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History

Lydian: Improving day by day... for 20 years

Lydian's staff have been writing our story together, one day at a time, since 2001. Now employing 120 people, including 85 lawyers, especially in recent years we have carved out a reputation as a full-service, independent Belgian business law firm that stands out for its client-focused mindset. Lydian's story is all about seizing opportunities, tenacity and, above all, a flair for business. We're proud to share that story with you.

2001 - How it all started

The seeds of Lydian were sown in the early 2000s, a period when international players were beginning to take over Belgian law firms at a rapid rate. In those turbulent times, a number of young lawyers found themselves working at a brand new office set up in 2001 but still affiliated with consultancy firm KPMG. That enterprising group, including Alexander Vandenbergen, Hugo Keulers, Jan Hofkens and Wouter Neven, shared a strong business instinct and a preference for the Anglo-Saxon way of working. Their entrepreneurial drive and ambition laid the foundations for what would later become Lydian.

From day one, our youthful team of lawyers worked hard to forge strong ties with law firms in cities like London and Paris. This, they hoped, would give them the in-depth knowledge of the international market required to offer a premium service. They spotted that the many acquisitions taking place had created a gap in the market for international referrals. Our firm gutsily set about filling that gap and immediately managed to make its mark on the international scene. From the word go, Lydian also organised a host of client seminars and events, which quickly boosted the firm's profile and grew its business in the Belgian market too. Its 'lunch and learn' formula soon became a buzzword in the sector.

2005 - The next leap forward

In 2005, we decided to move to the Tour & Taxis site outside central Brussels, to underscore our independence and build our future. At the time, the growing divide between legal advice and audit work was triggering widespread changes internationally, creating space in which an independent, full-service law firm such as Lydian could grow.

Opting to base ourselves at Tour & Taxis seemed like a leap in the dark. Yet in hindsight the decision actually represented a kind of 'homecoming', both location-wise and in terms of our strategy and vision. Working out of a brand new building in an up-and-coming neighbourhood perfectly matched our appetite for growth. The new location showcased our independence, while serving as a springboard for developing the firm's character and approach. Being based at Tour & Taxis gave us the opportunity to fulfil the firm's potential and grow it into the kind of company we had wanted to build from the start.

2007 - Our DNA: all about client focus and flexibility

Continued growth at Tour & Taxis enabled us to further hone our vision and strategy. By 2007, the time had come to mark this new identity with a new name: Lydian. The term is derived from jazz theory, referring to the tonal system that forms the 'touchstone' or 'backbone' of the jazz musician's art, something they can always fall back on when improvising. We felt this concept resonated with our own values of customer focus and flexibility, making 'Lydian' the perfect embodiment of our DNA.

2008 - Further growth in Brussels, Antwerp and Hasselt

Every day, our clients enable us to move forward and seek out fresh opportunities, like those we duly seized when they arose in Antwerp and Hasselt. Our Antwerp office opened in 2008. Putting down roots in Flanders' largest city helped strengthen our ties with the port and Belgium's next-door neighbour, the Netherlands. In 2015, we followed this expansion by opening another new office, in the historic 'Oud Gasthuis' building in Hasselt. Both workplaces clearly reflect our desire to continue growing.

Full service thanks to new partners and steady growth

Over the years, Lydian has not only set up new offices, but also welcomed new team members, including such talented professionals as Peter De Ryck (2007), Annick Mottet Haugaard (2007) and Bastiaan Bruyndonckx (2016). Their arrival has enabled us to expand our Corporate, M&A, Litigation, Intellectual Property and Data Protection practices, among others. So Lydian can now proudly call itself a full-service, fully-fledged business law firm, currently employing 120 staff, including 85 lawyers.

Over the past 20 years, every Lydian employee has contributed to the firm's growth in his or her own way. Thanks to our emphasis on a professional management structure, lawyers are given the space they need to do good work. As a result, everyone at Lydian can steadily progress. Over the years, for example, Sandra Lodewijckx, Yves Lenders, Jens Debievre and Tom Geudens have all been promoted from the rank of associate and/or counsel to partner.

Various internal courses at the Lydian Academy also give everybody a chance to develop, whether that be training our assistants to use Word or improving our lawyers' presentation and social media skills. If our people lacked the ambition to make themselves and the firm a little better every day, Lydian would simply not be what it has proudly become.

2018 - Trends Legal Award

As the icing on the cake for two decades of hard work, Lydian was named the 'Best Belgian Law Firm' at the Trends Legal Awards in 2018, becoming the first independent law firm ever to receive this accolade. Today, in 2019, we are known in Belgium and beyond for our customer focus and professional approach. As a full-service law firm, Lydian will continue to innovate to ensure that we always offer the best possible service. And we work closely together with all our clients to make sure this happens.

In other words, Lydian's story is far from over. Tomorrow we start on the next chapter. How about helping us write it?