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Karel Bourgeois

Phone: +
7, Rue Joseph Stevens
Brussels B-1000

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.


  • 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)


Admitted to practice: in Belgium and before the European Court

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"Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) from a European Perspective," Webinar in collaboration with IBJ/IJE (September 8, 2021). Speakers: Karel Bourgeois and Judith Bussé.
"Change is Coming: Current and Proposed Institutional Reform in Competition Law and The Path Forward," Antitrust Law Alert (July 21, 2021). Contacts: Marieke Van Nieuwenborgh, Julie van Hevele, Peter Broadhurst, Karel Bourgeois
Client Alert / Newsletter
"New UK subsidy control regime designed to provide quicker and more flexible support to UK businesses," Antitrust Law Alert (July 6, 2021). Contacts: Karel Bourgeois, Peter Broadhurst
Client Alert / Newsletter
EU To Conduct Retrospective Merger Study Global Competition Review (June 24, 2021)
Media Mentions
"European Commission Proposal on Foreign Subsidies: Towards a Globalization of EU State Aid Control?," Antitrust Law Alert (May 18, 2021). Contacts: Vassilis Akritidis, Karel Bourgeois, Karl Stas
Client Alert / Newsletter
"EU State Aids," 6th edition, Sweet & Maxwell (April 23, 2021). Contributor to the chapters on “State aid for Energy and Environmental Protection” and “Rescue and Restructuring Aid”: Karel Bourgeois.
"Illumina/Grail – FTC’s First Vertical Merger Challenge in Decades," Administrative Law Alert (April 5, 2021). Contacts: Connor Ahearn, Alexis J. Gilman, Karel Bourgeois, Olivier N. Antoine, Juan A. Arteaga, Rosa M. Morales
Client Alert / Newsletter
"State Aid in Times of Recovery and transition: What You Need to Know," Webinar in collaboration with IJE/IBJ, Brussels, Belgium (March 9, 2021). Presenters: Karel Bourgeois and Marieke Van Nieuwenborgh.
Crowell & Moring Chair Seeks Strategic Growth After ‘Good Year’ Bloomberg Law (February 8, 2021)
Media Mentions
"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
Client Alert / Newsletter

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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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