Offices

Brussels

Bastion Tower, Place du Champ de Mars / Marsveldplein 5
BE 1050 Brussels, Belgium  Map
+32 2 285 49 00 (t)
+32 2 285 49 49 (f)

WilmerHale’s Brussels office opened in 1990 in anticipation of the impact of the European single market. The office has contributed to WilmerHale's leading reputation in Europe and has gained widespread recognition as one of Brussels' top-tier EU, international trade and competition law practices. We advise prominent multinationals as well as nationally-based clients on high-profile matters in EU law and regulation, including legislative advocacy, in both established and new market sectors.

Part of the reason for the success of the office has been its unique development. Our Brussels office is neither an outpost of US lawyers temporarily stationed in Belgium, nor is it simply a wholesale acquisition of a local firm. Instead, WilmerHale has established its Brussels office through careful organic growth of an exceptional group of lawyers from across Europe and North America. True to the firm’s reputation for expertise in regulatory and government affairs, we maintain close and trusted relationships with the European Commission and with the other European institutions. Senior practitioners with WilmerHale’s Brussels office have served in high-level positions with the EU.

The majority of lawyers resident in Brussels are qualified in major European jurisdictions as well as the United States. The breadth of continental European and common law legal traditions represented gives WilmerHale in Brussels a pronounced pan-European and transatlantic orientation that is reflected both in the work and the culture of the office.

The Brussels office is especially known for its outstanding reputation in all areas of EU competition law, including major mergers, cartel investigations, Article 102 (abuse of monopoly power) investigations, counseling and related litigation. Our competition work encompasses a wide range of EU, national and international competition issues. In the last 12 months we have worked on matters originating from around the globe and in conjunction with lawyers from our Berlin, Frankfurt, Boston, Washington DC, New York and Palo Alto offices. We also maintain a leading practice in international trade, including trade remedies and WTO work, in conjunction with our colleagues in our Washington DC office.

Lawyers in the Brussels office are part of the firm's European Regulatory Group, which includes more than 50 specialists in key EU regulatory areas including Aviation and Logistics; Communications; Data Protection and Information Security; Energy and Climate Change; Environment, Waste and Chemicals; Financial Services; Food, Nutrition and Cosmetics; Life Sciences and Healthcare; Public Procurement and Government Contracts; and State Aid. The composition of the group allows us to service our European-based and international clients with equal ease.

In addition, we advise and assist US, UK, European and Asian multinational companies and/or their Belgian subsidiaries in respect of their corporate and business transactions in Belgium. We have regular experience of coordinating cross-border work for Benelux and Europe-wide projects. Our corporate, corporate restructuring and mergers and acquisitions practice includes experience in a wide range of sectors ranging from consumer goods, consulting services, construction and chemicals, to regulated industries such as financial services and telecommunications.

Our expertise includes:

Competition Law:

  • Abuse of dominance cases
  • Cartel investigations
  • Horizontal and vertical commercial agreements
  • Merger control and worldwide merger filings
  • State aid

International Trade and WTO Law:

  • Trade remedies (antidumping, subsidies)
  • WTO law
  • Market access

EU Regulatory:

  • Aviation and Logistics
  • IT and Communications
  • Data Protection and Information Security
  • Energy and Climate Change
  • Environment, Waste and Chemicals
  • Financial Services
  • Food, Nutrition and Cosmetics
  • Life Sciences and Healthcare
  • Public Procurement and Government Contracts

Transactional:

  • General Corporate
  • International Transactions

Our Brussels lawyers team with an exceptionally qualified and experienced professional support staff of several nationalities, further enhancing the diversity of the office.

Louis, Frédéric

Frédéric Louis

Partner

+32 2 285 49 53 (t)

frederic.louis@wilmerhale.com

Mueller, Thomas

Thomas Mueller

Partner

+1 202 663 6766 (t)

thomas.mueller@wilmerhale.com

Ratliff, John

John Ratliff

Partner

+32 2 285 49 08 (t)

john.ratliff@wilmerhale.com

von Hehn, Paul A.

Paul A. von Hehn

Partner

+32 475 902 965 (m) +32 2 285 49 03 (t)

paul.vonhehn@wilmerhale.com

De Paepe, Frank

Frank De Paepe

Of Counsel

+32 2 285 49 30 (t)

frank.depaepe@wilmerhale.com

O'Daly, Cormac

Cormac O'Daly

Special Counsel

+44 (0)20 7872 1534 (t)

cormac.o'daly@wilmerhale.com

van den Broek, Naboth

Naboth van den Broek

Special Counsel

+1 202 247 3267 (t)

naboth.vandenbroek@wilmerhale.com

Publications & News

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September 2, 2014

Update on German Anti-Corruption Legislation and Procedure

On 1 September 2014, an important amendment to German anti-corruption legislation has entered into force.

