Van Bael & Bellis adds four more transactions lawyers from DLA Piper in Brussels

Former DLA Piper Brussels corporate lead Caroline Daout joins alongside team of associates

Caroline Daout Image courtesy of Van Bael & Bellis

Belgian independent law firm Van Bael & Bellis (VBB) has hired four more lawyers from DLA Piper to boost its transactions team in Brussels. 

Partner Caroline Daout, who previously led DLA Piper’s corporate practice in Brussels, has joined the firm alongside senior associate Virginie Lescot and associates Jens Westerwoudt and Charles-Antoine du Bus. 

Senior associate Cedric Hauben has also moved over from Allen & Overy, having previously worked at DLA Piper in Brussels. 

The hires represent a significant expansion of VBB’s transactions team in Brussels, which currently consists of three partners and 15 associates and paralegals.  

Philippe De Baere, VBB managing partner, said: “Our transactions team now has a depth and strength that allows it to compete with the other international practices in the market. Following the opening of our London office, this move shows once again that VBB is a firm that invests in high-end expertise for its clients.”

Daout moves across after nearly three decades at DLA Piper, where she led the Brussels office’s corporate and M&A practice group for six years. She focuses her practice on all kinds of corporate transactions, primarily across the pharmaceutical, technology and energy sectors. 

The team’s arrival follows VBB, traditionally known for its strength in EU antitrust, trade and regulatory law as well as commercial disputes, starting the year with the hire of a three-strong transactions team from DLA Piper in Brussels led by experienced banking and finance partner Johan Mouraux. 

Michel Bonne, head of the firm’s transactional services team, added: “Following Johan’s very successful integration in the team, we now are very pleased to welcome Caroline’s team. They add strong expertise to our already wide range of transactional services, in Belgium and abroad."

For its part, DLA Piper hired Hausfeld’s former Brussels and Paris managing partner Laurent Geelhand in August in a bid to further strengthen its European competition practice. 

Meantime Norton Rose Fulbright added competition partner Alexandra Rogers from White & Case in Brussels in July, having hired senior competition and antitrust partner, Miranda Cole, from Covington & Burling in the city earlier in the year. Cole was named head of the Brussels office in the summer. 

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