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Chambers Europe

Banking & Finance

2018: “New entrant to the rankings, acting for both borrowers and lenders on a wide range of financing transactions. Also assists with capital markets transactions, including bond issues and securitisations. Has an active regulatory practice and boasts a strong international network. Particularly renowned for its focus on real estate financing. Clients underline that the firm is "very proactive, able to move the files on and work at a fast pace to produce clear and helpful advice." Clients find that the firm's broad network makes it ideal for cross-border work, saying that "the fact that they had offices across Europe was a big help." Work highlights: Advised NLMK on a EUR130 million credit facility. Acted for NH Hotels on a EUR285 million senior notes offering, secured by mortgages against the group's hotel properties. Significant Clients: Helaba, Aareal Bank, Deutsche Bank, capiton, Aedifica. Bruno Duquesne and Arnaud Van Oekel are the lead partners within the group and key contacts for clients.”

Competition

2018: “International firm with a Brussels offering reputed for expertise in domestic competition law. Considerable experience in matters relating to state aid, with notable focus on aviation mandates. Recently welcomed Dirk Van Liederkerke as an additional partner, together with a team of associates following the firm's merger with Olswang. Clients praise the team's experience and commitment, reporting that the lawyers "devoted quality time" to matters and possess the ability to explain "complex matters raised by authorities in a simple manner."Others praise the firm's "excellent knowledge of state aid" matters. Work highlights: Advised Delhaize on damage claims against Mastercard in connection with interchange fees. Assisted Link2Biz with a EUR27 million abuse of dominance claim against Bpost. Significant Clients: European Investment Bank, Johnson & Johnson, Medi-Market, Lille Airport, Swissport. The "absolutely brilliant" Dirk Van Liedekerke is well regarded in the market for his work in telecoms regulation. He has a broad competition practice and has a notable focus on the technology sector, regularly combining his knowledge of competition law and data privacy. Annabelle Lepièce has notable experience in aviation matters, continuing to represent the SOWAER and the Walloon Authorities in relation to recent developments in the Commission's investigation into alleged state aid granted by Charleroi Airport to Ryanair. According to clients, "she has great expertise regarding the national competition authorities in Belgium and is accurate in foreseeing how the authorities will react."”

Data Protection

2018: “Recently formed practice offering market-leading expertise in domestic and European telecoms regulatory matters. Offers additional expertise in media law, acting for publishers and broadcasters on copyright disputes and competition law mandates. Advises a number of multinational companies on data protection compliance and offer experience in privacy-related litigation. Clients acknowledge the firm's leading position in telecommunications: "They are really experts in telecoms. They know the market, our competitors and our business very well. They can assist in very complex and sensitive files." Clients appreciate the team's "quality and pragmatic approach, in-depth knowledge and teamwork." Another impressed client considers CMS "a reference on the market for data protection," adding: "They are hands-on and the fees are accessible." Work highlights: Represented Proximus in numerous appeals, including an appeal against a fine imposed for alleged lack of transparency for the reference offer for broadband wholesale services. Advised McCain on pan-European data compliance matters covering human resources, customer and supplier management and online matters. Dirk Van Liedekerke is recognised by clients as a "leading telecoms lawyer" and praised by peers for his "in-depth knowledge of competition regulation and excellent technique and technical approach." He is vastly experienced in domestic and EU regulatory matters and regularly assists major operators and leading players in the TMT sector. He represented Proximus in appeal proceedings against interim measures imposed by the Belgian Competition Authority. Tom de Cordier advises on cross-border telecoms regulatory matters and data protection. Clients regard him as a "natural contact person for data protection in Belgium" and describe him as "hands-on, pragmatic and solution-orientated." He continues to advise Randstad on global GDPR compliance matters. Tom Heremans assists broadcasting and publishing clients with copyright and trade mark disputes. M7 Group is among his key clients.”

