Rankings

Our main practices and many of our lawyers have been recognised for their outstanding track record and expertise by the top worldwide legal guides ranking the leading law firms and lawyers.

 

Simont Braun highly recognised in Legal 500

FinTech | Tier 1

Simont Braun has had significant involvement in the fintech arena since its establishment of a specialist digital finance team in 2014. Under the joint leadership of Catherine Houssa and recently promoted partner Philippe De Prez, 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. In addition, since 2016, it has handled about half of all licence applications in Belgium from payment services and e-money institutions. 

Simont Braun is THE specialist firm in fintech in Belgium.

Intellectual Property | Tier 2

Simont Braun’s ‘responsive’ team has solid expertise in IP litigation, with patent and trade mark infringement disputes prominent in the group’s workload. Transactional IP is another area of instruction.

They are very commercial in their outlook, thinking about practical solutions for clients rather than just the letter of the law.’

Real Estate | Tier 2

Simont Braun’s ‘rigorous and meticulous’ team has ‘strong expertise in the real estate sector’, and leverages the expertise of its public and administrative law practice to provide a multidisciplinary service to a broad client roster. The ‘very reactive’ practice head Manuela von Kuegelgen has ‘very good negotiation skills’. Associate Laura Grauer is a key contact.

Manuela von Kuegelgen | Leading Individual

Laura Grauer | Rising Star

Corporate M&A | Tier 3

Simont Braun’s ‘flexible and hands-on’ corporate, M&A and capital markets practice is a popular choice for cross-border and multi-disciplinary transactions, as well as corporate and governance advice. The team has experience across a number of industries and has recently seen an increase in insurance sector work. Practice head Sandrine Hirsch frequently advises shareholders of listed entities and handles regulated M&A, while Steven Callens has particular experience in the marketing, renewable energy and food and agricultural industries. Other names to note include Paul Alain Foriers, who recently advised on the new Belgian Companies Code.

Sandrine Hirsch is simply excellent, hands-on, responsive, thorough legal advice.

Steven Callens is an excellent M&A lawyer, easy to work with.

Dispute Resolution | Tier 3

At Simont Braun, recent work for the ‘efficient’ team includes acting for consumer protection company Test-Achats in a prominent class action against Ryanair. IP litigation is another core area of instruction for the group. Paul Alain Foriers and Rafaël Jafferali jointly head the department.

Rafaël Jafferali has excellent knowledge and understanding of the most complex legal issues. He approaches them from a practical angle, not purely theoretical‘.

Rafaël Jafferali | Next Generation Partner

Simont Braun recognised in Chambers Europe

Intellectual Property | Band 2

Notable firm representing defendants and claimants in trade mark and patent infringement and opposition proceedings. Also handles counterfeit proceedings, copyright disputes and neighbouring rights. Advises clients from the luxury goods, food and drink and technology sectors.”

Fernand de Visscher | Senior Statespeople

Emmanuel CornuBand 2

Eric De GryseBand 2

Dispute Resolution | Band 3

“Experienced firm noted for its considerable Supreme Court practice. Represents clients in intellectual property claims, bankruptcy litigation and leasing-related disputes. Additionally active on collective actions. Also assists with domestic arbitration, particularly involving post-acquisition disputes.”

Paul Alain ForiersSenior Statespeople

Corporate M&A | Band 4

“Well known for its experience in transactions involving regulated industries and regularly acts for financial industry clients on domestic mid-market M&A deals. Also advises on corporate governance. Benefits from close relationships with strong IP, tax, real estate and public law teams to offer comprehensive coverage for corporate clients. Also represents public sector clients, as well as clients from the pharmaceutical and retail sectors.”

Sandrine Hirsch | Band 3

Banking & Finance | Recognised Practitioner

Catherine HoussaBand 2 in Banking Finance Regulatory

Tax

Jacques Malherbe is ranked as Senior Statespeople in Tax

Simont Braun recognised in Chambers Global

Dispute Resolution: Band 3: “Experienced firm noted for its considerable Supreme Court practice. Represents clients in intellectual property claims, bankruptcy litigation and leasing-related disputes. Additionally active on collective actions. Also assists with domestic arbitration, particularly involving post-acquisition disputes.”

