Block Exemption Regulation on Vertical Agreements 2022

Block Exemption Regulation on Vertical Agreements 2022 Olivier Van Fraeyenhoven will be participating to the discussion panel on “Protecting distributors against parallel sales” at the Annual Conference of International Distribution Institute in Madrid, 10-11 June This conference comes at the right time after the adoption of the new VBER by the European Commission on 10 May 2022.


Improving online strategies, coordinating online and offline distribution channels, complying with the new EU rules on vertical restraints (VBER 2022)

The Province of Antwerp decided to grant the environmental permit for construction and operation of Project ONE

Ciska Servais, Ilse Cuypers, Jonas Deckers and Benoit Forêt from the environmental law department assisted Ineos Olefins Beglium in drawing up the environmental permit application and during the entire further permit procedure for the construction and operation of Project ONE in the port of Antwerp.

In the meantime, the Province of Antwerp decided to grant the environmental permit.

Implementing this environmental permit, Ineos Olefins Belgium will bring the most eco-friendly ethane cracker to the European market. The ethane cracker will convert ethane into ethylene, a basic raw material in the global chemical industry for the production of high-quality products. Project ONE also aims to achieve net carbon neutrality withing 10 years from the start-up of the cracker.

Guidance and support from our experienced, flexible and creative employment law team

Businesses are forever changing. Employees are more and more protected by laws and regulations, on a regional, national, but also European level. Belgium historically also has a strong trade union movement looking out for the workers’ best interests.

Employers have to adapt to fast-changing circumstances constantly, especially in challenging times such as today, post-Brexit and in the midst of a global pandemic. In the meantime, they often have to take into account the demands of trade union representatives on the work floor.
Through these challenging times, our employment law team has proven to be experienced, flexible and creative.

We guide and support businesses through any employment-related issues, whether these be simply hiring and firing, or more complicated matters such as M&A, salary optimisation, pension and bonus schemes, social inspections. Our services include drafting agreements, support and negotiation with social inspections, litigation with (ex) employees but also the authorities, optimising split salary situations, single permits and employment licences, guidance through gross misconduct dismissals and redundancies of persons protected from dismissal, restructuring and mass redundancies, social elections and many more issues. We also have a payroll guidance service, for international companies employing staff directly in Belgium from abroad.

Our focus is very much on conflict avoidance, but all our team members are equally experienced to defend your business interests in court.

Contact for all your employment-related questions.

Astrea is at your disposal to advise you on the electronic incorporation of your company

These days, society digitizes continuously and in all areas. Company law is following the same trend. Since August 1, it is possible to set up a company electronically.


Already in 2019, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union stated in their directive of 20 June 2019, that it was necessary to provide for procedures on the basis of which the incorporation of companies could be carried out entirely online, with the aim of reducing: costs, time and administrative burdens – associated with an incorporation(1).

With the introduction of the law of 12 July 2021(2) , the directive, as mentioned before, was transposed into Belgian law and the possibility of the electronic incorporation of a company became reality. Since August 1, 2021 deeds of incorporation can be passed through an electronic platform and, in principle, the founder no longer needs to be physically present at the notary, with some exceptions.

The substantive requirements for a deed of incorporation, as included in the Companies and the Associations Code, remain unchanged, so that the intervention of a notary for the incorporation of a company is still mandatory.

Electronic platform operation:

In order to facilitate the electronic incorporation of a company, an online platform was launched by Fednot: startmybusiness.
At present, only a BV (private company with limited liability), CV (cooperative company) or NV (public limited company) can be incorporated through this platform.

The founder needs to provide information and documents via the platform in order to prepare the deed of incorporation. For example, the name of the company, the details of the founder(s), the financial plan, the bank certificate… Astrea can assist you in this matter and coordinate these aspects with the notary. Together with a notary of your choice the draft deed of incorporation will be drawn up. Finally, a video conference will take place during which the deed of incorporation will be signed electronically using your eID or via itsme.

