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Van Bael & Bellis to open London office

  • 29/06/2020
  • News

Van Bael & Bellis announces today that it will open a London office on 1 September 2020, subject to SRA approval.  Located at 5 Chancery Lane, the office will be led by senior partner David Hull, managing partner Philippe De Baere and partner Alex Stratakis, who will join from Baker McKenzie’s London office.

The focus of the London office will be international trade and customs law, UK and EU competition law, and public international law, key areas of noted strength for the firm.  The firm’s unique market competence in these areas will serve clients well once companies and government entities involved in trade disputes and/or competition cases are required to deal with various UK regulatory authorities and courts, alongside representation in the EU.

The new office will work in conjunction with the firm’s head office in Brussels, which is renowned for its expertise in EU and national competition law, EU trade and customs law, EU regulatory law, and corporate and commercial law. With many experienced practitioners qualified in a number of jurisdictions and several UK qualified solicitors already working in Brussels, the firm is looking to grow its London-based team and strengthen relationships in the City.  

Philippe De Baere comments:

“Companies will increasingly need advice on the implications of the UK exiting the EU and how to mitigate any negative effects on their supply chains. Also, foreign direct investment/national security screening in the UK is set to become more rigorous and complex following recent changes to the Enterprise Act. A similar phenomenon is happening in the EU where new trade instruments are being developed to ensure that EU companies can benefit from a level playing field. With regard to international trade, the UK will require representation as it becomes directly involved as a party in WTO dispute settlement proceedings. Our substantial and unparalleled experience in the field of trade and customs law means we will be ideally placed to provide advice on such matters.”

David Hull comments:

“Until now, in Europe, all large international competition and trade investigations fell within the exclusive competence of the European Commission.  Post-Brexit, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the UK Trade Remedies Investigations Directorate (TRID) are likely to handle issues such as complex merger control assessments, antitrust investigations and trade disputes. 

For competition work, companies will be required to manage both EU and UK regulatory requirements and this will be particularly important for mergers.  Consequently, transferable expertise will be essential and, as one of Brussels’ largest competition teams, we are well positioned to advise international companies on the EU and UK interplay and offer them a one-stop shop.”


About Van Bael & Bellis

·         Van Bael & Bellis is a leading Brussels-based international law firm with an office in Geneva and one soon to open in London. 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 international law firms.

·         With more than 70 lawyers coming from 20 different countries, Van Bael & Bellis offer clients the support of a highly effective team of professionals with multi-jurisdictional expertise and an international perspective.

·         Van Bael & Bellis is well known for its client-centred approach, commitment to excellence and extensive expertise in EU and national competition law, EU and international trade law, EU regulatory law as well as corporate and commercial law.

·         The quality of the firm’s work has been acknowledged and recognised by all major legal directories, including Chambers and Partners, the Legal 500, Best Lawyers, Expert Guides and IFLR1000.

·         Van Bael & Bellis has made a commitment to promote more inclusion in the legal industry by founding the Legal Diversity & Inclusion Alliance (LDIA) with Steptoe & Johnson LLP – an industry-wide initiative that has attracted 46 law firm members.



Antonia Welch, Welch PR

Tel: 07813 917980

Email: [email protected]


Philippe De Baere, Managing partner, Van Bael & Bellis

Tel: +44 (0)20 7406 7523

Email: [email protected]

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