Linklaters

Tax Department

Belgium
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What the team is known for Superb team with a strong network and significant international tax-planning capabilities. Also frequently advises on the tax aspects of large cross-border transactions, including major mergers, real estate structures and employee share schemes. Offers notable strength in tax and VAT litigation, as well as advising clients on compliance with new anti-tax avoidance measures.

Strengths One client appreciates that the team is "knowledgeable, responsive and credible."

Sources remark that the lawyers "understand the clients' needs," and also praise the firm's "good international network."

Work highlights Advised Belfius bank on obtaining a tax ruling in connection with the bank's issuance of securities as well as its IPO.

Notable practitioners

Caroline Borgers enters the rankings for the first time this year. According to a source, she is "a very constructive tax lawyer who is practical and pragmatic." The interviewee adds: "She doesn't only see risks, but sees solutions." Borgers advises on a variety of tax matters, including acting on transactional mandates and assisting clients with the implementation of regulatory decisions.

Guido De Wit is acknowledged as a leading VAT specialist in Belgium by market sources. His clients praise his "great level of knowledge and experience," and also report that "he has a solid memory and is able to explain complex situations." A further interviewee notes: "For VAT matters, I recommend De Wit. He has great experience in the matter and combines his theoretical knowledge with a practical view."

The "outstanding" Henk Vanhulle leads the department and specialises in corporate tax matters. He also represents clients in obtaining tax rulings. One client remarks that "he has a very strong technical profile," adding: "He does not need much input to come to clear conclusions."

Nicolas Lippens acts on the tax elements of corporate reorganisations, fund structurings and R&D tax incentives, whilst also representing clients in tax litigation. "He is totally dedicated to his clients, as well as being technical and commercial," according to sources, who also praise his ability to "collaborate well with other teams."