Employment

2018: “Advises on restructurings and collective and individual dismissals, as well as day-to-day HR advice and management. Also assists with remuneration packages, pensions and trade union negotiations. Acts for both domestic and international clients in the automotive, pharmaceutical and financial sectors. Clients praise the team's "meticulous" approach to their work: "They look into every detail and it's very reassuring." Other sources note that the lawyers are "highly responsive, confident and capable." Work highlights: Advised CAT Benelux on collective dismissals and social plan negotiations in connection with the relocation of the Mechelen site. Acted for Ahrend on its merger with Gispen and the subsequent transfer of personnel. Gaël Chuffart is a key client contact. Elke Duden is praised as an "excellent pensions lawyer." She is particularly active on pension schemes and incentive plans. One client finds Duden to be "very knowledgeable and well connected." Another interviewee describes her as "intelligent, empathetic and resilient.”

2017: “Advises on restructurings and on collective and individual dismissals, as well as day-to-day HR advice and management. Active on matters relating to unions and social elections. Acts for both domestic and international clients with branches in Belgium in the hospitality, pharmaceutical and financial sectors."I'm very satisfied, which is the reason why I work with them and continue to work with them – they are professional, straight to the point and explain well," a pleased client reports. Work highlights: Assisting Marsh with the harmonisation of its compensation and benefits schemes after the acquisition of a Belgian insurance company. Advised MC Brabant Wallon on their social elections in 2016. Significant clients: Lagardère, Pharma Belgium, Accor Hotels, Next World. Gaël Chuffart is the head of department and key contact for the practice.”

2016: “A global cabinet of specialised lawyers in each field; for social law I really appreciate the team's reactivity and pragmatic approach." Work highlights: Advised Chaussea on the expansion of its Belgian operations, including opening stores and relocating management personnel; Assisted new client Sud Express with its entrance into the Belgium market, including the negotiation of contracts and policies. Gaël Chuffart is a key contact for the team.”

2015: “CMS reacts promptly and provides clear and comprehensible advice. It always looks at the different alternatives and clearly points out the risks involved. It has a business-oriented and solution-driven approach. Key contacts at the law firm are Gaël Chuffart and Jef Degrauwe.”

2014: “A solid team that is instructed on a lot of important reorganisations." Gaël Chuffart was promoted to partner. His practice includes litigation, individual and collective redundancies, workplace technology and expatriation issues. Recent highlights: Advised Pharma Belgium on employment issues arising from a fire, which destroyed one of its distribution centres; Assisted French AB Group with the restructuring of its subsidiary, Belgium Television, including terminations and the transfer of broadcasting to France.”

2013: “This full-service firm's employment practice continues to go from strength to strength. The three-partner team covers both employment and pensions mandates, and offers day-to-day HR support to a number of significant clients. It recently assisted Belgian press distribution group AMP with a reorganisation and collective dismissal matter. Sources say: "I am particularly impressed with the team's pragmatic and commercial approach." "All the lawyers are accessible anytime, and score highly for communication and management of the client's expectations." Practice head Michaël De Leersnyder is regarded as an "expert in his field," and is noted for his broad knowledge of corporate employment law.”

2012: “This firm cements its market reputation after another positive year. The team enjoys a notable domestic presence and also has international strength, thanks to the widespread CMS network. Recent highlights include assisting with Crédit Agricole's acquisition of Centea Bank, which required advice on integration and harmonisation matters, as well as due diligence. Sources say: "The team is always thinking about possibilities beyond the obvious and offers good solutions. A very focused service." Practice head Michaël De Leersnyder and managing partner Stanislas van Wassenhove are the key client contacts, and both have a strong focus on collective employment law.”

2011: “This three-partner employment and pensions department enters the rankings on the back of positive market feedback. It is divided between offices in Brussels and Antwerp, and benefits from the firm’s membership of the CMS network of European firms. The team has been extremely busy over recent months, representing domestic and international employers from a wide range of sectors, mainly in restructuring matters. Sources say: “Very knowledgeable and hands-on, offering a rare combination of solid advisory skills and a pragmatic approach to litigation.” Managing partner Stanislas van Wassenhove is a popular and visible employment lawyer, who also publishes and gives seminars. He has a special focus on collective employment law and top management and pensions issues. Partner Jef Degrauwe is another key member of the team.”