Paul Alain Foriers | Senior Statesperson: “Esteemed Supreme Court lawyer Paul Alain Foriers has notable experience in financial litigation. He is regarded by one commentator as ‘one of the most clever lawyers in Belgium’.”

Corporate M&A : Band 4: “Well known for its experience in transactions involving regulated industries and regularly acts for financial industry clients on domestic mid-market M&A deals. Also advises on corporate governance. Benefits from close relationships with strong IP, tax, real estate and public law teams to offer comprehensive coverage for corporate clients. Also represents public sector clients, as well as clients from the pharmaceutical and retail sectors.”

Sandrine Hirsch | Band 3: “Sandrine Hirsch regularly advises domestic and multinational clients on corporate structuring matters and also handles acquisitions and sales. One commentator admires her ‘excellent technical knowledge and client service’.”

Banking & Finance : Recognised Practitioner

FinTech – Band 1

“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.”

“We chose them because they seemed to be very strong in the FinTech sector and have lots of experience of dealing with novel and new companies. We found them to be very pragmatic and solutions-focused. We’re faced with loads of legal requirements we have to comply with and they were very good at helping us find practical solutions to those.”

Catherine Houssa – Band 1: An impressed peer says: “Catherine is truly a payments expert and knows what she is talking about.” One source adds: “She is extremely proactive by nature and didn’t create mountains for us that didn’t exist.”

Philippe De Prez – Up and Coming: An interviewee says: “Philippe tries to find a solution that works, with an international outlook,” adding: “That was really helpful for us. He knows what is happening in the UK as much as Belgium.”

IFLR 1000 ranking

Banking & Finance – Corporate M&A

“Excellent quality of work from the entire team. Greatly efficient, very precise with their work and always deliver on time.” – Banking

“High degree of responsiveness, and good technical understanding.” – Banking

“Strong expertise and good personal contact.” – Banking

“Very reactive and supportive. Takes a proactive stance to highlight upcoming issues and propose solutions. Very easy to work with.” – Banking

“Very pleased with their work.” – Banking

“Highly efficient.” – M&A

Intellectual Property – Band 2

Clients appreciate the firm’s “understanding of the law, ability to provide practical opinions, attention to detail and speed of response.”
Other sources praise practitioners for the quality of client service: “They offer a comprehensive service, great client contact and have clear opinions.”

Dispute Resolution – Band 3

“Experienced firm noted for its considerable Supreme Court practice. Represents clients in damages claims, bankruptcy litigation and M&A-related disputes. Also assists with alternative dispute resolution services, including domestic and cross-border arbitration and mediation.”

Sources highlight the “customer-minded” approach of the lawyers and also praise their litigation experience.

Corporate M&A department – Band 4

“Well known for its experience in transactions involving regulated industries and recommended for its track record in handling domestic mid-market M&A deals. Also advises on corporate governance. Benefits from close relationships with strong IP, tax, real estate and public law teams to offer comprehensive coverage for corporate clients.”
Clients appreciate that the team offers “excellent support and negotiation skills.”

Real Estate and Construction – Tier 2

The ‘reactive and pragmatic‘ team at Simont Braun is well known for its ‘strong expertise in construction, public and administrative law‘. In a prominent highlight for the multidisciplinary practice, the firm was selected by means of a public tender to assist the Urban Development Corporation in Brussels with creating and implementing the Contemporary and Modern Art Museum and Architecture Museum development project. The ‘brilliant‘ and ‘very knowledgeable‘ Manuela von Kuegelgen leads the team.

Intellectual Property – Tier 2

Simont Braun’s ‘reliable‘ team garners praise for its ‘deep knowledge‘ of IP litigation, advisory matters and transactional IP. Complex patent litigation is a core area of expertise for the team, which acts for clients drawn from the chemicals, mechanical engineering and life sciences industries in this area. Trade mark infringement disputes are also prominent. Fernand de Visscher and Eric De Gryse are ‘reactive, clear and knowledgeable‘; Emmanuel Cornu [is] also [a] key contact.

