Simont Braun strengthens Financial Services and FinTech capabilities with top hires

Simont Braun boosts the capabilities of its Fintech and Financial Services practices by welcoming Partner Joan Carette and Senior Associate Jean-Christophe Vercauteren. These strong additions to the firm enhance our Digital Finance Team’s position on top of the Belgian market.

The highly respected Joan Carette joins our Fintech and Financial Services team as a partner next to Catherine Houssa and Philippe De Prez, where she will reinforce our regulation and FinTech skills and allow to improve our focus on the Tech aspect of our expertise.

Joan Carette has 20 years of experience in FinTech, payments, e-money, AML and more generally banking and financial services and the prudential supervision of financial institutions. She worked as a regulator in the prudential supervision department of the FSMA, and in Belgian and international law firms for over 15 years.

Clients admire her “very flexible, pragmatic approach,” as well as her “deep knowledge of financial regulation.” (Chambers & Partners)

FinTech, Payments and Financial Services play key roles in our economy and require to combine strong legal knowledge with tech-savviness and proactivity. In this context, I am delighted to join the strongest Digital Finance Team on the Belgian legal market. Together, we will be able to offer the best possible guidance to our clients,” says Joan Carette.

Jean-Christophe Vercauteren has solid regulatory expertise in FinTech, payment services and e-money, AML and more generally banking and financial services. He gathered experience as a lawyer in Belgian and international business law firms, and as a legal counsel in a Belgian bank.

I could not think of a more stimulating environment than Simont Braun’s Digital Finance Team to further develop my expertise. Being part of the pioneer FinTech law firm in Belgium will be a daily motivation, and I am happy to contribute to broadening its capabilities,” says Jean-Christophe.

We are proud to welcome top talents like Joan and Jean-Christophe in the team. With them on board, our Digital Finance Team strengthens both its financial services and tech capabilities,” adds Philippe De Prez, partner in FinTech and Financial Services.


Simont Braun’s pioneer Digital Finance Team is one of the best and most-qualified teams in Belgium. “The firm has proven itself as one of the very leading players in the market, having advised on groundbreaking projects involving areas such as alternative lending, micro-savings, robo-advisory, blockchain, ICOs and virtual currencies.” Simont Braun is the only law firm ranked in Band 1 in Belgium in FinTech by Chambers & Partners. The firm is also ranked Tier 1 in FinTech by the Legal 500, and Tier 1 in Financial Services Regulatory by IFLR 1000.

Simont Braun achieves excellent results in The Legal 500 ed. 2020

This year again, Simont Braun has been highly recognised in The Legal 500, a reference guide ranking leading law firms around the world.

  • FinTech  |  Tier 1
    Simont Braun is THE specialist firm in fintech in Belgium
  • Intellectual Property  |  Tier 2
  • Real Estate  |  Tier 2
  • Corporate, M&A  |  Tier 3
  • Dispute Resolution  |  Tier 3

Manuela von Kuegelgen is individually recognised as a Leading Individual in Real Estate for the second year in a row.

Our young generation is also under the spotlight, with Rafaël Jafferali ranked as a New Generation Partner in Dispute Resolution and Laura Grauer as a Rising Star in Real Estate.

Nine of our lawyers are also recommended

Commercial, corporate and M&A
– Paul Alain Foriers
– Sandrine Hirsch
– Steven Callens

Dispute resolution
Paul Alain Foriers

– Catherine Houssa
– Philippe De Prez
– Thomas Derval

Intellectual property
– Emmanuel Cornu
– Eric De Gryse
– Fernand de Visscher

We are very grateful to our clients and peers who keep recognising Simont Braun as a top law firm in the Belgian market. Thank you to our teams for their hard work!

All rankings and quotes are available here.

Simont Braun assists AION in building the new next generation Challenger Bank

Brussels, 10 March 2020  |  Simont Braun successfully assisted AION in building an entirely digital and mobile bank, making it the first of its kind next generation Challenger Bank in Belgium. AION has officially launched its services on 3 March 2020.

AION is the former Banca Monte Pasci Belgio and was purchased by the American fund Warburg Pincus in 2018 in order to transform it into a fully digital financial services provider. AION offers an unrivalled broad spectrum of financial products and services, and beyond banking services, benefitting from an impressive technology and IT support.