Public Law

2018: “Strong team with public procurement and regulatory expertise. Frequently represents clients in bidding and tender processes, as well as claims and contentious matters related to procurement. Known for its sector-driven approach, with substantial penetration of the healthcare, construction and energy markets. Covers both the French- and Dutch-speaking regions due to its team of bilingual practitioners. Klépierre is a new client win for the firm. Clients regard the lawyers as "business-oriented, accessible and flexible" and praise their "clear, structured and well-prepared advice." Other sources laud the "very competent and pragmatic" lawyers and highlight their responsiveness. Work highlights: Represented Bombardier in legal proceedings before the Council of State concerning De Lijn’s decision to award a EUR500 million public contract for the purchase of 146 trams to CAF. Advised Delhaize on the Belgian legal aspects of its EUR28 billion cross-border merger with Koninklijke Ahold. Virginie Dor primarily focuses on public procurement matters for both national and international clients. She is praised by interviewees for providing "hands-on, pragmatic advice to clients whose business she understands very quickly." Recently, she advised Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc on the acquisition of the first fully integrated system for keeping Electronic Medical Records in Belgium.”

2017: “Rises in the rankings following several strong endorsements of the firm's public procurement and regulatory expertise. Frequently represents clients in bidding and tender processes, as well as claims and contentious matters related to procurement. Known for its sector-driven approach, with substantial penetration of the healthcare, construction and energy markets. Covers both the French- and Dutch-speaking regions due to its team of bilingual practitioners. Clients say: "The team was very flexible. They delivered complex output within a very short timeframe and they gathered the right resources to help us. I always feel supported by the CMS team." Another source says the team leaves a "really good impression due to its perfect reactivity and really good knowledge of the subject," and adds that it delivers "concrete opinions and advice to the questions asked."Work highlights: Advised EDF-Luminus on public procurement issues, including a case concerning the development of a new wind farm project. Assisted Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc with a competitive tender and acquisition of a fully integrated system for electronic medical records.Significant clients: RTBF, Federal Minister of Transport, Elia, Buro Happold, Duchene. Virginie Dor has a strong focus on public procurement issues and frequently represents clients with projects in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors. Clients say: "She knows public procurement very well, she is available and hard-working," and they also praise her "very effective technical knowledge."”

2016: “CMS is well structured with a good client-binding mindset and a complete knowledge of public procurement." "The team complements us well with fresh insights and approaches to the matters we handle together." Duchêne and Valens are new additions to the department's client base. Work highlights: Successfully represented Zetes in the bidding process for a contract issued by the Belgian government for the supply of biometric passports. Virginie Dor has established a healthy position in the French-speaking market, and joins the rankings on the back of positive client and peer feedback. She enjoys a growing reputation in public procurement, where she is frequently mandated by clients.”

Intellectual Property

2018: “Highly reputed firm offering expertise in the full range of IP matters, frequently assisting with patents, copyrights and trade mark infringements. Demonstrates additional skill in criminal proceedings concerning copyright protection. Regularly advises clients from the real estate, pharmaceutical and consumer goods sectors on IP mandates both domestically and internationally. Interviewees praise the team's pragmatism, describing CMS as a "firm oriented towards practical solutions resolving the issue." Work highlights: Represented Bombardier in a case against De Lijn and CAF relating to the infringement of Bombardier's patented low platform trams. Assisted Optical Finance with injunctive relief proceedings initiated against RGO SPRL for infringing their trade mark. Tom Heremans assists clients operating within the entertainment, telecommunications and consumer goods sectors with patent infringements, counterfeiting and domain names. He offers additional skill advising on trade mark disputes as well as criminal proceedings connected with copyright protection.”

2017: “Established IP practice with an impressive roster of domestic and international clients. Involved in complex trade mark, patent and copyright matters, including cancellation and infringement litigation. Core sectors of expertise include sports, media, technology and consumer goods. Clients appreciate the team's high level of client service. One source says: "For the areas in which we work with them, they are very strong technically and legally. They are solution-driven and cost-efficient." The source adds: "They are very reactive and can turn around things very quickly, and they know every trick in the book." Work highlights: Advised Colruyt on trade mark opposition proceedings against the Italian stylist Chiara Boni at the Brussels Court of Appeal, in connection with the mark Boni Selection. Represented Leuke Dinges in an anti-counterfeiting case against an Australian company, relating to the copyright and design of its 'Book Seat' product. Significant clients: M7 Group, FIFA, Delhaize, Lagardere Belgium, Polmos. Tom Heremans is a well-regarded lawyer whom sources consider "a real specialist." He acts on IP matters related to distribution and franchising as well as on contentious trade mark, copyright and patent mandates. Work highlights include assisting UEFA with the full gamut of trade mark issues related to the EURO 2016 football tournament.”

