Managing Partner: Olivier Wouters
Number of partners: 15
Number of lawyers: 90
Languages: Dutch, English, French, German
Claeys & Engels offers a full range of legal services in all areas concerning human resources. Each subject is dealt with by a specialist team of lawyers experienced both in providing advice and in litigation. Claeys & Engels is the first specialist office offering a full service to both national and international clients on all aspects of human capital. In view of the growing internationalisation of the economy, Claeys & Engels is actively participating in Ius Laboris, a specialist international alliance.
Main Areas of Practice:
Hiring & Recruitment
Compensation & Benefits
Working Hours & Time Off
Mobility & Immigration
Data Protection & Privacy
Health & Safety
Unfair Competition & Intellectual Property
Restructuring & Transfer of Undertaking
Social Inspections & Criminal Law
Termination of Employment
Hiring & Recruitment:
Claeys & Engels drafts employment agreements and advises on and negotiates individual dismissals.
Compensation & Benefits:
Claeys & Engels deals with all aspects of compensation and benefits. This goes from the choice of professional status to the setting up of variable compensation schemes. The firm also advises on the introduction and implementation of innovative reward strategies, including flexible benefit packages or cafeteria plans.
Claeys & Engels advises on all aspects of tax law. The firm’s services include filling tax returns, tax optimisation calculations, compliance, etc. Their lawyers have excellent relationships with the Belgian tax authorities.
Working Hours & Time Off:
Claeys & Engels advises on all technical aspects of work regulation.
Mobility & Immigration:
Claeys & Engels deals with all aspects of cross-border employment and global mobility. The firm’s attorneys draft assignment letters and global mobility policies and practices. The firm also provides immigration assistance and guidance on visa’s, single permits, work permits and residence permits, as well as other administrative formalities (Limosa). Through the Ius Laboris alliance, Claeys & Engels works on cross-border migration projects taking into account all applicable local requirements for expats.
Claeys & Engels’ discrimination team focuses on all forms of prohibited employment discrimination in all terms and conditions of employment. They study trends in emerging issues, types of claims, prevention methods, compliance tools, dispute resolution methods and recent litigation.
Data Protection & Privacy:
Claeys & Engels assists clients in becoming compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation. The firm’s data protection team has developed a webbased tool that allows gathering the necessary information to conduct an audit on compliancy. Based on the input of the Data Mapping Tool, Claeys & Engels can draft a GDPR report with gap analysis and action plan and delivers the necessary documentation for clients and helps them with trainings and enrolling GDPR documentation. Claeys & Engels also advises on cross-border data transfer issues, monitoring of e-mail and internet use, the use of surveillance cameras and tracking systems and on investigations into inappropriate conduct of employees.
Health & Safety:
Claeys & Engels advises on occupational health and safety at work. The firm deals with legal aspects of work accidents, both in prevention to limit risks and in follow-up when accidents do happen.
Employee Representation & Social Elections:
Claeys & Engels advises on all rules governing the employee representative bodies within the company, including on social elections. Claeys & Engels also assists in negotiating and drafting company-level collective bargaining agreements and work rules. Claeys & Engels were pioneers in introducing court cases in the event of strikes and industrial disputes.
Unfair Competition & Intellectual Property:
Claeys & Engels advises on protection against unfair competition of employees, non-solicitation of customers and staff, confidentiality of information
Restructuring & Transfer of Undertaking:
The firm assists clients in preparing, budgeting and carrying out collective lay-offs. Claeys & Engels assists in information and consultation and collective negotiations in relation to company restructurings and transfers of undertakings, mergers and acquisitions, etc.
Claeys & Engels advises clients on their occupational pension plans. Attorneys draft company and industry-wide pension plan rules and other relevant documents in order to implement plan design changes and to comply with new legal and case law developments. Claeys & Engels advises on pension funds including Pan-European pension funds.
Social Inspections & Criminal Law:
Claeys & Engels deals with the criminal aspects of employment law and guides clients in administrative proceedings. The firm also defends companies and their executives before the criminal courts.
Claeys & Engels assists public authorities and regulatory bodies in the management of their staff. Indepth knowledge of the private market employment and labour laws allows the firm to offer an innovative approach in its advice.
Claeys & Engels assists clients with respect to executive contracts and company law issues that can arise in the HR context. The firm deals with the functioning of the general assembly, board of directors, and executive committee, and the appointment and dismissal of directors and managers. Claeys & Engels advises on liability of directors and executives and management equity participation as well as on the impact of corporate governance codes and laws.
Claeys & Engels deals with contracts with selfemployed commercial partners (consultancy, agency, franchising, distribution, services etc.) and lease contracts.
Termination of Employment:
Claeys & Engels developed the calculation tool www. dismissal.be following the new dismissal law, which became effective for dismissals after 1st January 2014. Claeys & Engels pleads dismissal cases in all Belgian labour courts on a daily basis.