Simont Braun - Avocats advocaten lawyers

Family Shareholding

The specific features of family-owned businesses and the importance of controlling family shareholders in many large companies in Belgium make this segment of corporate law highly strategic.

Family businesses and family shareholders face a number of specific issues requiring a combination of legal expertise and inter-personal skills.

Building long-lasting relationships based on mutual trust and confidentiality underpinned by a bespoke approach applied to each issue are the key elements promoted by our dedicated team.

Our fields of expertise

Simont Braun’s specialists frequently work in close collaboration with our civil law lawyers and our real estate and tax specialists to provide fully-integrated services.

We have extensive experience dealing with matters such as:

  • Governance of family shareholdings (notably shareholders agreements, charters, family councils and other committees);

  • Structuring large shareholders’ groups (Stichtingadministratiekantoor, foundations, family holdings, etc.);

  • Advising on various regulations, notably compliance with regulations on market abuse, anti-money laundering, takeover bids, transparency and corporate governance;

  • Prevention and settlement of conflicts between family shareholders;

  • Succession planning in family businesses;

  • Family philanthropy.

Some recent projects

  • Advising the Belgian family shareholders of a multinational group listed on Euronext Brussels and other stock exchanges regarding a number of questions linked to the various holding vehicles of their respective family groups, and notably regarding their Stichtingadministratiekantoor, including the impact of the major acquisitions made over the years by the multinational group;

  • Advising the family shareholders of a Belgian bank on various corporate and governance issues, notably further to the merger of the bank with another Belgian bank;

  • Assisting two Belgian listed companies and their respective group of family shareholders on various corporate and governance matters, each of which holds a significant equity stake in multinational groups with ultimate holding companies listed on Euronext Brussels;

  • Assisting a large shareholder group to set up a Stichtingadministratiekantoor and drafting its governance rules and the internal regulations of its board;

  • Advising family shareholders with board positions in Belgian listed companies on MAR and AML regulations.