Prominent Antitrust Lawyer Karel Bourgeois Joins Crowell & Moring in Brussels
5th January 2021
Karel Bourgeois is joining Crowell & Moring’s Brussels office as a partner in its Antitrust and Competition Group, expanding the firm’s capability to counsel clients on their most complex European competition and state aid matters.
Bourgeois brings over 15 years of experience representing a wide range of clients in merger control, abuse of dominance, and cartel cases before the European Commission, the Belgian Competition Authority, and other regulatory authorities. As one of the few state aid authorities in the Brussels bar, Bourgeois also represents clients in strategic state aid cases, an increasingly important component of European competition law. He has in-depth experience working with clients in the technology, media and telecommunications, infrastructure, energy, financial services, and consumer goods industries. Bourgeois also has significant experience counseling clients on antitrust compliance matters and developing effective compliance programs.
“Compliance continues to be very high on the agenda of international and national companies,” said Philip T. Inglima, chair of Crowell & Moring. “Karel’s extensive experience building competition compliance programs and conducting antitrust health audits will greatly benefit our clients. In addition, as a well-recognized state aid expert in the Brussels bar, Karel will expand the firm’s capability to represent clients in strategic state aid cases.”
Bourgeois’ arrival comes on the heels of U.S. partner Stefan Meisner, a first-chair defense litigator with more than two decades of experience representing international companies in significant, cross-jurisdictional antitrust matters. And the firm recently expanded its Brussels office with Vassilis Akritidis, a leading international trade lawyer, to provide global clients with strategic European trade advice.
“The competition authorities have stepped up their antitrust enforcement activities and the current crisis has led to a significant increase in strategic M&A activity and merger filings,” said Shawn Johnson, co-chair of Crowell & Moring’s global Antitrust and Competition Group. “Karel will work with our deep bench of antitrust and competition lawyers to assist clients with their M&A transactions and approvals and conduct matters before the European Commission and member state regulators.”
Bourgeois assists private companies and authorities in high-profile state aid procedures before the European Commission, including in-depth investigations. He has been involved in state aid cases related to some of the highest profile renewable energy projects in Belgium and other EU Member States and has experience assisting clients on the application of the European Commission’s new COVID-19 state aid framework.
“Given the major impact of COVID-19 on the economy, the need for state support is growing rapidly. In addition, state aid will continue to be a big focus in the coming years due to the EU’s digital and green transition, which will involve state support to many industries and companies,” said Thomas De Meese, co-managing partner of the Brussels office. “Karel’s experience will be of great benefit as we work to guide clients through these new regulatory initiatives.”
“Crowell & Moring has built a stellar reputation and thriving practice for EU and Belgian competition law work,” Bourgeois said. “I look forward to assisting clients with their most pressing antitrust issues and state aid matters.”
Bourgeois joins the firm from Allen & Overy, where he was a senior antitrust lawyer and served as chair of the Belgian Legal Technology Team. He received his master of laws degree from the University of Chicago Law School and his master of laws degree, magna cum laude, from the Catholic University of Leuven.
For more information, please read the press release.