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Regulated Markets & Market Regulators

Our multidisciplinary team of lawyers assists companies active in regulated industries in their dealings with market regulators, legislators and governments.

Focus areas

Risk management and regulatory compliance principles are constantly changing. Through our established relationships with regulatory bodies, we can offer prompt, pointed and clear advice to help our clients determine how best to maintain compliance.

We advise, among other issues, on:

  • the effect and impact of regulations on businesses operating in the financial services sector, offering standalone strategic advice and as integrated team members on complex transactions;
  • compliance, including dealing with local regulatory bodies;
  • investigations by local regulatory bodies, covering a wide range of issues, including governance, remuneration, complaints handling, insider dealing and market abuse;
  • transactional work relating to trading and clearing platforms, with an in-depth knowledge of Euroclear;
  • private and public offerings of securities, including providing advice on selling restrictions.

Lydian’s top-ranked insurance team assists reinsurers, insurers and insurance intermediaries in regulatory issues and discussions with the Belgian insurance regulator. These include issues of licensing, regulatory advice, outsourcing, freedom of establishment and freedom of services, sanctions imposed on insurers, reinsurers and brokers or on their respective shareholders.  We frequently act upon instructions from foreign law firms to advise their clients on regulatory issues or to assist them in their contacts with the Belgian insurance regulator, (very often on a no names basis).

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).

Lydian offers the right answers to your questions: we combine specific knowledge and expertise in the electronic communications sector of our ICT team with a seamless and integrated collaboration with our other practices. 

Lydian’s ICT team advises corporations (both telecoms and other) on telecom regulatory issues, such as interconnection tariffs, public telecoms network ownership, and licensing requirements. 

We also advise on the full spectrum of telecom-related contracts  and related litigation, including:

  • MVNO contracts;
  • co-branding arrangements;
  • IRU agreements;
  • duct sharing agreements;
  • provision of broadband and telecom services;
  • dark fibre agreements;
  • collocation arrangements;
  • network support and maintenance agreements; 
  • agreements relating to the provision of telecom hardware.

An essential task of the Belgian pensions regulator (FSMA) is to protect the pension benefits financed through pension funds and insurance companies. It has a wide range of powers including: 

  • a general power of control over all pension funds and insurance companies;
  • the right to investigate;
  • the right to inform other stakeholders; and,
  • the right to impose fines and other types of sanctions.

Our pensions team has expertise in dealing with the FSMA in a wide variety of matters including plan changes, financing issues, setting up of pension funds, restructuring and M&A.

The importance of government rules and regulations for industries and markets makes the interface between the public and private sectors increasingly significant. Lydian is one of a select number of law firms regularly advising the regulators on the drafting, interpretation and implementation of their legislative powers, including the interaction between different levels of government. Our practical and business-focused approach means we anticipate challenges which regulation may impose on the markets we serve and speak plainly both to regulators and to our clients.

For our private sector clients, we analyse public policy trends as well as (anticipated) legislative and regulatory proposals. We also  investigate alternatives to regulation (e.g.,soft law and self-regulation solutions, policy agreements, transactional government). Finally, we act against unwanted regulations before the Constitutional & Administrative Courts.