Kegels & Co

(The following information was supplied by the firm)

Firm Overview:

The Belgian based Kegels & Co law firm handles mainly commercial law matters and particularly matters related with the transport industry, international trade and related customs, banking and insurance matters. Its lawyers are licensed to appear before all the Belgian courts, the Cour de Cassation excepted and in the European courts. The members of the firm lecture on many occasions at national and international conferences and at various universities and law schools in Belgium and abroad on subjects related to their areas of practice and specialisation. Its members are also associated with various international organisations including the IBA and the CMI (International Maritime Committee). Its members are advising various normative Comities such as the “Comity to the 2010 Incoterms revision”, the “BMLA comity for the New Belgian Maritime Code” etc.

The firm attaches importance on speaking and writing on the aspects of the law it deals with. An example of the topics written on by the firm indicates the work done : Over bergingsplichten, beperkingsrechten en (wrakken)fondsen: recente ontwikkelingen naar Nederlands en Belgisch recht (about wreck removal obligations, limitation of liability and (wreck removal) limitation funds: Recent developments in Dutch and Belgian Law) , IHT 2016, 522-540; De arresten ms “Annette Essberger” en ms “Ramona”: Repetitio est mater studiorum (The decisions ms “Anette Essberger” and ms “Ramona”: Repetitio nest mater studiorum), IHT 2016, 541-555; De schorsing van de verjaring onder het CMR-verdrag (art. 32.2 CMR): eindelijk klare wijn (Time bar extensions under the CMR-treaty, finally plain terms?) , IHT 2016, 357-367; Douaneaansprakelijkheid en scheepsagent: dan toch geen ‘Russische roulette’ ? (Customs responsibility and shipping agents: not a “Russian roulette?”) IHT 2016, afl. 1, 90-102; Artikel 203 of 204 CDW? “Onttrekking aan het douanetoezicht” of de lotgevallen van een ‘verstrooide’ expediteur, (Attempt to avoid Customs supervision. The destiny of the ‘abstracted’ freight forwarder) IHT 2016, afl. 1, 81-87; Scheepsbeslagen, fysieke leveranciers en het ‘O.W.B.-débacle’: een tussentijdse stand van zaken (Arrest of vessels, physical bunker suppliers and the ‘O.W.B. debacle’: an intermediary report), IHT 2016, afl. 1, 113-175; Beperking van aansprakelijkheid in de binnenvaart (limitation of liability in inland navigation), IHT 2015, afl. 2, 158-170; ”Gelukkige (niet-)verjaardag”. Het CMR-Verdrag en de verhaalsvordering na het Simex-arrest (the CMR Treaty and recourse actions after the Simtex decision), IHT 2015, afl. 0, 91-98; Scheepsschade bij laden en lossen. Variaties op het thema van de quasi-immuniteit van de uitvoeringsagent (damage to vessel during loading and discharging operations. Variations on the Müller Thomsen doctrine), RABG 2014, afl. 9, 622-628; Ship detention highlights need for legal framework for ship recycling, ILO 2014; Sweet and sour: courts consider scope of CMR application and awardable damages, ILO 2014; ‘Enforced Sales of Vessels’, 1977, ‘Liens and Mortgages on vessels’, 1978; ‘Registration of vessels’ 1978; ‘The Fire Exception in the Port of Antwerp’, 1988; Belgium’s New Law on Pilotage; Effects of European Law on Shipowners; Transfer of Ships within the EEC; The Belgium Wreck Removal Law (1995); ‘Arresting Ships’ 1995; Algemene Voorwaarden in de Havenpraktijk (General Conditions in Port Practice), Antwerpen, 1992; Senders Liability in Land Transport, 1987; Liens Affecting Title to Goods on the European Continent, 1988; Major EEC Issues affecting Land Transport, 1994; Claims arising out of Collision, 1987; Transport Intermediaries under Belgian Law, 1996; Articles in Lloyds List on Arrest of Ships in Belgium, Lloyds List, 1998 : ‘Shipagents and the Commercial Agency Law in Belgium’, 1999; ‘Pledgerights of Belgian Freight Forwarders’, 2000; ‘Assistance et Sauvetage, La Convention de 1910 et le LOF 2000: Différences et Appréciation’, (Salvage, the 1910 Con-vention and the LOF 2000, Differences and Appreciation), 2001; ‘Incoterms 2000 and Cargo Handling Costs’, 2001; ‘Maritime Fact Finding by the Nautical Commission with the Antwerp Court of Commerce’, 2002; ‘Arrest of Ships – The End of the Uniformity?’, 2001; ‘Why Belgium is a Mecca for Ship Arrest, Fact-Finding and cargo Claims’, 2002; ‘Expediteurs, Pandrechten en voorrechten’ (Freight Forwarders, liens and privileges), 2003; ‘De impact van de INCO-terms 2000 op de goederenbehandeling’ (Impact of INCO-terms 2000 on Handling of the Goods), 2003; ‘Belgium: What if its Ports are the Last Call’, 2003; ‘The rising of the Belgian Flag’, 2005; ‘Cargo Claims: Recent developments in Maritime Law in Belgium’, 2006; ‘Commissionair-expediteurs’ 2007, the Belgian leading work on the subject of Freight forwarding; ‘La relation entre le port et le chargeur’, 2007 (The Relationship Between the Port and Shipper); “Hulpverlening” (Salvage), 2008; “Handelsagentuur in het zeerecht” (Commercial Agency in Maritime Law), 2008; “Europese grondbeginselen inzake Zeerecht” (European ground rules in Maritime Law), 2008; “Scheepsagent en Goederenbehandelaar” (Shipsagent and Stevedores) 2010; “Navire Saisie et procédure d’insolvabilité: conflit?” (Ships arrest and Insolvency proceedings: conflict?) 2010; “The Rotterdam rules and Modern Transport Practices: A Successful Marriage?” 2011; Conflict between Arrest Convention and cross-border insolvency proceedings, 2009; Supreme Court rules on application of CMR to non-transported goods, 2010; Ship’s Arrest: piercing the corporate veil, 2011; Goederenveroer algemeen, tussenpersonen en hulppersonen in X, Transportgids, 2010 (Carriage of goods, intermediates and assistants, in Transport Guide); Supreme Court clarifies lien rights of carrier, 2011; Supreme Court on relationship between carrier and holder of bill of lading, 201; Supreme Court: liability of CMR carrier towards insured claimant, 2011; Arbitration clauses in ship agency: the ongoing story, 2012; Controversial ruling on demurrage and detention charges, 2010; New laws on prosecution of piracy, 2010; Supreme Court rules on application of CMR to non-transported goods, 2010; Supreme Court rules on jurisdiction under CMR, 2010; Arbitration and choice of law clause in a ship agency contract, 2009; “Le Capitaine et les Ship-Planners” (The Master and Ship-planners,) 2013; “Les entreprises de manutention, empoteurs et stevedores” (The Corporations of Cargo handling, Stuffers and Stevedoring), 2013.

