Independent law firms across the Benelux region have gone into 2022 with a renewed sense of optimism, with them successfully withstanding the challenges of Covid-19 to continue winning exciting new mandates. Reflective of the buoyant mood of the market, at Stibbe, Brussels managing partner Wouter Ghijsels says: ‘Last year was our best year in terms of turnover. Our office is growing, and things are actually going extremely well in Brussels.’
Deal activity in Belgium has remained high since summer 2020, with firms reporting unprecedented demand from clients, as pre-pandemic trends in debt markets reassert themselves. 2021 saw an increase in activity from private equity funds, with the TMT, logistics and industrial sectors doing particularly well. Real estate, after a period of uncertainty, has once again become a sought-after asset, with centrally-located office space, logistics property and data centres in particular proving attractive targets for international investors, REITs and portfolio holders.