Simont Braun’s team has been involved for over a year in developing the new digital products and services in close and successful collaboration with AION’s team,” comments Philippe De Prez, Partner at Simont Braun in Digital Finance and Financial services. “We had the pleasure to collaborate with a very motivated and talented group of people at AION, all working towards an ambitious goal. It has been an intense ride during which we often explored innovative solutions which were so far not available on the Belgian market. This is a space where our team is at its very best. We would like to sincerely thank our clients for this great opportunity to both assist and learn.”

Simont Braun’s Digital Finance Team advised AION on the compliance of their services and products with the applicable regulation, was involved in numerous contract drafting, screen-by-screen compliance analysis and negotiations with the regulator.

The Simont Braun team was led by partner Philippe De Prez, with the assistance of partners Catherine Houssa and Axel Maeterlinck, counsel Thomas Derval, and associates Sander Van Loock, Charlotte De Thaye, Amine Chafik and David-Alexandre Sauvage.

For any question, please contact Nelly Chammas (Marketing & Communication Manager).

Simont Braun ranked Band 1 in FinTech by Chambers & Partners

For the first time, Chambers & Partners ranked the best FinTech law firms in Belgium. Simont Braun’s Digital Finance Team is extremely proud to be the only law firm ranked in Band 1, and recognised as a leading law firm amongst its peers by this guide of reference on the global legal market.

They’re a great firm and much closer to FinTechs than others. They’ve got more of a soul and act as a group who you can rely on, instead of looking at you as an opportunity to bill extra things to.”

Two members of the team are also ranked individually: Catherine Houssa in Band 1, and Philippe De Prez as Up and Coming.

About Catherine, one source said that “She is extremely proactive by nature and didn’t create mountains for us that didn’t exist.”. As for Philippe, comments say that he “tries to find a solution that works, with an international outlook.”

In 2014, Simont Braun created a multidisciplinary Digital Finance Team to anticipate and respond to the legal and regulatory challenges related to the arrival of new technologies and disruptive players such as FinTechs, InsurTechs or RegTechs in the traditional world of bank-insur-finance. The Digital Finance Team gathers lawyers in Banking & Finance, IP, IT and Data Protection, with a particular interest for technology. The team was the very first of its kind on the Belgian market and a trendsetter for other firms in Belgium.

Five years later, Simont Braun is the expert and go-to firm in Belgium regarding Digital Finance.

We would like to thank our peers and clients for their trust and feedback! Needless to say, our Digital Finance Team is even more motivated and looking forward to handling your next innovative project!

All rankings and quotes are available here.

Simont Braun ranked Band 1 in FinTech by Chambers & Partners

Simont Braun promotes Fanny Laune and Thomas Derval to Counsel

Belgian independent law firm Simont Braun boosts its capabilities with two new counsels.

Fanny Laune has been assisting Belgian and international clients before the Belgian courts in commercial and corporate matters for more than ten years. Recently, she successfully completed a training in mediation, an increasingly popular method of dispute resolution.

Apart from her expert knowledge in procedural law, Fanny has also gained extensive experience in all types of insolvency proceedings.

Fanny’s nomination as counsel is a recognition for her sharp legal knowledge and expertise, as well as her excellent communication skills which are highly appreciated by clients,” says Béatrice Thieffry, co-Managing Partner.

Thomas Derval has been practising financial & insurance law for several years, advising and representing the interests of many companies and regulated institutions. Thomas assists his clients on both advisory and litigation aspects of this field of expertise. On the regulatory side, he has notably developed a strong track-record with Fintech & InsurTech companies, helping them to obtain their licences, and to develop and adapt their products and services to the legal requirements of the Belgian market.

Thomas always makes sure to understand clients’ business and to keep the global picture in mind. His multidisciplinary skills allow him to offer expert yet comprehensive guidance to our clients,” says Catherine Houssa, Partner in Banking & Digital Finance. “This is an essential quality as our clients highly appreciate Simont Braun’s multidisciplinary offer.”

We are delighted to count such appreciated and qualified lawyers amongst our counsels. Their respective skills are highly valuable to Simont Braun, and will boost the sustained growth of the firm,” adds Steven Callens, co-Managing Partner.

Contact details:
Fanny Laune –
Thomas Derval –