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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    • 12/03/2019
    • Articles

    Belgium – New legislation in the making on cannabis for medical use

    In light of the growing international scientific consensus on the positive medicinal effects of cannabis, Belgian lawmakers have tabled proposed legislation which, if adopted, would make the use of cannabis for medical purposes legal. A Cannabis Office will be created within the Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products which will be in charge of the legal production of medical cannabis, establishing a monopoly for the Belgian State on the cultivation, trade, import and export of that product. Other EU member states already have followed a similar legislative route (e.g. the Netherlands). Following the establishment of the Cannabis Office, a call for tenders will be issued for the cultivation of a certain amount of cannabis. Licences will be granted to the successful applicants to cultivate cannabis in specified locations. The Cannabis Office will purchase the harvest and export and/or distribute it. The manufacturing process will be subject to stringent standards. For example, the cannabis will need to have a stable concentration of the active substance as well as a stable ratio of the main active ingredients, i.e. cannabidiol (CBD) and the main psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The move comes more than three years after the first cannabis-based medicine (Sativex spray) became authorized and reimbursable in Belgium for certain multiple sclerosis (“MS”) patients. If physicians want to prescribe medicinal cannabis to their patients for pain relief, or the treatment of nausea and reduced appetite during chemotherapy, further regulatory changes will be required.

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    • 08/03/2019
    • Articles

    Belgium - Bill Tackles Medicine Shortages

    A number of members of parliament introduced last week a private members’ bill that has the twin objectives of tackling medicine shortages and combating the trade in falsified medicines (bill 54 3599/001 – the “Bill” – see attached). Medicine Shortages The Bill will modify the Law of 25 March 1964 to (i) allow the concept of “temporary cessation of supply of medicines” to be determined by Royal Decree; (ii) allow the Minister to make recommendations of suitable therapeutical alternatives in case of temporary shortages of specific medicines; (iii) preclude wholesalers (“WS”) with a public-service WS status from supplying ordinary WS; and (iv) impose particular shortage-related obligations on parallel traders which previously only applied to the marketing authorisation holders. The proposed ban on public-service WS to supply ordinary WS (and therefore limit their supplies to, broadly, other public-service WS, pharmacists and hospitals) is designed to ensure the steady supply of medicines to the local market and, conversely, cut down on exports that threaten public health. Under specific conditions, the ban will not apply to medicines earmarked for clinical trials. Falsified Medicines The Bill establishes criminal sanctions for specific violations of Regulation 2016/161 which lays down safety features for the packaging of medicines for human use. The current caretaker government no longer commands a majority in the federal Chamber of Representatives. However, the Bill may be assured of an ad hoc majority in that it has already been given a time slot in the session of the committee for public health scheduled on 12 March 2019.

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    • 04/03/2019
    • Articles

    Belgian Competition Authority Will Again Focus on Pharmaceuticals in 2019

    On 1 March 2019, the Belgian Competition Authority published its yearly policy note setting out its enforcement priorities for the year (see attachments). As was the case in previous years, the pharmaceutical sector is one of the BCA’s main targets for action. Once more, the BCA indicates that it deliberately emulates the approach of other national competition authorities in focusing on “all links of the value chain, including prices charged by pharmaceutical firms, competition between distributors with public-service obligations, the competitive dynamics and innovation at the pharmacy level”. Given the pending inquiries in the sector, this announcement again does not come as a surprise. It also reflects the general competition scrutiny of the sector in Europe, as was evidenced by the publication in January 2019 of the Competition Pharmaceutical Enforcement Report by the European Commission (see, Van Bael & Bellis Life Sciences Newsflash of 28 January 2019). In other news relevant to the sector, the BCA also confirms its continued attention to public procurement. Apart from the pharmaceutical sector, the BCA will target telecommunications, distribution, service providers and logistics. All in all, this year’s enforcement priorities closely resemble those applying in 2018.

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