Clifford Chance is launching a tax practice from its Brussels office with the hire of a partner and team from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in Belgium.
`Thierry Blockerye is expected to join Clifford Chance this month and will set up and head the new tax practice. A spokesperson for Clifford Chance said it is not yet known how many assistants will move with Blockerye.`The aim is to increase the coverage of the firm's global tax group and respond to the growing need for tax advice in real estate and corporate finance transactions.`The appointment fills a gap in the eight-partner Brussels office, which has capability in competition, corporate, international trade, banking and finance, real estate, litigation and dispute resolution.`Blockerye specialises in corporate, M&A and real estate tax law. He joined PwC in Brussels in 1988 and was made a partner in 1996. His clients include a number of Belgian and international institutional property investors and developers.`His team will work with all areas of the Belgian practice, in particular its corporate finance, M&A and real estate teams.`Yves Herinckx, managing partner of Clifford Chance's Brussels office, said: "We have worked with Thierry for several years and have shared many clients. Thierry advised these clients on tax issues while we assisted them in the negotiation and documentation of their transactions.`"Bringing Thierry into our team will enable us to integrate our services even further to improve efficiency for clients. The strong existing deal flow of Clifford Chance's real estate practice in Brussels and the strong tax practice of Thierry in the same field will reinforce each other."`The hire follows the departure of Brussels partner Axel Miller, who left Clifford Chance to join its longstanding client, Belgian-French banking group Dexia, in May (The Lawyer, 9 April).