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Clifford Chance

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Belgium

We are a market-leading firm in Belgium. Our reputation is built on high-profile work in the Belgian market and multi-jurisdiction transactions, antitrust and regulatory matters.

Domestic strength and international know-how

Our Belgian track record goes back to 1968, and today there are 11 partners and over 45 lawyers in our full-service Brussels office. We work with clients on a range of complex, often multi-jurisdictional questions and have particular strengths in multijurisdictional M&A, private equity, banking, finance and capital markets.

Our work regularly makes Belgian headlines. Recent examples include: advising the key shareholders of AB InBev on the tax and deal structuring of its acquisition of SABMiller, as well as on the financing of the acquisition, which included the largest acquisition facility to date and the second largest bond issue ever; advising Advent and the management of the Corialis group on the contemplated sale of the group to CVC, without doubt one of the largest transactions of 2016; advising AEW Europe on the acquisition and the financing of the "Celsius" portfolio which comprises 10 shopping centres across France and Belgium (including the Wijnegem and Waasland shopping centres), one of the largest real estate transactions of 2015; advising the European Investment Bank on the financing of Norther, a 370MW wind farm off the Belgian coast.

Our talented lawyers’ work on transactions like these helped us win IFLR Europe's 2016 "Belgium Law Firm of the Year" award and is recognised by consistent top tier rankings in legal directories over the last years (IFLR, Chambers, Legal 500, Who's Who Legal).

Experts in antitrust, state-aid and regulatory matters

Our practice groups that specialise in antitrust, state-aid and regulatory matters are well known for their high-profile work. They have long-standing working relationships with key EU institutions, know the technicalities and practicalities of the relevant EU laws, and keep in close contact with international colleagues. This means that we can give clients practical, comprehensive advice that covers the jurisdictions where they have business interests.

Recent examples of our work in antitrust and state-aid include: advising Staples on the merger control aspects of its $6.3 billion acquisition of Office Depot; advising GE on its successful acquisition of the power and grid businesses of Alstom, for which our team won the GCR's 2016 "Merger Control Matter of the Year" award, as well as the IFLR Europe's 2016 "M&A Deal of the Year" award; assisting Pfizer with the merger control aspects (outside the US and Canada) of its $160 billion merger with Allergan; assisting FairSearch – a coalition of businesses and organisations – as their external EU counsel before the European Commission in the context of the investigation into Google's abusive practices.

Our EU regulatory practice is part of the firm’s Public Policy Group, offering legal and policy advice to clients in anticipating, understanding and influencing legislative and regulatory developments and other governmental activities in the UK and across the EU.

Clients value our approach as much as our capabilities  

We aim to combine the flexibility of a close-knit national team with the sophisticated resources of an international firm; we are used to building cross-practice teams that include lawyers from our 24-country network. And our clients’ comments suggest that they like the way we work as much as the work we deliver:

"Clifford Chance applies commercial and pragmatic sense to M&A deals."

"The lawyers are brilliant. It is their depth of understanding of what is going on in the real economy that makes them such an asset."

"Clifford Chance is friendly and client-focused. The lawyers are committed and always available. They are almost like in-house counsel as they are very business-focused."

"The Clifford Chance lawyers are very responsive, focused and get to the point very quickly. They are experienced and seasoned."

Recent highlights

Awards and milestones

  • 2016: IFLR Europe Awards: Belgian Law Firm of the Year
  • 2016: Global Competition Review: Merger Control Matter of the Year
  • 2016: IFLR Europe Awards: M&A Deal of the Year

Directory listings and client comments

Directory listings

IFLR 1000 2016

  • Tier One in Banking and Finance in Belgium

Chambers Europe 2016

  • Tier One in Banking & Finance in Belgium 
  • Tier One in Real Estate in Belgium

Legal 500 EMEA 2016

  • Tier One in Banking, Finance & Capital Markets in Belgium
  • Tier One in EU Regulatory: Financial Services in Belgium
  • Tier One in Industry Focus: Energy in Belgium
  • Tier One in Real Estate in Belgium

 Client comments

  • "The Belgian practice of one of London's top firms is well-placed in the market. It is able to combine strong local talent with a high-quality network of teams around the world, helping to secure some of the most significant mandates in the Belgian market."
    IFLR 1000 2016 – Banking & Finance Belgium
  • "Clifford Chance applies commercial and pragmatic sense to M&A deals."
    Legal 500 EMEA 2016 – Commercial, Corporate & M&A Belgium
  • "Clifford Chance is praised for its thoroughness and good knowledge of renewables."
    Legal 500 EMEA 2016 – Industry focus: Energy Belgium
  • "There is real teamwork in the tax department at Clifford Chance, thanks to a culture of sharing work and knowledge."
    Legal 500 EMEA 2016 – Tax Belgium
  • "I was impressed and amazed. The Clifford Chance lawyers have a lot of expertise and are available. They work to short deadlines and deliver quality quickly."
    Chambers Europe 2016 – Banking & Finance Belgium
  • "The lawyers are brilliant. It is their depth of understanding of what is going on in the real economy that makes them such an asset."
    Chambers Europe 2016 – Competition/European Law Belgium
  • "In addition to Clifford Chance's network, its strength in Brussels is an antitrust team than can deal with a broad range of sophisticated antitrust work and merger control."
    Chambers Europe 2016 – Competition/European Law Belgium
  • "Clifford Chance is friendly and client-focused. The lawyers are committed and always available. They are almost like in-house counsel as they are very business-focused."
    Chambers Europe 2016 – Corporate/M&A Belgium
  • "The Clifford Chance lawyers are very responsive, focused and get to the point very quickly. They are experienced and seasoned."
    Chambers Europe 2016 – Corporate/M&A Belgium
  • "Clifford Chance is very good – the lawyers' work ethic is remarkable."
    Chambers Europe 2016 – Employment Belgium
  • "We chose Clifford Chance because ours was a technical and legally challenging transaction that required an in-depth knowledge of energy law. Clifford Chance has a strong reputation in this field."
    Chambers Europe 2016 – Energy Belgium
  • "Clifford Chance's strengths are that it is international yet with a very strong local presence, track record and experience."
    Chambers Europe 2016 – Energy Belgium
  • "The lawyers are very responsive, capable, efficient and always find as solution to the problem."
    Chambers Europe 2016 – Real Estate Belgium
  • "The fact that the firm has an integrated tax and legal team is a definite advantage."
    Chambers Europe 2016 – Real Estate Belgium
  • "An internationally recognised provider which is strong across the board."
    Chambers Europe 2016 – Tax Belgium