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Lydian was named 'Best Belgian Law Firm' by Trends Legal Awards

On 13 November 2018, Lydian was presented with the award for being the Best Law Firm at the Trends Legal Awards. At the gala awards ceremony, held in Brussels for the fifth time under the auspices of business magazine Trends/Tendances, law firms were recognised for their expertise, know-how and innovation.

Lydian won the main prize of Best Law Firm in Belgium, having been selected by an independent jury of legal experts in acknowledgement of its overall performance; the trophy was accepted before an audience ade up of more than 400 attorneys at law, in-house counsel and other law practitioners.

Corporate

Chambers and partners – Europe

What the team is known for Notable independent firm with a broad corporate practice covering acquisition finance, joint ventures, private equity and M&A transactions. Acts on share deals and restructuring mandates, and also offers ongoing corporate advice. Clients include companies in the consumer goods, healthcare and financial services industries.

Strenghts Clients describe the "seamless team" as being "very responsive and extremely fast."

Chambers Europe states: A source says that Peter De Ryck "gives the confidence that I will get perfect service." He acts on domestic and cross-border M&A transactions as well as assisting with ongoing corporate advisory mandates.

Chambers and partners – Global 

Chambers Global states: Foreign desks The firm's German desk assists German clients with business activities and interests in Belgium. Hugo Keulers heads the desk and is a main point of contact.

A source says that Peter De Ryck "gives the confidence that I will get perfect service." He acts on domestic and cross-border M&A transactions as well as assisting with ongoing corporate advisory mandates.

Legal 500

 Lydian’s ‘very professional, accurate and responsive’ corporate team is ‘very competitive’. The team has recently advised on five acquisitions for nursing homes and residences company Vivalto Home, and has also assisted with the issuance of senior secured notes. The firm fields ‘a number of extraordinary lawyers’; among them are Patrick della Faille, Tom Geudens and Peter De Ryck, who is ‘fantastic to work with’.

IFLR1000

Our Partners Peter de Ryck and Patrick della Faille were ranked as Highly Regarded Lawyers by IFLR1000 in January 2019. As IFLR1000 explains, this ranking rewards lawyers who are "highly regarded by their peers and possess a strong transactional record and positive client feedback". 

Client feedback:
“A good team that are always accessible, have short communication lines, meets deadlines and provides overall good quality.”

"Peter De Ryck is responsive and commercially minded." 

"Peter is a good professional with a commercial attitude.”

Leaders League

Lydian is ranked as Higlhy recommanded in the categories "Mergers & Acquisitions" as well as "Private Equity" in the Leaders League edition 2018. 

Banking & Finance

Chambers and partners - Europe and Global

What the team is known for Predominantly acts for lenders, including domestic and international banks, and also advises borrowers on a range of financing matters. Acts on acquisition finance and project finance, as well as trade and real estate finance mandates. Also advises on the refinancing of existing facilities. Has a growing presence in financial regulatory advisory matters.

Strengths Clients comment that the team is "able to provide very practical and swift answers on very specific questions." Others praise the firm's "commercial understanding," as well as the lawyers' "appreciation of the reality of the situation."

Chambers Europe and Global states: Tom Geudens is described by clients as "experienced, very smart and responsive." Another interviewee highlights that Geudens is "easy to deal with" and "understands the market." He assists with a range of lending transactions for the financing of acquisitions and projects.

Legal 500 

Lydian acts for clients on a standalone basis, and also works closely with international law firms on cross-border matters. Led by Tom Geudens, its 'accessible' team has a particularly first-rate reputation in asset-based lending, asset finance, project finance, and trade and export finance. Its workload is broader, and also covers other areas, such as acquisition/leveraged finance, real estate finance, bond issuances and bank regulatory work. In a recent highlight, Geudens and senior associate Pieterjan Van Assche were among the advisers to Naxicap and The House of HR on a €680m financing transaction - arranged by JP Morgan, ING Bank, KBC Bank and KKR Corporate Lending - which was part of a global restructuring of The House of HR group. Another matter involved Geudens, Patrick della Faille, van Assche and senior associate Virginie Bazelmans acting for elderly care homes operator Vivalto Home Belgium on a €101m private placement of notes. Investment funds are another area of strength, with members of the group assisting clients such as Pine Bridge and Aviva Investors with navigating the Belgian regulatory aspects of registering, offering and marketing UCITS and non-UCITS funds. Elsewhere, entities such as Airplus Lufthansa and TakeAway.com instruct the firm on matters related to payment services, consumer credit and related regulatory issues. Counsel Caroline Hoste is a recent hire from Jan De Nul Group, while Pieter Meeus has departed the firm to become a legal counsel at AG Insurance.