After signing and executing the deed of incorporation, the notary will deposit the deed of incorporation for publication, within 10 working days.


The introduction of the possibility of incorporating a company electronically means that the incorporation can be less cumbersome and swifter. Nevertheless, it is still advisable to be carefully informed before incorporating a company, as each personal situation requires an individual approach.


1. Directive 2019/1151 of the European Parlement and Council of 20 June 2019 amending Directive (EU) 2017/1132 on the use of digital tools and processes in the context of company law, OJ 11 July 2019.

2. Law of 12 July 2021 amending the Companies and Associations Code and the Law of 16 March 1803 regulating the notary profession and containing various provisions following the transposition of Directive (EU) 2019/1151 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 amending Directive (EU) 2017/1132 with regard to the use of digital tools and processes in the context of company law, Official Gazette 15 July 2021.

Astrea has advised ArchiMed on its investment in Xpress Biologics

Astrea has advised ArchiMed, a leading investment firm focused exclusively on the healthcare industries, on backing Xpress Biologics, a leading developer of systems and manufacturing processes for the production of plasmid DNA and protein therapeutics.

With the support of ArchiMed, Xpress Biologics will be able to take a bigger step in the expansion of its production and internationalizing.

We are proud of our contribution to ArchiMed its next step!

We wish ArchiMed and Xpress Biologics all the best in their partnership and growth.

Our full-service team was composed of our Corporate and M&A partner Steven De Schrijver, Philippe Willemsens, Steve Tronckoe, Frederick Geldhof and Jonas Jespers.

SAVE THE DATE! This Friday 5 November, Astrea Law Attorneys will again be present this year at the ELSA Antwerp Law Job Days

Our lawyers Filip. Desmedt, Julie Wouters, Levi Van Dijck, Kim De Wilde will be happy to meet and chat with students who are interested in our firm and answer their questions.

We are looking forward to meeting talented new associates in all areas of business law. To learn more about our expertise ?

The forum will take place on Friday 5 November from 12 to 18h at the Hof van Liere (City Campus University of Antwerp). Don’t hesitate to register and get to know Astrea !

We look forward to seeing you !

Registration ?

ASTREA ranked Excellent in Leaders League Belgium ‘s 2021 edition of “Best Law Firms for IT, Data Protection & Telecoms”

Our IT, IP and Privacy team has been recognized in the 2021 edition of Leaders League rankings amongst the Best Law Firms for IT, Data Protection & Telecoms as Excellent.

Congratulations to our teams headed by Steven De Schrijver ,Olivier Van Fraeyenhoven, Pieter Paepe and Christine De Keersmaeker.

To learn more about all our rankings click here.

Our track record :

Astrea specializes in advising and drafting complex contracts relating to new technologies, IP law, data security, data protection and privacy. Cybersecurity, cybercrime, technology transactions, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and robotics are among its areas of expertise. The team assists Belgian and international clients from a range of sectors, including a European gaming association, a Belgian drone company, and Microsoft.

Our positioning :


The focus of our Information technology team is to advise on and draw up complex contracts that revolve around new technology, intellectual property law, data security, data protection and privacy law for hardware manufacturers, software developers, IT-related service providers and their customers. Our area of expertise comprises electronic trading and communications, software licences, data security, technology transactions, information technology, IT and BPO outsourcing, IT procurement, cloud computing (PaaS, IaaS, SaaS), online advertising, drones, smart cars, artifi cial intelligence and robotics.


We conduct privacy audits to verify compliance with the GDPR and perform data protection impact assessments. We clean up privacy policies, cookie policies, information security policies, data processing agreements, data sharing agreements, joint controller agreements and data subject access requests (DSAR’s). We assist with international transfers of personal data (by means of standard contractual clauses, binding corporate rules, etc.) and data subject opposition and right to be forgotten requests. We advise on all issues surrounding cyber security, from building cyber resilience, through to incident re- sponse, and post incident remediation.

