Pre-eminent domestic boutique
Van Olmen & Wynant stands out from its Belgian competitors for its mastery of the gamut of employment and labour-related matters.
The boutique offers a global reach through its membership of the L&E employment law alliance and broader network of legal contacts.
Clients include leading Belgian companies, international brands, and high-level executives.
Firm co-founder Chris Van Olmen leads the practice. Pieter Pecinovsky, Nicolas Simon, and Vincent Vuylsteke are other names of note at the firm.
The team is well-versed in a variety of advisory matters, including recruitment procedures, the establishment of HR teams, and issues impacting c-suite professionals. The firm also offers a strong dispute resolution practice, and has extensive experience acting before labour tribunals and courts.
Notably, the group regularly assists with the employment aspects of M&A transactions, including the harmonisation of working conditions and the merger of joint committees, or corporate restructurings. For example, the firm was instructed to advise on the TUPE and consultation obligations under Belgian law relating to the merger of a multinational company with a competitor, which involved divesting certain parts of the business for European Commission approval of the deal.
In another matter, senior associate Gautier Busschaert – who was recognised in IEL’s 2022 Tomorrow’s Leaders survey – led the advice to a multinational on the options available for the restructuring of its Belgian branch, such as a collective dismissal process and/or the closure of the company.
Another area of activity is advising clients on relevant EU legislation. Recent activity has included advising a leading Belgian company on the country’s draft legislative proposal for the transposition into Belgian law of the EU Whistleblower Directive. The team has also assisted a major US private equity firm with data collection to inform local D&I policies in compliance with the EU’s GDPR and anti-discrimination legislation.
Clients include public companies, which the team advises on a host of civil service-related employment issues, as evidenced in recent advice on TUPE matters and the harmonisation of working conditions for the new subsidiary of a major public utility company.
The firm is able to leverage a particular expertise in the crossover between public and private law to offer training on new Belgian and EU legislation that will impact how clients manage their workforces in Europe.
Profile provided by Van Olmen & Wynant
Van Olmen & Wynant is an independent law firm offering quality services in employment and corporate law and litigation. Established in 1993, we are a stable and established player in the Brussels legal market.
Van Olmen & Wynant is a renowned expert in employment law covering the full spectrum of such matters, including in-depth expertise in civil servants’ law. We have an important litigation practice in these areas, both before Belgian labour courts as before administrative courts.
Areas we cover include:
- Individual employment law, including employment agreements, service agreements, individual dismissals, self-employment and discrimination;
- Collective labour law, including company restructuring, transfer of businesses, collective dismissals, outsourcing, collective bargaining agreements and complex employment issues connected with M&A;
- Compensation and benefits, including executive remuneration and benefits and international compensations schemes;
- International employment, including expatriation and secondments;
- European labour law;
- Social security;
- Internal policies and codes of conduct;
- Social criminal law.
- Public sector and civil servants law.
Van Olmen & Wynant is one of the driving forces behind L&E Global, a worldwide alliance of Employers’ Counsels, giving the firm a distinctive international dimension in employment law.
The Employment department is headed by Chris Van Olmen. Other partners are Nicolas Simon and Vincent Vuylsteke (who leads the civil servants team). Other notable names are Gautier Busschaert, Séverine Vincke and Pieter Pecinovsky. In total the team currently consists out of 17 lawyers. The team furthermore stands out for its international network and academic exposure (including 4 doctors in law, teaching at various universities in Belgium).