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The International Comparative Legal Guide to: Real Estate 2020

  One of our partners, Lieven Peeters, is pleased to announce that the International Comparative Legal Guide to: Real Estate 2020 has been published.

X – 60: What are your obligations?

  On X – 60, i.e. between 13 and 26 December 2019, depending on the chosen election day, the employer must provide the Works Council and/or the CPPW, or, in…

Clawback: chasing assets

  This article reflects on some of the options offered under Belgian law by the actio pauliana, commonly referred to in English as the 'clawback' rules (for further details please see…

The new Plant Health Regulation is ready to take off as of 14 December 2019

Pests threaten plant health. To fight the increased risks owing to the further globalisation of trade and climate change, the European legislature has adopted measures concerning the determination and reduction…

Is your company ready for the Incoterms 2020?

On 1 January 2020, the new Incoterms® 2020 as published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) will come into force. The Incoterms 2020 remain global standards that, if they…

Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies: can a company be incorporated through contributions consisting of cryptocurrencies?

The era of cryptocurrencies has come: whilst they were initially used as a specific means of payment and as a source of investments other functions are now being explored, such…

Whistleblowing employees soon to be protected against retaliation measures?

  On 7 October 2019, the EU Council approved the Directive on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union law. This Whistleblower Directive seeks to introduce effective whistleblower…

The Belgian Competition Authority imposes a fine on the Order of Pharmacists

On 16 October 2019, the Belgian Competition Authority (“BCA”) imposed a fine of 225,000 EUR on the Order of Pharmacists (“Order”) for disciplinary sanctions restricting the pharmacists’ possibility to advertise…

Social elections 2020: Homeworkers can vote from their ‘home office’

More and more employees structurally work from home (with fixed homeworking days). Assuming the social elections date falls on an employee’s regular homeworking day, such an employee no longer needs…

Direct lines in Flanders: 5 points of attention

Recently, the VREG started authorizing direct lines for electricity more easily. This brings new opportunities for companies near an electricity production site, such a wind farm or solar park. However,…

The Belgian Competition Authority publishes Guide on the exchange of information in the framework of associations of undertakings.

On 1 October 2019, the Belgian Competition Authority (“BCA”) published its new Guide on the exchange of information in the framework of associations of undertakings (“Guide”).  With this Guide, the…

Effect of EU preventive restructuring directive on Belgian insolvency framework

On 31 January 2009 the Belgian Business Continuity Act (BCA) was passed into law. The BCA'sobjective is to protect companies in financial difficulty from their creditors so that a reorganisation…

Incentives and public procurement in the healthcare sector: be careful what you wish for!

Since the European Court of Justice’s ruling C-300/07 of 11 June 2009, hospitals and other health institutions must abide by public procurement law to the extent that they are at…

The Merger Control Review, Tenth Edition: Belgium

Carmen Verdonck and Nina Methens have written the Belgian chapter in the Merger Control Review, tenth edition (edited by Ilene Knable Gotts). The chapter provides an overview of the latest trends…

Towards a harmonised employee status by levelling up... Janssen Pharmaceutica sets an example

In the life-sciences industry, many companies still make a distinction between the blue-collar and white-collar members of their workforce, often with significant differences in the applicable employment terms and conditions.…

The arrival of the UBO register or the "register of wealth" - what you need to know

The Anti-Money Laundering Act of 18 September 2017 (hereafter the “Belgian AML Act”), which transposes the fourth European Anti-Money Laundering Directive, has put in place the Register of Ultimate Beneficial…

ALTIUS invests heavily in legal tech

The first development is a scalable GDPR application that combines ALTIUS' expertise with the LeyQi automation tool

New research exemption under Belgian patent law?

On 19 December 2017, the legislative package on the implementation of the UPC was approved by Belgian Parliament. While the entry into force of this new legislation has been delayed…

Embedding 'Like' buttons: what are the GDPR consequences for website operators after the Fashion ID ruling?

