Overview

Koen T'Syen specialises in commercial and competition law as well as in Belgian and EU life sciences regulatory matters (medicines and medical devices).

He advises clients on a wide range of commercial matters including contract law, distribution law, public procurement law and unfair market practices. Further, he assists clients in competition law matters including cartel damages claims and merger control.

Koen’s expertise is often put to use in the life sciences sector, of which he has a thorough knowledge. He has substantial experience in advising life sciences clients on commercial and regulatory matters including, for instance, advertising and promotion issues, clinical trials, marketing authorisations and pricing and reimbursement issues.

Koen represents clients before Belgian civil and administrative courts and has also represented clients before the Court of Justice of the European Union. Koen was appointed as the National Reporter for Belgium at the 2016 Congress of the International League of Competition Law (LIDC) in Geneva in view of his expertise in life sciences and competition law.

He regularly speaks and writes on matters falling within his area of expertise.

Languages 

Dutch, English, French

Recommendations

  • Expert Guides – Rising Star in the field of Life Sciences
  • Legal 500 for Competition Law (Belgium)
  • Legal 500 for Healthcare and Life Sciences

Education

  • College of Europe, Bruges, LL.M. in European Legal Studies, 2007
  • University of Leuven, Master of Laws, 2006
  • University of Namur, Bachelor of Law, 2003

Publications

Chambers & Partners Life Sciences Guide - EU Chapter, co-author with Peter L’Ecluse Catherine Longeval and Thibaut D’hulst, Chambers and Partners, 2019.
 
“Taxis, Limousines and Information Society Services – Court of Justice of European Union Confirms Uber’s Status as a Transport Services Company”, co-author with Charlotte Woolfson, IHT 2019, issue 2, pp. 263-269.
 
Chambers & Partners Life Sciences Guide - EU Chapter, co-author with Peter L’Ecluse Catherine Longeval and Melody Moodley, Chambers and Partners, 2018.
 

Belgium chapter on antitrust in pharmaceutical markets in P. KOBEL ET AL. (eds.), Antitrust in Pharmaceutical Markets & Geographical Rules of Origin, LIDC Contributions on Antitrust Law, Intellectual Property and Unfair Competition, Springer, 2017.

Pharma.be’s Commented Codex Pharma – Public Health in Belgium, Knops Publishing, 2013.
“Off-label use of medicinal products and product liability”, co-author with Peter L’Ecluse and Catherine Longeval, Life Sciences Cross-border Handbook, Practical Law Company, 2013.

“Patent settlement agreements: the state of play in the EU and the US”, co-author with Peter L’Ecluse, Catherine Longeval and Steven Corcoran, Life Sciences Cross-border Handbook, Practical Law Company, 2012.

“De bescherming van zakengeheimen in het Belgisch en Europees mededingingsrecht: Wat geheim is blijft geheim…of toch niet?”, co-author with Peter L’Ecluse, Cah. Jur. 2011, issue 1, pp. 20-30.

Contributor to Van Bael & Bellis, Competition Law of the European Community (fifth edition, Kluwer, 2010), the standard work of reference in the field of EU competition law.

“Market Power in Bidding Markets: An Economic Overview”, World Competition 31(1):37-62, 2008 (this publication is a slightly amended version of Koen’s thesis at the College of Europe, Bruges, Belgium, for which Koen was awarded the Rafael Sanz Rodriguez Memorial Prize for best thesis in the College of Europe’s law department).

Professional Memberships

Member of the Association for the Study of Competition Law (Vereniging voor de Studie van het Mededingingsrecht/Association pour l'Etude du Droit de la Concurrence)

Member of TOPRA (The Organisation for Professionals in Regulatory Affairs)

Member of AIJA (International Association of Young Lawyers)

Bar Admission

Brussels

Notable assignments

  • Assisting and representing a global provider of integrated supply chain solutions to, amongst others, clients in the defence industry, in litigation against an international organisation with a view to recovering a claim of more than $ 200 million.

