Belgians carried on happily without a government for nine months, with the political deadlock only ending last month after the new government was finally sworn in.

The power struggle between the Dutch-speaking and French-speaking regions of the country has at times threatened to tear apart Belgium, whose capital acts as the seat of power for the EU.

But while Belgium’s domestic politicians have been hampered by disputes, Brussels has been a hive of activity for lawyers.

The European Directorate General for Competition has been a principal source of that work, launching an investigation into the rescue package for Northern Rock as well as raiding the offices of big players in the pharmaceutical industry in the past few months.

So whatever the political environment may be in Belgium, Brussels is still the place to be for corporate lawyers.