A website operator who has embedded a Facebook “like” button on its website qualifies as a “joint controller” together with Facebook and so can be held liable for the collection…

State aid and football stadiums: a Belgian case

In recent years, a significant part of the case law relating to state aids in the sport sector have revolved around infrastructures. Belgium has been a trendsetter on this topic,…

European skies are ready for drones. Are you?

In a previous blogpost, we announced that the European authorities were in the process of developing EU-wide rules and procedures for operating civil drones. Recently, these rules were adopted in…

EU Commission going after restrictions of cross-border and online sales within the EU Single Market

In June 2017, the European Commission opened formal investigations into Nike's, Sanrio's and Universal Studios' licensing and distribution practices to find out whether they restricted traders from selling licensed merchandise…

GDPR’s first birthday in six lessons

The general data protection regulation (GDPR) just celebrated its first anniversary.  Although it seems that EU businesses and individuals are well aware of its existence, some controllers and processors are…

Legal changes for sports agents doing business in Flanders

The Flemish Government has introduced new rules regarding sports agents, which introduce important obligations for agents active in Flanders, such as necessary registration and a mandatory guarantee deposit, and that…

Has the Supreme Court confirmed the NSSO’s position regarding share related benefits granted by a foreign parent company?

In September 2018, the National Social Security Office (NSSO) caused a ‘minor earthquake’ by substantially broadening its interpretation of what is to be understood as ‘salary’ subject to social security…

In the shadow of the DSM Directive: the new Online Broadcasting and Retransmission Directive

After years of ‘blood, sweat and tears’, the European Parliament finally adopted the highly-controversial Directivee on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (“DSM Directive”) on 26 March 2019. Whoever thought…

Belgian Competition Authority fines the Order of Pharmacists

On 28 May 2019, the Competition College of the Belgian Competition Authority (“BCA”) imposed a fine of one million euros on the Order of Pharmacists (l’Ordre des pharmaciens – Orde…

Pledging of intellectual property rights: an important aspect of lending for pharmaceutical, chemical and biomedical companies

The long-awaited entry into force of the Belgian law of 11 July 2013 on security interests over movable assets on 1 January 2018, which introduces a new title XVII in…

PSDII: a level playing field in the payment services industry?

The EU adopted the Second Payment Services Directive (PSDII) to level the playing field in the payment services industry by introducing the principle of “open banking”. The underlying idea of…

Belgian court applies Turkish Agency Law

In a case with significant precedent value, the Ghent Commercial Court, under Article 7.1 of the 1980 Rome Convention, applied Turkish Agency Law to a dispute between a Turkish agent…

Navigating Belgian nightlife: lessons to be learned from the ‘Kompass case’

On 13 March 2019, the Mayor of Ghent decided to close Kompass Klub, which in 2018 was voted the best nightclub in Belgium, because of drug-related incidents. The club successfully…

Autonomous vehicles and insurance: 5 challenges, 3 opportunities and 1 certainty

As insurance coverage will be profoundly different when (all) cars on the road are autonomous, a lot of strategic and legal insight is required to overcome the challenges and grasp…

New rules to deal with the unavailability of medicinal products in Belgium

An Act of 7 April 2019 has introduced new measures in Belgium to deal with the unavailability of medicinal products on the Belgian market. The first measure is that a…

Autonomous vehicles: is Belgian road traffic legislation ready?

Autonomous vehicles, with varying degrees of autonomy, are on their way - although this will be slower than some had hoped or expected. This is notably the case for legal developments…

2020 social elections: arrange for an exemption from keeping a register of temporary workers

Companies employing more than 100 employees can obtain an exemption from the obligation to keep a register of temporary workers (i.e. an annex to the general personnel register) if, by…

General Court gives red card to “NEYMAR” trademark

In a judgment of 14 May 2019, the General Court of the European Union (Case T-795/17) has confirmed that registration of the “NEYMAR” mark by a third party is invalid.…

Pop-up leases in the three regions : Brussels adopted as last region its new rules

On 19 May 2019, the Ordinance of 25 April 2019 on short-term commercial leases enters into force for the Brussels-Capital Region. As a result, the three regions now each have a…

Will employers be obliged to set up a working time recording system?

