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The latest news around the firm
Laga interviewed by Jobat on legal aspects of office relocations with respect to the employer and employees
Head Partner of the Employment, pensions and benefits team Stijn Demeestere and Junior Associate Heleen Franco share their expertise regarding the employer's obligations and the employee's rights when an office move is planned.
Laga assists in Deco Print and H&S acquisition
Laga advised on the leveraged buy-out of Deco Print and H&S, an international group engaged product development and decoration of bottles, glassware, ceramic, plastic and metal.
Laga assists in sale of Pidy Group to French group Biscuits Bouvard
Laga assisted the selling family of Ieper-based food company Pidy Group with its sale to French group Biscuits Bouvard.
Greenille by Laga recommended as top tier firm in Chambers inaugural HNW guide
For its work in private wealth law, Laga's Private Client practice Greenille by Laga has been recommended by Chambers & Partners in their inaugural HNW guide, published in June 2016.
David Roelens shares expertise in real estate tax seminar
The seminar's overriding theme was real estate taxation and was organised by the Belgian professional union for the real estate sector (BVS).
Greenille by Laga opinion on gift and inheritance tax published in De Tijd
They argue that a simpler and more uniform gift and inheritance tax would benefit to both citizens and treasury in Flanders.
Luc De Broe interviewed by Trends on family businesses setting up foreign vehicles in tax havens
Laga contributes Belgian report to "Surcharges and Penalties in Tax Law" book
With 20 national reports this book provides an extensive legal comparison of the national tax procedures, as well as of the criminal tax laws regarding which kinds of tax surcharges are applied and the relationship with criminal tax sanctions. These reports are accompanied by a general report, five thematic and five corresponding comment reports depicting the structure of the Annual EATLP Congress in 2015 in Milan.
Astrid Peeters and Tim Wustenberghs publish second edition of "Handboek registratierechten" (Registration duties guide)
13 May 2016
Published by Intersentia, the book provides a concise but clear and structured overview of registration duties in the Flanders and Brussels Capital Region.
Laga assists Connect Group with public offer of new shares
12 May 2016
Laga advised Connect Group in connection with a capital increase in cash through a public offer of new shares with preferential rights.
Greenille by Laga publishes article on the Cayman Tax in Trusts & Trustees
2 May 2016
Private Client (Greenille by Laga) head Partner Alain Nijs and Senior Associate Joris Draye have published the article "The Cayman Tax: a game changer for the Belgian income tax treatment of trusts? " in Oxford Journals' Trust & Trustees.
In their article, Alain and Joris provide an overview of how Belgian residents are affected by the Cayman Tax rules, introduced into Belgian law in 2015.
Read the article on the publisher's website
Laga assists Bioqube Ventures with launch as specialist investment firm and collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Innovation
25 April 2016
Laga assisted Bioqube Ventures with its launch as specialist investment firm, as well as with its collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Innovation in launching JLINX, which will offer scientists and entrepreneurs access to venture funding, R&D expertise and state-of-the-art facilities.
Laga recommended in Chambers Europe 2016 guide
25 April 2016
For its work in the Belgian market, Laga has again been recommended by Chambers Europe in their 2016 guide.
Filip Smet interviewed by De Tijd on Tax authorities' knowledge of taxpayer assets abroad
18 April 2016
Laga assists national and international investors syndicate with Series A Financing Round
14 April 2016
Laga assisted an investors’ syndicate of national and international investors (LSP V COÖPERATIEVE U.A, BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM VENTURE FUND GMBH, PARTICIPATIEMAATSCHAPPIJ VLAANDEREN NV, OMEGA FUND V, L.P. and FUND+ NV) in connection with the negotiation and implementation of a EUR 24 million Series A Financing Round in eTheRNA NV.
Laga recommended in Legal 500 EMEA 2016 guide
13 April 2016
Legal 500 recently released their EMEA guide for 2016. Laga received several recommendations and praises from clients that establish its position as one of Belgium's leading independent law firms.
