Corporate, Commercial & Regulatory

Impressive depth of specialised experience

Van Bael & Bellis advises multinational clients on corporate, commercial and regulatory issues in the EU and Belgium.

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  • "The lawyers are excellent; very responsive and to the point."

    Chambers Europe

Latest news

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    • 22/04/2022
    • News

    Van Bael & Bellis: top-tier rankings once again in Legal 500 2022

    With six practice areas in tiers 1 and 2, Van Bael & Bellis demonstrates once again the constantly highly-rated services it offers to its clients worldwide, in the Legal 500 2022 rankings recently published online. Whilst individual lawyers receive notable accolades, a particular strength of Van Bael & Bellis is its ability to forge bonds amongst lawyers who work well together, forming – for EU Competition – ‘[a] collaborative and responsive team, who grasp facts quickly and have excellent attention to detail’. Such compliments are repeated throughout the firm’s rankings in relation to the teams of each practice area. Customs, Trade and Anti-dumping (Tier 1): ‘Van Bael & Bellis’ sizeable team enjoys a formidable market reputation on account of its prolific trade defence and WTO dispute settlement practice.’ One client’s praise: ‘High level connections, strong push to deliver, very professional.’ Healthcare and Life Sciences (Tier 1): ‘The market-leading life sciences practice at Van Bael & Bellis fields a strong and sizeable team able to advise on a host of contentious and non-contentious mandates across the sector. The team is highly regarded by public and private sector clients, ranging from multinational pharmaceutical giants to pan-European associations and sovereign states.’ Competition: EU and Global (Tier 2): ‘Top expertise on competition law and excellent understanding of client’s business needs makes a perfect match here. Pragmatic, solution oriented advice. Agreed timetables are always met.’ Competition: Belgian (Tier 2): ‘The team assisting us is composed of 2 lawyers, a senior partner and an associate level lawyer. Both make a perfect tandem and provide the right answers to our requests.’ Dispute Resolution (Tier 2): Acting for many of the firm’s high-profile clients, practice head Catherine Longeval ‘maintains an active dispute resolution practice that encompasses corporate litigation, distributorship disputes, damages litigation, and other public tender matters for a client base that includes a strong roster of blue-chip multinationals and pharmaceutical companies.’ WTO: Switzerland (Tier 2): Clients ‘highly recommend’ the unit ‘for the professionalism and expertise in the fields of international trade, dispute settlement, and WTO rules’. Commercial, Corporate and M&A (Tier 3): Van Bael & Bellis continues to develop its profile within the transactional space with the team regularly advising on Belgian aspects of complex deals. Practice head Michel Bonne has a strong record across domestic and cross-border transactions in a variety of sectors and is praised for being a ‘very business oriented lawyer that is able to provide the necessary strategic advice to get a deal done’. EU Regulatory: Privacy and Data Protection (Tier 3): ‘Van Bael & Bellis advises clients on compliance policies and broad data protection issues, as well as handling more complex issues relating to international data transfers and procedures before regulatory authorities.’ Intellectual Property (Tier 3): ‘Van Bael & Bellis’ IP department handles litigation, trademark applications, licensing agreements, and patent issues, most notably for clients in the pharmaceutical and life sciences arena.’ Employment (Tier 4): ‘Van Bael & Bellis handles a diverse range of employment law mandates, such as large-scale collective redundancies and mass contract terminations for retail and manufacturing clients’, with experienced litigator Catherine Longeval at the helm. The lawyers recognized by Legal 500 across these ten practice areas are: Michel Bonne, Jean-François Bellis, Sara Beutels, Michael Clancy, Gabriele Coppo, Philippe De Baere, Fabrizio Di Gianni, Thibaut D’hulst, Clotilde du Parc, Porter Elliott, Catherine Gordley, Andrzej Kmiecik, Catherine Longeval, Richard Luff, Hannelore Matthys, Peter L’Ecluse, Andreas Reindl, Benoît Servais, Koen T’Syen, Johan Van Acker, Isabelle Van Damme and Kris Van Hove. Five lawyers are listed as ‘Leading individuals’: Jean-François Bellis, Andrzej Kmiecik and Porter Elliott for Competition – EU and global; Richard Luff for Customs, trade, WTO and anti-dumping and Catherine Longeval for Dispute Resolution. Five lawyers are listed in the ‘Hall of Fame’: Jean-François Bellis, Philippe De Baere and Fabrizio Di Gianni for Customs, trade, WTO and anti-dumping and Peter L’Ecluse and Catherine Longeval for Healthcare and life sciences. Four lawyers are listed as ‘Next generation partners’: Clotilde du Parc (WTO); Michael Clancy (Healthcare and life sciences); Johan Van Acker (Competition – EU and global); and Andreas Reindl (Competition – EU and global). The full rankings can be accessed here.

