Van Olmen & Wynant

(The following information was supplied by the firm)

Managing Partner: Chris Van Olmen
Number of partners: 6
Number of lawyers: 32
Languages: Dutch, English, French, German, Russian

Firm Overview:
Van Olmen & Wynant is an independent law firm offering quality services with a personal touch. A dedicated team of experienced, multilingual professionals serves business clients in employment and corporate law. The firm has developed distinctive expertise in the areas of private equity and venture capital, and civil servants law.

Van Olmen & Wynant values empathy, trust and long-term, personal relationships. Its size matters, because it allows the firm to combine professionalism with a personal and pragmatic touch.

The firm was one of the driving forces behind L&E Global (www.leglobal.org), an integrated alliance of premier employment law boutique firms, giving the firm a truly international dimension in employment law. Based in Brussels, the firm enjoys outstanding international contacts and has developed close working relationships with high quality law firms across the globe.

Main Areas of Practice:

Employment:
The employment practice is headed by Chris Van Olmen.
The firm’s client peer group is essentially composed of large and medium corporations. It also acts for top executives. The firm’s attorneys cover the full spectrum of employment law:
■Individual employment law, including employment agreements, service agreements, individual dismissals, self-employment and discrimination
■Collective labour law, including company restructuring, transfer of businesses, collective dismissals, outsourcing, collective bargaining agreements and complex employment issues connected with M&A
■Compensation and benefits, including executive remuneration and benefits and international compensations schemes
■ EU employment law and international employment, including expatriation and secondments
■Social security
■Internal policies and codes of conduct

Van Olmen & Wynant has a substantial litigation practice in these areas, before all Belgian labour courts. Acting for the three largest public companies in Belgium, the firm has developed a specific expertise in civil servants law and litigation before the Belgian administrative courts, including the Raad van State / Conseil d’Etat. The Civil Servants Team is part of the larger employment team. The exchange of knowledge and expertise between the two is a great asset for our clients.

Contact: Chris Van Olmen
Tel: +32 2 644 05 11
Email: chris.van.olmen@vow.be

L&E Global

Corporate, Private Equity & M&A:
The corporate department, headed by Luc Wynant, advises and assists clients in all aspects of corporate law, private equity and mergers and acquisitions:
■Corporate law, including more complex issues such as equity structures, public and private offering of equity and debt securities, stock options and matters regarding corporate governance, restructuring and liquidation
■Private Equity and Venture Capital, including all kind of strategic investments in private companies, negotiations with investors as well as fund structuring, formation, governance and operation
■Mergers and acquisitions, including the full range of merger and acquisition transactions, asset purchases, spin-offs, strategic alliances, auctions and leveraged buyouts Van Olmen & Wynant regularly advises in complex corporate matters regarding disputes between shareholders and/or directors, liability of directors and other key persons.
The firm represents companies at every stage of development, from entrepreneurial start-ups, family businesses to medium and large companies, as well as funds, financial institutions and investment banks. It strives to act as a strategic partner for its clients by leveraging its expertise to provide innovative, responsive and cost-effective corporate legal services.

The commercial law and litigation team closely works together with the larger corporate team, among others on due diligence assignments or post-transaction litigation, resulting in extensive knowledge and expertise sharing to the benefit of our clients.

Contact: Luc Wynant
Tel: +32 2 644 05 11
Email: luc.wynant@vow.be

Van Olmen & Wynant

Key Contacts

Managing Partner:

Chris Van Olmen
Employment
chris.van.olmen@vow.be
+32 2 644 0511

Partner:

Luc Wynant
Corporate
luc.wynant@vow.be
+32 2 644 0511

Partner:

Nicolas Simon
Employment
nicolas.simon@vow.be
+32 2 644 0511

Partner:

Vincent Vuylsteke
Employment - Civil Servants
vincent.vuylsteke@vow.be
+32 2 644 0511

Partner:

Alexei Loubkine
Corporate - Commercial
alexei.loubkine@vow.be
+32 2 644 0511

Partner:

Koen Hoornaert
Corporate
koen.hoornaert@vow.be
+32 2 644 0511

Firm Rankings

Corporate/M&A
Band 3

6.0

Labour & Employment
Band 2

8.5

Articles

Benefits paid to the employees by third parties: remuneration or not?

