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.
Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I fields a team comprising experienced trade lawyers, many of whom have held previous senior positions within the EU Commission. The group works acts for a broad cross-section of high-profile Belgian and international entities on a range of EU and WTO proceedings. The practice is noted for its capabilities acting on behalf of EU exporters, lodging complaints against alleged unfair practices and challenging the use of trade defence measures by third countries. The practice is jointly led by Olivier Prost, a highly experienced adviser and litigator in the international trade space, and Anna Dias, a specialist in trade defence instruments and international regulatory frameworks. Clément Bouvarel is similarly noted for his knowledge of EU trade defence instruments and WTO law.
Legal 500 EMEA 2022 - Customs, Trade, WTO & Anti-dumping
Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I advises its international client base on the full range of competition issues, encompassing cross-border merger control, state aid issues, cartel cases, and sectoral and behavioural investigations. The team includes a variety of sectoral and jurisdictional expertise, and is headed up by Laurent Godfroid , Stéphane Hautbourg, Benoît Le Bret, Olivier Prost , Ségolène Pelsy and Anna Claudia Coelho Dias.
Legal 500 EMEA 2022 - Competition
Gide Loyrette Nouel advises telecommunications, oil and gas and utilities companies on merger control issues arising from planned corporate transactions. It advises on the need to notify for joint ventures in the defence sector. The firm also acts on state aid matters for clients in the energy sector and in other industries heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is particularly active for French and Polish clients before both national and EU authorities.
Chambers Europe & Global 2022
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