Laga advises Montea in its capital increase by contribution in kind
11 April 2016
Laga advised Montea in the capital increase, by contribution in kind of the SPVs (Special Purpose Vehicles) holding a logistics complex at MG Park De Hulst, located in Willebroek and leased to Federal Mogul.
Award winning article by Kristof Maresceau published in Tijdschrift voor Privaatrecht newsletter
8 April 2016
"The “European company law market”- reassessing the company law harmonisation programme" examines the future direction which the European harmonisation programme should take in the field of company law.
Laga advises Aedifica regarding its investments in two senior housing facilities
8 April 2016
Laga advised listed Belgian REIT Aedifica regarding its investments in two senior housing facilities, Senior Hotel Flandria (Bruges) and Vinkenbosch (Hasselt).
Laga publishes article in banking and finance review journal
6 April 2016
Werner Van Lembergen, Laurent Godts and Jean-Philippe De Vinck from the Banking and finance practice have co-authored the article "Commendation, caution and concern – Belgian law and policy making affecting the Belgian ABS market", published in Banking and finance review journal (Bank- en Financiewezen - Revue bancaire et financière).
Laga assists Bluebee in EUR 10 million Series A financing round
31 March 2016
Laga assisted Bluebee in the preparation, structuring and closing of its €10 million Series A financing round from a strategic group of investors active at the crossroads of life sciences and ICT, including Capricorn ICT Arkiv, Korys and Biover II.
Steven Dewulf interviewed in Terzake on legal aspects of tackling terrorism in Belgium
23 March 2016
Criminal law expert and member of Laga's Business criminal law practice Steven Dewulf was interview on the "Terzake" television program. In the interview broadcast on 21 March 2016, Steven shared legal guidance regarding ongoing terrorism evolutions in Belgium.
Laga assists EDF Luminus with creation of 'EDF Luminus Wind Together CVBA' fund
23 March 2016
Laga assisted EDF Luminus with the creation of ‘EDF Luminus Wind Together CVBA’, a new fund set up in the framework of the company's wind energy offering.
Tillo Dumont interviewed by Trends magazine on family businesses' wealth planning
14 March 2016
In an article published by Trends Family Business, estate planning expert Tillo Dumont (Greenille by Laga) shares his insights on finding the right balance between family business investments and family wealth planning.
Sophie Lippens and Filip Smet interviewed by Nederbelgisch Magazine
10 March 2016
Read the article on the magazine's online copy (on page 42)
Sophie Lippens and Tim Wustenberghs (et al) publish "Handboek personenbelasting 2015" (personal taxation guide 2015)
10 March 2016
The publication provides an extensive look at all facets of personal taxation.
Steven Dewulf awarded by NOAB (Dutch speaking Brussels Bar association)
7 March 2016
Senior Associate and member of Laga's Business Criminal law practice Steven Dewulf was given the award for most accomplished trainee ("meest verdienstelijke stagiair") by the Dutch speaking Brussels Bar Association (NOAB).
Steven specialises in international, European and transnational aspects of criminal law and criminal procedure. He also teaches criminal law and international criminal law at the University of Antwerp.
Emmanuel Leroux co-authors "Delegatie en taakverdeling in de NV" (delegation and task distribution in limited companies)
3 March 2016
The publication describes how the management in a large limited liability company is organised.
Laga assists HNA Group with the financing of Swissport Group shares and assets acquisition
3 March 2016
Laga assisted HNA Group with the financing of the acquisition of Swissport Group shares and assets from its current private equity owners (PAI Partners).
Laga assists ING Equipment Lease Belgium with dredging vessel acquisition from Cemex
3 March 2016
Laga assisted ING Equipment Lease Belgium with its acquisition of a dredging vessel from Cemex, and its subsequent lease to the De Cloedt Group, which was closed in January 2016.
Laga assists KBC with the restructuring of guarantee facilities
3 March 2016
Laga assisted KBC Bank with the restructuring of certain guarantee facilities granted to Royal Imtech NV and its Belgian subsidiaries.
