Deloitte Legal ever more widely acknowledged in the latest Legal 500 rankings
A recommended law firm
13 April 2023
Deloitte Legal recognised in 15 practice areas and Industry focuses in the 2023 Legal 500 rankings
BANKING, FINANCE AND CAPITAL MARKETS
Praised as ‘easy to work with‘, the team at Deloitte Legal advises corporates, investment funds, and financial services institutions, primarily on the borrower and issuer-side, on acquisition, sustainable, and public sector finance, loan restructuring, and capital markets mandates, including debt and equity issuances as well as initial coin offerings. The team leverages its global platform to handle cross-border matters, and also handles regulatory considerations. The practice is led by David Roelens, who is focused on transactions and financing, and Laurent Godts, who takes the lead on banking work. Werner Van Lembergen retired in late 2021.
Client feedback highlights the ‘Willingness to find solutions for complex issues’ and states ‘They are very proactive and business-minded.’ ‘The team is very knowledgeable and efficient. They are a full-service legal team.’
‘Laurent Godts is very responsive’ ‘Hands on mentality. Is able to translate complicated issues into understandable items.’
‘I think highly of partner David Roelens and associate Sophie Wyckmans. They are both easy to work with.’
COMMERCIAL, CORPORATE AND M&A
Deloitte Legal advises on M&A and private equity transactions, as well as company reorganisations and restructurings, and associated tax concerns relating to corporate and commercial operations and transactions. The firm works with businesses and investors in a range of industries, including consumer goods, life sciences, public services, and telecoms, and counts among its clients both domestic and international companies. The practice is led by David Roelens, who offers broad corporate advisory and transactional expertise and Marc Van tieghem, who has a particular focus on the public sector.
The team is noted for their ‘Exceptional combination of legal knowledge, awareness of ‘client DNA’ and hands on approach.’
Sought out by a diverse range of public and private sector entities, Deloitte Legal is well versed in both commercial litigation and mediation, with its position in the latter having been recently strengthened by the establishment of a dedicated M.C.C (Mediation, Communication, and Coaching) offering. The sizeable practice is chaired by commercial litigation lead Jürgen Egger, private client specialist Alain-Laurent Verbeke, financial services arbitrator Benoît Féron, and Glenn Hansen, a commercial litigator whose expertise include contentious insolvencies.
The employment, pensions and benefits team is co-led by Stijn Demeestere and Alexis Ceuterick, who joined the firm from KPMG Law in Belgium in June 2022. Demeestere has broad experience in areas including the development of flexible working policies, restructuring and M&A, and individual and collective dismissals – core areas for the practice, along with internal audits and workforce transformation. Thomas De Donder was promoted to director in October 2022.
Testimonials praise the ‘High standard of legal knowledge.’ And ‘Thomas De Donder has a very high standard of legal knowledge and gives appropriate advice, especially in HR labour law in the public sector. Always thinking proactively to find a good solution which fits the company. Excellent lawyer.’
EU REGULATORY: PRIVACY AND DATA PROTECTION
Deloitte Legal advises clients on ongoing data protection compliance, including GDPR compliance, alongside data and privacy regulatory issues relating to data ownership, transfers, and retention, as well as regularly representing businesses before the Belgian DPA in data breach cases and against consumer complaints. Clients include a number of domestic and international businesses in key sectors such as life sciences and tech, as well as public sector organisations, including departments of the European Commission. Jurgen Egger and Matthias Vierstraete head up the team, primarily working on IT and intellectual property issues as well as data and privacy mandates.
FRAUD AND WHITE COLLAR CRIME
Closely linked to the firm’s tax controversy offering, Deloitte Legal‘s business criminal law practice is especially strong in matters relating to tax fraud, including audits, compliance advice, and civil and criminal litigation. The team acts for victims recovering losses as well as those facing prosecution, and is led by Jürgen Egger, Annick Visschers, and Johan Speecke.
INDUSTRY FOCUS: ENERGY
Deloitte Legal's cross-practice climate and energy team is regularly engaged on both technical and commercial mandates, ranging from federally commissioned studies to structured transactions, and acts for a strong mix of public and private sector entities. Director Dominique Vanherck – who heads up the climate and energy practice – is noted for her expertise in renewables and associated infrastructure project developments. Other key names to note include managing partner Kathleen De hornois, a specialist in public procurement and PPPs.
The team is commended for their ‘high expertise’, and for being a ‘strong team.’
INDUSTRY FOCUS: HEALTHCARE AND LIFE SCIENCES
Deloitte Legal's life sciences and healthcare team offers a broad practice with an emphasis on transactional, financial, and corporate advice for clients in the public and private sectors. Data protection, data privacy, and IP rights are other core areas of expertise. The practice is jointly headed by Matthias Vierstraete, who advises clients on issues of intellectual property rights protection, and Christoph Michiels, who has a track record assisting biotech and medtech start-ups throughout the development process.
