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Dispute resolution is at the heart of Crowell & Moring’s legal practice. We are uniquely placed to help our clients either prevent or resolve their legal disputes through negotiation, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) or litigation. Backed by the resources of our global, full-service law firm, our Brussels dispute resolution lawyers operate with the flexibility of a boutique law firm to help both domestic and international clients define their commercial and strategic interests in cases of legal conflict. Our aim is to safeguard our clients’ interests while causing as little disruption as possible to their core businesses.

Prevention Rather Than Cure

Our approach to dispute prevention is pro-active, creative and pragmatic: there is little benefit in developing ADR or litigation strategies for matters that are likely to be decided in an opponent’s favor. The fact that we are litigators first and foremost allows us to assess the strengths and weaknesses of a client’s position. As a result, we often help our clients either to avoid a conflict entirely or to prevent it escalating.

Unique ADR Experience

We counsel in complex domestic and international arbitrations. Our work has earned us world-wide respect with institutions such as the International Chamber of Commerce (Paris), the International Center for Dispute Resolution (New York), the World Intellectual Property Organization (Geneva), the National Arbitration Forum (Minneapolis), the Belgian Arbitration and Mediation Center (CEPANI, Brussels), the Czech Arbitration Court (Prague) and the Nederlands Arbitrage Instituut (Rotterdam).

Several of our lawyers are themselves accredited as mediators or arbitrators in international or local ADR proceedings. Flip Petillion, for example, has served as chairman, sole arbitrator and party-appointed arbitrator at several of the above-mentioned institutions as well as the U.S. International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes.

Result-Orientated Litigation

Sometimes, of course, there may be good reasons to take a legal dispute to court. Clients can rely on our result-driven attitude and our experience as litigators to favorably resolve what can often be highly complex matters. In addition to our local Belgian capabilities, our litigators have been involved in a number of cases concerning parallel litigation in different jurisdictions and European cross-border issues. Our success is guaranteed by our extensive network of independent lawyers across Europe and the backing of our Crowell & Moring colleagues around the world.

Our Team

Our Brussels lawyers have experience litigating in a large number of different areas. We focus on intellectual property, information technology, telecommunications, the automotive sector, media, the Internet and a wide variety of corporate and commercial issues.

Kristof Roox is “a very tough opponent – efficient, tenacious and incredibly focused on achieving results. He stands out, even within the gold category.” IAM Patent 1000, 2014. He “really takes a client’s point and fights their corner in litigation.” Chambers Europe, 2014

Flip Petillion is “one of the best in the market with amazing knowledge.” Legal 500 EMEA, 2014. He is “extremely measured and thoughtful” Chambers Europe, 2014, and is “among the best on the market for complex contentious matters. An outstanding litigator, he also has a wealth of alternative dispute resolution experience.” World Trademark Review 1000, 2013

Thomas De Meese is “a very good pleader” Legal 500 EMEA, 2015. He is praised for his “extensive knowledge”, “a hands-on, no-nonsense approach” and “a drive for excellence”. Legal 500 EMEA, 2013

Jan-Diederik Lindemans is “an expert in entertainment and IP law.” Legal 500 EMEA, 2013. Together, Kristof and JanDiederik are “highly regarded: ‘their creative and bold tandem is an extremely efficient engine that drives a very capable practice’.” Legal 500 EMEA, 2012

Sean-Paul Brankin is an expert in EU and U.K. Competition law. He has “excellent knowledge” and the “ability to quickly identify the key points”. Legal 500 EMEA, 2015

Representative Matters

  • Brought infringement, invalidity and related proceedings on behalf of major pharmaceutical companies concerning vaccines and generic medicinal products.
  • Represented a major telecommunications services provider in arbitration concerning termination of a software development contract; brought nullity proceedings against the arbitral award.
  • Represented a laminate flooring producer in arbitration concerning breach of license agreement for alleged patent infringement; brought nullity proceedings against the arbitral award.
  • Represented a national regulatory authority before local courts and the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) with regards European regulation and liberalization of the postal sector.
  • Challenged the European Commission before the CJEU on its classification of “reverse payment” patent settlement agreements as cartel-like per se.
  • Sued a Middle Eastern Central Bank on behalf of a creditor in order to obtain due payment via seizure of Central Bank funds.
  • Enabled a non-EU client to fend off enforcement measures on Belgian assets (to a value of more than €1 million) brought on the basis of a provisional French first instance decision.
  • On behalf of a U.S. client, obtained the disclosure of its adversary’s banking documents in judicial proceedings involving a €3 million claim.

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Chambers Ranks Three Practice Groups and Ten Lawyers in 2021 Global Guide (Feb.23.2021)
Firm News/Announcement
"State Aid in Times of COVID-19: European Commission Prolongs and Expands Temporary COVID-19 State Aid Framework," Antitrust Law Alert (February 2, 2021). Contacts: Karel Bourgeois, Marieke Van Nieuwenborgh, Ava Erma
Client Alert/Newsletter
"Digital Services Act: The European Commission Proposes An Updated Accountability Framework For Online Services," Antitrust Law Alert (January 12, 2021). Contacts: Thomas De Meese, Jeane A. Thomas, CIPP/E, Karl Stas, Ava Erma
Client Alert/Newsletter
"Digital Markets Act: The European Commission Unveils Plans to Regulate Digital 'Gatekeepers'," Antitrust Law Alert (January 5, 2021). Contacts: Thomas De Meese, Jeane A. Thomas, CIPP/E, Karl Stas
Client Alert/Newsletter
"New EU Proposals to Regulate Digital Markets – What to Expect," Antitrust Law Alert (December 9, 2020). Contacts: Thomas De Meese, Karl Stas
Client Alert/Newsletter
"The New B2B-legislation put into practice: Are you ready?" Crowell & Moring Webinar (December 8, 2020). Presenters: Thomas De Meese, Judith Bussé, Delphine Keppens, and Laura van Kruijsdijk.
"Creating Tomorrow: Digitization of Retail and Consumer Products - Distribution Relationships in the Digital Age - The competition rules applying to vertical agreements under review," Crowell & Moring Webinar (November 24, 2020). Presenters: Thomas De Meese and Marieke Van Nieuwenborgh.
"EU Commission Provides a Glimpse of What’s to Come for Distribution Relationships in the Digital Age," Antitrust Law Alert (October 26, 2020). Contacts: Thomas De Meese, Marieke Van Nieuwenborgh
Client Alert/Newsletter
"Annulment of EC Prohibition of Telecoms Merger Creates Uncertainty for Mergers in Tight Markets," Antitrust Law Alert (August 12, 2020). Contacts: Thomas De Meese, Wm. Randolph Smith, Sean-Paul Brankin, Marieke Van Nieuwenborgh
Client Alert/Newsletter
"Practice Group Effective Dispute Resolution: Resolving disputes caused by the COVID-19 crisis – what options does the in-house lawyer have in the short and longer term?," Webinar in collaboration with IBJ/IJE, Brussels, Belgium (July 3, 2020). Speakers: Emmanuel Plasschaert and Kristof Roox.

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Crowell & Moring LLP is an international law firm with approximately 550 lawyers representing clients in litigation and arbitration, regulatory and policy, and transactional matters. The firm is internationally recognized for its representation of Fortune 500 companies in high-stakes litigation, as well as its ongoing commitment to pro bono service and diversity, equity and inclusion. The firm has offices in Brussels, Doha, London, Los Angeles, New York, Orange County, San Francisco, Shanghai, and Washington, D.C.

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