Banking, Finance and Capital Markets – Tier 3

“Simont Braun is an active player in the digital transformation of the financial services sector in Belgium, with its team advising Belgian and overseas-based clients on a wide range of fintech projects, including those relating to alternative lending, initial coin offerings, electronic trading venues and blockchain applications. The firm was a founding member of independent not-for-profit organisation FinTech Belgium, where Catherine Houssa is a director. Partner Philippe De Prez, who is also noted for his fintech expertise, is also knowledgeable about initiatives connected with InsurTech and RegTech. De Prez and Houssa advised French digital bank Oney Bank on introducing a micro-credit product to the Belgian market. (…) The firm’s broad practice also covers real estate finance, and bonds and rights issues. Sandrine Hirsch is another notable individual in the ‘outstanding team‘, which is ‘very unique in terms of engagement, availability and responsibilities‘.”

Commercial, Corporate and M&A – Tier 3

“The ‘professional and dedicated‘ corporate and M&A practice at Simont Braun attracts praise for its ‘industry expertise and for building long-term relationships with its clients‘. It was recently instructed by the Urban Development Corporate of the Brussels-Capital Region (Société d’Aménagement Urbain) on the creation and implementation of the Contemporary and Modern Art Museum and Architecture Museum in Brussels, including advising on corporate aspects and negotiations relating to partnerships with Centre Pompidou in Paris. (…) Sandrine Hirsch heads up the team, which also includes the well-regarded Paul Alain Foriers.”

Dispute Resolution – Tier 3

“Simont Braun’s team provides ‘strong practical advice‘ to clients from a broad spectrum of industries, and reports a significant uptick in IP litigation, with a key focus on trade mark disputes. The key contacts are Paul Alain Foriers, who is highly regarded for his expertise in handling disputes before the Supreme Court, and Rafaël Jafferali.”

Corporate M&A department – Band 4

“One client describes the team as ‘a real pleasure to work with’ due to its ‘efficient, available, fast-thinking’ approach. The same client also highlights the team’s strength in depth: ‘We are extremely pleased with their transactional skills. The partners are supported by very capable junior lawyers.’”

Dispute Resolution department – Band 3

“One client is particularly impressed by the firm’s collaborative working style, reporting that the lawyers are ‘client-focused and willing to consider our ideas. They were as creative as possible within the Belgian legal structure, worked with external legal resources and were willing to create new precedent.’”

Intellectual Property department – Band 2

“One client admires the team’s outstanding performance, praising its ability to develop convincing arguments as well as its ‘really impressive legal knowledge of IP issues’.
Another source hails the firm’s capacity to offer advice on both domestic and cross-border mandates, noting that ‘the main strength of Simont Braun is its in-depth knowledge of subjects both on a national and European legislative level’.”

Banking, Finance and Capital Markets – Tier 3

“The ‘prompt, efficient and professional’ team at Simont Braun has a broad finance and capital markets offering. Of particular note is its digital finance practice, which combines the expertise of finance, IP and data protection specialists.”

Commercial, Corporate and M&A – Tier 3

“Independent Belgian firm Simont Braun’s ‘very responsive’ and ‘flexible’ corporate team excels in transactional, advisory and contentious matters. The team has seen significant growth, with recent hires at associate and senior associate levels. It is particularly active in the real estate and hotels sectors, though its client base stretches beyond these.”

Dispute Resolution – Tier 2

“Simont Braun ‘gets the job done’, according to clients. Among the names to note, Lucien Simont is a seasoned litigator with a strong reputation for arbitration, Supreme Court lawyer Paul Alain Foriers is ‘a market heavyweight’ and Caroline De Baets is also highly rated. The sizeable group handles the full range of corporate and commercial, tax, employment, IP and administrative law matters.”

Intellectual Property – Tier 2

“Simont Braun provides ‘an excellent quality of work’, and specialises in transactional IP, IP litigation and advisory work. It has a very strong track record in complex patent litigation in the life sciences, chemicals and mechanical engineering sectors, and trade mark infringement cases for well-known companies.”

