Overview

Koen T'Syen specialises in commercial litigation and competition law.

Koen has successfully represented clients before civil and administrative courts as well as in alternative dispute resolution procedures such as mediation. He also advises clients on a wide range of commercial matters including contract law, distribution law and unfair market practices. 

Koen has extensive experience in and knowledge of the life sciences and energy sectors, both at the Belgian and EU levels.

In the field of competition law, Koen focuses on abuses of dominance and cartels. 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 writes articles on Belgian business law and competition law issues. 

Languages

Dutch, English, French

Recommendations

  • Legal 500 Competition Law (Belgium)

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

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).

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

“Off-label use of medicinal products and product liability”, co-author with Peter L’Ecluse and Catherine Longeval, Life Sciences Cross-border Handbook (edition 2013), Practical Law Company.

“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 (edition 2012), Practical Law Company.

“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.

“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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    • 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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