A&O wins Fortis in-houser

Allen & Overy‘s (A&O) Brussels office has taken on Jean-Marie Moreels, the general counsel of financial services provider Fortis.

Moreels, who has been at Fortis since 1988, will bring rare expertise in dual-listed company (DLC) structures, which are increasingly touted as merger vehicles in Belgium.

Moreels will join as an M&A partner in the firm’s 51-partner global financial institution group at the beginning of September. Wim Dejonghe, managing partner of A&O’s Belgian practice, said: “[Moreels is an excellent lawyer with substantial experience in M&A. He did all of Fortis’s recent transactions.

Fortis, which has a market cap of E37bn (£25.79bn), has done some major deals in Moreels’ time, including the acquisition of Generale Bank NV. The company has operated a joint listing in Brussels and Amsterdam for the past 13 years, so Moreels brings significant experience in the tax and regulatory issues of DLC structures.

Fortis uses a large number of law firms and has instructed A&O in the past. Dejonghe said he hoped Moreels’ move would bring the magic circle firm a greater proportion of Fortis’s work.

Moreels will also continue as a non-executive director of SN Airholding and DAT, the successors to bankrupt airline Sabena.