Freshfields Bruckhaus Deri-nger has raided Belgian firm De Bandt van Hecke Lagae & Loesch, taking corporate partners Chris Sunt for its Brussels office.
Sunt's departure follows the decision by De Bandt to merge with Linklaters' Brussels operations. Sunt has spent the last 10 years at De Bandt, but had previously been in academia at Ghent University. Joint head of corporate at Freshfields Barry O'Brien said the appointments would make a "valuable contribution to the corporate group overall, which has been going from strength to strength". Sunt's defection is a further blow to Linklaters' Belgian presence, following the dramatic departure of six partners, led by managing partner Roel Nieuwdorp, to join Benelux firm Loyens & Loeff (The Lawyer, 17 September 2000).