In a case of 5 September 2022, the Cour de Cassation (Supreme Court) had to rule on the qualification as remuneration under Belgian social security law, concerning restricted stock units (RSU’s) awarded to the employees of Belgian companies by the American mother company of the employers. The Belgian National Social Security Office and the lower […]

Work-Life Balance Directive Entered Into Force: Member States Lagging Behind With the Transposition

THE TPWC DIRECTIVE AND WORK-LIFE BALANCE DIRECTIVE HAVE ENTERED INTO FORCE: SEVERAL MEMBER STATES ARE LAGGING BEHIND WITH THE TRANSPOSITION Two of the most important recent EU legal instruments in the field of social Policy have entered into force on 2 August 2022. We are talking about the Transparent And Predictable Working Conditions Directive (2019/1152) […]

Saturday No Longer Considered a Working day

IMPORTANT CHANGE IN DISMISSAL LAW AS FROM 2023: SATURDAY NO LONGER CONSIDERED A WORKING DAY In Belgian employment law, Saturday is in principle considered a working day (in contrast to Sunday and legal holidays) even if the employees are not working on this day. As a result, Saturdays are counted when calculating: the double three-day period […]

GDPR Violation Concerning the Health of a Dismissed Employee…

GDPR VIOLATION DUE TO INTERNAL COMMUNICATION CONCERNING THE HEALTH STATUS OF A DISMISSED EMPLOYEE   The Belgian national data protection authority (DPA) has recently reprimanded a public employer, following a complaint for a breach of GDPR-rules concerning data procession of personal health information, filed by a dismissed employee. During an internal meeting of HR staff the dismissal of the employee […]

EU Charter of Fundamental Rights Cannot be Invoked Against a Collective Bargaining Agreement…

The Court of Justice of the EU recently decided in a preliminary ruling that a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) which provides for a lower supplementary pay for regular night work than – for irregular nightwork, is not implementing the Working Time Directive and therefore does not fall within the scope of the EU Charter of […]

The Competent Jurisdiction for International Workers

THE COMPETENT JURISDICTION FOR INTERNATIONAL WORKERS: HOW TO FIND THE PLACE WHERE THE EMPLOYEE HABITUALLY WORKS The concept of the “place where the employee habitually works” is an essential concept for determining which employment law is to be applied and which jurisdiction is competent. According to a recent case of the Belgian Supreme Court (Cour […]

Updates Regarding the Telework Cost Compensation

Structural teleworkers (remote workers), who work on average at least one day per week (5 days / month) from home, can receive a cost compensation (the so-called “office compensation”) by the employer to cover the costs of electricity, heating, etc. It is not necessary to prove the actual value of the costs, but the National […]

EU Negotiations on Pay Transparency Directive

EU NEGOTIATIONS ON PAY TRANSPARENCY DIRECTIVE ARE STARTING Early 2021, the EU Commission submitted a legislative proposal for a Directive to strengthen the application of the principle of equal pay for equal work or work of equal value between men and women through pay transparency and enforcement mechanisms (The Pay Transparency Directive). The EU parliament […]

13th Edition of the Employment Law Review

VOW Partner Chris Van Olmen has authored the Belgian Chapter in the 13th edition of the internationally recognised The Employment Law Review, which is published by The Law Reviews/Law Business Research and can also be found on Lexology. This chapter looks at the recent changes in labour law as well as the most important cases before the Belgian courts in 2021. […]

EU negotiations on Pay Transparency Directive are Starting

Early 2021, the EU Commission submitted a legislative proposal for a Directive to strengthen the application of the principle of equal pay for equal work or work of equal value between men and women through pay transparency and enforcement mechanisms (The Pay Transparency Directive). The EU parliament has now approved its position on the proposal […]

Employing Ukrainian Refugees in Belgium

The Belgian government estimates that around 200,000 Ukrainian citizens will seek refuge in Belgium over the coming weeks and months. Together with the EU, Belgium has made it less complicated for Ukrainians to enter the Belgian labour market. We have set out below, the basic conditions for Ukrainian refugees’ right to work in Belgium, which […]

What Do You Have to Know About the New Belgian Labour Deal?

