BLP double partner hire sparks corporate launch for Belgium

Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has launched a corporate practice from its Belgian office following the hire of two new partners.`The hires are part of BLP’s strategy to add a Belgian and cross-border corporate and technology capability to its EC practice, which was brought to the merger by Berwin Leighton.`Jean-Pierre Brusseleers was a partner at Derks Star Busmann Hanotiau (now part of the CMS group) for 12 years, before setting up his own practice in 1996. He specialises in international corporate planning and reorganisations, M&A, divestitures, joint ventures and corporate finance.`Brusseleers joins with Harold Wouters, a specialist in cross-border M&A, tax, corporate finance and finance. Wouters spent three years as a partner at Dorsey & Whitney in Brussels before becoming a partner at De Wolf & Partners in June 1999.`Both have experience working with high-growth technology companies and plan to grow that part of the business.`Berwin Leighton’s Brussels office was effectively an EC practice focusing on competition and procurement. Practice head Velia Leone has been on long-term secondment advising the Italian government on PFI legislation since September 2000. Two juniors in the office specialise in EC law.`BLP managing partner Neville Eisenberg said: “The focus of the Brussels practice will now be mainly corporate and commercial work. We will still do some EC work out there, but quite a lot of that is now done from London.”`BLP inherited a formal association with Paris law firm Uettwiller Grelon Gout Canat & Associés (UGGC), from Paisner & Co. UGGC also has a Brussels office, but Eisenberg said that it will not be competing with the enlarged BLP practice.