IFLR1000

Our Partner Tom Geudens has been ranked as Highly Regarded Lawyer by IFLR1000 in January 2019. As IFLR1000 explains, this ranking rewards lawyers who are "highly regarded by their peers and possess a strong transactional record and positive client feedback". 

The team at Lydian is strongly recognised mostly for its banking and project work in the Belgian market. In terms of sectors, it has a strong presence in the finance space, listing a number of banks and financial services companies as clients.

The banking and finance team has extensive experience working for the lenders on a range of matters. Recently this has included acquisition, asset and project finance, as well as several corporate matters.

"Tom Geudens provides prompt, efficient and technically excellent service." 

“Tom is reliable, responsive and hard working.”

“Tom is very responsive and knowledgeable about the relevant issues in Belgian law.”

Client feedback:
“They have a good practice, particularly Tom Geudens.”
“Lydian have always been very responsive and thorough in their work on the Belgian law aspects of multijurisdictional financings where we have been involved.”
“Very hands on and pragmatic approach tailored to the needs of the client.”

Leaders League

Lydian is ranked as Excellent in the category "Banking and Finance: Capital Markets" and as higlhy recommanded in the category "Banking & Finance: Financial services (regulatory & litigation" in the Leaders League edition 2018. 

Insolvency and Restructuring

Legal 500

The insolvency and restructuring team at Lydian  handles a range of reorganisations, M&A transactions and liquidation proceedings. The team was instructed by Verona, and a Belgium private equity fund as shareholder, in the judicial reorganisation of the company. Key names to note include Yves Lenders and Patrick della Faille, who are regularly instructed by creditors and in liquidations respectively.

Dispute Resolution

Trends Legal Awards

On 13 November 2018, Trends Legal Awards rewarded our Dispute Resolution team as 'Best Independent Belgian law firm in Litigation and Arbitration.

Chambers and partners - Europe and Global

What the team is known for Strong reputation for handling insurance and reinsurance litigation, as well as for advising on disputes around coverage, professional liability and product liability. Additionally has an active white-collar crime practice, acting on fraud investigations. Also acts on contentious corporate and commercial mandates including distribution agreements, corporate damages claims and shareholder disputes.    

Strenghts Clients praise the firm for "always being communicative and reactive to questions," adding: "They are really fast." Others laud the team as being "pragmatic and very results-driven."

Chambers Europe states:

Hugo Keulers is praised by clients for his "effectiveness, availability and knowledge." Sources also laud his "broad scale of knowledge." His extensive practice covers insurance disputes, as well as commercial and contract disputes. He also handles arbitration and mediation cases.

Clients enjoy working with Jo Willems and praise his efficiency, noting that he is "really good and fast." He assists with product liability cases as well as disputes arising from breaches in licensing and sales agreements.

Chambers and partners - Global

Chambers Global states:

Hugo Keulers is praised by clients for his "effectiveness, availability and knowledge." Sources also laud his "broad scale of knowledge." His extensive practice covers insurance disputes, as well as commercial and contract disputes. He also handles arbitration and mediation cases.

Legal 500

The 'solution-driven' and 'client-focused' team at Lydian is well known for its strength in insurance litigation, and reports an uptick in product liability disputes from the life sciences sector. Other areas of instruction include construction litigation,  white-collar crime matters, commercial and corporate disputes and competition litigation. The 'always available' Hugo Keulers heads the practice; Yves LendersSandra Lodewijckx and  Annick Mottet Haugaard are other key names. The firm is acting for the Belgian subsidiary of Vivaldi Biosciences in a dispute relating to an alleged process development and manufacturing agreement between the client and biomanufacturing company Univercells.

Leaders League 2018-2019

Lydian, along with Yves Lenders have been ranked as "highly recommended" in the Commercial Litigation category of Leaders League edition 2018-2019. 

Who's Who Legal: Litigation 2016

Hugo Keulers is nominated by his peers as one of the world's leading practitioners in this field.

Insurance & Reinsurance

Who's Who Legal: Insurance & Reinsurance 2016

Hugo Keulers and Sandra Lodewijckx are nominated by their peers as one of the world's leading practitioners in this field:
Hugo Keulers is recognised for his "mammoth reputation" and "ability to find a solution to any problem".
Sandra Lodewijckx has an "inimitable style" and is a "leader in the market". 