On the night of Monday, February 14, the Belgian Federal Government reached an agreement on the reform of the labour market. The deal includes various social policy measures, which will result in legislative changes in employment law. The measures are, for now, merely part of a political deal. The national social partners will still be asked […]

Tribunal Accepts Urgent Dismissal for not Wearing Face Mask and not Respecting Social Distance

LABOUR TRIBUNAL ACCEPTS URGENT DISMISSAL FOR NOT WEARING FACE MASK AND NOT RESPECTING SOCIAL DISTANCING RULES AT WORK In a judgement of 11 January 2022 (21/338/A), the Labour Tribunal of Brussels accepted the immediate dismissal of an employee because he did not (correctly) wear his face mask and did not respect the social distancing measures. […]

Only 7 Member States managed to Transpose the EU Whistleblowers Directive in Time

EU Member States had the obligation to transpose Directive (EU) 2019/1937 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2019 on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union law to their national law. Only seven out of twenty-seven Member States managed to do so in time, respecting the deadline of […]

New Tax Rules for Expats in Belgium

The Programme Act of 27 December 2021 has adapted the special tax regime for foreign executives coming to Belgium to work. The very beneficial system, which sometimes led to foreign executives not having to pay taxes altogether, has been replaced with a system in which executives will have to pay taxes, but can still benefit […]

BRUSSELS LABOUR TRIBUNAL QUALIFIES DELIVEROO RIDERS AS SELF-EMPLOYED

After more than two years of investigations by the Labour Prosecutor, on 8 December 2021, the Labour Tribunal of Brussels ruled that Deliveroo riders should not be qualified as employees, but rather as self-employed workers. However, they do not qualify to work under the fiscally beneficial sharing economy system. The judgement of 8 December 2021 […]

COVID-19: The Return of Mandatory Remote Work

Now Belgium is in the midst of a fourth wave of Covid-19 infections, the Government has decided to take stricter measures, including the reintroduction of mandatory remote or telework for 4 (and later 3) days a week. Mandatory telework was already in force during previous Covid-19 waves in 2020 and 2021. Thanks to the vaccination […]

European Social Partners Cannot Force the Commission to Take Legislative Action

In the EPSU Case, the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice had to decide whether the European Treaties should be interpreted in a way, that the Commission must implement a framework agreement negotiated by the European social partners, when the latter requests it. The Social Policy Chapter of the Treaty on the Functioning of […]

ECTHR on Social Media-Linked Dismissal in Melike V. Turkey

The European Court of Human Right’s ruling of 15 June 2021 concerned the dismissal of a contractual cleaning lady in an educational government service because she ‘liked’ (politically) sensitive posts on Facebook. The Court considered this dismissal as a violation of the employee’s freedom of expression (Article 10 European Convention of Human Rights). Ms. Melike […]

CJEU Accepts Employer’s Prohibition of Religious Signs in the Workplace if Based on a Genuine Need

The Court of Justice of the European Union has confirmed its previous case law, stating that companies can ban their employees from wearing any visible form of expression of political, philosophical or religious beliefs in the workplace. However, this prohibition must objectively be justified by the employer’s need to present a neutral image towards customers […]

Guidelines for Employers and Employees on Self-Testing for COVID-19 in the Workplace.

