News & Insights

  • 22/01/2021
  • News

Van Bael & Bellis wins place on UK Government’s Trade Law Panel

Van Bael & Bellis, the Brussels-based international law firm with offices in Brussels, London and Geneva, has been appointed to the UK’s newly established panel of advisers to assist the Government in trade and investment disputes. Following a competitive tender process, Van Bael & Bellis was selected to provide legal advice on international trade disputes (WTO and free trade agreements), trade remedies as well as international investment law and investment disputes. Van Bael & Bellis’ team comprises highly regarded lawyers in Brussels, Geneva and London. The firm has extensive experience representing States before international courts and tribunals and has particular expertise advising on international trade and investment law disputes. The firm has represented governments in numerous WTO and FTA dispute settlement proceedings. The team is well known globally for its international trade expertise and is top ranked by all major legal directories. Chambers Global says: “Respected firm headquartered in Brussels known for its outstanding work in all aspects of Europe-wide international trade and WTO. Especially renowned for WTO and trade remedy matters, representing several government ministries in anti-dumping, countervailing and other significant disputes with the EU.” The Legal 500 comments that the practice “has an excellent reputation for its strength in WTO disputes.” This appointment also coincides with the opening of Van Bael & Bellis’ new London office and the expansion of its UK team with a partner specialising in international investment law and disputes. Commenting on the appointment to the Panel, Managing Partner, Philippe De Baere said: “Van Bael & Bellis is delighted to be included in the Panel and looks forward to playing a key role in assisting the UK government in international trade and investment disputes, as the United Kingdom enters a new era of trade and investment opportunities.”

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    • 26/01/2021
    • Articles

    EDPB adopts Guidelines on examples regarding data breach notification

    On 18 January 2020, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) published new guidance on how to handle data breaches in the form of “Examples regarding Data Breach Notification” (Guidelines 01/2021 on Examples regarding Data Breach Notification – the Guidelines). The Guidelines discuss 18 examples of data breaches, explaining in each case whether the breach must be notified to supervisory authorities and/or to the data subjects concerned. In addition, the Guidelines contain useful recommendations on preventive measures and solutions to mitigate the impact of data breaches. The Guidelines follow earlier general guidance on the topic from the Article 29 Working Party (WP29). The Guidelines complement the WP29 guidance and provide more practical advice based on the common experiences of the national supervisory authorities of the EEA countries since the GDPR entered into force. Please click below to read our note on the new guidelines published by the EDPB.

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    • 21/01/2021
    • Articles

    Public Procurement – Court of Justice of European Union Clarifies Application of Optional Exclusion Grounds and Right to “Self-cleaning”

    On 14 January 2021, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) held that tenderers who find themselves in one of the optional grounds for exclusion referred to in Article 57(4) of Directive 2014/24/EU of 26 February 2014 on public procurement (the Directive) are only obliged to spontaneously demonstrate that the corrective measures which they have taken are sufficient to demonstrate their reliability despite the existence of a relevant exclusion ground, if this is required by national law or set out in the tender documents. Furthermore, the CJEU held that Article 57(6) of the Directive has direct effect (CJEU, judgment of 14 January 2021, Case C‑387/19, RTS Infra and Aannemingsbedrijf Norré-Behaegel).

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    • 20/01/2021
    • News

    Review of EU anti-dumping and/or anti-subsidy measures following the withdrawal of the UK from the EU

    On 1 January 2021, the transition period specified in Article 126 of the “Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community” (“Withdrawal Agreement”) ended. As from the same date, the relationship between the European Union (“EU”) and the United Kingdom (“UK”) is governed by the “Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community, of the one part, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, of the other part” (“TCA”), which was concluded on 24 December 2020. On 18 January 2021, the European Union published a “Notice regarding the application of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures in force in the European Union following the withdrawal of the United Kingdom and the possibility of a review” (“Notice”) which affirms the possibility of requesting a review of the existing EU anti-dumping and/or anti-subsidy measures on the grounds of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (“Brexit”). This client alert briefly analyses the conditions that must be met in order to obtain the initiation of such a review. Please click on the link below to read our client alert on the topic.

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    • 19/01/2021
    • Newsletters

    VBB on Belgian Business Law, Volume 2020, No. 12

    The December 2020 issue of our Belgian Business Law newsletter reporting on the latest developments in a range of areas, including competition, data protection, intellectual property and labour law.

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    • 18/01/2021
    • Articles

    Belgium – Publication of Law on Medical Devices

    The Belgian Official Journal publishes today (i.e., 18 January 2021) the Law of 22 December 2020 on medical devices (Wet van 22 december 2020 betreffende medische hulpmiddelen / Loi du 22 décembre 2020 relative aux dispositifs médicaux – the Law). The Law implements in Belgium (i) Regulation (EU) 2017/745 of 5 April 2017 on medical devices (the MDR); and (ii) chapter IV of Regulation (EU) 2017/746 of 5 April 2017 on in vitro diagnostic medical devices, i.e., the chapter on notified bodies. Following its adoption by the federal Chamber of Representatives’ Committee for Public Health and Equal Opportunities on 8 December 2020, the Law was adopted in plenary session on 17 December 2020. The adopted text is identical to that of the Bill which the federal Government submitted to the Chamber of Representatives on 29 September 2020. For a discussion of the Law, we refer to our news alert of 3 December 2020 (see, Van Bael & Bellis Life Sciences News Alert of 3 December 2020). Subject to exceptions, the Law will enter into force on 26 May 2021, i.e., on the currently scheduled date of entry into force of the MDR.

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    • 12/01/2021
    • News

    Investment Protection Implications of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA)

    On 24 December 2020, the European Union (“EU”) and the United Kingdom (“UK”) agreed a Trade and Cooperation Agreement (the “TCA”), with provisional application from 1 January 2021. Title II of Part Two, Heading One (Trade) of the TCA includes provisions relating to “services and investment”. Yet, the provisions are minimal. In respect of investment protection, the TCA is more notable for what is out than what is in. This Client Alert provides our short analysis of the TCA’s investment protection provisions. It considers and discusses the TCA’s implications for EU-UK investors and what steps should now be taken by investors to maintain international protection for EU-UK investments. Please click on the link below to read our Client Alert on this topic.

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