In its recent judgment of 14 May 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has held that EU Member States must oblige employers to set up a…

Companies beware! New prohibition in Belgium on the abuse of economic dependence

On 21 March 2019, the Federal Belgian Parliament adopted an Act amending the Code of Economic Law ("CEL") regarding abuses of economic dependence, prohibited terms and unfair market practices in…

Better protection for teleworkers from occupational accidents

In a working world with rapid technological change and in which mobility is an increasing issue, telework is increasingly seen as a viable option and so more employees are demanding…

Clinical Trials and the GDPR: do I really need the participant’s consent?

On 23 January 2019, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) issued its Opinion 3/2019 on the interplay between the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR; applying since 25 May 2018) and…

EU to examine SABAM’s tariffs for festivals and concerts

Despite its small size, Belgium is a real hotspot for music lovers. It has some world-class concert venues and is the home of countless – some of which are award…

Licence to contract – licence agreements and insolvency law

In an insolvency situation, the fate of ongoing contracts is something to be discussed. Such contracts are often closely linked to the essence of a company's business. For example, for…

Consumers to be better protected when concluding online contracts

On 15 April 2019, the Council of the EU formally adopted a draft directive on certain aspects concerning contracts for the supply of digital content and digital services. This was…

NSSO follows the Tax Ruling Commission’s position: warrants may not exceed 20% of the employee’s regular gross salary package

Employers often use warrants as a salary optimisation tool. If such warrants qualify as options within the meaning of Article 41, 3° of the Option Act of 26 March 1999,…

New mechanism for attracting investments and avoiding future blackouts

On 4 April 2019, the Belgian Parliament approved a Bill on the capacity remuneration mechanism (‘CRM’). This system aims to ensure the security of electricity supply after Belgium’s nuclear ‘exit’…

From toys to business tools: is the regulatory framework for drones ready for this development?

“Ordered before midnight, tomorrow delivered at your home”. Lightning-fast parcel delivery is one of the greatest advantages of living in the early 21st century. Companies are now literally ‘racing against…

Important financial impact for equity incentives expected in the life sciences industry

In the life-sciences industry, many employees benefit from equity incentives granted by the parent company. Until recently, such equity incentives granted by a foreign parent company to Belgian employees were…

Secondment in the construction sector: 10 key considerations

The construction sector is a fraud-sensitive sector. Belgian companies that are working with foreign subcontractors and foreign companies seconding their employees to Belgium to work on a project in Belgium…

A new Copyright Directive for the digital age addresses some sensitive issues

The European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council of the European Union (‘EU’) have reached a political agreement on Wednesday 13 February 2019 to make the EU’s copyright rules…

The Code is dead, long live the Code!

What does the new Belgian Code on Companies and Associations have in store for you?

Deposit of goods on consignment: does it constitute a deposit?

In a judgment of 26 November 2018, the Court of Appeal of Ghent (case 2016/AR/759) ruled that the deposit of goods on consignment does not constitute a deposit but does…

Drastic times call for ex parte interim measures

In Belgium, a preliminary injunction (‘PI’) is rarely granted on an ex parte (or unilateral) basis. Adversarial debates are considered as a cornerstone of legal proceedings, and one is entitled…

Financing infrastructure in Africa – Be prepared!

The need for modern infrastructure in Africa is enormous. Financing is key, yet it remains one of the most important challenges. Understanding the local environment and regulations is crucial to…

Flemish government set to introduce new rules for sports agents

Last week, the Flemish Government has submitted a draft decree proposing important changes for sports agents. Sports agents with any professional activity in the Flemish Region will have to be…

Antitrust in Sport: Unauthorised Events, Enforcement without Penalties?

