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Public & Administrative Law

We advise governments and enterprises on public and administrative law topics related to the economic activities developed by, or in relation with, governmental agencies or state-owned enterprises.

Focus areas

We assist both government and state-owned or private enterprises throughout the procurement process, by advising on strategy, drafting tender documentation or revising offers and by assisting parties during negotiations. We also represent contracting authorities and bidders before the administrative courts, both in the award and the execution phases. Although we cover all works, goods and services contracts, we have a specific expertise in transport, water, energy and other utilities, health care products, ICT, infrastructure and financial and insurance services. 

We have in-depth experience in other administrative contracts, such as concessions (works and services), DBFM(O), subsidies, and brownfield covenants. We also advise on contractual public-public partnerships, often the basis for multi-government investment projects in Belgium.

Belgium is known for its multi-layered government structure, both vertically and laterally, creating a complex system of governmental bodies and agencies with their own regulations and their own relationships with enterprises and interest groups. This is the setting in which our team applies its expertise to benefit our clients.

We assist all levels of government (federal, regional and local) in setting up (or rationalising) and managing agencies or enterprises. We advise on the legal framework, management, financial aspects, transfer of personnel, oversight, ESA2010. We also deal with corporate housekeeping, contract management and relations with stakeholders. In addition, we help these agencies and enterprises in structuring their cooperation through special purpose vehicles or structured contracts. We have an extensive experience in setting up and managing intermunicipal associations and externally decentralised agencies. Finally, we support private sector clients in their relationship with this complex government structure, for example, by setting up joint ventures or PPP/PFI projects. 

We assist clients in creating, managing and optimising various types of public infrastructure, such as transport infrastructure (land, water and air), social housing, schools, cultural facilities, utilities (water, energy, telecom), waste management, sports and leisure facilities, administrative centers, police and fire stations and prisons.

We also advise private sector clients (sponsors or lenders) in setting up PPP schemes with government, including BOO or DBFM(O) structures. In this respect, we often deal with questions about private use of the public domain (concessions, rights in rem) as well as with structures for intergovernmental cooperation on public domain management and development.

We advise all levels of government on both European and national rules for public finance and budget drafting. Not only do we help to assess the Eurostat and INR/ICN qualification of public investments, projects, and PPPs under ESA2010 rules, we also look at their qualification under state aid rules and the possibility to finance them through alternative financing mechanisms. We advise them on the opinions from the Financial Inspection Agency or the Court of Auditors.

We help our private sector clients to obtain and manage government grants, subsidies, guarantees or investments from Belgian or European public institutions. We also assist in dealing with inspection services and possible reclaiming of subsidies or grants.

We represent our clients before the constitutional and administrative courts, both on a federal and a regional level. Our assistance includes proceedings against market regulators, new legislation and collective or individual administrative decisions. More specifically, we have an extensive expertise in representing both contracting authorities and bidders before the Council of State or the courts on disputes arising from administrative contract award decisions (procurement, concessions, subsidies). We also regularly intervene on both sides in proceedings following poor contract performance. We represent our clients in town planning and zoning law disputes as well as in contestations under the federal or regional administrative transparency rules.

Our expertise extends to alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, such as mediation or arbitration.

Human capital is one of the public sector’s main resources. Recruitment and effective management of the workforce is key to the success of any public body or agency.

We are a leader in public sector employment law on the Belgian market, combining in-depth knowledge of current practice with widely recognized academic skills and credentials.

We help local, regional and Federal government to draft, revise and negotiate their civil servants’ and contractual workers’ statutes and regulations.

We advise public employers on adapting the legal position of their workforce after decentralisation, restructuring, outsourcing or job pooling. Our range of legal HRM services covers all key areas and we help public bodies and agencies to apply HRM solutions in joint ventures, concession contracts, and PPP/PFI projects.