Liedekerke’s Transport and Logistics cross-practice team prides itself in being a recognized leader in our field. Our work covers advisory and transactional matters and litigation, and we represent our clients before the full range of ordinary, administrative, arbitral and international courts and tribunals, both in Belgium and abroad.
We are fortunate to count amongst our group a number of highly specialized lawyers covering all the domains affecting this industry, allowing us to offer a full range of services to our clients. By gaining a thorough understanding of our clients’ needs and applying both our wide-reaching technical experience and broad sector knowledge (including awareness of and responsiveness to ever-changing regulatory issues in this industry), we are able to strategically address most any complex transit or logistical matter.
Our focus spans major sectors such as aviation, maritime and railway, along with some more specialized niches. Our wide and varied array of expertise makes Liedekerke the partner of choice when navigating the main branches and sub-branches of transport law and logistics.
The transport and logistics industry is rapidly evolving; new legal and regulatory issues constantly arise, often necessitating an immediate response. In an increasingly globalized marketplace, companies active in this sector must be able to rely on advisors who truly understand their businesses and the challenges they face, and who are able to assist them in whichever areas they’re operating, to include:
corporate management of airlines and groups of airlines
commercial and financial advice
contract management (transportation contracts, aircraft maintenance contracts, cargo handling and catering contracts, leasing and charter contracts, and finance agreements equipment leases, and other agreements)
insurance claims and risk management (insurance coverage, environment claims, etc.)
regulatory (aircraft noise regulations)
labor and employment
litigation (litigation prevention, commercial disputes, liability in contract or tort, and in cases of damage, loss, delay, or personal injury in relation to the carriage of goods or persons)
It is increasingly essential for companies to partner with legal advisers who understand the sector’s business dynamics, major players, and critical business drivers, and can advise a variety of stakeholders on transport and logistics-related domains.
Our experience of drafting, revising and negotiating contracts is vast, covering all areas connected to the principal and subsidiary activities of undertakings in the insurance and transport sectors (carriage of goods, express couriers and carriage of persons. These include aircraft maintenance contracts, cargo handling and catering contracts, leasing and charter contracts, and finance agreements.
Our team members represent clients in cases involving liability in contract or tort, and in cases of damage, loss, delay, or personal injury in relation to the carriage of goods or of persons.
Administrative and regulatory law
Because of our experience, we are also asked to deal with issues of administrative law relating to transport, such as aircraft noise regulations, and pilot and air operator license applications and renewals.
Expertise in Africa
Over our years working with local African airlines, we have developed in-depth experience in handling regulatory, commercial and contractual issues, and claims on the African market, including in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Cameroon, Liberia and Ivory Coast. For this purpose, we have developed a network of local correspondents to tackle the particularities of these markets in an efficient manner.
We act on behalf of numerous domestic and foreign airlines, aircraft operators, airports, insurers and companies in the shipping, rail and road haulage sectors. We routinely advise some of the largest commercial and public sector players in the Belgian market and beyond.
We are proud that our team is valued by clients for its knowledge, pragmatism and solutions-oriented approach.
Our lawyers are regularly invited to speak at seminars and often publish on topics relating to transport and insurance 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 organize dedicated information and training sessions on specific legal topics, and recently launched our LegalLie legal podcasts to address our clients’ questions in-depth.
Our Relevant Experience
Assisting a Spanish airline in the context of numerous passenger claims based on the Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004
Advising and assisting a major railway operator in relation to commercial contracts and litigations
Advising Eurostar's shareholders CDPQ and Patina (a consortium CDPQ and Hermes Infrastructure), in relation to all Belgian aspects of the merger between Eurostar and Thalys
Representing a Belgian airline against a EUR 30 million claim brought before the courts by a former intermediary for cargo services as a consequence of the termination of an agreement
Assisting an American mobility as a service provider with several litigations and on all aspects of its activities relating to Belgian federal and regional legislation
Assisting a Belgian carrier airline and other transport key players in summary proceedings and damages claims proceedings against skeyes, the Belgian air traffic service provider for the civil airspace
Assisting Brussels Airlines in the context of its EUR 290 million State aid application to address the COVID19 pandemic
Assisting a Qatar airline in a dispute involving an international trade union confederation in relation to defamatory publications and statements made by the confederation representatives in the media
Assisting a group of airlines with respect to a litigation concerning an environmental license
Managing claims for major air and rail carriers (including their insurance and communication aspects), and the emergency response team for an international railway company in the event of major crashes
Representing the entity in charge of the Federal Airport in numerous court cases including recent claims by residents against the Belgian State and the Airport Authority due to the alleged increase of noise around the airport
Assisting insurers of an airline charter company in Belgium in relation to the settlement of an insurance claim regarding damage to an aircraft engine
Advising one of the largest airlines in the Middle East in a claim for temperature damage to a shipment of medicine sent to MSF Afghanistan
Assisting a leading US-based multinational active in the aviation industry in acquiring from a competitor several customer contracts with airline companies, and with the set-up of its Belgian branch and supply chain hub at Brussels National Airport
Assisting an international parcel delivery service with respect to breaches of contract by non-compliant, unlicensed subcontractors
Advising the pan-European PE firm Argos-Wityu in acquiring a 68% stake in B Logistics from the Belgian National Railway Operator (SNCB/NMBS, a public-law company wholly owned by the Belgian State)
Representing a Belgian airline in a EUR 50 million litigation as a consequence of the termination of the agreement with its worldwide cargo agent
Assisting an Australian integrated commercial and industrial property group with the development of its large scale logistics facilities in Antwerp
Awards & Recognition
‘The team is very knowledgeable and thinks pragmatically.’
‘The existence of the “hotline” is a real added value. The advice responds to our concrete
needs and proposes solutions to the problems encountered.’
Legal 500, Industry focus - Transport, 2022, Tier 3
‘To the point advice, which enables the client to take optimal decisions.’
‘Imaginative thinking in innovation projects linked to the industry.’
‘Very reactive, to the point and practical answers.’