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Belgium > Leading tax law firms

Index of tables

  1. Belgium – Leading tax law firms
  2. Belgium - TDH500
  3. Next generation lawyers
  4. Revenue authority details

Belgium - TDH500

  1. 1
    • Thierry Afschrift - Afschrift Law Firm
    • Christian Chéruy - Loyens & Loeff
    • Daniel Garabedian - Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick
    • Axel Haelterman - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
    • Alain Huyghe - Baker & McKenzie CVBA/SCRL
    • Jacques Malherbe - Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick
    • Ivo Onkelinx - Linklaters
    • Bernard Peeters - Tiberghien
    • Patrick Smet - Allen & Overy LLP
    • Henk Vanhulle - Linklaters

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Jean-Michel Degée - Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick
    • Alexandre Ooms - Clifford Chance
    • Isabelle Panis - Allen & Overy LLP
    • Henk Verstraete - Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick
    • An Weyn - Tiberghien

Handling contentious matters and tax advisory work, Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick is often involved in the drafting of new legislation and tax policy development. Recently the group assisted a corporation with post-acquisition reorganisation and tax optimisation. Jean-Michel Degée took over the position of department head from Daniel Garabedian; Jacques Malherbe and Henk Verstraete are two other key partners.

Appreciated for its ‘thorough advice’, Linklaters’ tax department draws on the expertise of the corporate, finance and restructuring teams. In addition, the group handles tax and VAT litigation as well as criminal tax litigation and has been representing Citibank as an intervenor in tax litigation related to foreign tax credits. Department head Henk Vanhulle and Nicolas Lippens are recommended and Ivo Onkelinx is another key partner.

Loyens & Loeff’s ‘strong and responsive’ tax department handles tax litigation and advisory work, extending to cover VAT, transfer pricing, compensation and benefits, as well as customs and international trade. The firm assisted the European Federation of Accountants and Auditors with determining its VAT liabilities. Natalie Reypens ‘simplifies all tax-related issues’; Christian Chéruy, Xavier Clarebout and Thierry Charon are also recommended. Nicolas Bertrand recently made partner.

Strong and proactive’ boutique Tiberghien gives ‘straightforward advice’ and has ‘up-to-date knowledge of developments in the sector’. Argenta is a longstanding client. Practice head Koen Morbée has ‘good knowledge of international and EU tax law’; Koen Van Duyse and Bart De Cock are ‘excellent professionals’, as is VAT expert Stijn Vastmans. Bernard Peeters, Gerd Goyvaerts and counsel An Weyn are also recommended.

Allen & Overy LLP’s ‘very strong’ tax group has a particular strength in M&A and financial tax law; however, tax investigation work has increased considerably in the Belgian offices. Headline work saw counsel Stéphanie Houx advising investment fund Patrizia Immobilien on the tax structuring of real estate transactions in Belgium. Department head Patrick Smet is highly regarded and counsel Isabelle Panis is another name to note.

Baker & McKenzie CVBA/SCRL’s tax department is recommended for its ‘cross-border capabilities’ covering tax planning, tax optimisation of deals and corporate finance, transfer pricing and fund structuring. The group handled litigation regarding the treatment of certain payments to Belgian pensioners by an international organisation. Philippe Lion draws ‘clear and concise conclusions’. Practice head Alain Huyghe and Luc Meeus are also recommended.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is considered by some clients to be ‘the benchmark firm for Belgian tax matters’. Recent work includes advising BHF Kleinwort Benson Group on the tax aspects of its response to the unsolicited public takeover bid by Fosun. ‘Very knowledgeable’ department head Axel Haelterman and principal associate Emilie Maes are the key figures.

Afschrift Law Firm focuses on contentious matters related to tax fraud and financial criminal law. The highly regarded Thierry Afschrift is supported by a team that advises and defends taxpayers (both individuals and companies).

Established in 2015, tax and social law boutique Bloom Law Firm gives ‘top-notch advice’. Highlights included representing the Flemish tax authority regarding its interests before the Council of State in a procedure initiated by Assuralia. Denis-Emmanuel Philippe has ‘unique expertise in Belgian and Luxembourgish tax law’, and the renowned Michel Maus and Mark Delanote are also names to note.

