Managing Partner: Jean-François Bellis
Co-Managing Partner: Philippe De Baere
Number of partners: 20
Number of lawyers: 70
Languages: English, Bulgarian, Chinese, Dutch, Farsi, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, Ukrainian
Van Bael & Bellis is a leading independent law firm based in Brussels, with a second office in Geneva exclusively dedicated to WTO matters. Established in 1986, the firm houses a multinational team of lawyers who regularly advise a diverse group of clients ranging from multinational corporations and government bodies to international trade associations and global law firms. The firm is well known for its client-centred approach, commitment to excellence and extensive expertise in EU and national competition law, EU trade and customs law, EU regulatory law as well as Belgian business law. With nearly 70 lawyers coming from 20 different countries, Van Bael & Bellis offers clients the support of a highly effective team of professionals with multi-jurisdictional expertise and an international perspective.
Main Areas of Practice:
The firm is widely recognised as one of the leading competition law practices in Europe, with one of the largest practices in Brussels. The team has extensive expertise in all aspects of competition law, including merger control, cartel investigations, the establishment and operation of distribution systems, the licensing and use of intellectual property rights, abuses of dominant market positions and state aid. Due to the size and depth of the team – 12 partners and nine counsel, many with more than 20 years’ experience – it has unparalleled expertise in litigating complex competition issues before the EU Courts, representing international clients in many landmark cases. The firm also develops and implements compliance programmes for clients, assists clients in EU Member States proceedings and is the author of one of the leading reference sources for companies, law firms and universities –‘Competition Law of the European Community’.
Trade, Customs & WTO:
The firm has the largest team of specialised trade lawyers in Brussels handling EU and WTO trade law. The firm has represented clients in more than 450 EU anti-dumping cases and is the author of the leading treatise on EU trade law –‘EU Anti-Dumping and other Trade Defence Instruments’. It also has a robust practice assisting both EU and non-EU exporters involved in trade remedy cases initiated by non-EU countries. With regard to customs law, the firm has developed a highly specialised practice in representing major multinationals in customs cases taken before the European Courts, the Commission and the WCO, as well as appearances in various national courts. Van Bael & Bellis is one of the leading firms worldwide in the area of WTO dispute settlement. The firm also advises governments on the WTO-consistency of their national trade legislation and during accession negotiations.
The firm has developed a strong practice in EU regulatory law, specialising in environmental law, chemicals (REACH), life sciences, data protection law, consumer protection issues, product safety, standards and CE marking as well as energy law. The firm’s expertise includes handling matters before the EU courts and assisting clients with the implementation of the relevant EU laws in all Member States. The firm also monitors and reports on the latest EU legislative and policy developments and works with clients to implement practical strategies and compliance programmes tailored to their needs.
Corporate & Commercial:
The firm’s corporate and commercial law practice is recognised as one of the leading independent business law practices in the country. It advises listed and non-listed multinational corporations, as well as trade associations and large and mediumsized companies on all aspects of doing business in Belgium. The firm’s expert team is able to consult on a wide range of relevant topics, regularly handling litigation, regulatory and transactional work. With regard to the latter, the firm is gaining recognition for its significant involvement in some of the largest transactions in the market. Practice areas include corporate, M&A and finance, commercial law, dispute resolution, intellectual property, employment law and unfair market practices.