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Corporate

Chambers and partners – Chambers Europe

What the team is known for Independent firm with a broad corporate practice covering acquisition finance, joint ventures, private equity and M&A transactions. Regularly acts on matters in the insurance and real estate sectors. Popular choice as Belgian co-counsel working together with international firms for cross-border mandates.

Strenghts One source says the firm offers "fantastic quality and excellent knowledge of the law. The team is very pragmatic, responsive and a pleasure to work with."

"Peter De Ryck is managing partner at the firm and has broad experience handling M&A and private equity transactions. He acts on domestic and cross-border matters, handling deals in many industries including real estate. He is "commercially aware, pragmatic and technically sound," according to clients."

Chambers and partners – Chambers Global 

"Peter De Ryck is managing partner at the firm and has broad experience handling M&A and private equity transactions. He has a notable focus on real estate, recently advising Baloise on its EUR216 million acquisition of all the shares in VAC Meander. He is "commercially aware, pragmatic and technically sound," according to clients.”

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

One of the more significant matters the M&A team acted on recently saw it advising Baloise Belgium in connection with its €216 million acquisition of VAC Meander from the Extensa Group and Extensa, both companies that are related to the Ackermans & Van Haaren group.

The project team has been involved in a number of significant matters recently. This has included acting for the City of Brussels, Tentoonstellingspark van Brussel and EXCS in connection with the potential construction of a new national football stadium.

Other key clients of the firm have recently included Deutsche Bank, Bank of America and CGI.

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.”

Banking & Finance

Chambers and partners Europe and Global

What the team is known for Predominantly acts for lenders, including both domestic and international banks, but also advises borrowers on a range of financing matters. Acts on asset-based finance, aviation finance, acquisition finance and project finance, as well as trade finance and real estate finance. Has a growing presence in the area of financial regulation mandates. Also advises clients on bond placements.

Strengths Clients confirm their very good impression of the firm and highlight the team's ability to complete work "on a timely basis against a tight deadline."

"Tom Geudens provides both regulatory and transactional advice, assisting with real estate finance, trade finance and project finance. Commentators highlight his "excellent speed of response and knowledge." He advised the House of HR on obtaining a EUR338 million financing agreement with a number of banks."

Legal 500

In the banking and finance sphere, Lydian provides an ‘efficient service’, and its advice is ‘invariably clear, concise and easy for clients to digest’. Asset-based lending, asset finance and project finance are strengths. Regulatory work for banks and other financial services companies also features. Practice head Tom Geudens, senior associates Pieterjan Van Assche and Pieter Meeus and associate Inez Vermeesch are noted.

IFLR1000

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.”

Insolvency and Restructuring

Legal 500

Among Lydian’s recent highlights, it advised Team Kalorik on its judicial reorganisation; Patrick della Faille led that work. Yves Lenders is also noted. Other clients include De Rouck Geomatics, Mensura and Prefarails.

Dispute Resolution

Chambers and partners - Chambers Europe and Chambers Global

What the team is known for Has a strong reputation for insurance and reinsurance litigation, advising on disputes around coverage, professional liability and product liability. Has an active white-collar crime practice, acting on fraud allegations. Also represents clients in antitrust and unfair trade litigation, IP and anti-counterfeiting disputes, commercial contract litigation and construction disputes.

Strenghts Clients highlight the firm's strong team and are impressed by its "know-how and strategic ability."

"According to sources, Hugo Keulers is "very good for insurance matters" and continually impresses through his extensive knowledge of insurance and reinsurance disputes. He also acts on commercial and contract disputes, arbitration and mediation cases. Keulers represented Eurotech in a liability litigation following the failure of lock doors on the Meuse river."

Chambers Europe states:
"Jo Willems is active on commercial litigation, particularly post-acquisition disputes and claims against shareholders. Clients describe him as "very motivated, highly talented and a good strategist." 

Legal 500

Lydian stands out for its ‘broad international experience’ and ‘outstanding record in insurance files’; it also handles commercial and corporate disputes, contentious construction matters, competition litigation and, increasingly, white-collar crime cases. Department lead Hugo Keulers, who is ‘very knowledgeable and efficient’, represented ZF Wind Power in a product liability-related case against AXA Corporate Solutions. Litigator and new ICT head Bastiaan Bruyndonckx joined from Linklaters in 2017. Yves Lenders, Annick Mottet Haugaard and Sandra Lodewijckx are also key contacts.

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

Historically, Lydian has been noted for its outstanding track record in the insurance and reinsurance space, but its dispute resolution practice also covers other industries, such as financial services, food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Practice head Hugo Keulers is representing Tractebel Engineering in litigation over a local construction project.

Intellectual Property

Chambers and partners – Chambers Europe

"Annick Mottet Haugaard of Lydian is particularly well recognised in the market for her expertise advising on anti-counterfeiting procedures. She demonstrates additional strength in patents, trade mark registrations and litigations. Impressive client following spans the education, automotive and manufacturing sectors."

