Corporate, Commercial & Regulatory

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

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    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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    • 07/04/2020
    • Articles

    COVID-19 | European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) urgently asks Member States to adopt harmonised approach for protection of personal data

    On 6 April 2020, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), the European regulator overseeing data protection compliance at the EU institutions, urgently asked Member States to adopt a harmonised approach for the protection of personal data when tackling the COVID-19 crisis. The EDPS also called for a pan-European model “COVID-19 mobile application”. The EDPS emphasises that EU data protection rules, including the General Data Protection Regulation, do not stand in the way of any necessary action to face the challenges posed by Covid-19. Instead, the EDPS maintains that these rules provide the framework for tackling the problems while mitigating any risks of eroding the fundamental rights of individuals. According to the EDPS, Member States should not turn to national tools only: “[i]f we are so connected with each other, we will not be able to solve it with national tools only. The more European will our answer be the better results we will gain”. The EDPS confirms that, given the urgency and nature of the crisis, exceptional measures can be justified, but these should observe safeguards designed to prevent a lasting impact on fundamental rights and freedoms. As a result, exceptional measures should (i) be temporary; (ii) be limited to the specific purpose of fighting the COVID-19 crisis; (iii) restrict access to the data; and (iv) contain rules governing the fate of the data after the crisis. Various Member States have relied on mobile applications or telecommunications data to combat the spreading of the virus with varying degrees of impact on the protection of the individual’s fundamental rights. An example in point is whether the telecommunications and location data used are truly anonymous. The EDPS notes that the use of “temporary broadcast identifiers and Bluetooth technology” is a useful means for contact tracing while respecting privacy. According to the EDPS, a pan-European model “COVID-19 mobile application” would ensure data protection by design from the start. The EDPS’ statement can be found here. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions on this matter.

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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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