Real Estate and Construction – Tier 3

“Simont Braun’s team combines ‘a deep knowledge of the law with an understanding of the real estate industry’ and provides ‘a high level of service’. The integrated real estate, public law and administrative law practice acts for developers, investors, private equity firms and public entities. Practice head Manuela von Kuegelgen receives plaudits for her ‘good business acumen’ and ‘creativity’.”

Intellectual Property – Patent Contentious – Tier 2

“The IP team at Simont Braun is known for handling complex litigation in the life sciences, mechanical engineering and chemical sectors. Fernand de Visscher and Eric de Gryse are key practitioners at the firm. Visscher is highly rated by his peers. One commentator says De Gryse is ‘very smart and skilled’ in IP disputes. The ‘outstanding’ Emmanuel Cornu is another notable litigator in the firm. (…)”

TRADE MARK & COPYRIGHT – TIER 1

“Simont Braun is a respected firm for trade mark and copyright matters. Emmanuel Cornu and Eric De Gryse are some of the key practitioners specialising in soft IP at the firm. The firm advises companies such as Christian Dior, Givenchy and Yves Saint Laurent. In 2017 copyright and patent law specialist Philippe Campolini was promoted to partner.”

Intellectual Property – Patents – Silver

“A carefully crafted blend of Belgium’s ‘most technically gifted patent lawyers’, Simont Braun has a record in the field that speaks for itself. Held in high esteem for its litigation experience, the firm continues to take on a significant volume of international instructions, negotiating licensing deals on behalf of a swathe of medical devices manufacturers; its full-service offering stands ready to assist on regulatory issues as and when they arise. Leading the line-up is founder of the European Patent Lawyers Association and president of the high advisory board to the Belgian government on intellectual property Fernand de Visscher, ‘a luminary and asset to the field’. Freshly minted partner and IAM Patent 1000 debutant Philippe Campolini battles on behalf of manufacturers in the medical devices, automotive and weapons industries. Eric De Gryse’s impressive résumé is a potent draw for clients who value his substantial knowledge in the field of plant variety rights and decisive input in international litigation.”

Intellectual Property – Trade Marks – Silver

“Sterling litigation shop Simont Braun solves the most intricate brand rights puzzles, operating with finesse before the EU courts and the EUIPO. ‘Its excellent team has a classical approach, in the best sense of the word: its lawyers have brilliant minds – they are erudite, well-considered and thorough – and are consummate professionals.’ Cultivated advocate Emmanuel Cornu ‘has an incisive knowledge of trademark law’ and has co-authored an authoritative textbook on the subject. He recently represented Blackberry in several oppositions before the BOIP, and has won a number of favourable decisions for LVMH and Christian Dior before Belgian courts; the versatile lawyer is also involved in customs seizures for Yves Saint Laurent and advises SFR on its Benelux portfolio strategy. Flanking him is Eric De Gryse, a ‘superb all-round soft IP lawyer, who combines a strong academic grounding with polished litigation skills’; he is a go-to professional for geographical indications and chairs the corresponding INTA committee. With Cornu, De Gryse represents SPA Monopole in a number of disputes and has defended Caterpillar in its wrangles with Tigercat. Heineken is another major client for him; he recently removed one million lookalike bottles from African markets.”

M&A – Tier 4

“The team at Simont Braun in Belgium is recognised for its work in the M&A space, while also having a credible banking and finance offering. (…) Real estate work formed the bulk of the activity of the M&A team, with the firm notably assisting a family of shareholders in the sale of their share capital in Hotel Metropole. A further standout property transaction saw the team assist the Société d’Aménagement Urbain (SAU) in the creation and implementation of the Contemporary and Modern Art Museum and Architecture Museum in Brussels.”

Banking and Finance

“In the banking space, the firm has largely worked on providing financial regulatory advice to its clients on matters including the EU Payment Services Directive (PSD2), MiFID II and GDPR implementation. The firm has also worked on bankruptcies and the renewal of consumer credit licenses.”

“Simont Braun are the fintech specialists in Belgium. They provide excellent legal advice and support for everything fintech-related, mostly around regulatory aspects.”