Legal 500

Lydian acts for luxury brands and a range of domestic and multinational companies from a diverse spread of industries, and is also a popular referral firm among international law firms. Key names in the team are ‘professional and responsive’ senior associate Olivia Santantonio and practice head Annick Mottet Haugaard, who has considerable expertise in counterfeiting issues. Bastiaan Bruyndonckx joined in October 2016 from Linklaters.

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. 

IT and Telecom

Legal 500

‘Reliable firm’ Lydian ‘provides accurate and to the point responses’. Domestic and international companies turn to the ICT team for a range of corporate and commercial advice and transactional support. Practice head Bastiaan Bruyndonckx, the ‘professional and responsive’ Annick Mottet Haugaard and senior associate Olivia Santantonio are noted.

Ports & Logistics

Legal 500

Yves Lenders’ transport and logistics team at Lydian regularly handles port projects, logistics outsourcing projects and litigation following rail accidents. In a recent case, the team represented Lineas in litigation initiated by Infrabel following the derailment of a train in the south of Belgium.

Employment

Chambers and partners – Chambers Europe

What the team is known for Growing team handling general employment matters on a daily basis for major international companies. Advises on litigation and restructurings, including collective dismissals and subsequent negotiations, as well as pensions issues. New client wins include CityJet, Booking.com and UPS.  

Strengths Clients find the team to be "very client-oriented and practical." 

"Co-head of department Jan Hofkens advises on a broad range of employment matters, paying particular attention to collective dismissals and matters relating to employee transfers. His client base consists of both domestic and international companies, and one interviewee describes him as "a great source of knowledge and practical feasibility, providing a high service to clients not used to the complexity of Belgian labour laws."

"Alexander Vandenbergen is co-head of the department and offers a strong pensions practice, as well as advising on general employment law. His expertise includes the restructuring of pension schemes, pensions contracts and compliance issues. Clients note: "Vandenbergen has broad technical knowledge with the right commercial awareness. His support can be described as effective and client-oriented."

Legal 500

Lydian has ‘a responsive and collaborative’ group of ‘highly specialised experts’. Co-group head Jan Hofkens ‘always exceeds the highest expectations’. Alexander Vandenbergen, who co-heads the employment practice and leads the pensions and benefits unit, is also highly rated. The firm assists key client Nike with all labour and employment matters including dismissals, litigation and compliance and policy issues.

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. 

Fraud & white-collar crime

Legal 500

‘Excellent on all points’, Lydian’s ‘very professional’ cross-practice team is noted for its employment, criminal and insurance law expertise. Hugo Keulers, Jan Hofkens and Yves Lenders are the key contacts.

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 conjunction with major global firms and represents developers in real estate disputes.

 

Strengths Clients value the department's "pragmatic approach, client focus and efficient service."  

Legal 500

Lydian ‘really stands out for its in-depth knowledge and responsiveness’; it has a broad portfolio of domestic and international clients active in various subsectors of the real estate market. Its team operates from the firm’s offices in Brussels, Antwerp and Hasselt and was recently bolstered by the arrival of senior associate Sofie Hoogers from Eubelius. Wouter Neven has ‘a calm demeanour which makes him easy to work with and makes him effective in persuading people to his point of view’. Senior associate Bruno Stroobants has strong experience in real estate transactions and construction litigation.

Project development

IFLR1000

“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

Chambers and partners – Chambers Europe

"Wouter Neven of Lydian is praised by clients for his "ability to stay calm and his availability." He advises on environmental permits as well as zoning and planning law. Recent work includes assisting Total with obtaining environmental permits for the expansion of its current site in the port of Antwerp."

Legal 500

Lydian handles significant mandates from clients in industries such as energy and real estate. The team is advising Water-link on various environmental and zoning matters associated with a clean water production site. In another highlight, Wouter Neven is assisting the City of Brussels with issues arising from the construction of a new stadium for the UEFA Euro 2020 football tournament.

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 recent work highlights including several notable procurement projects. Also acts for clients in public law litigation, representing clients in contentious proceedings relating to tender specifications and procurement processes. Also experienced handling decentralisations and outsourcing projects.

Strengths The lawyers draw praise from clients for their "good technical and personal skills."

"Jens Debièvre has experience working on public tenders, administrative contracts, public procurement processes and PPP projects. Clients appreciate his "direct, discreet and excellent service." He represented the Chancery of the Flemish Region in proceedings against its award decision concerning a supply contract for electronic anklets."

"Wouter Neven tackles the real estate and environmental aspects of public law, including regulatory issues, PPP projects and contractual planning. He is praised by sources for being "straightforward and down-to-earth," with others adding: "He is able to articulate issues succinctly and is result-oriented." Recently he acted for THV Cafasso Construction on the designing and building of a new prison in Haren."