2016: “We appreciate the team's knowledge of our sector and the hands-on and pragmatic approach. Also their international presence is an added value." "CMS has a good international network and they react very quickly. The lawyers are always available." New client wins include Birkenstock, Polmos and Unilever. Work highlights: Represented Orchestra-Prémaman in EUR20 million proceedings brought by Levi-Strauss relating to an alleged infringement of Levi-Strauss's tap and arcuate trade marks; Acted for Polmos on proceedings brought to obtain the cancellation of the Carpatia Estate and Carpatia Vodka trade marks. Tom Heremans has a broad practice covering copyright, trade marks and patents in addition to marketing and distribution law. He acted for Colruyt on a dispute with Capri Sun regarding the latter's drink container shape trade marks.”

2015: “The team is very reliable and delivered a high standard of work. Its strong presence in many European countries is another advantage. Work highlights Represented Proterram in a litigation with Carlsberg Import relating to the ownership of the La Ramée brand of beer. Managing partner and department head Tom Heremans has in-depth specialisation in IP and IT law. He is noted for his particular knowledge of the media sector. Heremans advises on contentious and day-to-day copyright and domain names issues as well as trade mark and patent matters.”

2014: “Active on domestic and multi-jurisdictional mandates for a diverse client base that includes chocolate producers, entertainment companies and railway operators. Common projects include enforcement proceedings, protection of trade marks and commercialisation of IP rights. Tom Heremans is known for his excellent knowledge of Belgian IP law and his hands-on approach. Sources call him "a very friendly, approachable person. He is always available, deals with matters promptly, and is responsive and proactive.”

2013: “This team handles high-value national and international files, benefiting from the wider CMS network for multi-jurisdictional work. The practice is active in sectors such as consumer goods, technology and media, and it counts Diageo, UEFA and FIFA among its clients. In a recent mandate, the lawyers represented Anheuser-Busch InBev in a dispute with Maes regarding the use of the colour blue on beer labels. Sources say: "The firm has the firepower to handle major jobs, and the quality of the work is excellent." Clients enjoy working with "hands-on and very practical" practice head Tom Heremans. One source comments: "He is a very bright personality, and very knowledgeable in copyrights, trade marks and domain names.”

2012: “This team has excellent IP expertise in the telecommunications, technology, and media sectors. The practice covers both contentious and non-contentious copyright, trade mark and patent matters, and recent highlights include assisting FIFA and UEFA with various trade mark mandates. Sources say: "The team goes the extra mile for the client and offers targeted, in-depth advice." Sources applaud Tom Heremans's expertise in e-commerce, media and technology. "He possesses an extraordinary insight into consumer and data protection matters," say sources.”

2011: “CMS DeBacker climbs the rankings this year after receiving effusive praise from market sources and industry peers. Working mainly in the telecommunications, technology and media sectors, the team offers expertise on copyright, trade marks and patents in both contentious and non-contentious cases, and is praised as “efficient, accurate and precise.” Clients perceive the team as approachable and always available to explain matters in more detail when required. Department head Tom Heremans specialises in e-commerce, media, technology and privacy law. Commended as “client-oriented and hands-on,” he recently represented FIFA in various anti-piracy and customs actions.”