Legal 500

Lydian's 'internationally-focused' team 'knows the market' and is 'unique in Belgium in its knowledge about jurisprudence, case law and compliance in the insurance business'. Working alongside 'top-class international insurance lawyer' Hugo Keulers, are Sandra Lodewijckx and counsel Anne Catteau, who are 'always accessible and open-minded'. In addition, counsel Jo Willems, and senior associates Marijn De Ruysscher and Héloïse FosTier, are highly regarded. Keulers is well-known for his involvement in most of the largest and high-value insurance disputes in Belgium in the last 15 years. His expertise includes areas such as product liability, D&O, advance loss of profit insurance and all risk property. Lodewijckx's background in private practice is complemented by her previous experience of working at ING Insurance (now Vivium). She assists clients with issues such as the distribution of insurance products, regulatory compliance, corporate governance and reviews of policy wording, among other matters. The team's recent work included advising CNA on the Belgian law aspects relating to its clinical trial insurance policy, product liability policy and professional insurance policy. Another highlight involved assisting insurtech company Qover with the policy wording of its products, and also with cooperation agreements with third parties, such as Immoweb and Deliveroo. The firm also acts for HDI Global SE, XL Catlin, Hiscox and AIG, among others.

Within Insurance, Lydian is ranked in Tier 1.

Leaders League

Lydian is ranked as a leading firm in the categories "Industrial risks, insurance & liability litigation" in the Leaders League ranking 2018. 

Intellectual Property

Chambers and partners – Chambers Europe 

What the team is known for Newly ranked team specialising in trade mark and copyright infringement cases, counterfeiting and design law. Advises clients from the design, fashion and manufacturing industries on trade mark issues relating to their products, as well as companies from the entertainment and automotive sectors. Acts on cases spanning multiple jurisdictions such as Italy, the UK, Denmark and Germany, as well as the USA and Canada.

Strengths Interviewees report that the firm "has a strong team for anti-counterfeiting."

Chambers Europe states: Annick Mottet Haugaard is well regarded for her expertise in anti-counterfeiting, distribution, customs and trade mark matters. She is also able to advise on patent litigation, and acts for clients from the life sciences, insurance and fashion industries.

Legal 500

Trade mark litigation is a core strength of Lydian's IP practice, notably in the area of counterfeiting disputes; recent work includes acting for Gucci in a dispute regarding the counterfeit use of the brand name. Other clients include Burberry, Chanel and Toyota. Annick Mottet Haugaard heads the department, in which Bastiaan Bruyndonckx and senior associate Olivia Santantonio are other key names. 

WTR 1000

Most renowned for its crack anti-counterfeiting work, Lydian has a broad-ranging IP practice which finds favour with domestic and foreign brand owners: the “excellent” team is lauded for its “clear, concise and commercial advice on a range of Belgian trademark matters”. Continuing to bolster its strength in depth – the firm appointed a new partner and associate to the IP department last year – Lydian can handle weighty mandates with composure. Heading the team is Annick Mottet Haugaard who brings brand imitators to book with great effectiveness: “Excellent in criminal and civil counterfeiting complaints, she is very savvy and her contacts in customs and police authorities are second to none.” With Gucci, Chanel, Ferrari and Swatch seeking out her services, Mottet Haugaard also recently acted in opposition proceedings for luxury watch brand Breitling, and has been helping Turkish food company ETI to protect its brand across Benelux. 

Leaders League

Lydian is ranked as Excellent in the category "Intellectual property: Trademark litigation" and as higlhy recommanded in the category "Intellectual property: copyright law" in the Leaders League edition 2018. 

IT and Telecom 

Legal 500

Bastiaan Bruyndonckx heads the information and communication technology group at Lydian, which acts for technology companies and corporates in other sectors on a variety of IT-related matters. It assisted Airspan Spectrum Holdings with obtaining a 4G spectrum licence in Belgium through the acquisition of a Voyacom from Datang Telecom. The group is also advising Orange on several matters, including on its substantial second generation IT outsourcing project. Getronics, Osudio and Thales are among its new clients.

Leaders League

Lydian has been ranked as "Excellent" in the Leaders League edition 2018 in the category "Technologies, internet and telecommunications". 

Ports & Logistics

Legal 500 

Yves Lenders heads the ports and logistics team at Lydian which has experience assisting clients with development and outsourcing projects as well as in related litigation. The group also has experience handling claims following rail accidents.

Employment

Chambers and partners – Chambers Europe

What the team is known for Skilled team handling general employment matters on a daily basis for major international companies. Advises on litigation and restructurings, including collective dismissals and subsequent negotiations. Also reputed for the setting up of pension funds for both private companies and public authorities. Increasingly active on GDPR implementation advice, particularly for pension funds.

Strengths Clients appreciate the "high performance levels and very fast response times" of the "service-minded team." Interviewees also add: "They not only provide legal responses but also think proactively, in partnership with us, to find solutions that fit our needs."

Chambers Europe states:

Interviewees admire Alexander Vandenbergen's "broad technical knowledge and perfect client service." He has particular expertise in managing high-profile pension funds for both public and private bodies. He also advises on collective bargaining agreements and post-acquisition restructurings.

Jan Hofkens assists high-profile corporations with a wide range of employment law matters, including global restructuring projects, negotiations with trade unions and collective dismissals. He receives praise from clients for being "very responsive and business-oriented." Interviewees also appreciate that his advice is "on time and in-depth."

