07 Sep 2021

Belgium’s Strelia adds thirteen lawyers from rivals for Brussels boost

The rapidly-growing firm is proving an appealing option for corporate talent

(L-R) Katrien Vorlat, Pierre Goffinet and France Vlassembrouck Image courtesy of Strelia

Belgian boutique Strelia has hired 13 lawyers from rivals Monard Law and Daldewolf to bolster its Brussels office, with two of the three partners coming over to the firm expected to build new practice areas.

Experienced deals lawyer Katrien Vorlat has joined the Strelia’s well-established corporate and M&A team after five years as a partner at Monard Law, prior to which she spent almost two decades at Stibbe. She has taken three associates to the firm with her.

France Vlassembrouck has also moved over to Strelia from Monard Law to make a real estate and public law team, while Pierre Goffinet, a former regulator, has joined from competition boutique Daldewolf to establish the firm’s antitrust and regulatory team.

Vlassembrouck, who brings two associates with her, leaves Monard Law after four years. She previously spent almost a decade at leading independent Loyens & Leoff, including three years as a partner and head of the procurement and projects team, and was also at Stibbe prior to that.

In addition to experience at Belgium’s competition regulator, Goffinet spent time at UK firms Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Clifford Chance and joins with four associates.

The new arrivals bring the independent firm’s partner total to 17 across its Brussels and Luxembourg offices and its lawyer headcount to 50. They dovetail nicely with Strelia's strengths in disputes, finance and corporate work, while the antitrust element allows for merger control referrals as well as contentious competition instructions. The teams are also well versed in the energy, retail, telecoms and transport sectors.

In January, the firm promoted counsel Joanna Kolber and Gaetano Jannone to the partnership, with both becoming commercial disputes partners. And it has shown itself capable of attracting top talent, with the head of Clifford Chance’s litigation practice in Brussels Sébastien Ryelandt coming on board in 2019.

Managing partner Olivier Clevenbergh commented: “With this new development, Strelia enters a new phase in the realisation of its ambitions to be one of the leading independent law firms in Brussels.”

The additional practice areas, he said, broadened his firm’s ability to meet client demand and give specialist advice on associated regulatory issues.

Other recent Brussels moves include King & Spalding’s hire of Hogan Lovells antitrust and competition partner Salomé Cisnal de Ugarte in August. Earlier in the year Curtis Mallet-Prevost Colt & Mosle relocated New York partner Simon Batifort to lead its new Brussels operation and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett also announced plans to open in the city.