Intellectual Property

We assist clients across a range of industries with all intellectual property issues relating to technology and innovation. We assist clients with the strategic creation and use of intellectual property assets and portfolios to advance business objectives, including assisting with licensing, technology transfers, open source issues, and the development and protection of all types of intellectual property. We help with contract negotiations to leverage copyrights and image rights, including exclusivity agreements, broadcasting and publishing agreements, sponsorship deals and licensing.

Gaming & Gambling

We are one of the very few Belgian law fi rms with specifi c expertise in the online gambling and gaming industry. We advise numerous gaming companies on Belgian gaming and commercial law, on all regulatory matters in the gaming industry, on issues regarding the intersection between video gaming and gambling law (‘loot boxes’), and also before Belgian courts on issues such as live betting, the joint exploitation of different gaming licenses at once, on disputes with consumers and on regulatory issues. We also advise the video gaming sector federations and associations in Flanders, Brussels and Wallonia on state aid aspects.

Specific sector focus :

Our clients include major businesses in the technology & communication supply, automotive, fashion & retail, entertainment, digital media and life sciences industries.

For more information about our team and positioning.

Louis Verstraeten, speaker at the 10th European Insolvency & Restructuring Congress

Our partner Louis Verstraeten participated as speaker to the 10th European Insolvency & Restructuring Congress (EIRC) organized by the German Bar Association (Deutscher Anwaltverein, ARGE Insolvenzrecht). Numerous international experts from the legal profession, politics and academia discussed, among other things, the implementation of the Directive on preventive restructuring framework and the current plans for further harmonization of insolvency law in the member states.

In a panel discussion Louis Verstraeten discussed on “How to take part in foreign insolvency and restructuring procedures effectively as creditor”, comparing legal systems and sharing tips and tricks with Alice Vanderschee Axel Bierbach and Patrick Ehret.

To learn more ? Click here.

Christine De Keersmaeker is once again recognized as IP STAR

Astrea is delighted to announce that our IP specialist Christine De Keersmaeker is once again recognized in Managing IP 2021 ranking as one of the IP STARS in Belgium.

Congratulations to our IP team that assembles committed, solutions-oriented and technically skilled lawyers guiding and counseling our clients to make them create and increase business value through their intellectual property and achieve their business objectives in a fast-evolving legal environment.

Click here to learn more about Managing IP’s IP Stars ranking.

IFLR1000 2021 – Banking & Finance

Astrea is delighted to announce that our Banking & Finance practice and our lead partner Dieter Veestraeten are once again recognized in this year’s IFLR1000 rankings as Tier 4 firm and as Highly regarded individual.

Congratulations to our Banking & Finance team : Dieter Veestraeten, lead partner & Jan van Loon, associate.

Special thanks to our clients and peers who have taken the time to provide feedback on our work.

For more information on this year’s rankings :


Our Technology and M&A partner Steven De Schrijver is again recognised by Who’s Who Legal in the “Thought Leaders Global Elite – Data 2021” ranking in four different categories:

  • Data Privacy & Protection

WWL says : Steven De Schrijver is recognisedfor his “outstanding work on the privacy and protection of personal information” and comes highly sought-after by an array of high-profile clients.

  • Security

WWL says : Steven De Schrijver is a “pragmatic and extremely responsive lawyer” with unrivalled expertise spanning the full range of IT security matters.

  • Information Technology

WWL says : The “outstanding” Steven De Schrijver is a “true market leader” who is “highly recommended” for his “exceptional work on information technology law, protection of personal information and privacy, outsourcing and media law”.

  • Telecoms & Media

WWL says : Steven De Schrijver impresses sources who note he “understands the enterprise problems very well and remains eager to learn new things for the benefit of his customers”.

Congratulations Steven! A well-deserved recognition…