  • Assisting and representing a joint venture of two global engineering and construction companies in litigation against a subcontractor in a dispute relating to a large construction project.

Publications and insights

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    • 13/11/2019
    • News

    Koen T'Syen named “Rising Star: Belgium” at inaugural Euromoney LMG Europe Rising Stars Awards

    Van Bael & Bellis counsel Koen T’Syen was recently named as Rising Star for Belgium at Euromoney LMG’s inaugural Europe Rising Stars Awards. The awards celebrate the best lawyers in Europe who are under the age of 40. They were announced in London on 7 November 2019. Koen T’Syen has broad experience in commercial and competition law matters. He is also particularly knowledgeable in life sciences regulatory affairs. Further information on the awards can be found here.

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    • 05/11/2019
    • Articles

    Dutch Competition Authority Will Clarify Guidelines on Joint Purchasing of Medicines

    The Dutch competition authority announced yesterday that it would clarify its 2016 guidelines on the joint purchasing of medicines (“Leidraad gezamenlijke aankoop geneesmiddelen voor de medisch-specialistische zorg” - https://www.acm.nl/sites/default/files/old_publication/publicaties/15959_leidraad-gezamenlijke-inkoop-geneesmiddelen-voor-medisch-specialistische-zorg-2016-06-22.pdf – the “Guidelines”). It did so in response to an assessment of the Guidelines carried out by “Strategies in Regulated Markets”, a consultancy (the “Assessment” – see attached). The Guidelines were designed to encourage the joint purchasing of medicines by a range of hospitals, a group of insurers or a combination of hospitals and insurers. They are supposed to offer a safe haven for specific forms of cooperation on the buying side of medicines. According to the Assessment, the Guidelines have increased the dynamics of oligopolistic medicine markets but have also added a layer of complexity to cooperation. As a result, the net effect of the Guidelines on competition in such markets is limited. By contrast, the Guidelines have had a larger impact, including price reductions, on monopolistic medicines. Conversely, the Guidelines had no stimulating effect on the market for medicines in full competition, because these markets work well and joint purchasing of such medicines has existed for decades. On this basis, the Assessment advocates for a broader safe haven which will bolster competition in the markets where the mechanics of competition are still imperfect. For example, the Assessment recommends the possibility for buyers to exchange more information regarding medicines. Additionally, the Assessment identifies non-competition related obstacles to the efficient buying of medicines. These include the fact that there is still no consensus on the switching of patients between therapeutically equivalent medicines. Similarly, buyers do not have reliable information on the relevant costs of the medicines which they procure.

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    • 04/11/2019
    • Articles

    Medicine Shortages - The Netherlands To Create "Iron Stock" Of Medicines

    The latest European country to announce measures to tackle medicine shortages is The Netherlands. Minister of Medical Care Bruno Bruins announced this morning the creation of what he referred to as an “iron stock” (“ijzeren voorraad”) of medicines that would cover five months of supplies (see, attached press release). The stock would include all medicines available on the Dutch market and would be built up gradually from 2020 onwards. It is expected to reach completion in 2022. The system will require a range of agreements among suppliers, wholesalers, pharmacists and payers on both operational and funding issues. Some of these arrangements will give rise to competition law scrutiny. For example, the Minister anticipates the parties “better to predict the demand for medicines in order to match supply and demand optimally”. The new rules will be laid down in a policy measure that will be overseen by the Inspection for Medical Care and Youth (“Inspectie Gezondheidszorg en Jeugd”). The Minister estimates the cost of the iron stock to amount to approximatively EUR 25 million. The press release does not indicate whether this is a one-off or a recurring expense. Finally, Minister Bruins once more advocates for a European approach to some of the medicine shortage problems. Echoing a proposal made by the French government (see, Van Bael & Bellis Life Sciences Newsflash of 9 July 2019), he suggests that the production of specific “crucial medicines” and pharmaceutical ingredients should return to Europe.

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