Known as the home to European institutions, Brussels has become central to strategic decision-making for most companies. The Belgian capital is where the new standards and regulations are drafted, where behaviours not abiding by European laws are punished, and where actions are put in place to combat all forms of unfair competition and unjustified obstacles to international trade.
Our Brussels office was set up in 1967. It now comprises five partners, and counts among its ranks lawyers drawn from ten different nationalities as well as former high officials of the European Commission. Gide Brussels has in-depth knowledge of the procedures behind drafting and implementing EU regulations, making it the perfect partner for successfully representing the interests of its clients. Gide Brussels specialises in all major business sectors (transport, energy, telecommunications, financial services, media, agri-food) and main fields of regulatory intervention (public tenders, EU financing, product or foodstuff safety, health, environment, climate etc.).
Over the years, we have acquired considerable experience and significant expertise enabling us to offer tailored and innovative solutions to competition issues encountered by our clients, including anti-competitive agreements, abuse of dominant position, merger control and State aids.
The pursuit of excellence drives Gide Brussels in international economic law proceedings, combating unfair practices such as dumping and public subsidies. Additionally, Gide Brussels is a recognised legal contact for companies, institutions and governments alike on new globalisation regulatory topics, including public tenders, services, investments, regulatory obstacles, export control, intellectual property protection and trade secrets, both in multilateral procedures and bilateral agreements.
Gide Brussels works closely with the European Economic Law department of the Paris office and with the firm’s other international offices, supporting its clients throughout the European law creation process: upstream during negotiations at the European Parliament, which is increasingly involved in decision-making, as well as before the European Commission and the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Clients praise the competition and international trade practice at Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I's 'ability to understand the in-depth dynamics of their needs'. It is often active before the European Commission in anti-dumping, subsidised import and regulation enforcement-related proceedings, and also assists with applying WTO and bilateral free trade agreements for exporting third countries. Trade defence expert Olivier Prost leads the team, and along with Anna Dias – who made partner in January 2020 – both demonstrate 'exceptional knowledge of the sector, unique expertise and overall strong business acumen'.
Legal 500 EMEA 2021
Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I's Brussels team, with practitioners of 15 different nationalities, is seen in high-level mandates across all areas of competition law. On the state aid side, it undertakes advisory work and litigation in sectors such as energy, land transport and taxation, among others. Stéphane Hautbourg was part of a cross-office group which advised Europcar Mobility Group on a €307m financing facility that included a €220m loan guaranteed by the French state. Benoît Le Bret is also noted for his state aid expertise, particularly in the context of tax rulings cases. Elsewhere, merger control is another an area of strength, as evidenced by the team's excellent record negotiating EC clearances in complex cross-border transactions. In addition, the firm has been prominent in a number of high-profile and landmark abuse of dominance cases and restrictive practices matters, as well as other antitrust litigation. Laurent Godfroid, Ségolène Pelsy, Olivier Prost and recently promoted partner Anna Dias are also recommended.
Legal 500 EMEA 2021
Highly regarded French firm with an ever-increasing international focus. Acts on the full range of competition, state aid and EU regulatory mandates. Active across a broad range of sectors including technology, transportation and financial services sectors, with recent new clients including Vallourec, Air Liquide and Crédit Agricole. Works closely with the firm's highly regarded Paris office with the two teams combining regularly on pan-European matters for French clients. Clients describe the team as 'technically excellent, very skilful and has an ability to appreciate the broader context.' Another source states that the firm has a 'good team where individuals work well together and are complementary. The relationship with the client is taken very seriously.'
Chambers Europe 2017
Gide Loyrette Nouel’s team ‘thinks outside the box’ across the competition law spectrum. Laurent Godfroid recently acted for Thales as a third party in the merger notification concerning the acquisition of Arianespace by Safran and Airbus. Benoît Le Bret is representing WESTBahn as the complainant in a case involving alleged Article 101 and 102 (cartel and abuse of dominance) breaches by ÖBB, and also as the complainant in a state aid matter involving the same railway operator. Stéphane Hautbourg and Olivier Prost are other names to note.
Legal 500 EMEA 2017