Client feedback states that ‘Deloitte’s team is composed of various legal profiles (fiscal, patent, business,…) which bring real added values. It is like a “legal hub” where different people can handle most of your questions.’ In addition, the team demonstrates ‘In-depth expertise in the required field, speed of work and respect for deadlines, clear billing with detailed services’ and ‘Listening to and respecting the clients, friendliness, continuous support for all types of requests’
INDUSTRY FOCUS: IT AND TELECOMS
With extensive knowledge of the technology sector, the team is well-equipped to assist clients on the full spectrum of IT and telecom work. The department regularly advises clients on highly technical engagements, offering expertise on cybersecurity, personal data and blockchain among other matters. Jürgen Egger leads the department’s IP practice, while Matthias Vierstraete provides the group with thorough expertise in IT law, including e-commerce and software development.
Praised for their ‘Proactive thinking’, the team is also recognized for being ‘Easily accessible and highly knowledgeable.’
INDUSTRY FOCUS: MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT
Working with a range of clients from the audio-visual and sports industries, the team has extensive expertise across commercial contracts, IP, and media regulatory work. The department regularly assists clients in the audio-visual sector in due diligence processes and commercial agreements, working with a number of authors, musicians and directors. The department assists clients with M&A, private equity and venture capital transactions.
INDUSTRY FOCUS: TRANSPORT
The team serves as advisor to – among others – a number of public bodies, and is highly experienced in legislative drafting and the navigation of regulatory frameworks and decision-making. The team is also noted for its work with clients in the ports and shipping sector, most recently in relation to complex corporate reorganisations. Public and administrative strategies concerning PPPs – at the domestic, pan-European and multinational level – are also core areas of expertise for the team. Kathleen De Hornois, an expert in public law, leads the department with Marc Van tieghem who is proficient in corporate transactions.
Client feedback includes comments on the team being ‘Responsive and communicative with clients. The team works well together.’
INSOLVENCY AND RESTRUCTURING
The enterprise continuity team is led by Antwerp-based Jürgen Egger and Brussels-based Glenn Hansen, and advises on the range of insolvency and restructuring issues. Also head of the firm’s commercial practice, Egger has niche expertise in the crossover between insolvency and criminal law, while Hansen is strong in providing bankruptcy regulatory advice.
The team were highly praised: ‘All the members of the team are brilliant and ready to provide solutions that are oriented to different business scenarios. We have appreciated the responsiveness of the team.’
‘Glenn Hansen is a person and lawyer with great value, availability, flexibility and skills.’
Deloitte Legal has a strong focus on private equity and venture capital investments, advising funds and VC investors on formation, structuring, and early-stage investments into start-ups and scale-ups, primarily in the tech and life sciences sectors. Alongside transactional and fund-side advice, the firm also provides regulatory support in key sectors, as well as integrated intellectual property expertise. Practice heads include David Roelens, Christoph Michiels, Marc Van tieghem, Benoît Féron, forming a geographically diverse team with a broad range of expertise.
REAL ESTATE AND CONSTRUCTION
Deloitte Legal‘s real estate team is headed by Maximilien Van De Werve, who has significant experience of advising domestic and international clients on transactional matters relating to the full range of asset classes, from residential homes to hotels, industrial buildings, and infrastructure projects. Other notable practitioners include David Roelens and public law specialist Kathleen De hornois.
Feedback included a special commendation: ‘Maximilien van de Werve stands out.’
Deloitte Legal‘s tax offering is organised into three sub teams, providing multidisciplinary and cross-border advice on issues from structuring to audits. ‘Top-notch‘ litigator and risk management specialist Annick Visschers leads on dispute resolution; VAT expert Danny Stas and international corporate tax practitioner Tim Wustenberghs co-head the advisory practice; and experienced wealth management adviser Mathieu Ex helms the private client team. Also noted are Filip Smet and Alexander Baert, who are strong in investigations and international controversy work, respectively.
Client feedback states that this is ‘One of Belgium’s biggest teams in tax proceedings, which offers them a unique combination of know-how of tax law and of how it is applied by the courts. Such a combination is crucial in, for example, settlement discussions with the tax authorities.’
‘Annick Visschers is top notch in tax proceedings. She is very intelligent and understands easily how to position the case against adversaries to obtain the best possible result. She is capable of digesting a lot of information rapidly and giving clear advice. On top of this, she’s fun to work with.’
‘Good connections with other specialisations within the firm. Good overall knowledge of clients’ business and history.’