Clifford Chance is ‘very familiar with the developments of international tax law’. Handling tax matters pertaining to M&A and capital markets transactions as well as real estate taxation, the group recently advised Mitiska on the tax structuring and establishment of a new real estate fund. Recently promoted partner Alexandre Ooms now heads the practice after Thierry Blockerye retired from the partnership and joined THB Avocat.

Eubelius gave strategic tax advice to Banimmo concerning a high-profile real estate development project; the firm was also involved in numerous contentious matters. Kristof Spagnoli and Wouter Claes are department co-heads.

Tax boutique Goossens Meessen Wasserman handles transactional and contentious mandates. Recent work includes providing tax advice to Crédit Mutuel Arkéa regarding the merger with Keytrade Bank. Christophe Goossens, Philippe Meessen and David Wasserman are the key partners.

Jones Day has specialist expertise in EU tax law but handles matters across the board. Clients include Feronia and EDF Luminus. Howard Liebman and of counsel Werner Heyvaert are the key contacts.

Laga’s tax department gives ‘excellent advice’ to a wide range of clients, such as Deutsche Bank and Belgacom. Danny Stas heads the tax advisory practice, while Annick Visschers – who is ‘a first-rate specialist in procedural issues’ – leads the tax controversy team. Robert Neyt recently joined from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Alain Nijs and Mathieu Ex of associated firm Greenille by Laga are ‘outstanding’.

Stibbe’s tax practice represents a diverse client base that includes Air Liquide, ING Group and the Flemish government. Recent work includes assisting entertainment group Dragone with tax restructuring, including transfer pricing. Wim Panis, Xavier Gillot and Thierry Denayer are the key partners.

Bird & Bird fields ‘a strong, very qualified and professional team’, which supports the tax needs of high-profile clients such as De Persgroep and Fujifilm. Practice head Brent Springael is recommended.

CMS has ‘excellent knowledge of all tax-related issues’, and there are ‘no nasty surprises regarding fees’. Airbus, Toyota and UBS are active clients. Department head Olivier Querinjean is ‘a good communicator’, with key support coming from real estate tax specialist Didier Grégoire.

DLA Piper’s team shows the ‘willingness to provide workable solutions to legal problems’. Practice head Ortwin Carron’s strength is his ‘creativity’ and his combined tax and corporate law expertise. Syntigo and Aviapartner are key clients.

Boutique firm Dumon Sablon & Vanheeswijck predominantly handles work related to tax procedures, VAT, income tax, as well as criminal and international tax law. Johan Dumon, Stefan Sablon and Luc Vanheeswijck are the key contacts.

HVG advocaten-avocats handles tax-related litigation for a wide range of domestic and international clients, including Uber and Fortum. Leen Ketels heads the practice, which successfully represented Electrolux in a tax case heard before court in Leuven.

K Law handles transactional tax planning, mandates related to VAT, transfer pricing and estate planning, as well as tax litigation. The group is particularly active in the real estate, financial and technology sectors. Jeroen Gobbin is the name to note.

Laurius deals with all tax aspects of real estate and corporate transactions, financing and agreements, with specialist expertise in estate planning related to family-owned enterprises. Practice head Philippe Hinnekens is ‘always up to date’ with developments.

Law Square handles tax litigation and dispute resolution for domestic and international companies. The ‘proactive’ Philippe Renier acted for Haacht Breweries in a group litigation against film producer Corsan for allegedly selling film investment opportunities which failed to qualify for the Belgian tax shelter regime. Ine Lejeune and Jurgen Gevers are also names to note.

Mayer Brown mainly represents multinational clients and has specialist expertise in transfer pricing. Clients include Altice and Solvay. Astrid Pieron heads the group, in which Charles-Albert Helleputte was promoted to partner.

Tax advice, litigation (including criminal tax proceedings) and estate planning are the three pillars of Monard Law’s tax practice. One recent case involved the representation of an international recycling group in a landmark case. Christiaan Barbier, Hilde Van den Keybus and Frédéric Lettany are names to note.

NautaDutilh’s tax practice recently assisted BrantNew with the tax aspects of its acquisition of Brantano. Pascal Faes heads the team.

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