Main Areas of Practice:

The firm’s maritime practice assists in every single aspect of maritime advice or maritime difficulties. This would typically include incidents at sea such as collisions, salvage and general average. The firm will also assist in the acquisition of tonnage (ship’s sale and purchase) or the (forced) sale of vessels. This department will also deal with the claims arising out of charter-parties or out of carriage under bills of lading (cargo claims) and ships arrest.

Transport in General:
Ports are crossroads. One mode of carriage ends and another one starts. The firm assists its clients in all aspects of road carriage, carriage by barges over the inland waters, rail carriage and carriage by air.

Port-Related Matters:
Vessels and goods need the assistance of quite some port intermediaries. The firm assists its clients in all aspects of this port related matters, regulatory work, customs and excise, port agency, stevedoring, classification of vessels etc.

Logistics & Freight Forwarding:
The firm assists in all aspect of logistical contracts and freight forwarding. It includes pre-distribution, distribution and post-distribution contracts, freight forwarding, customs etc.

Insurance & Financials:
Most aspects of the firms work have an insurance, banking or security angle. The firm deals with the contractual and litigious issues.

International Sales, Trading & Commodities:
The firm assists its clients in all aspects of their overseas sales of commodities or other goods. Difficulties under contracts are dealt with. The firm assists in organising the contractual framework of pledges or other securities for financial institutions wishing to secure the financing of such overseas sales.

Asset Recovery:
The transport and maritime practice quite often includes asset securisation prior to initiating litigation. The firm has built up a substantial expertise in the finding and recovering of assets. It is quite often asked to assist in the recovery or the securisation of claims which arose elsewhere in the world.

General Commercial:
Other commercial work will include advice on the setting up of the required structures (corporate) and the acquisition thereof.

International Work:
By nature of its specialty the firm deals primarily with international work. The firm deals with its clients in Dutch, English, French and German. The firm acquired substantial expertise in international teamwork: An operation, a deal or a specific incident requiring legal assistance in different jurisdictions in the world where the firm is working in a team of law firms dealing with the same issue in various jurisdictions in the world.

The firm’s clients include insurers, banks an other financial institutions, P&I Clubs, ship-owners, charterers and managers of vessels, ship and insurance brokers, ship’s agents, freight forwarders, salvage companies, classification societies, ship yards, cargo owners, commodities traders, logistical providers, stevedores, road carriers, customs agents, governments and international institutions and last but not at all least: foreign law firms: quite some work being done on a referral basis.

Key Contacts

Managing Partner:

Andre Kegels
+32 3 257 17 71

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