July 1, 2014

International Merger Remedies

A chapter by Frédéric Louis and John Ratliff, published in the fifth edition of The Merger Control Review, Editor Ilene Knable Gotts. The chapter covers international merger remedies in Europe, the US and around the world. Reproduced with permission from Law Business Research Ltd.

June 10, 2014

European Court of Justice Provides Guidance Regarding Potential Liability of Cartel Members in EU Member States for Sales by Non-Cartel Participants

Last week, the EU’s highest court, the European Court of Justice (ECJ), held that Member State laws may not categorically prohibit consumers from recovering from cartel members damages attributable to purchases from non-cartel participants that—acting independently—were able to charge inflated prices as a result of market-wide price effects from cartel behavior.

May 20, 2014

Cross-Border Investigations and Compliance

It is often said that corporations are not criminally liable under German law. As we explain in this alert, whilst technically accurate, such a statement should be tempered by two important considerations.

April 25, 2014

Selected 2014 Technology Transactions

For more than four decades, we have represented technology clients in venture capital financings, public offerings, and mergers and acquisitions; handled their licensing, outsourcing, services, joint venture, development and distribution transactions throughout the world; protected their innovations through patent prosecution and portfolio development; defended their interests in enterprise-critical patent litigation; and navigated regulatory issues vital to their success.

April 25, 2014

Selected 2014 Strategic Alliances, Joint Venture and Licensing Transactions

Our corporate, licensing, intellectual property and regulatory lawyers have recently handled numerous strategic alliance, joint venture, licensing, collaboration, product development, outsourcing, manufacturing, distribution and similar agreements, including many significant deals that are helping to shape the future of science and technology.

April 1, 2014

Important Changes to the UK’s Competition Regime

Changes to UK Competition Law: As from today, the prosecution no longer needs to prove dishonesty to convict an individual of the criminal cartel offence in the UK. The change is intended to make it easier to prosecute individuals for cartel behaviour; to date, the authorities have had little success in securing convictions. Today also marks the coming into being of the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The CMA replaces the Competition Commission and the Office of Fair Trading. While there are some procedural changes, the UK’s civil enforcement of competition law will not change substantially.

April 1, 2014

First EU Anti-Corruption Report: What it Means for Business

EU Member States have in place most of the necessary legal instruments to prevent and fight corruption. However, the enforcement results are not always satisfactory. With its recently published first EU Anti-Corruption Report, the EU Commission provides a detailed analysis of the status of corruption for each of the 28 Member States. It specifies for each of them problems in dealing with corruption but also lists good practices which might serve as models for other Member States. Although the Report is primarily addressed to the Member States, it is also of significant relevance for business. Any company doing business in Europe is well advised to review its compliance program and policies in light of the findings and recommendations of this Report.

March 26, 2014

European Commission’s New Rules on Application of EU Competition Law to Licenses, Settlement Agreements and Patent Pools

On 21 March, the European Commission published the final version of its revised Block Exemption Regulation and Guidelines on the application of Article 101(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) to categories of technology transfer agreements.

March 18, 2014

Unlimited Jurisdiction: A look at how the European Courts review European Commission competition law penalties

An article by John Ratliff, published in the March 18, 2014 edition of Competition Law Insight, pp. 13-14.

  • Best Lawyers in Belgium 2012 – Five lawyers from WilmerHale’s Brussels office were recently named in the inaugural edition of the 2012 Best Lawyers list for Belgium.
  • Chambers & Partners Firm is consistently and prominently ranked in Chambers' guidebooks to the legal profession, which include significant accolades in the Asia, Europe, Global, USA and UK editions.
  • Chambers Europe 2012 - Firm is recognized for its exceptional Competition/European Law, International Trade/WTO, Telecommunication Media and Technology practices in Belgium.
  • GCR 100 and GCR Global Elite (2008–2014) The firm is consistently ranked in the "Top 20 GCR Global Elite," and has maintained a "highly recommended" ranking in GCR 100's Brussels category.
  •  The Lawyer (2013)- WilmerHale is ranked among the top 10 litigation practices in the world in the list of the Global Litigation Top 50.
  • The Legal 500 Series - Firm is frequently ranked in this series of referral guides focusing on each of the Asia Pacific, UK, Europe, Middle East, Africa and US markets.
  • Practical Law Company - Recommended as a leading firm for Competition/Anti-trust and Telecoms and Media in the 2012 edition of the guide, with additional recognition of six key practice areas in Europe and the US. In 2008, the firm was ranked among the top 50 law firms in the world.