Photograph of Karel Bourgeois

Karel Bourgeois

Partner


Karel Bourgeois is a partner in the Brussels office of Crowell & Moring and a member of the firm’s Antitrust & Competition Group. He is recognized for his experience in antitrust, state aid, and regulation. For over 15 years, he has represented a wide range of clients in merger control, abuse of dominance, and cartel cases before the European Commission, the Belgian Competition Authority, and other regulatory authorities. A considerable part of Karel’s practice also involves representing clients in strategic state aid cases.

He regularly litigates in competition-related matters before the courts. In addition, he offers antitrust compliance support to his clients and advises on all aspects of EU law.

His practice covers a broad range of industries including, TMT, energy, life sciences, chemicals, FMCG, digital platforms, and financial services. Karel helps his clients achieve regulatory approval for their M&A deals. He has significant experience in complex merger control proceedings before the European Commission and national competition authorities. He has inter alia acted on a precedent-setting European Commission merger control case involving vertical integration in the TV distribution chain requiring FRAND commitments, as well as on several of the most sophisticated merger control proceedings before the Belgian Competition Authority. 

Karel has also advised on a number of groundbreaking antitrust investigations at EU, Belgium, and international levels. These include: representing a global FMCG supplier in one of the first cartel proceedings before the European Commission that resulted in a settlement decision; financial institutions on global cartel investigations; a media company on an abuse of dominance investigation before the Belgian Competition Authority.

His litigation practice focuses on antitrust (recovery) litigation before the national courts.

In the area of state aid, he assists both governments and beneficiaries on strategic state aid cases, and has experience in drafting complex state aid notifications and defending companies in state aid investigations conducted by the European Commission. Clients regularly turn to Karel for advice on the state aid and regulatory aspects of their infrastructure projects. He has been involved in state aid cases related to some of the highest profile renewable energy projects in Belgium and other EU Member States, and has experience assisting clients on the application of the European Commission’s new COVID-19 state aid framework.

He has been recognized as a Future Leader by Who’s Who Legal Competition (WWL) (2020), Legal 500 (2019), and a Rising Star by LMG’s Expert Guide for Competition and Antirust in Belgium (2019). Karel is praised by WWL for having "wide expertise in antitrust law" and for being "extremely well versed in Belgian competition law." Clients further add that he provides  "legally sound and well-focused advice."

Karel is the author of a number of legal publications in the field of Belgian and EU competition law.

He is also active in his pro bono practice by tutoring teenagers in Brussels at Toekomstatelier / Atelier de l’Avenir, introducing them to the role of a lawyer in society.

Education

  • University of Antwerp, L.B. (2000) magna cum laude
  • Catholic University of Leuven, M.L. (2003) magna cum laude
  • University of Chicago Law School, LL.M. (2004)

Affiliations

Admitted to practice: in Belgium and before the European Court

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"EU Institutions Reach Agreement on Foreign Subsidies Regulation," Antitrust Law Alert (July 20, 2022). Contacts: Karel Bourgeois, Vassilis Akritidis, Karl Stas, Flavie Van Maldegem
Client Alert / Newsletter
"Belgium to Introduce Foreign Direct Investment Screening Regime by 2023," Antitrust Law Alert (June 22, 2022). Contacts: Karel Bourgeois, Karl Stas, Julie van Hevele
Client Alert / Newsletter
"Revision of Horizontal Block Exemption Regulations and the Horizontal Cooperation Guidelines," Crowell & Moring Webinar, 2022. (June 9, 2022). Speakers: Thomas De Meese, Karel Bourgeois, and Karl Stas.
Speech/Presentation
"Algoritmische Prijsbepalingen en Artificiële Intelligentie: mededingingsrechtelijke aspecten," Artificiële Intelligentie door de ogen van de Bedrijfsjurist (April 2022). Authors: Karel Bourgeois and Karl Stas.
Publication
"EU Competition Authorities Respond to Ukraine Crisis: More Flexibility for State Aid and Cooperation Among Companies," Antitrust Law Alert (March 30, 2022). Contacts: Karel Bourgeois, Flavie Van Maldegem
Client Alert / Newsletter
"Perspectives from the Belgian Competition Authority," Crowell & Moring Webinar, 2022. (March 23, 2022). Moderators: Thomas De Meese and Karel Bourgeois.
Speech/Presentation
"Belgian Competition Act Amended to Introduce Merger Filing Fees, Fines for Failure to Notify and Procedural Changes," Antitrust Law Alert (March 14, 2022). Contacts: Karel Bourgeois, Karl Stas, Flavie Van Maldegem
Client Alert / Newsletter
"Misbruik van economische afhankelijkheid – eerste toepassingen," IBJ/IJE Partner Blog (January 24, 2022). Contacts: Karel Bourgeois and Karl Stas.
Publication
Global Competition Review Once Again Recognizes Crowell & Moring’s Antitrust & Competition Group in "GCR 100" (December 16, 2021)
Firm News / Announcement
"Competition Law in Times of Price Increases and Supply Shortages," Crowell & Moring Webinar. (December 7, 2021). Speakers: Karel Bourgeois and Karl Stas.
Speech/Presentation

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Crowell & Moring LLP is an international law firm with offices in the United States, Europe, MENA, and Asia that represents clients in litigation and arbitration, regulatory and policy, and transactional and corporate matters. The firm is internationally recognized for its representation of Fortune 500 companies in high-stakes litigation and government-facing matters, as well as its ongoing commitment to pro bono service and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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