Michaël Houbben is a litigation and dispute resolution lawyer, working mainly on civil, commercial and corporate matters.
He is a member of both our Commercial Contracts and Litigation practice and International Arbitration and Dispute Resolution practice.
A significant part of Michaël’s activities involves the management and resolution of disputes, before courts and tribunals or arbitration bodies when applicable, for private clients as well as for Belgian and international companies of various sectors (real estate, construction, mining, energy, etc.), particularly in commercial and corporate matters,. Michaël has developed specific skills to deal with assessment of queries and treatment of disputes related to the interpretation, performance and termination of contracts such as purchase agreements, distribution agreements, lease agreements, share purchase agreements, etc.)
Michaël also acts as counsel in litigation proceedings before Belgian courts in matters dealing with the setting aside or recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards.
Convinced that resolving conflicts or disputes do not oblige for hard court action, Michaël frequently assists clients in alternative dispute resolution processes, such as mediation.
Furthermore, through his collaboration with John Kirkpatrick and then Simone Nudelholc, both former lawyers at the Court of cassation, Michaël has acquired a particular expertise in handling cassation cases in civil, commercial and tax matters. He has successfully completed the four-year course “professional training in cassation techniques and procedures” organized by the Bar Association of the Court of Cassation.
As part of his practice, Michaël also advises his clients on matters of civil law in the broad sense, including the negotiation and drafting of agreements.
Michaël is an assistant at the Center for Private Law of the ULB and is also the author of several publications in private law and contract law. He also speaks at seminars relating to these subjects.
He was awarded the George Boels Prize (2015), the former Presidents prize of the Young Bar Conference of Brussels (2015) and the Jean-Jacques Boels Prize (2016).
Michaël joined Liedekerke in 2014.
Catholic University of Louvain (Master’s degree in Law) 2009
Université de Namur (Bachelor's degree in Law) 2007
Assisting a European storage company in a dispute before the Court of Cassation in relation to the sanctions provided for in its general terms and conditions in the event of default in payment of fees ;
Assisting a major mining company in several arbitration proceedings (ICC) in relation to disputes over the performance of joint-venture agreements regarding the exploitation of mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo ;
Representing a Belgian company active in the energy industry and its directors in a dispute over the performance of a service agreement and related to a claim for compensation for potential unfair competition in relation to the acquisition of a third-party company ;
Assisting a foreign State in several disputes before the Belgian courts regarding the exequatur of an arbitral award (investment dispute based on the Energy Charter Treaty - USD 520 M) and garnishment proceedings enforced in Belgium ;
Assisting a major telecommunications company in a dispute before the Court of Cassation in relation to the enforceability of its general terms and conditions ;
Assisting a private client in negotiating and drafting a settlement agreement closing a major civil and criminal dispute between co-heirs ;
Representing a real estate company in a dispute before the Court of cassation in relation to the legality of a municipal tax regulation ;
Representing a car manufacturer and importer in a dispute with one of its former dealer over the termination of a distribution agreement and its consequences ;
Representing the Belgian Data Protection Authority in several disputes before the brussels Market Court in the context of challenged decisions made by the Data Protection Authority in GDPR matters
Memberships & Admissions
Member of the Brussels Bar