One year after the European Commission’s decision (EC) against the International Skating Union (ISU), the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) has taken a decision against the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI). Both…

Council of State renders negative advice on the draft federal bill regarding sports agents

The Belgium Council of State has recently struck down the eagerly awaited draft federal law bill intended to regulate the sports agent profession.

Yuga Wang Barred from playing an arrangement of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring in Europe

In October 2018, the pianist Yuja Wang and the percussionnist Martin Grubinger were forced to cancel upcoming concerts in Dortmund and Luxembourg, where they had intended to perform their arrangement…

Commercial space in a hotel: Don’t get trapped in a commercial lease

The ground floor of many hotels provides room for retail space that can be let to businesses complimentary to the hotel: jewellery, car renting, floral shop, (luxury) clothing, etc. A…

Can drivers spend their regular weekly rest period in the transport vehicule?

Following a Belgian Council of State preliminary ruling request, the CJEU ruled on 20 December 2017 that, in accordance with the text of Regulation No 561/2006, a driver may not…

Geo-Blocking Regulation: what to expect?

“Geo-blocking” is a phenomenon whereby companies refuse a sale to a customer based on geographical factors such as their nationality or location. Common geo-blocking practices are the denial of access…

Employment pitfalls for work at offshore sites in Belgium’s Exclusive Economic Zone

More and more platforms are being constructed and installed in Belgium’s exclusive economic zone (or EEZ). Employing workers assigned to such offshore projects triggers complex questions regarding the applicable employment,…

EU Court of Justice to decide on the legality of the lifetime extension of the Doel 1 and 2 Power Stations

EU Advocate General has taken the view that EU legal provisions concerning environmental assessments have been infringed. However, this opinion does not necessarily mean that the Doel 1 and Doel…

Blockchain & GDPR: 2 simultaneous buzzwords

Blockchain technology has been receiving a lot of attention over the past few years, and more recently also from legal authors. It has been rightly said that blockchain raises several…

Your salary in bitcoin: reality or sci-fi?

Bitcoin, the best-known cryptocurrency operated by a decentralised authority (and so not issued by any bank or government), is very much in the news. As a result, employees sometimes ask…

The contract law challenges of the Internet of Things

When we talk about the Internet of things (‘IoT’), it is self-driving cars and the consequent legal liability issues that immediately come to mind. But the IoT’s challenges are much…

Off-label use of medicines and competition law

The Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) issued a judgment on the interplay between medicines’ off-label use and competition law (Judgment of the Court of Justice of 23…

Express recognition and clarification of the protection of trade secrets in Belgium

On 30 July 2018, with a few weeks’ delay, the Belgian legislator transposed the EU Directive 2016/943 on trade secrets (hereafter, the “Directive”) by adopting the law on the protection…

Anti-tampering devices : fading boundaries of parallel trade?

On 9 February 2019, a legislative package aimed at fighting medicines falsifications will enter into force across the EU. Pharmaceutical companies will, among other things, be required to affix a…

E-sports: professional gamers as olympic medalists?

While previous generations engaged in endless discussions about whether chess should be considered as a ‘real sport’, today it is gaming that has become the subject of that same question.…

Obtaining work permit for athletes much easier now?

Until recently, non-EEA athletes wanting to work and stay in Belgium had to follow a double procedure. First, the future employer had to start a procedure at the regional level…

Stricter scrutiny of inactive companies

The legislature recently took steps to improve the follow-up monitoring of companies in financial difficulty and strengthen the fight against inactive companies. Companies that fail to pay their social security…

‘Freezing’ bank accounts across Europe: the European Account Preservation Order (EAPO)

Creditors have now obtained a new – and important – tool for ‘freezing’ their debtor’s bank accounts throughout Europe with one single order. EU Regulation 655/2014 of 15 May 2014…
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