Lontings defiant despite founders’ departures

Legacy KPMG Belgian firm Lontings & Partners has lost its last remaining tax partner, who has joined boutique De Broeck Van Laere Van Camp Coopman.

Lontings spun off from KPMG’s legal arm in 2001, and Alain Claes is the third of five founding Lontings partners to leave since the accounting giant dissolved its legal network in 2004.

Lontings litigation partner Hugo Keulers said: “We’re determined to find a replacement tax lawyer.”

This lawyer would join the corporate practice rather than a stand-alone tax team.

Claes said referral work from KPMG had dried up. But he added that, at €300 (£203) an hour, rates at Lontings were high for the Belgian market, a criticism Keulers refutes.

Lontings is left with seven partners, but Keulers said it had enjoyed a strong year, with turnover up by 10 per cent to €9m (£6m).