Laga assists Port of Antwerp International with Essar Ports strategic alliance termination
25 February 2016
Laga advised Port of Antwerp International NV (Belgium) and PAI UK Ltd. (jointly “PAI”) regarding the unwinding of their strategic alliance with and investment in Essar Ports Ltd. (India).
Laga assists Vebego International BV with shares acquisition in PMC NV
23 February 2016
Laga’s Corporate-M&A practice assisted Vebego International BV with the acquisition of 50% of shares in PMC NV. PMC is a group of 5 companies offering services in the field of logistics, moving, storage and assembly of office furniture, interior office design, change management and new ways of working.
Laga interviewed by Jobat on the right to request a justification for dismissal
12 February 2016
Click here to read the article on the Jobat website.
Laga’s Corporate M&A practice assisted Argos with the merger of its Belgian oil storage and wholesale facilities into Varo Energy Group
9 February 2016
This merger was part of the European-wide integration of Argos and Varo Energy into one enlarged Varo Energy Group which will be a major downstream player in North West Europe.
Laga assists Altair Global with the acquisition of Nova Relocation Group
3 February 2016
Laga’s Corporate-M&A practice assisted Altair Global with the acquisition of Nova Relocation Group, a leading professional relocation services agency with subsidiaries in France, Belgium, The Netherlands and the UK.
Laga assists sellers in HMS Industrial Networks AB's acquisition of eWon SA, Belgium
3 February 2016
Laga is acting as legal counsel to the sellers in HMS Industrial Networks AB's EUR 30 Million purchase of Belgian company eWON SA.
Greenille by Laga contributes Belgian chapter in ICLG's Private Client 2016
5 January 2016
The Private Client guide covers common issues in private client laws and regulations – including pre-entry tax planning, connection factors, taxation issues on inward investment, succession planning, trusts and foundations, immigration issues and tax treaties – in 29 jurisdictions.
Click here for a preview of the Belgian chapter on the ICLG website.
Laga assists ING Belgium and Degroof Petercam with Xior Student Housing IPO
17 December 2015
Laga's Corporate-M&A practice assisted leading Belgian banks ING Belgium and Degroof Petercam, as Global Joint Coordinators and Bookrunners, on the successful IPO of Xior Student Housing. The IPO proceeds amount to EUR 87.8 million.
Click here to read an article published by De Tijd.
Laga's Kristof Maresceau wins TPR-award 2015
17 December 2015
Corporate law expert Kristof Maresceau awarded by TPR (Tijdschrift voor Privaatrecht) for his article "De Europese markt voor vennootschapsrecht".
His winning article will be published soon.
Cick here to visit the TPR website.
Greenille by Laga interviewed by Kluwer's Juristenkrant on mediation
10 December 2015
Greenille by Laga partner and specialist on family business mediation and negotiation Alain Laurent Verbeke shares his expertise on conflict resolution with Kluwer's Juristenkrant.
In the interview, Alain Laurent Verbeke argues that mediation should be compulsory before disputes can be brought to court. He also underlines that access to justice should be made less easy and mediation should play a bigger role in solving disputes.
Click here to read fragments of the article (subscription required for Juristenkrant).
Laga co-authors 2015 edition of VAT handbook
3 December 2015
The book "Handboek Belasting Toegevoegde Waarde" is published by die Keure.
Click here to view the book on the publisher's website.
Laga interviewed by Jobat about company car damage liability
20 November 2015
Partner and head of Laga's Employment, pensions and benefits, Stijn Demeestere, and Karel De Schoenmaeker share their expertise on who from the employer or employee should cover costs resulting from damage done to company cars.
Stijn and Karel first underline that employers cannot simply place liabilty on the employee for damage caused to the employer or others during the employee's job operation. The Employment Contracts Act in fact protects employees by limiting their liability to within the performance of the employment contract. As such, an employee should only compensate for that damage when caused by fraud, gross negligence or a previous, commonly occurring, slight error.
