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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    • 30/03/2020
    • News

    Gabriele Coppo speaks at the ERA Annual Conference on EU Environmental Law

    On 19-20 March 2020, Van Bael & Bellis partner Gabriele Coppo participated as a speaker in the online livestream Annual Conference on EU Environmental Law organised by ERA. Gabriele's presentation focused on linkages between EU trade law and environmental policy. Gabriele also spoke on a panel discussing Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) in the wake of CJEU Opinion 1/17 and the Achmea Case (C-284/16). Other speakers included, inter alia, Valerie Fogleman, Professor of Law at Cardiff University School of Law and Politics, Franck Lecomte, Legal Secretary to Judge Toader, CJEU, Milena Novakova, Legal and Policy Officer, DG Environment, European Commission, Colin T. Reid, Professor of Law at the University of Dundee, Christoph Sobatta, Legal Secretary to AG Kokott, CJEU.

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    • 27/03/2020
    • News

    Is The Covid-19 Pandemic A Force Majeure Event Under Belgian Law? Frequently Asked Questions

    Covid-19, also known as the coronavirus, continues to spread across the globe, including in Belgium.  The Belgian authorities have imposed a lock down on all private individuals and enterprises as from 18 March 2020 until 4 April 2020 (the Lock Down Period), but this Lock Down Period will in all likelihood be extended.

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    • 24/03/2020
    • News

    Covid-19 | Some initial corporate and finance considerations

    Over the last few weeks, virtually all M&A transactions have come to a halt. In some instances, the parties opted to await the impact of the crisis. In other instances, the financing banks withdrew from the deal, or were only willing to finance at significantly more onerous conditions. It is beyond doubt that M&A activity will be down significantly during the coming few months. However, it is also the expectation that the current crisis will create a host of possibilities as from the second half of the year, if not earlier. Whatever the outcome, the M&A market will likely be very different at the other end of this crisis, be it in terms of acquisition structures, multiples (how to calculate, for instance, normalised working capital or EBITDAs in the current circumstances), financing terms and leveraging, and transaction dynamics in general. With decades of expertise in strategic negotiations for companies in difficulties and in judicial reorganisations, our corporate M&A team will be happy to assist you in identifying solutions. In attachment, we provide an overview of legal and strategic concerns that may be useful from a corporate and finance perspective.

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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

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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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    • 06/04/2020
    • Articles

    Unemployment due to force majeure | Practical questions

    The Government recently decided that all employers facing economic difficulties due to the Covid-19 crisis may rely on the regime of temporary unemployment due to force majeure for their employees (See, our previous newsflashes of 10 March and 19 March 2020. In addition, the regime has been simplified so that the employer only needs to submit an electronic declaration to the authorities and the employees subsequently must fill out their personal details via an online form in order to receive payment of the unemployment benefits.

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    • 06/04/2020
    • Articles

    Belgian DPA Publishes Direct Marketing Recommendation

    In its first general recommendation of 2020, the Belgian Data Protection Authority published useful guidance for direct marketing activities. Direct marketing is marked as a “priority sector” in the recently presented strategic plan of the Data Protection Authority. In this context, the recent recommendation provides welcome clarifications for the challenging task of aligning direct marketing with the protection of personal data. The recommendation discusses the roles of the various players in the direct marketing field, defines key concepts and provides an overview of how the GDPR’s data protection principles can be applied to direct marketing. The Data Protection Authority illustrates its recommendation with practical examples and recent decisions by supervisory authorities in various EU Member States.

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    • 06/04/2020
    • Articles

    Dutch Competition Authority Accepts Roche Commitments Regarding Supply of Testing Materials for SARS-CoV-2 Test

    Autoriteit Consument en Markt, the Dutch competition authority (“ACM”), published on 3 April 2020 a press release expressing satisfaction with commitments made by Roche Diagnostics (“Roche”) regarding the supply of testing materials for the SARS-CoV-2 test (see, attachments). Roche, which ACM says has a “key position” for testing equipment and materials in The Netherlands, had been accused of withholding such materials, including lysis buffer solution, a reagent used to break open cells. On 26 March 2020, the Dutch second Parliamentary Chamber even voted a resolution which observed a shortage of that solution, attributed blame for the alleged shortage to Roche, and called on the government to compel Roche to share the recipe, if necessary by relying on a compulsory patent licence. Roche rejected the allegations and pointed out that it had not even claimed patent protection for the recipe. According to Roche, which pointed out that it developed the first SARS-CoV-2 test in record time, the issue had arisen because Roche could not guarantee the safety and reliability of test results if the reagents were produced in facilities not under its control. For its part, ACM made it clear that Roche had exhibited a “constructive attitude” by sharing the recipe for lysis buffer solution and helping in expanding production. This is why ACM did not consider further action necessary. In passing, ACM pointed out that it had worked closely with the European Commission as many Member States are grappling with similar problems.

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