As one of the largest practices in Belgium with dedicated experts benefitting from a wide breadth of expertise, our Commercial Contracts team assists all types of businesses in a wide range of sectors in drafting and negotiating commercial contracts and representing our clients in commercial courts.
Commercial contracts are at the heart of every commercial activity, from the simplest to the most complex transactions, in every type of business.
Commercial contracts are often associated with paperwork. Our team aspires to offer much more than that.
Contracts are concluded every day by thousands of commercial actors in numerous sectors. They are at the core of our clients’ activities and our commercial contracts practice is proud to be considered not only as an outstanding provider of legal services, but also as a partner in business. We share our clients’ enthusiasm for projects and are eager to collaborate with them in finding sound and pragmatic solutions, from conceptualisation through to closing of business deals, in a price-sensitive way.
Our approach is based on an accurate and thorough understanding of our clients’ businesses and needs, both in their daily activities and in business-critical situations. We provide tailor-made solutions at each stage of a project.
The experience of our people, and their permanent contact not only with in-house legal counsel, but also with managers, entrepreneurs and engineers in the field, has led us to build up a natural understanding of business in numerous industries. We often anticipate needs, get deals back on track and come up with creative solutions, not only from a legal point of view but also from a perspective of risk management and economic opportunity, which is often highly appreciated by our clients.
Although our priority is to avoid litigation by preventing or defusing disputes, our lawyers have earned a strong track record of successful results in trials and arbitration procedures involving contractual disputes .
We assist clients in numerous sectors to determine the most appropriate business scheme, to deal with business-critical situations and to prevent or resolve disputes.
In addition to advising on standard contracts we have significant experience in creating franchising and distribution networks, industrial construction and engineering, energy supply and distribution, joint ventures and complex production and transformation contracts in key industrial sectors such as chemicals, agro-business, the food industry and mining.
Our clients include major multinational companies as well as domestic companies. Whether based in Belgium or active on the Belgian/European market, they operate in a large variety of sectors, such as energy, chemicals, automotive, construction and engineering, pharmaceuticals, retail, and services.
Our team is made up of over 20 lawyers who combine solid experience with in-depth knowledge of Belgian and international business law, including competition law. Our people frequently speak at conferences and seminars, publish articles on a wide range of commercial law issues and are consulted by the Belgian and European authorities when the latter are considering introducing new contract law. Our legal rigour only serves to enhance our ability to find practical solutions for your business.
We offer seamless cross-practice services with our other teams such as regulatory, tax, labour and corporate.
We are proud that our team is valued by clients for being very customer-oriented and proactive. We have been praised by clients for being very commercially oriented and always finding the best solution for the client.
Our lawyers are regularly invited to speak at seminars and are regularly published on topics relating to contract law.
We understand the importance of keeping our clients up-to-date and informed of key legal developments, so we publish newsletters and Legal Insights on a regular basis. We also organise dedicated information and training sessions on specific legal topics, and recently launched our LegalLie legal podcasts to continue addressing our clients’ questions.
Our Relevant Experience
Assisting numerous companies in adapting to the impact of the war in Ukraine (sudden cost increases and fluctuations, scarcity) in their relations with suppliers and customers
Assisting various companies in relation to drafting and negotiating contracts for the construction of power plants, recycling plants and other industrial sites
Drafting an EPC Contract for a French environmental services listed company
Assisting a multinational energy and petroleum company in contractual negotiation and a 30M€ dispute with a Belgian energy corporation regarding the construction and operation of a cogeneration combined heat and power plant
Assisting participants to EU Research projects during the negotiation and the performing of Grant Agreements and Consortium Agreements
Assisting maritime contracting companies in contract negotiations, implementation and disputes (FIDIC, extension of time, compliance, penalties, offshore workers’ regulations etc.) regarding the construction of several offshore wind parks
Assistance to an elevator manufacturer in setting up circular economy agreements with its customers.
Assisting a multinational energy and petroleum company in the tendering, contract negotiation, drafting for the procurement and disputes with numerous contractors in relation to the EUR 1b expansion of Europe's second largest refinery
Assisting the world’s largest jewellery companies in remodelling its distribution network from resale to selective distribution, and against claims as a consequence thereof
Assisting a large European producer of renewable energy in their contractual relations of the long-term power purchase agreements for the acquisition of all the offtake of different future offshore wind farms to be built in Belgian territorial sea
Assisting various brands in setting up franchise networks
Drafting of an EPC Contract for a Swiss multinational commodity trading company
Assisting a leading global provider of comprehensive sterilization solutions in drafting/negotiating pharmaceutical supply contracts.
Assisting the reseller and maintenance provider of Norway public transport buses in its claim against the Belgian bus manufacturer, because of multiple breakdowns.
Assisting a major sporting goods retailer in a massive recall action and following litigation.
Acting for a sporting goods manufacturer in disputes related to the characterization of its Belgian retailer network as a franchising network, and assisting in remodelling its network.
Awards & Recognition
“Olivier Vanden Berghe leads the commercial contracts and litigation practice, and is particularly experienced in disputes related to business-to-business transactions in energy and pharmaceuticals”.
‘Great team, well streamlined and available, good follow-up’
‘A strong team with extended competencies in various areas. Very good internal and external communication when additional expertise is required by the customer.’
Legal 500, Dispute Resolution, 2022
‘Olivier Vanden Berghe is 'very customer-oriented and proactive. He is a skilled and experienced lawyer, he is very commercially oriented and finds the best solution for the client‘.
‘The team is efficient, dedicated and always gives prompt, proactive, accurate, comprehensive and to the point advice‘.