Home > Areas of practice > Litigation
Our firm is competent in the fields of business and civil litigation.
Nowadays, the vast majority of national legislation in the business sector stems from, or at least is inspired by, European Union’s legislation.
Thanks to our expertise in the field of EU Regulatory law, we provide legal advice and undertake litigation actions in all areas related to the interpretation of EU Internal Market legislation. Within this context, we may formulate questions to the European Court of Justice of the European Union in order to get an interpretation of an EU directive or regulation or with a view to challenging the validity of an EU legislative or regulatory Act. We also litigate in cases relating to the application of national legislation, such as laws on distribution contracts.
- Recovery of debts
Our firm is active in the field of recovery of debts, in Belgium, France and abroad, either directly or by helping the firm’s clients through the European procedure for small claims provided by Regulation 861/2007, or via the firm’s foreign correspondents.
- Civil Litigation
Our firm is involved in product liability litigation as well as in the field of medical malpractice.
In the latter case, we prepare and file on behalf of our clients their dossiers with the national bodies responsible for funding the victims of medical accidents (i.e. the “ Fonds des accidents médicaux” in Belgium and the “Commissions Régionales de conciliation et d’indemnisation (CRCI)” or the “Office National d’Indemnisation des Acceidents Médicaux” (ONIAM) in France).
- European litigation
There are four main categories of actions that could possibly lead to EU litigation. Our firm has experience in intervening in each of these four categories.
1. Action for failure to fulfil an obligation
When a company or an individual believes that the authorities of a Member State do not apply the existing EU rules, he or she may file a complaint with the European Commission. The complaint consists of a file, submitted to the Commission, in which the complainant puts forth the legal arguments according to which the Member State’s authorities do not comply with EU law. If the European Commission believes that the complaint is well-founded, it requests the Member State to change its law or administrative practice. Failing that, the European Commission may refer the case to the European Union Court of Justice in order to seek a ruling stating that the Member State has failed to fulfil its obligations or, if possible, ordering the Member State to pay a fine.
Our firm prepares and submits the complaint file to the European Commission on behalf of our clients.
2. Action for annulment
When a company receives a Decision from an EU authority (usually the European Commission) and disputes its validity, it can bring an action for the annulment of that measure before the General Court of the European Union. The company may also, under certain conditions, bring an action for annulment against a legislative act of general application.
Since the direct actions for annulment often result in judgments declaring the action inadmissible, our firm advises clients on whether to file an annulment action before bringing such an action before the Court.
3. Preliminary rulings
As part of the litigation cases that we conduct on behalf of our clients before Belgian and French courts, we may formulate questions to the Court of Justice of the European Union in order to get an interpretation of an EU directive or regulation or with a view to challenging the validity of a legislative or regulatory European act.
4. EU civil service disputes
Our firm represents the interests of EU officials (Members of the European Parliament, civil servants but also temporary and contract agents etc) against the institutions they work for.
Since Article 90 of the Staff Regulations requires that a complainant first files an administrative internal claim, we advise our clients in relation to that claim before considering taking legal action before the European Union Civil Service Tribunal.