In the above context, Stijn and Karel clarify when the employee should be held liable for company car damage costs.
Click here to read the article on Jobat.
Laga interviewed by De Tijd on salary earners' vacation days
3 November 2015
Stijn Demeestere, head partner of Laga's Employment, pensions and benefits team, shares his expertise on the possibility for employees to build up their vacation days to use in following years.
Belgium's Minister of employment Kris Peeters recently proposed to allow employees to save their extra-legal vacation days (provided by some companies in addition to the legally required 20 days) and carry them forward for use in their later years.
With the expert opinion of Stijn, this article from De Tijd analyses the current situation with regard to legal and extra-legal vacation and the possibilities that already exist to carry forward vacation days in Belgium. Stijn also comments on what qualifies as extra-legal holidays and on the possibility provided by sectoral agreements to trade a bonus for extra vacation days (cafeteria plans).
Click here to read the article published in De Tijd.
Laga interviewed by De Tijd on workers' right to go on strike
2 November 2015
Laga partner and head of the Employment, pensions and benefits practice Stijn Demeestere shares his legal insight on industrial action.
After recent industrial action related events, the right to go on strike has taken a certain priority in the political agenda. Kris Peeters, minister of Employment, is aiming for unions and employer associations to collectively modernise the right to strike framework. However, unions are reluctant to do so.
Although the right to go on strike is imbedded in the European Social Charter, countries can set certain conditions for strike actions (e.g. to maintain public order, etc.) in their legislation. There are no such conditions in Belgian legislation but this does not mean that workers on strike can do as they please. Stijn Demeestere underlines that industrial action rules should remain in line with the rights of workers who are not on strike: "A striker should not, for example, hinder other workers' activity". However, Belgium's rules as to what can and cannot be done during a strike remain vague and unclear to many.
Certain parties would like to give unions a legal personality so as to render them financially liable for any incidents during strike activities, thus encouraging a more considered use of strike actions. In this context, Stijn warns that attaching a legal personality to unions is not the "holy grail" that some believe it to be: "blaming the unions is not straightforward as they often do not have the authority to bring activists to order".
Click here to read the article published in De Tijd
Laga assists Van De Wiele with European Investment Bank financing agreement
30 October 2015
Laga assisted Van De Wiele with the drafting and negotiation of a European Investment Bank financing agreement, which was closed in October 2015.
Through the conclusion of this financing agreement, the European Investment Bank is partnering with family-owned textile systems company Van De Wiele by providing a EUR 100 million loan to fund a three-year programme focussing on cutting edge R&D investments in the areas of textile machinery, production processes and advanced manufacturing technologies.
Laga assists KKO International on its dual listing on Alternext Brussels and Paris
30 October 2015
The Laga law firm assisted Belgian holding company, KKO, specialising in cocoa production, in making its debut on the Alternext markets.
KKO International is a Belgium-based holding company which owns Solea, a logistics and farming company specialising in the plantation of cocoa trees and in the farming and harvesting of cocoa beans.
Laga assists Belgian biotech company with its raising of 28 Million Euros in investments
30 October 2015
The Laga law firm represented Novadip Biosciences and its shareholders for the closing of the EUR 28 million Series A Round.
Novadip, a spin-off from the UCL (Université Catholique de Louvain), was initially seeking an 8.5 Million Euro investment to fund first clinical trials for a revolutionary medical procedure. A first round of investments brought the company 20 Million more by attracting renowned investors such as New Science Venture, a specialised New York fund. This unprecedented turn of events will greatly enlarge Novadips' perspectives.
Click here to read an article published in L'Echo covering the deal (subscription required).
Luc De Broe interviewed by De Standaard on Belgian excess profit rulings
23 October 2015
Laga partner Luc De Broe shares his expertise on the European Commission's current excess profit rulings investigation.
Following the EU's recent ruling that Starbucks and Fiat's selective tax advantages in the Netherlands and Luxembourg respectively violate EU state aid rules, attention is now drawn to the EU Commission's investigation of Belgium's excess profit ruling system.
