



19 March 2009

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