Real Estate

2018: “Fully integrated team able to handle international clients through the firm's global network. Recognised for its strength in real estate finance and leasing agreements, the team also boasts a growing focus on corporate transactions in retail and hospitality sectors. Frequently acts for underwriters on construction litigation and also advises public and private parties on tenders. One client says: "I would recommend CMS in connection to real estate in Belgium. We are fully satisfied with the level of service for real estate matters and the response time is good." Another client highlights the team's "know-how, service-orientation and great advice" as key assets. Work highlights: Assisted Prime City with its EUR25 million acquisition of Belgium's largest former Sheraton Hotel. Acted for M&G Real Estate on the EUR40 million acquisition of an office building in Brussels. Bruno Duquesne assists Belgian clients and foreign investors with all aspects of property transactions. He advised Kinepolis on the EUR15.5 million sale of its Toison d’Or cinema complex to UGC. Clients describe him as "pragmatic and focused on finding solutions" and value his ability to "find the most practical and easy way to deal with complex matters.”

2017: “Fully integrated team able to handle international clients through the firm's global network. A strong focus on real estate finance and construction mandates and recently handled a number of transactions in the retail, hotel and leisure sectors, including sale and leaseback deals involving sports facilities and shopping centres. Frequently acts for underwriters on construction litigation and also advises public and private parties on tenders. One client appreciates that the team "is able to give advice on a wide range of real estate-related questions, from town planning to tax issues."Another source says "they are efficient and can work quickly when needed." Work highlights: Advised the project NEO 1 consortium of Unibail Rodamco, Besix and CFE on tax aspects relating to a mixed-use real estate development which will include housing, office space and a 112,000 sq m leisure park. Significant clients: Savills, Helaba, Aareal Bank. Bruno Duquesne leads the firm's real estate group and acts on a range of matters including transactions and real estate financing, with a particular focus on the retail and office sectors. He recently led a number of acquisitions and developments in these areas as well as in the hospitality business.”

2016: “We appreciate the way the lawyers work, they always meet deadlines." The firm now represents Equilis, Hasekamp and Helaba. Work highlights: Assisted Calzedonia with the opening of 13 new shops in Belgium; Advised Crédit Agricole on the relocation of its Brussels office to a new site, including lease negotiations. Bruno Duquesne is particularly strong in real estate financing including investments and disposals and often represents buyers in acquisitions. He advises a consortium including Unibail-Rodamco on the real estate aspects of the redevelopment of the Heysel site in Brussels.”

2015: “Well-respected team with a commendable reputation for its transactional and financing work. Also advises on town planning and environmental matters. Noted for its strong European network, enabling it to collaborate on projects throughout the region, as well as its global footprint. Sources say: 'We have a very good relationship with the team. All the lawyers are available, reactive and pragmatic.' Work highlights Advised Peronnes Invest on its purchase of a 270 hectare site near Tournai. The plot will be developed into a leisure centre. Bruno Duquesne continues to maintain an excellent reputation for his work on financing mandates. He is described by sources as a 'flexible, reliable and clever' presence on projects.”

2014: “The team provides a solid and reliable service, punctual completion of tasks, effective communication, broad knowledge and a proactive approach." Recent highlights: Drafted a green lease agreement for Aerium in relation to a BREEAM-certified office building in Brussels; Successfully represented NH Hotels in a litigation related to the sale of a hotel, in a case worth EUR3 million. Head of department Bruno Duquesne earns a promotion in the rankings this year on the basis of consistent, positive feedback. He handles a wide variety of transactional work, but is also highly esteemed for his experience in real estate finance and litigation. Up-and-comer Pierre-Axel Chabot remains a recognised name amongst market commentators, especially on the transactional side. He is particularly active in the hotel and leisure sector.”

2013: “This firm is regularly instructed by investment funds, retailers, banks and developers in relation to major property transactions. Notable recent mandates include assisting Vishay with the complex closure and EUR10 million sale of a major site near Brussels, a deal requiring the support of the firm's environment and tax experts. The firm's international network gives the team a considerable advantage on cross-border real estate deals, and it recently advised SportsDirect.com on its expansion into five CEE jurisdictions. Sources say: "The team is efficient and pragmatic, and won't make problems out of nothing.” Head of department Bruno Duquesne is noted for his precise knowledge and decisiveness in negotiations. He is described by a source as "a deal maker who knows what he is talking about." Talented real estate lawyer Pierre-Axel Chabot wins praise for his open and direct approach: “We appreciate the fact that he doesn't sit on the fence - he is very honest, even if it is bad news.”