With the end of the legal recommendation to telework in sight, the question of health safety in the workplace gains further importance. There is indeed no legal basis (yet) for the obligation of an employee to get vaccinated, and it is complicated or even impossible for an employer to know exactly who is and who […]

CJEU: Working Time Limits in Case of Multiple Employment Contracts

In the ASE case of 17 March 2021 (C-585-19), the Court of Justice of the European Union has confirmed that in the event that employees have concluded multiple employment contracts with the same employer, the working time limits (as laid down by the Working Time Directive) have to be respected for all the employment contracts, […]

Defining the Limits of the Right of Access to Employee’s Personal Data

Through a claim from an employee of an IT consultancy, the Litigation Chamber of the Data Protection Authority (“the DPA”) has clarified the boundaries of the employer’s obligations when faced with a request of access to, and a copy of, the former’s personal data. It (i) elaborates on the accepted and unaccepted grounds of refusal […]

New Obligation to Register Employees to Monitor Mandatory Telework

In order to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the Belgian government requests a stricter monitoring of mandatory telework, whenever this is possible. To make the control and enforcement of the obligation to telework more efficient for the social inspection services, the government introduces a new obligation for employers to register their employees. All employers (in all […]

Short Leave for Vaccination

The Belgian Federal Parliament has approved the Act providing for a right to a short leave for workers in order to receive a vaccine against the coronavirus COVID-19. The act is expected to be published in the Official Gazette soon and enters into force on the day of its publication. It will cease to apply on 31 December 2021 (unless if […]

New Collective Bargaining Agreement on Telework during COVID-19 pandemic

As the telework during the COVID-19 pandemic does not perfectly fit with the existing legal systems of occasional or structural telework, employers and employees were confronted during the last year with the absence of a clear legal framework. The new Collective Bargaining Agreement no. 149 of 26 January provides a framework for employers and their […]

Birth leave for fathers and coparents extended to 15 days in 2020 and 20 days in 2023

The new Belgian government prioritises the promotion of gender equality and the fight against discrimination based on gender. One of the first steps in this agenda is the extension of birth leave, which is the leave that fathers or co-parents (it is a gender neutral type of paternity leave) can take at the birth of a […]

CJEU emphasises “sufficient connection to the territory of host member state” as criterion to qualify as posted worker in international road transport services.

On 1 December 2020, The Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled in Case C-815/18 Federatie Nederlandse Vakbeweging (FNV) v Van den Bosch Transporten BV and Others. The Court affirms that a worker who provides very limited services in the territory of the Member State, to which that worker […]

The 2nd wave of COVID-19: Latest obligations, restrictions and support measures in Belgium

PIETER PECINOVSKY SAMYA OUAHYANI Now that Belgium has been hit by a “second wave” outbreak of the coronavirus, Belgian employers and employees are facing new (or renewed) governmental measures to prevent the further spread of the virus. At the same time, the government has decided to implement further support measures to make sure that companies and […]

EU Commission proposes Directive on adequate minimum wages

At the end of October 2020, the Commission published its proposal for a Directive on adequate minimum wages for workers across Member States. The right to adequate minimum wages is established by Principle 6 of the European Pillar of Social Rights. In light of this, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen promised a legal instrument […]

Press Releases

Chris Van Olmen and L&E Global colleagues recognised as Global Elite Thought Leaders

WWL publishes a list of Thought Leaders. These are the lawyers that have received the most nominations from their peers, corporate counsels and other market sources. In general, only one on every six lawyer which is included in the guide makes it to the Thought Leader list. Another step beyond the Thought Leaders is the […]

31 Oct 2022
Chris Van Olmen Recognized as “Employment lawyer of the Year”

CHRIS VAN OLMEN RECOGNIZED AS “EMPLOYMENT LAWYER OF THE YEAR” BY HIS PEERS ON BEST LAWYERS Chris Van Olmen received the title “Lawyer of the Year 2023”  for the practice category “Labor & Employment Law” as he received the highest score of his “Best Lawyers” peers in Brussels.   Best Lawyers is an international peer-review ranking […]

29 Jul 2022
Van Olmen & Wynant Enters Partnership with WhistleB

VOW ENTERS PARTNERSHIP WITH WHISTLEB TO PROVIDE REPORTING SOFTWARE IN ACCORDANCE WITH WHISTLEBLOWER RULES Van Olmen & Wynant is happy to announce that we can provide our clients with a service to help comply with the upcoming whistleblower rules, including both legal advice and a modern simple-to-implement whistleblowing system. We are able to do this through our new partnership with WhistleB […]

30 May 2022

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