Bert Theeuwes represents and advises international organizations, sovereign states, embassies, missions, heads of state, diplomats and international civil servants on all issues of international law. He advises on day-to-day issues such as contracts, dealings with local governments, employment and international civil servant issues, and represents international organizations in arbitration and court cases. His team assists sovereign states, embassies, missions and diplomats with regard to dealings with local authorities and protocol services, as well as advising on a wide range of local matters, including employment, tax and immunity issues.
Bert offers his clients a well-developed background in corporate and employment law, ranging from hire and fire issues to reorganizations, international mobility and compensation and benefits. He has extensive experience in international transactions, including mergers and acquisitions. Bert is also involved in creating employment agreements, employment regulations and policies, as well as advising on compliance issues and conducting internal investigations.
In addition, Bert advises on transnational matters such as EU social security law, expatriation and business migration. He also assists companies with collective labor issues, trade union negotiations, collective actions (or redundancies), relocation and regulatory issues such as taxation and/or social security. Bert resolves compensation and benefits challenges, including advice pertaining to the different forms of compensation given to employees, executives and consultants, whether in the form of cash, stock-based compensation or other incentives, or benefits such as insurance schemes or pension funds.
Over years of practice, Bert has been included in the Legal 500 multiple times and on separate occasions was praised for providing “high-quality advice in a timely manner,” and for combining “extensive knowledge with excellent strategic skills.” Moreover, clients called Bert “very practical and a good communicator,” and Chambers says Bert’s clients are “full of praise” regarding his ability to combine an “extensive knowledge base with excellent strategic and operational planning skills in order to comprehensively deal with issues.” Notably, the 2013 edition of Diplomatic World identified Bert and his team as the number one law firm for diplomatic law, with client surveys stating that they are “able to fix any problem.”
Bert is dedicated to helping navigate his clients through important issues and challenges by providing practical advice and meaningful, cost-effective solutions. The diversity of Bert’s practice makes him a more effective counselor and strategist to his clients. Passionate about the law and helping people, Bert has a personal stake in working with his clients to succeed in everything they do. Responsive, calm and able to establish immediate rapport with both clients and their constituents, Bert is the only EU-qualified partner in the Brussels office. Tri-lingual in Dutch, English and French, as well as proficient in German, Bert is valued for his ability to connect his clients with the people and organizations they need to succeed in Europe and beyond.
Bert is a tutor and case study lecturer in the Program on International Legal Cooperation at the University of Brussels.
Advised a U.S.-based multinational and major employer in Belgium on the relocation of their human resources department.
Advised a U.S.-based multinational chemical company on the relocation of a manufacturing plant and collective redundancy issues.
Advised a global leader in the downstream oil and gas industry on its corporate reorganization in Belgium.
Regularly drafts and reviews international codes of conduct, privacy and other policies for compliance with national legislations across the EU for corporate entities.
Regularly advises corporations and their compliance professionals regarding the implementation of policies across the EU and during investigations.
Advised a Swiss-based global industry leader on handling its litigation and dispute resolution in Belgium.
Advised a German electronics company in reorganizing its distribution chain.
Advised a Fortune 50 company on the relocation of a manufacturing plant.
Advised a pharmaceutical organization on a sale of (part of) its business, including carve-out, transfer and employment issues.
Routinely defends the interests of international organizations before the local courts in institutional, commercial and employment cases.
Advises international organizations on immunity and benefit issues, including conducting formal or informal discussions with local administrations.
Assists international organizations during the negotiations of headquarter agreements with the Belgian protocol service.
Represents international civil servants in European Anti-Fraud (OLAF) investigations, and during proceedings before administrative courts that include the ILO Administrative Tribunal, the NATO Administrative Tribunal and the European Court of Justice.
Routinely advises embassies and missions of sovereign states on local employment issues and dealings with local governments.
Recognized as a leading labor and employment lawyer by Chambers Europe and The Legal 500.
American Bar Association, member
Belgian Royal Institute for International Relations
Association for International Relations, member
Belgian Employment Law Society, member
UK Employment Lawyers Society, member
Belgian Pension Lawyers Association, member
Cercle Diplomatique de Geneve, former member
Brussels Bar, former opening speaker
Brussels Young Bar Association (VPG), former board member
International Association of Young Lawyers (AIJA), former vice-president and national representative
EU Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM EU) former member; Social Affairs Committee, former reporter