2012: “This real estate team is fully integrated with the firm's environment and tax teams, giving it an advantage on PPP projects and transactional work. It represents a selection of public authorities, investors, industrial groups and banks, and has particular experience on the financing side of transactions. A notable mandate saw the group act on a number of property finance transactions carried out by CBRE. Sources say: “It helps me on all aspects of real estate; I couldn't manage without it!” Practice head Bruno Duquesne is an expert on the corporate aspects of real estate and is well known for his work in financing. He recently advised KBC and ING on the provision of a EUR120 million financing to Banimmo. Sources describe Pierre-Axel Chabot as “someone who goes beyond his remit to provide us with excellent strategic advice and background information that might affect our case, always demonstrating initiative and full understanding”.”

2011: “This practice covers developments, PPP, restructuring, environmental and tax issues. Recent significant mandates include assisting Westimmo with the EUR70 million financing of the acquisition of an office building in Brussels and providing environmental law advice to the Brussels Harbour. The team has also advised Aareal and RBS on credit restructuring work. Clients appreciate the in-depth real estate and property finance expertise of Department head Bruno Duquesne.”

Tax

2016: “The firm is responsive, practical and takes into account the specifics of our case." VINCI Energies is one of the firm's most recent clients. Department head Olivier Querinjean assists clients with profit sharing schemes, corporate restructuring and M&A tax elements. Clients say: "He is responsive, practical and you feel you are in good hands." Recent work has involved transfer pricing audits.”

2015: “Noted tax practice advising domestic and international companies as well as private clients on a wide range of matters, including corporate and international tax, litigation and real estate. Works closely with the firm's real estate, M&A and employment teams, as well as colleagues in Luxembourg. Tax head Olivier Querinjean is the main contact for queries.”

2014: “Highlighted for its real estate tax practice and also offers a strong private client tax practice, advising on estate planning, wealth management and expatriation issues. Sources say: "The lawyers are trustworthy tax advisers: reliable, accurate and proactive." Recenyt highlights include advising Orchestra-Prémaman following its merger on a follow-on acquisition of Baby 2000, a Belgian baby products chain. Practice head Didier Grégoire is the key contact for tax at the firm.”

2013: “This practice's key focus areas include general corporate taxation, real estate tax and private client matters. Of late, it advised Nissan on the cross-border merger of the company's Belgian, Dutch and French entities as part of a wider European reorganisation, and assisted Orchestra-Kazibao with the takeover, integration and reorganisation of Prémaman, a baby products retail group. Practice head Didier Grégoire is the key contact here.”

2012: “Impressive work highlights and superb client feedback propel this firm into the rankings this year. The team collaborates closely with the corporate, finance, real estate and public law departments to offer clients a multidisciplinary service, and it also utilises the global CMS network for cross-border work. Recent highlights include advising Lombard on the tax and legal implications of the EU Savings Directive amendments to life insurance policies. Sources say: "A methodical team, with sound knowledge, who can provide fast and accurate advice." Department head Didier Grégoire is the main contact here.”

TMT

2018: “Recently formed practice offering market-leading expertise in domestic and European telecoms regulatory matters. Offers additional expertise in media law, acting for publishers and broadcasters on copyright disputes and competition law mandates. Advises a number of multinational companies on data protection compliance and offer experience in privacy-related litigation. Clients acknowledge the firm's leading position in telecommunications: "They are really experts in telecoms. They know the market, our competitors and our business very well. They can assist in very complex and sensitive files." Clients appreciate the team's "quality and pragmatic approach, in-depth knowledge and teamwork." Another impressed client considers CMS "a reference on the market for data protection," adding: "They are hands-on and the fees are accessible." Work highlights: Represented Proximus in numerous appeals, including an appeal against a fine imposed for alleged lack of transparency for the reference offer for broadband wholesale services. Advised McCain on pan-European data compliance matters covering human resources, customer and supplier management and online matters. Dirk Van Liedekerke is recognised by clients as a "leading telecoms lawyer" and praised by peers for his "in-depth knowledge of competition regulation and excellent technique and technical approach." He is vastly experienced in domestic and EU regulatory matters and regularly assists major operators and leading players in the TMT sector. He represented Proximus in appeal proceedings against interim measures imposed by the Belgian Competition Authority. Tom de Cordier advises on cross-border telecoms regulatory matters and data protection. Clients regard him as a "natural contact person for data protection in Belgium" and describe him as "hands-on, pragmatic and solution-orientated." He continues to advise Randstad on global GDPR compliance matters. Tom Heremans assists broadcasting and publishing clients with copyright and trade mark disputes. M7 Group is among his key clients.”

