Simont Braun has again achieved great results in the last edition of Legal 500, which recognizes and ranks the best law firms in more than 100 jurisdictions. We are also delighted to see more than 10 partners recommended:

-          Intellectual Property: Tier 2 - Fernand de Visscher

-          Dispute Resolution: Tier 2 - Sandrine Hirsch, Paul Alain Foriers, Caroline De Baets, Béatrice Thieffry, Jean-François Terlinden, Steven Callens

-          Commercial, Corporate and M&A: Tier 3 - Sandrine Hirsch, Steven Callens, Axel Maeterlinck

-          Banking, Finance and Capital Markets: Tier 3 - Vanessa Marquette, Sandrine Hirsch, Paul Alain Foriers

-          Real estate and Construction: Tier 3 - Manuela von Kuegelgen

-          Tax: Jacques Malherbe as Leading Individual

Discover all our rankings: Legal 500 rankings 

By Vanessa Marquette, Managing Partner

The Belgian act of 11 July 2013 with regard to security rights on movable assets (the “Security Act”) is not yet in force. Implementing regulations were expected to organize the pledges register and to correct some inaccuracies and loopholes.

The Belgian Law of 25 December 2016 (the “Law”) amends the Security Act to ensure its effective implementation and postpone (once more) its entry into force. In an effort to harmonize the regime of security rights on movable assets, the Law also amends other regulations such as the Law of 15 December 2004 concerning financial collateral arrangements, the Registration Duties Code and the Law of 3 August 2012 relating to various provisions in order to facilitate the mobilization of receivables in the financial sector.

Simont Braun has again received very good results in Chambers 2017 both Europe and Global, improving all its rankings in the Global edition, with its main practice areas being recommended and no less than 8 lawyers being praised for their work.

colloque droit travailOn 3 May, Myriam Verwilghen and Pierre Van Achter will decipher, with other labour law experts, the recent recast of Belgian labour law.

With pragmatism, they will navigate through the key innovations which entered into force on 1st April: voluntary overtime, floating schedules, occasional telework, career saving account, donation of conventional leave…

This half-day training is designed for HRs, lawyers, in-house legal experts, employers and employees willing to understand these changes which considerably transform the legal environment of our daily work.

Registrations are now open until 28 AprilRegistration form and Program 

Rafaël Jafferali will sit as an arbitrator at the 4th Brussels Pre-Moot competition, which will be held on 3rd and 4th April 2017.

The Brussels Pre-Moot, organized by CEPANI, is a pre-competition for the renowned Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot on International Sales Law and International Arbitration.

The Pre-Moot will help the participants from all over the world to improve their pleading skills before a panel of top Belgian arbitrators and arbitration lawyers, who will lead the debates and provide feedback, right on time for the official Moot in Vienna.

For more information:

La loi relative au travail faisable et maniable du 5 mars 2017, également appelée « loi Peeters », a été publiée au Moniteur belge ce 15 mars 2017. Elle contient toute une série de mesures qui modernisent et innovent notre droit du travail.  

Voici un aperçu schématique de ces dispositions. 

Brussels, March 2017

Simont Braun assisted the Brussels-based FinTech mozzeno on the launch of the first Belgian digital platform enabling individuals to participate indirectly in the funding of other individuals’ consumer loans.

In evolving to a Single Digital Market, the use of consumer data becomes more and more important for service providers. With regard to financial institutions, exploiting payment data is of particular interest, not only to reduce costs and improve product quality, but also to offer new and innovative financial services and, in general, an increased customer experience. The access to and the control over such data is therefore crucial.

One of the ways by which the EU legislator wants to promote this is by mandating banks to “open up the bank account” to external parties. This is often referred to as the ‘access to account’ rule (‘XS2A’) which is for instance embodied in the revised Directive on payment services in the internal market (PSD2”).

Also from a consumer’s perspective, Europe wants to further strengthen a person’s control over his personal data and support the free flow of such data. This is one of the goals of the new General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), and in particular the new “right to data portability”.

The GDPR applies from 25 May 2018. In order to bring further clarification for undertakings implementing it, the Working Party 29 (“WP 29”) recently published several guidelines. One concerned the right to data portability.

This article intends to give an overview of the most important points elaborated by WP 29 and, although the scope of this right concerns personal data in general, give particular attention to the portability of bank account information.

BAWAG PSK Bank für Arbeit und Wirtschaft und Österreichische Postsparkasse AG (‘BAWAG’) is a bank operating in Austria. It offers contracts for internet e-banking to its customers. One of the provisions in the general terms in such e-banking contracts grants BAWAG the right to communicate ‘notices of changes’ to the customer through the internal mailbox of its internet e-banking system. The Verein für Konsumenteninformation, a consumer association, requested BAWAG to cease the usage of these terms as it would not comply with the duty of a payment service provider (“PSP”) to  provide information on a ‘durable medium’ as set out in Directive 2007/64 on payment services (“PSD”).

To this regard, the Supreme Court of Austria addressed two questions to the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) for a preliminary ruling.

On 26 January 2017 the ECJ delivered its judgment.

This news analyzes the ECJ’s ruling and compares it to an earlier decision of the court regarding the same notion of ‘durable medium’.