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Recommendations

  • The quality of the advice is great - we have been asking some complex questions and they have given clear and to-the-point advice and have been very proactive in providing alternative solutions.

    Chambers Europe
  • Van Bael & Bellis has ‘impressive knowledge of dispute resolution, including mediation’. The firm is notable for its strong regulatory and administrative law contentious practice as well as its impressive life sciences sector presence.

    Legal 500
  • They patiently try to understand the mentality of people in different cultures and pay full respect to that. This attitude is rare in a highly expert world. We are fully satisfied with their practice and the results therefrom.

    IFLR1000
  • They are very responsive, and experienced in pharma and compliance-related matters. They always indicate the timelines of the work they do and keep the client informed on the status of the work.

    Chambers Europe

Team focus

Van Bael & Bellis is well known for its client-centred approach, commitment to excellence, exceptional client service and personalised attention.

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Recent publications

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    • 16/05/2022
    • Articles

    Belgium - In Enforcement Priority Note for 2022, Pharmaceutical Industry is Again Target of Belgian Competition Authority

    The Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) has just published its enforcement priority note for 2022 (see, attachments). In keeping with its list of priorities in previous years and in tandem with the approach taken by fellow competition authorities, including the Dutch "Autoriteit Consument & Markt", the BCA will continue to have the pharmaceutical industry in the crosshairs and makes it clear that its vigilance and efforts apply to the entire value chain. As if to remind stakeholders that it means business, the BCA refers to recent enforcement action against pharmaceutical wholesalers (see, Van Bael & Bellis Life Sciences News and Insights of 18 February 2022). While this “hybrid” settlement case resulted in a fine of EUR 29.8 million for pharmaceutical wholesaler Pharma Belgium-Belmedis, the BCA continues to pursue proceedings against another wholesaler, CERP, which refused to settle. The BCA is also understood to handle cases involving excessive pricing and access to the hospital market. Of broader interest than the pharmaceutical industry is the BCA’s announcement that its budget will benefit from an increase of EUR 1.4 million (20%). The additional funds are earmarked for staff expansion, IT, knowledge management, and enforcement tools such as e-discovery and whistle blowers.

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    • 11/05/2022
    • Newsletters

    VBB on Belgian Business Law, Volume 2022, No. 04

    The April 2022 issue of our Belgian Business Law newsletter reporting on the latest developments in a range of areas, including competition, data protection, intellectual property and labour law.

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    • 04/05/2022
    • Articles

    European Commission Launches European Health Data Space

    On 3 May 2022, the European Commission (the Commission) launched the European Health Data Space (EHDS), the European Union’s first sector-specific set of rules pursuant to its 2020 European data strategy. The EHDS, as expressed in the proposed Regulation on the European Health Data Space (COM(2022) 197 final) and in an associated Commission Communication (COM(2022) 196 final), has two principal components: • primary use of electronic health data, i.e., rules to improve access to and control by natural persons over their personal electronic health data in healthcare; and • secondary use of electronic health data, i.e., rules to broaden the use of health data for the benefit of society at large in areas as diverse as research, innovation, policy-making, patient safety, personalised medicine, statistics and regulatory activities. Under the primary use of electronic health data individuals will have easy and free of charge access to their own health data for purposes of data management and sharing the data with healthcare professionals (HCP) in and across Member States in the language of the HCP. Files such as ePrescriptions, images, and laboratory results will be created and accepted in a common European format and will be stored and transferred in a safe environment. The rights of the individuals will be guaranteed by a new digital health authority in each Member State and each such authority will participate in [email protected], a central platform for digital health that will support and facilitate the exchange of electronic health data between Member State contact points for digital health. The secondary use of electronic health data will boost the access to and utilisation of health data for research and other purposes of benefit to society. Access will be subject to a permit to be delivered by a newly created health data access body which will ensure that the data is used only for defined purposes in a close and secure environment. The identity of individuals will not be revealed, and specific types of data usage will be prohibited. Examples include taking decisions to exclude individuals or groups of natural persons from insurance coverage and engaging in advertising activities that target HCPs, health organisations or individuals. The health data access bodies will be connected to [email protected], a new European facility that creates a link between national contact points and the central platform specifically for the secondary use of electronic health data. The principal documents that embody the EHDS are attached and include the proposed Regulation, the Commission Communication, a Commission press release and a set of questions and answers.

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