Overview

Catherine Longeval specialises in litigation before the Belgian courts and advises clients on a wide range of issues, including life sciences law. Her expertise in this area covers laws governing medicines, biotech products, medical devices, cosmetics and food supplements, among other aspects.

She also specialises in unfair market practices, distribution law, product liability, employment law and general commercial law.

Catherine began her professional career in October 1989. Prior to joining Van Bael & Bellis in 1994, she worked as an associate with a leading Brussels law firm. 

She regularly lectures and writes on life sciences regulatory matters and procedural law matters. She often speaks at conferences.

Languages

Dutch, English, French

Recommendations

  • Chambers Global and Chambers Europe for Dispute Resolution
  • Chambers Europe – ‘Leaders In Their Field’ (Dispute Resolution) 
  • Expert Guides – Guide to the World’s Leading Litigation Lawyers
  • PLC for EU Life Sciences – Regulatory
  • PLC for EU Life Sciences – Competition/Anti-trust
  • PLC for Dispute Resolution 
  • PLC for Belgium Life Sciences – Regulatory
  • Legal 500 for Employment law
  • Legal 500 for Dispute Resolution
  • European Legal Experts for Litigation
  • Who’s Who Legal for Life Sciences
  • LMG Life Sciences (Europe) – Life Sciences Star
  • Best Lawyers – Litigation  

Education

  • University of Brussels (ULB), Master of Laws, 1989 
  • University of Leuven, Master of Laws, 1987

Publications

Contributor to Van Bael & Bellis' Business Law Guide to Belgium (Kluwer Law International/Bruylant, 2003).

Co-author of PLC's Life Sciences Handbook, Chambers' Pharmaceutical Advertising Guide, and dispute resolution section of Chambers' Litigation guide. 

Professional Memberships

Member of CEPINA (Belgian Centre for Mediation and Arbitration)
Member of the Brussels Pharma Law Group
Member of the European Employment Lawyers Association
Member of the International Bar Association

Bar Admission

Brussels

Notable assignments

  • Representing a global pharmaceutical company in the context of “extreme urgency” suspension proceedings before the Council of State, aimed at the suspension and annulment of a tender decision of the Office de la Naissance et de l’Enfance (ONE) granted in favour of a competitor of our client.

  • Representing a global logistics company in proceedings initiated by an international organisation and the Belgian State following our client’s attachment of assets in a case which raises complex issues under international and procedural law.

Publications and insights

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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

    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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    • 31/03/2020
    • Articles

    Pharmaceuticals Remain Focus for Belgian Competition Authority in 2020

    The Belgian Competition Authority (“BCA”) has just published its annual policy note which sets out its enforcement priorities for the year (see, attachments). The pharmaceutical sector is once more one of the BCA’s principal targets for action and, as the BCA indicates, this is not different from an approach followed by other competition authorities around Europe. The BCA is known to be pursuing cases in the sector actively (see e.g., Van Bael & Bellis Life Sciences News alert of 8 October 2019). It also adopted several infringement decisions against a pharmacists’ association in 2019 (see e.g., Van Bael & Bellis Life Sciences News alerts of 5 June 2019, 24 June 2019 and 17 October 2019). Additionally, its chief prosecutor in competition matters had occasion to explain the BCA’s handling of the sector during a hearing of the federal Chamber of Representatives in October 2019 (https://www.dekamer.be/FLWB/PDF/55/0758/55K0758001.pdf). Apart from the pharmaceutical sector and in line with previous years, the BCA will target distribution, logistics, service providers and telecommunications and will continue to monitor procurement matters. Finally, it will also tackle the digital economy.

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