As Counsel in our International HR Services group in Brussels, I have in-depth experience in employment and civil law litigation, with a practice that spans an array of employment and social security law matters, focusing on dismissals, compensation and benefits and workplace health and safety hazards.

A graduate of the University of Leuven (KU Leuven – Magna Cum Laude), I have worked for top-tier law firms in the field of employment law and in the Appellate Supreme Court Practice. Obtaining the Certificate in Supreme Court Proceedings has enabled me to have a thorough understanding of legal proceedings. I have learned what it can take to avoid a legal decision from being quashed by the Supreme Court and this experience puts me in good stead when preparing written submissions.

What motivated me to become a lawyer was the fact that the practice of law requires for both strong reading, writing and logical reasoning skills as well as an understanding of human nature and societal issues. Especially in the field of human (what's in a name?) resources the law is in a continuous state of flux, subject to a changing economic climate and judicial appreciation of what is deemed fair or unfair within the relationship employer/employee. What I find the most thrilling and engaging part of being a lawyer is the whole process of identifying the correct legal framework, helping the client to find the facts that will enhance its point of view, presenting these facts in a thoughtful, structured manner before court and then ultimately convincing the judge that the client has acted within the boundaries set by the law. None of this is possible without having a closely knit working relationship with the client, based on mutual trust and open, clear-language communication.

In view of my background as a litigator I joined the International Association of Defense Counsel, a US-based, invitation-only organisation of lawyers providing litigation services and counsel to corporations throughout the world. I have moderated debates at IADC meetings and published on a wide array of employment and labour law matters, ranging from transfers of undertakings to workplace diversity. The IADC seeks to promote the rule of law and further understanding and working relationships between lawyers and corporate counsel from various jurisdictions. Becoming an active member within this organisation and its many committees has enabled me to grow as an attorney and build a network with trustworthy lawyers all over the globe. As International Membership Chair within the International Steering Committee I seek to share this enthralling experience with an ever growing number of international members.

I am trilingual, speaking and writing Dutch, French and English.

  • I have assisted clients in the logistics, food & beverages, construction and financial services industries on a wide array of employment issues.
  • In fairness, none of the cases I have worked on have ever made the newspapers' headlines. However, I believe they have made the difference to the individual employer who was, for example, not convicted to pay an additional two years' wages to an employee who invoked special legal protection against dismissal. Or to the company that found itself wrongfully accused of not having created a safe working environment and saw the employee's claim dismissed in court. Or to the HR Director whom I have assisted in succesfully fighting the social security administration's incorrect interpretation of the law on reduced social security contributions for specific categories of workers. To the extent that I may have played a part in obtaining a succesful outcome before Court or in deciding to settle a case beforehand I believe there is merit to each of my cases, regardless of the sums at stake or the name of the company involved.
Education
  • University of Leuven, Licentiate degree, Law (1989)
  • Supreme Court of Belgium, Certificate of aptitude in Supreme Court Proceedings (2007)
Admissions
  • Brussels Bar (1994)