Baker Mckenzie's Belgium practice is focused on advising multinational clients and major Belgian companies on tax planning, with a focus on inbound and outbound planning strategies. It has a presence in more than 40 countries, resulting in a large amount of internally referred inbound work for the Belgium tax department, as well as direct clients of the Belgium practice. The team is headed by litigation and planning expert Alain Huyghe.
Alain has represented companies in relation to the Belgium ‘catch all’ withholding tax payment provision, specifically regarding the implementation of this provision with regard to fees paid to charter ships. The firm has also advised on the structuring and set up of funds, including private equity fund M80 Capital.
International firm Deloitte remains one of the largest professional services firms in Belgium. Tom Declercq serves as the managing partner national operations. The firm currently has more than 60 tax and legal partners in Belgium, covering all areas of international and domestic tax advice for clients, including corporate tax, indirect taxation and transfer pricing.
The firm has acted on a variety of cases, including advising pharmaceutical companies on potential VAT refund opportunities following Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma & Co’s decision at the ECJ. They have also advised a number of high profile clients on restructuring operations following the UK's decision to leave the EU.
DLA Piper's practice is led by partner Philippe Hinnekens. Hinnekens has experience advising a variety of national and international tax matters and is supported by senior associate Gregory Komlosi, who has experience working on both corporate tax and tax controversy. The firm has a strong focus on international taxation and is very active within the real estate sector.
Hinnekens and Komlosi have advised clients such as BNP Paribas in connection with the tax implications for investments made by Belgium individuals and corporations into a foreign fund structure. They have also assisted AJ Capital on the implications of a UK-based pension fund's investment into Belgium listed companies.
Laga is the law firm affiliated with Deloitte in Belgium. Laga's tax advisory team, led by Danny Stas and Tim Wustenberghs, works closely with the Deloitte Belgium team. Laga also offers a strong controversy team as well as a specific private client team, Greenille by Laga, which is led by Mathieu Ex. It acts as a full service law firm, and advises on all areas of taxation.
The firm has acted for numerous clients in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry on VAT refund claims as well as working on restructuring a corporate client in order to comply with the EU BEPS policy for both its tax and transfer pricing structures.
Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick has one of the largest tax departments of any full service law firm in Belgium. It has a full service offering for its clients, with practitioners covering all areas of taxation law. The department includes five partners and a team of 14 other fee earners. It hired An Weyn as Counsel from Tiberghien in 2018. Partner Henk Verstraete left the firm to take a partnership at Stibbe in June of the same year.
Partners Daniel Garabedian and Jean-Michel Degée recently represented an international telecom company in litigation proceedings regarding the authorities' interpretation of a subsidiary’s effective place of management. It also assisted in an advisory capacity in the real estate transaction of a 99-year lease between a Belgium REIT and a Korean pension fund.
Loyens & Loeff is widely regarded as one of the leading tax firms in the Benelux region. It offers advice is all areas of tax, including transactional tax, international taxation, corporate taxation, private wealth planning and tax litigation. The Belgium team includes five partners and two local partners. This includes managing partner and member of the executive board, Thierry Charon.
The firm has undertaken work for numerous private individuals, including representation before the tax administration in relation to an ongoing audit over dissolved offshore investments as well as the setup of Belgium feeder funds for institutional investors. The firm also advises many corporate clients on transactional and regulatory issues.
“Complete, in depth analysis with high professional quality”
Stibbe's tax practice operates in a range of domestic and international tax areas, with a special focus on transactional tax, real estate tax, financial services tax and tax litigation. The firm has strengthened its practice with the addition of Henk Verstraete as partner, who joined from top tier rival Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick, where he was a partner. Transactional specialist Giovanni Smet was appointed counsel in 2019.
The team has advised on numerous transactions, including Wilm Panis assisting Eurocommercial Properties on its €468 million acquisition of Woluwe shopping centre and Verstraete advising Beaver Visitec International on its €500 million acquisition of medical device company, Physiol, from TA Associates Management.
“Timely delivery of feedback despite a very short notice from our side. I appreciated in particular the comprehensivity of the report, which made the analysis easy to understand, even for people who have little background in tax or legal language.”
"We have worked with [other firms] for indirect tax topics and Stibbe is the best one for this area; far ahead from the others in Belgium."