Cleary Gottlieb’s Brussels office was established in 1960 as a direct consequence of the close relationship between French political and economic adviser Jean Monnet and former U.S. Under-Secretary of State George Ball, one of the firm’s founding partners and legal advisor to Monnet on the implementation of the Marshall Plan and the drafting of the Treaties of the European Communities.

Today our office has approximately 85 lawyers from a wide range of countries and who are qualified in most EU member states. Reflecting the firm’s overall commitment to creating a seamlessly interwoven legal practice, Cleary’s Brussels office is not departmentalized by specialty. Our proactive and innovative approach, combined with our in-depth local knowledge and international reach, means that we are able to guide our clients through the most challenging and complex business issues and transactions. We also have a longstanding and successful track record of working at the forefront of legal developments across each of our practice areas.

Our core capabilities in Brussels include antitrust, corporate, litigation and arbitration, and international trade and regulatory work:

  • Antitrust: The Brussels office has an internationally acclaimed antitrust law practice, treating issues such as merger control, cooperation and distribution agreements, abuse of dominant market positions and state aid. We regularly represent clients in proceedings before the European Commission and national antitrust authorities.
  • Corporate: The corporate practice spans all areas of national and international corporate law, including mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, corporate finance and structured finance, sovereign debt restructuring, and tax law. We regularly render general and specialty advice in corporate and commercial matters, covering areas such as general contractual law, corporate obligations and reporting, director duties, and other corporate governance issues. Our corporate lawyers serve a wide variety of domestic and foreign corporations, financial institutions and sovereign governments.
  • Litigation and Arbitration: The office has a rich litigation and arbitration practice, with lawyers qualified to try cases before the European and national courts. Our lawyers regularly represent clients in litigation and arbitration proceedings in all aspects of the firm’s antitrust, corporate, commercial and regulatory practices.
  • Regulatory: Brussels lawyers have significant experience in providing regulatory advice to clients, under both EU and national law. The office’s regulatory practice spans a wide range of sectors, including financial services, international trade, telecommunications and media, information technology and e-commerce, energy, intellectual property, and labor law. We have represented clients before the European Commission and the European courts in regulatory matters, in addition to representation before the Belgian postal, telecommunications, media, environment and energy regulatory agencies, as well as financial sector supervisory authorities.

Our lawyers have broad international backgrounds, including rotations in one or more of Cleary’s offices around the world; we are experienced in managing international transactions and dispute resolutions and can collaborate easily with global colleagues.


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