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Energy

Our expert team offers you tailor-made advice, transactional and litigation assistance related to your energy project, covering both the traditional and the renewable energy market.

Focus areas

We assist you in the setting-up, revision and negotiation of specific fully-fledged energy contracts, taking into account the latest regulatory developments and legal doctrine.

We offer our expertise in both regulated and commercial energy contracts. On the regulated contracts side, this expertise includes connection and access contracts or access responsibility contracts. Specific commercial energy contracts vary from gas and electricity supply general conditions and term sheets to O&M/BOT contracts.

Finally, when required, we also examine the traditional rights in rem, such as site ownership (agreements), option agreements, building rights agreements, site concession agreements, rental agreements, lease rights, servitude and passage rights in light of the specific energy project.

It is clear that, in the constantly changing and complicated energy market, unavoidable disputes arise between market players and governments. Dispute resolution in the Belgian energy sector requires strengths in multiple branches of the law, ranging from commercial (contracts) law to administrative and public law.

The Energy practice at Lydian includes experts in dispute resolution, having expertise in commercial litigation, proceedings before administrative and constitutional courts and arbitration in this area.  We also advise on preventing disputes and ensuring that contractual provisions for dispute resolution are transparent and clear, including provision for negotiation.

Within the framework of an energy project, energy law and project finance are inextricably linked. Lydian works on the project finance side on many large and medium scale energy transactions, in which we advise private companies as well as (PPP) government bodies. Legal assistance in energy projects covers typical project finance issues, such as setting up financing structures, finance documentation and tailoring the appropriate security interests, including derivatives schemes.

On the energy side of the project, this involves both the preliminary contacts with the regulatory authorities and permit-issuing administrations, as well as the development of tailored corporate and contractual mechanisms within the regulated framework of network access.

Combating climate change requires a joint effort from governments, companies and the public. Progress has been made through international and regional agreements, public awareness initiatives and policy changes. The different laws that are now in place to mitigate climate change influence and often limit or support the actions of energy market players.

Climate change has become a fully stand-alone part of energy law. Our Energy  lawyers have particular expertise in the following areas: regulatory monitoring of European emission trading schemes (EU ETS system) and providing appropriate advice to industrial players; providing assistance with regard to NAP (Belgian National Allocation Plan) related issues; and CDM (Clean Development Mechanism)/JI (Joint Implementation) projects.

Since the 1990s, the structure of the Belgian energy market has been transformed from a closed, monopolist and national market with a public character, to an open trade European and international market, with multi-level players, in which renewable energy projects and support for them is becoming increasingly important.

The “renewable” stamp can be found everywhere: from solar and wind projects (onshore and offshore), biomass, biofuel and cogeneration projects, green subsidies, green power and combined heat and power certificates, to energy efficiency and conservation in buildings and machines.

In Belgium, no fewer than four market regulators (one federal, three regional) issue new rules on market access, consumer rights, tariffs, and technical requirements. They also issue a significant number of guidelines and interpretations, adding to the complexity of the regulatory framework. Finally, transport and distribution of energy is controlled by government-run agencies and companies.

It is therefore important both for market parties and governmental agencies and companies to be able to secure up-to-date legal advice on the ever changing legal framework, as well as solid legal assistance whenever this legislation is brought before the courts (e.g. the Constitutional Court in the case of legal review or the civil courts in case of disputes over tariffs or green certificates).

We provide a full range of legal services to energy companies related to the ownership, development, and finance of their real estate, transmission, generation, and related facilities. Our project experience ranges from complex procurement and construction agreements, subcontractor agreements, direct agreements with the lenders, engineering and documentation of the underlying equity, junior and senior debt structures (including EIB related solutions), insurance advice, to cost-effective management of legal requirements for smaller supporting facilities. Further, we assist our clients in many permit application procedures, such as operating and single permits.

Clients include energy companies, utilities, contracting and construction companies, financial institutions and equity providers.

We provide a full range of legal services to energy companies, utilities, contracting and construction companies, financial institutions and equity providers. The services we offer focus on the ownership, development, and finance of clients’ real estate, transmission, generation, and related facilities.

Our project experience includes:

  • complex procurement and construction agreements;
  • sub-contractor agreements;
  • direct agreements with lenders / engineering and documentation of the underlying equity;
  • junior and senior debt structures (including EIB-related solutions);
  • insurance advice;
  • cost-effective management of legal requirements for smaller supporting facilities.

We also assist our clients in many permit application procedures, such as operating and single permits.