Trade & Customs

Trade lawyers par excellence

Van Bael & Bellis has the largest and most expert team of lawyers in Brussels handling EU and WTO trade law, with more than 30 years of experience in the field.

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  • "Clearly the leading firm in the field of trade remedies in Brussels"

    Chambers Global

Latest news

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    • 27/02/2019
    • News

    Van Bael & Bellis shines in Chambers Global 2019 with top-tier rankings for its EU competition and international trade practices

    Van Bael & Bellis has once again achieved outstanding results in Chambers Global 2019, recently published online, where the firm and its lawyers are described in superlative terms by clients and peers. While the firm’s larger teams of EU competition and international trade continue to occupy the top bands, and our head of dispute resolution is “excellent”, our corporate M&A team is once again ranked amongst the top independents in the Brussels market. Our international trade and WTO team receives accolades for being “really sharp” with a “very good reputation” and work that is “strong and robust” and for the lawyers’ ability to “easily understand [clients’] needs, including not only the legal issues but also the commercial aspects. They are very good at finding the best solution considering all aspects of the issue”. Jean-François Bellis “remains a prominent figure in the trade market in Brussels”. Philippe De Baere is “‘an outstanding professional’ with a wealth of experience in the field of trade disputes and customs”. Richard Luff is noted for his expansive experience in the trade law field: both on EU mandates and in WTO trade disputes. Benoît Servais is lauded as being “‘a very strong lawyer’, particularly praising his ability in disputes and noting that ‘he is very strong at the European courts’”. Fabrizio Di Gianni is praised by clients for being “very fast and giving very clear advice” and for his “positive and reasoned approach”. Pablo Muñiz is “very good at reverting to our needs and considering all aspects of the question”, while Yuriy Rudyuk “is described by clients as ‘constructive and inventive’”. The EU competition team receives equally high praise. Jean-François Bellis is “like an encyclopaedia of EU competition and trade law, the best person for the cross-over between trade and competition”. David Hull is a “pragmatic lawyer with a cutting edge understanding of legal developments and regulatory trends, who offers very clear risk-based advice”. Clients appreciate that Andrzej Kmiecik “provides very thorough analysis, but also very pragmatic and practical solutions, and is always attentive to clients’ needs”. Porter Elliott is described as a “true expert in his field who gives very practical advice and is willing to pitch in and participate with the business”. Kris Van Hove is “responsive and does a good job of providing a broad overview but also giving concrete answers”. Clients appreciate that Markus Wellinger is “humble, open to discussions, very supportive and responsive, and is here to help”. Johan Van Acker displays a “really good understanding of [clients’] business and the commercial risk within a short space of time”. Fabrizio Di Gianni and Gabriele Coppo are both listed as Foreign Experts for Italy. Corporate/M&A partner Michel Bonne is described by clients as a “very commercial, efficient lawyer with fast reaction times and good follow-up”. Dispute resolution partner Catherine Longeval is praised for being “excellent, very detail-oriented and responsive”.

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    • 25/02/2019
    • News

    Katharina Bongs is recognized as one of the top women competition law practitioners in their 40s in Europe by [email protected]

    Van Bael & Bellis counsel Katharina Bongs has been selected by a jury at [email protected] as being one of the top 40 women competition lawyers in their 40s who are in private practice in Europe. More than 800 women competition professionals in their 40s were nominated by clients and peers for [email protected]’s “40 in their 40s - Notable Women Competition Professionals in Europe, the Americas and Africa”. The jury for Europe consisted of Prof. Richard Whish (Emeritus Professor of Law at King’s College London), Karin Lunning (Deputy Director General of the Swedish Competition Authority), Nicola Northway (Partner at Baker McKenzie), Prof. Carl Baudenbacher (Former Judge and President of the EFTA Court), Annette Schild (Competition Lawyer), Prof. Philippa Watson (Barrister and Professor of Law at City Law School of University of London), Kaarli H. Eichhorn (Partner at Jones Day), Anne Riley (Head of Shell’s global antitrust team) and Dirk Arts (Partner at Allen & Overy). Further information is available here.

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Recommendations

  • Commanding international trade practice with a market-leading Brussels team and additional experience in Geneva.

    Chambers Global
  • Van Bael & Bellis is highly regarded, particularly for its expertise in anti-dumping matters although the practice also handles a range of customs and WTO matters.

    Legal 500
  • Difficult to find a team that does as well on both the legal and business sides.

    Chambers Europe
  • Van Bael & Bellis has 'an exceptional amount of experience' and is among the best available in Brussels for trade work.

    Legal 500

Team focus

With 9 partners, 2 counsel and 18 associates, Van Bael & Bellis is the EU law firm with the largest team of specialised trade lawyers.

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Recent publications

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    • 30/01/2019
    • Articles

    Opinion 1/17 on CETA: Advocate General Bot finds that the investment court system in CETA is compatible with EU law

    On 29 January 2019, Advocate General Bot delivered his long-awaited Opinion (the Opinion) on whether the investment court system (ICS) in Chapter Eight, Section F, of the European Union-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is compatible with European Union (EU) law, in particular with the autonomy of the EU legal order and fundamental rights. The next step in the proceedings before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), initiated by Belgium following complications in its ratification process, is for the CJEU to deliver its Opinion on the same question. This client alert discusses the key elements of the Opinion and the implications of these CJEU proceedings on the European Union’s common commercial policy and its policy of advocating reform of existing investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS) and the establishment of a multilateral investment court (MIC).

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    • 23/11/2018
    • Articles

    Brexit: trade implications of the draft withdrawal agreement and the draft declaration on the future

    The draft declaration on the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union, which was published on 22 November 2018, offers for the first time some insight into the legal framework that is likely to govern trade between the United Kingdom and the European Union after the transition period comes to an end. Van Bael & Bellis has prepared a brief note providing an overview of the trade implications and the timeline of the successive legal frameworks that are envisaged by the draft withdrawal agreement and the draft declaration on the future relationship.

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    • 12/09/2017
    • Articles

    Brexit: European Commission Position on Protection of Personal Data Until (and After) UK Withdrawal

    Data Protection | In a position paper of 6 September 2017, the European Commission reveals the minimum requirements for the protection of personal data in the context of the UK’s withdrawal...

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