Brussels – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary (“DLA Piper”) today announced that it had agreed, in principle, to appoint eight partners and up to 25 other lawyers formerly based in Coudert’s Brussels office. The move, which is still subject to partner approval, was agreed by the Board this month. It will swell DLA Piper’s lawyer numbers in Belgium to over to over 100, giving it a leading market position in many practice areas, including dispute resolution, environment, IT and IP.
The new partners transferring to DLA Piper include renowned lawyers Yves Tavernier (corporate, commercial and litigation), Francis Goffin (commercial, labour and real estate), Jean-Michel Detry (corporate and M&A), Louis Puts (technology, media and communications), Herman Lemaire (commercial and corporate), Bertold Bär-Bouyssière (competition and energy), Paulette Vander Schueren (customs and competition) and Marc Ryckman (litigation and insurance). In addition, the team includes Pierre Van Ommeslaghe and Isabelle Heeren who are two of only 20 lawyers to have been admitted to the Belgian Supreme Court.
The expansion of the Brussels office follows the announcement DLA Piper made earlier this month about the opening of its Frankfurt office with five former partners from Coudert. DLA Piper is also in discussions with partners from Coudert’s Antwerp and Asian offices, although these discussions have not been concluded.
Steven De Keyser, Managing Partner of DLA Piper in Belgium and Managing Director of Continental Europe, is the driving force behind the expansion; he said: “This is a milestone in our development as we seek to attract the highest calibre lawyers to advise our clients. We will have top lawyers at our clients’ disposal across a variety of practice areas that complement our existing business. The new lawyers will also strengthen our presence in the French speaking market; I am delighted that they chose to join us.”
Nigel Knowles, Managing Partner of DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary UK LLP, commented: “Our primary goal has always been to provide clients with high quality legal advice across a full range of practice areas in all the jurisdictions where we have offices. In recent months we have attracted talented fee-earners to our offices and Belgium is no exception. The new lawyers will make a significant contribution to the Belgium practice and our international practice.”
The 34-strong team from Coudert will formally join DLA Piper’s existing Belgium practice on 1 October 2005 subject to the partner vote.