2017: “Respected offering in the IT sector, acting on a range of local and cross-border matters. Covers a broad range of technology work including transactions, advisory and litigation work. Bolstered by the firm's strong IP practice and extensive European network. Recently merged with Olswang's former Brussels team, adding impressive strength and experience in telecoms and media work, particularly in relation to regulatory and contentious aspects. Clients praise the firm's well-rounded offering. One source says: "They are very strong technically and legally, solution-driven and cost-efficient." Work highlights: Advised Brussels Capital Region on its compliance with the high-speed network directive. Acted for Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc on the acquisition of an integrated system for keeping Electronic Medical Records in Belgium. Significant clients: M7 Group, DNS Belgium, Checkster, Randstad, Sprint. Dirk Van Liedekerke, who joined CMS recently as part of the recent merger with Olswang in Belgium, is a leading name in the telecoms space, acclaimed by peers as "a real expert" with whom "everyone likes working." He covers a wide range of regulatory and contentious work, including recent high-profile cases related to mergers in the telecoms sector. Department co-head Tom De Cordier represents clients in the full range of IT and data privacy matters. One client states he is "very approachable and clear in what the necessary steps are." Among a number of recent highlights, he led the team's work for Brussels Capital Region. Tom Heremans co-heads the department and offers expertise covering e-commerce, media, technology and privacy. Lately, he advised M7 Group on a EUR1.5 million litigation against the collecting society Agicoa relating to the refund of royalties for the alleged retransmission of broadcasting signals.”

2016: “We chose the firm because of its capacity and large network." Work highlights: Represented M7 Group and Medialaan in litigation against Right Brain Interface concerning the Bhaalu system for watching television programmes; Acted for EURid in arbitration resulting from its refusal to register single-character domain names. Tom De Cordier recently joined the firm from Allen & Overy. He has a combined contentious and advisory practice and is well regarded in the fields of IT and privacy. Clients note: "He has good multinational knowledge and a pragmatic approach." Described by peers as a "very brilliant lawyer," Tom Heremans specialises in advertising, e-commerce, privacy and IP. He acted for M7 Group in EUR1.5 million litigation against the collecting societies that were claiming royalties for the alleged retransmission of broadcasting signals.”

2015: “Strong choice for IT projects and IP-related issues, with expertise in the internet domain name field. Highly regarded litigators, regularly representing clients in trade mark and licensing cases. Works with mobile phone operators and software developers. Sources say: 'The lawyers know our business very well and have acquired vast experience concerning internet domain names.' Work highlights: Represented M7 GROUP, a satellite broadcaster, in litigation challenging a system which allows viewers to download television programmes from the cloud. Clients say head of department Tom Heremans has 'a solid knowledge of our industry in general and of our daily needs as a client.' He is a recognised trade mark lawyer and regularly assists with domain name files. He provides contractual and regulatory advice to telecommunications, media, retail and software development companies.”

2014: “The team is known for its expertise in IT projects and IP-related media mandates, including litigation. Areas of focus include data privacy, software licensing, copyright infringement, online advertising, domain names and viral marketing. Recent highlights include assisting Belgian and Dutch publishing house WPG Uitgevers with a recent review of template author contracts, to take into account recent technological advances. Head of IT and IP Tom Heremans is highlighted by sources as a "well-known figure" for his knowledge in the field of domain names, and advises more widely on contracts, IP, competition and litigation.”

2013: “Tom Heremans leads the IT practice at CMS. He is considered to be "one of the leading experts in Belgium on domain names," and his practice includes significant crossovers with the firm's IP team. He counts telecoms operators, satellite and TV broadcasters and IT service providers among his clients.”