Luc underlines some concerns surrounding the potential outcome of these investigations.
Click here to read the article (subscription required)
Laga recommended in IFLR1000 2016 guide
20 October 2015
Laga is among Belgian law firms recommended by IFLR in the newly released edition of their guide.
In its 2016 edition, IFLR (the guide to the leading financial law firms), recommends Laga's Banking and finance, capital markets and M&A teams.
Click here to read the full 2016 IFLR1000 overview of Laga.
Alain Laurent Verbeke opinion on marital property law published in De Standaard
14 October 2015
De Standaard publishes Greenille by Laga partner Alain Laurent Verbeke's expert opinion on marital property law.
In the article Tot de wet ons scheidt ("Till the law us do part"), Alain Laurent Verbeke argues that the scope of the legal marital property regime for spouses should be broadened and also apply to unmarried couples living together (cohabitants).
Click here to read the article on De Standaard (subscription required)
Luc De Broe interviewed by Pulse magazine (De Tijd) on the increasing intensity in tackling "agressive tax planning"
2 October 2015
Laga partner and international tax expert Luc De Broe shares his insights on the intensifying legislative approach in countering companies' "aggressive tax planning" activities.
The legal approach in addressing tax avoidance is undergoing significant change. Authorities are even "using yet to be approved OECD action plans on transactions which have been set up some ten years ago", notes Luc De Broe.
The authorities' focus is currently shifting towards agressive tax planning, regarded as tax avoidance at international level, using legitimate transactions which exploit loopholes created by legislative mismatches between two countries. The OECD's BEPS project, constituted by 15 action points, is aimed at helping to deal with this issue. Luc clarifies that "the guidelines are aiming for a legislative coordination to prevent mismatches and tax abuse, for taxation where value is created, and for transparency".
Luc believes that companies will take a more socially responsible approach for their tax matters. He underlines the importance of paying taxes correctly over risking damage to the company's reputation and client loss through bad publicity.
Click here to read the article, published in the Finance section of Pulse, a De Tijd publication.
Trends interviews Luc De Broe on legislation against agressive tax planning by multinationals
28 September 2015
International tax expert Luc De Broe shares his expertise as the G20 finalises an OECD framework based action plan which would help "end multinationals' aggressive tax planning", while the European Commission strives to counter damaging tax practices.
After it was publicly known that multinationals were using tax rulings, as well as agreements with governments on specific "tax constructions", to avoid paying large amounts of taxes, the G20 called upon the OECD to investigate how "tax loopholes" can be closed.
"It will be more difficult for multinationals to avoid taxes. From next year, the fiscal legilative framework will fundamentally change in this regard" says Luc De Broe, who underlines "interesting times for fiscalists".
On 28 September 2015, during a conference co-organised by Deloitte Belastingconsulenten/conseillers fiscaux and KU Leuven, Luc De Broe presented a two year research on the misuse of tax treaties and European law, state aid by rulings and damaging tax practices.
In the interview, Luc argues that double tax treaties can lead to "hybrid constructions" which are not sustainable. He continues to evaluate the OECD's plan to apply a anti-abuse rule in the 3,000 double tax treaties as "wishful thinking", given the lack of political consensus and the complexity of the legislative framework among others.
With several legislative considerations that need to be taken into account, Luc concludes that a substantial amount of work remains.
Click here to read the article published by Trends Magazine
Greenille by Laga in De Tijd on Brussels plan to reform inheritance tax rates
11 September 2015
The Finance minister for the Brussels region has recently proposed to, among other things, lower inheritance tax rates for non-family members.
Hélène Casman highlights possible justifications for the proposed changes and the challenges which may arise when introducing the new rules.
Click here to read the 10 September 2015 article.
Alain Laurent Verbeke further elaborates the idea of the Brussels Finance Minister.
He suggests that the Brussels Region should consider the abolishment of inheritance taxes in the direct line, at least for inheritances below a certain threshold.
Click here to read the 11 September 2015 article.