Legal 500 

Lydian's 'very responsive' team is singled out for its 'very dynamic spirit and client-focused approach'. Jan Hofkens is 'a great employment lawyer'; he jointly heads the practice with the 'outstanding' Alexander Vandenbergen, who is the key name for pensions work. In a major highlight, the team assisted the Flemish Department of Integration with a prominent transition project, which involved the collective dismissal of over 180 employees.

Leaders League 2018-2019

Lydian, along with Jan Hofkens and Alexander Vandenbergen have been ranked as "Excellent" in the Employment litigation category of Leaders League edition 2018-2019. 

Trends Legal Awards 2015

Lydian has once again received the "Employment Law Firm of the Year" award.

Who's Who Legal: Labour and Employment 2016

Alexander Vandenbergen and Jan Hofkens are nominated by their peers as one of the world's leading practitioners in this field. 

Leaders League

Lydian has been ranked as "Excellent" in the Leaders League edition 2019 in the category "Labor/Employment, labor litigation"". 

Fraud & white-collar crime

Legal 500 

Employment, insurance and criminal law are core areas of expertise for Lydian's cross-practice fraud and white-collar crime team. Nike is a key client. Jan HofkensYves Lenders and Hugo Keulers are the names to note.

Real Estate

Chambers and partners – Chambers Europe

What the team is known for Large independent Belgian firm with notable experience in construction and development projects. Acts for public authorities on leasing agreements and matters relating to planning and building permits. Also assists international clients in collaboration with major global firms and represents developers in real estate disputes. Advises engineering and energy companies on public procurement issues related to construction.

Strengths The team receives acclaim for its "excellent negotiation style," and clients add that the lawyers "work very effectively as a team and they are proactive." 

Chambers Europe states: According to clients, Wouter Neven "combines excellent technical expertise with good negotiation and strategic skills." Other interviewees accentuate that he "has a very deep knowledge of real estate law and he can find a good balance between business decisions and protecting clients' interests." Neven focuses on construction and development projects involving office spaces, logistics centres, hospitals and residential properties. He is also well equipped to handle asset deals and transactions

Legal 500

Lydian's real estate practice has a strong focus on developer and investor clients at a national and international level. Department head Wouter Neven has expertise in property transactions, and is known for handling commercial, retail, residential and office developments; he is leading the advice to BNP Paribas Fortis on the ongoing construction of the company's new headquarters in Brussels. Senior associate Bruno Stroobants is also recommended.

Project development

IFLR1000

Our Partner Wouter Neven has been ranked as Highly Regarded Lawyer by IFLR1000 in January 2019. As IFLR1000 explains, this ranking rewards lawyers who are "highly regarded by their peers and possess a strong transactional record and positive client feedback". 

“They are a very pragmatic and knowledgeable firm, really pleasant to work with.”

Client feedback
"Jens Debievre is a very good lawyer, with a clear and specific expertise. Jens is pleasant to work with and user friendly; a great lawyer.”

“Wouter Neven is a very knowledgeable lawyer who knows how to meet the needs of a client in the most optimal way.” 

Environment

Legal 500

Lydian is a destination firm in its own right for environmental work from large and mid-sized Belgian and international companies, as well as public sector entities. It also generates a significant amount of referral work from international law firms, thanks to the full-service capabilities of its team in corporate transactional work, enforcement of environmental law, litigation, advisory/counselling and energy regulatory matters. Practice head Wouter Neven, along with senior associate Kyoto Van Herreweghe, is advising Total on the environmental law issues associated with the expansion of its current site at the port of Antwerp. Senior associate Iris Hemelaer is another notable individual.

Public Sector 

Chambers and partners – Chambers Europe

What the team is known for Solid practice covering a broad spectrum of issues in public law. Specialises in procurement and tender contracts as well as PPP projects and state-sponsored developments, especially in the infrastructure sector, with experience handling notable procurement projects. Also acts on public law litigation, representing clients in proceedings relating to tender specifications and procurement processes. Also experienced handling decentralisations and outsourcing projects. Often represents public authorities and state-owned organisations and provides regulatory advice to private companies.

Strengths A source values the team's client-centric approach saying: "They have made the effort to get to know us, to understand our business."

Chambers Europe states:

Jens Debièvre is appreciated by clients for providing "to-the-point, clear and resolute advice." He regularly assists clients with public procurement matters, PPP projects and public tenders. He advised De Lijn on a rail and bus station redevelopment project.

According to clients, Wouter Neven "combines excellent technical expertise with good negotiation and strategic skills." Other interviewees accentuate that he "has a very deep knowledge of real estate law and he can find a good balance between business decisions and protecting clients' interests." Neven focuses on construction and development projects involving office spaces, logistics centres, hospitals and residential properties. He is also well equipped to handle asset deals and transactions.