Company and association law is the branch of private law that studies legal persons. It includes all the rules applicable to the creation, operation and possible liquidation of companies and associations. This branch of law is also interested in the relationships between the actors of legal entities (notably the shareholders, members, and directors) and those that the latter have with third parties.
We support Belgian and foreign legal persons wishing to develop their activities in our country at all stages of their development while protecting their interests in the event of litigation.
S-Team lawyers and their experts support and advise, among other aspects of corporate law, with:
- Constitution of Belgian companies or associations;
- Creation of branches of foreign companies;
- Operations on the capital and issues of securities such as the reduction and increase of capital and the sale of shares;
- Shareholders’ agreements;
- Mergers, demergers, joint-ventures and other corporate restructurings;
- Dissolutions and liquidations of companies;
- Corporate legal secretariat;
- Disputes in company law, such as disputes between shareholders (action for the forced repurchase of securities or action for withdrawal), or disputes relating to the responsibilities and duties of directors,
- Advice on various issues related to the Companies and Associations Code (CSA) and other specific company law regulations.
Where appropriate, our lawyers can also advise you in cases where your company is faced with insolvency law, as governed by book 20 of the Code of Economic Law. Thus, we regularly intervene in bankruptcy or judicial reorganization (PRJ) proceedings on behalf of creditors or debtors.
We provide legal support to enterprises (legal or natural law doing business) in the context of the opportunities or difficulties they may encounter in carrying out their activities with their partners, customers, or competitors. Thus, we ensure, among other things:
- Management of disputes between enterprises;
- Assistance in the context of market practices and consumer protection;
- Proactive advice for the structuring of the activities of our entrepreneur clients;
- Drafting or auditing of national and international contracts including the main distribution contracts such as distributorships, commercial agency, commission, license, franchise or, more generally, commercial partnership contracts;
- Debt collection, both in Belgium and abroad;
- Support in the negotiation and conclusion of commercial transactions;
- Creation and drafting of tailor-made general conditions.
Real Estate Law
Real estate law is a branch of law that governs legal issues relating to real estate. It therefore intervenes when real estate is in question, whether it is its sale, rental, and more generally any legal act, disposal or administration.
In real estate law, our lawyers intervene on behalf of national or international investors, owners, tenants, contractors, architects, real estate agents, public authorities and other players in the real estate sector in the following non-exhaustive areas:
- The acquisition of real estate;
- Questions specific to real estate promotions drawn from the application of the Breyne law (Loi Breyne);
- The negotiation and drafting of commercial leases, office leases, main residence leases, precarious occupancy agreements or even operating concession agreements;
- Drafting of construction agreements and public-private partnership contributions;
- Issues of co-ownership law;
- The rules governing the regulated activities of real estate agents, architects, promoters and property dealers; in particular with regard to their liability;
- Management of disputes specific to real estate law before state or arbitral tribunals.
Employment law is the set of legal rules applicable to relations between private employers and employees in the workplace.
It governs professional working relations between the employer and the employee individually and the collective of employees.
As these rules become ever more complex, meeting your obligations as an employer has never been so difficult. However, their violation can be costly, both financially and reputational. Our lawyers intervene at two levels: advice (I) and litigation (II).
In order to prevent possible disputes, we advise you in all areas of employment law and, particularly in the context of:
- Future layoffs that you are responsible for or that you are undergoing;
- Social aspects inherent in business buyouts and transfers;
- The conclusion and execution of employment contracts, work regulations and employment policies in matters of sexual or moral harassment, or other forms of violence at work;
- Drawing up and / or concluding collaboration contracts with independent service providers;
- Regulations prohibiting the illegal provision of salaried personnel and “bogus self-employed persons”;
- Prior information and consultation obligations of the social bodies (union delegation, committee for prevention and protection at work or works council).
We defend our clients in numerous social disputes, particularly in matters of:
- Dismissal and notice periods;
- Dismissal for serious reasons (motif grave);
- Compensation in lieu of notice;
- Compensation for manifestly unreasonable dismissal;
- Protection against dismissal;
- Medical force majeure or “medical C4”;
- Disruptive equipollent acts;
- Pay and scale regularization;
- Sexual or moral harassment and/or discrimination at work;
- Complaints for other acts punishable by legislation relating to well-being at work.
We also represent you before the criminal courts against the labor auditor in the event that your company is prosecuted for social criminal law offenses likely to result in your conviction to fines – criminal or administrative – or, for more serious offenses, to terms of imprisonment. Our lawyers can also assist you during social inspections and represent you vis-à-vis the social inspection.
Among the criminal offenses of social law commonly accused are the unlawful provision of workers, the undeclared employment of workers, the employment of foreign staff in an irregular situation, the violation of the rules relating to the safety and well-being of workers, harassment (moral or sexual) and discrimination at work, non-payment of workers’ remuneration, and non-advertising of part-time schedules.
Business Criminal Law
Business criminal law covers, on the one hand, criminal offenses specific to the conduct of business and, on the other hand, rules of economic law liable to be penalized.
Thus, it includes common law offenses (theft, swindling, breach of trust, corruption, money laundering, forgery and use of forgery, etc.) and specific offenses, in particular with regard to:
- Company law (increase in contributions in kind, abuse of corporate assets, etc.);
- Competition law (cartel, abuse of a dominant position, etc.);
- Consumer law (misleading advertising, etc.);
- Stock market law (insider trading, etc.).
Compliance with business criminal law is ensured in part by the criminal courts and in part by independent administrative authorities, such as the Financial Information Processing Unit (CTIF) or the Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA).
Our lawyers have developed a particular expertise in this area and regularly assist legal entities, business leaders, and other senior executives.
Economic Immigration Law
Economic Immigration Law covers all the rules governing the exercise by foreigners of a salaried or self-employed activity on Belgian territory. We carry out on behalf of companies, all the steps involved in obtaining work permits for their non-EU employees and professional cards for the self-employed.
Since December 24, 2018, third-country nationals wishing to work as an employee for a period of more than 90 days in Belgium, and who do not benefit from an exemption from a work permit, must obtain a single permit from the competent region. A single permit application includes both a work permit application and a residence application.
A non-European foreign entrepreneur wishing to work in Belgium as an independent professional must obtain an authorization in the form of a professional card. Criminal sanctions may be applied when the business operations continue without the legally required professional card.
Intellectual property includes all intellectual works: inventions, literary and artistic works, designs, names used in commerce, appellations of origin, geographical indications, etc. In the field of intellectual property law, our lawyers act for companies and individuals in the following non-exhaustive areas:
– Civil and criminal proceedings in matters of counterfeiting
– Drafting and negotiation of research and development agreements
– Drafting and negotiating technology licensing agreements
– Definition of a strategy for the protection of know-how and technical inventions
– Definition of a trademark and trade name strategy
– Drafting and negotiating coexistence agreements between similar or identical trademarks
– Mediation between two rights holders or between a rights holder and a person accused of infringement