What do others say

Claeys & Engels is the only Belgian law firm ranked in Band 1 for labour and employment in the Chambers Europe 2015, 2016 and 2017 editions:

“Specialist employment practice with regional offices across Belgium providing the full range of labour law services. Key areas of activity include remuneration and benefits, restructuring and corporate support, dismissals and workplace regulations. International clients benefit from its founding membership of the Ius Laboris legal network.”
“Claeys & Engels is absolutely at the top: real specialists in this area of law.”


“Large niche firm with an outstanding reputation in employment law. Market-leading for a wide variety of mandates including social security, restructurings, collective dismissals, pensions, employee harmonisation and data protection.”

“An outstanding firm which is really focused on employment law.”

“The firm I trust most for quality and for dealing with clients in the right way.”


“This dedicated employment practice remains the clear market leader. Large team spread over six offices across Belgium. Advises on the full range of matters including restructurings, collective dismissals and litigation as well as a growing data protection offering. Offers expertise in cross-border matters, including setting up pension funds for companies in multiple jurisdictions.”

“They are very good," confirms a market source, further stating that the team is "very well known and very professional, always very accessible.”

In The Legal 500 EMEA 2015, 2016 ans 2017 editions, Claeys & Engels was top ranked as the only Belgian employment law firm in Tier 1:


“Claeys & Engels provides wide-ranging labour and employment law advice to domestic and international clients. Chris Engels specialises in collective and individual dismissal law, Jean-Paul Lacomble focuses on business restructuring, and Olivier Debray is an experienced litigator.”


“Comprised of almost 90 lawyers, including 16 partners, Claeys & Engels is the largest Belgian labour and employment law boutique and is a member of the international network Ius Laboris. The firm is mainly involved in advisory work but also handles high-profile litigation. The firm was involved in a large number of proceedings in connection with the Belgian social elections 2016 to elect employee representatives. Names to note are Olivier Debray, Jean-Paul Lacomble and dismissal law expert Chris Engels.”

“Market leader Claeys & Engels handles a full range of issues for national and international companies in the private sector, and also acts for public sector bodies. Recent non-contentious work includes advising clients on large-scale restructurings, stock options and setting up pension funds. Contentious mandates included litigation arising from workplace incidents. Chris Engels, Jan Van Gysegem and Ann Witters are names to note.”

Claeys & Engels made the Who’s Who Legal top 20 (2015) of Employment and Immigration experts:

"Claeys & Engels made the Who's Who Legal top 20 of "exceptional contingent of leaders, who are recognised for their abilities to advise on complex transactional and contentious employment matters, or for their abilities to counsel on the myriad of legal, regulatory and policy matters related to corporate immigration."

Established in 2001, Claeys and Engels has a "prominent position" in the Belgian market advising on a full range of labour and employment matters.

Chris Engels is particularly well known for dismissal law and transfer of undertakings. He enjoys a "stellar reputation" in the market and is "highly sought after". Olivier Wouters concentrates on dismissals, business reorganisations, collective bargaining and strikes as well as legal proceedings concerning these areas. Sophie Maes advises national and international clients on employment, labour and social security law and works on many transnational employment projects. She is "diligent" and "highly effective".

Ghent-based Bart Vanschoebeke is an "expert" in labour law and social security matters and is praised as a "great operator". Inger Verhelst in Antwerp is the "go-to lawyer" for matters relating to violence and harassment at work as well as discrimination in employment relations. Dieter Dejonghe in Kortrijk is a "hard-working lawyer" who is "always responsive", while Olivier Debray garners recognition for his benefits and compensation expertise as well as his litigation "prowess". Jean-Paul Lacombe is based in the firm's Liege office from where he advises on business restructurings and transfer of undertakings."

Who's Who Legal

“Specialist human resources firm Claeys & Engels in Belgium enjoys a prominent position in this year’s research with 11 listings. Chris Engels in Brussels is a “stellar” lawyer in the field whose “reputation precedes him”. He combines a “business-oriented approach” with a “strong command of the law” and clients “cannot praise him highly enough”. Sophie Maes specialises in global mobility and international employment matters. She is a “pleasure to work with” and has a “tremendous understanding of the legal and commercial aspects”. Jean-Paul Lacomble is the “go-to” at the firm for business restructuring and transfer of undertakings, while Olivier Wouters devotes his time to assisting companies on a broad range of labour and employment matters both contentious and non-contentious. He employs a “forensic approach” and is “technically excellent”

Ten of our Partners are listed amongst the 26 Belgian experts in Labour, Employment & Benefits Law. And to top it off, Chris Engels has been nominated leading Thought Leader in Europe for Labour & Employment Law in 2017.

Belgian human resources firm Claeys & Engels is renowned across Europe for its employment team and for clients its lawyers are highly sought after. Nine of its lawyers are listed.
Chris Engels specialises in dismissal law and is an expert in matters concerning European labour law. One respondent says, "He has a sound legal knowledge and is extremely responsive. He is very commercial and pragmatic – a leader in the field.”
Sophie Maes is a highly regarded adviser in matters of international employment, labour law and social security law. Sources say: “She is highly efficient and extremely knowledgeable in global mobility and immigration issues.”
Olivier Wouters is a leading expert on dismissals, reorganisations and collective bargaining, and is recognised as a market leader.
Jean-Paul Lacomble specialises in business restructuring and transfer of undertakings where he is renowned for his expertise.
Inger Verhelst is “brilliant; a pre-eminent lawyer” who advises on individual and collective labour issues including restructuring, acquisitions, negotiations and bargaining.