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Claeys & Engels

About Claeys & Engels

Our Service Commitment


Listen first

In human resources, small problems do not exist. Every decision you take, big or small, can affect your business. The close and open relationships we develop with our clients helps us understand your real needs. It's the listen-first approach that allows us to provide you with tailor-made solutions.

We have a longstanding succesful history working for a variety of clients based in Belgium and abroad. We understand that they all have their own specific HR challenges and that a one-size-fits-all approach simply does not work in HR.

Flexibility to meet your needs

We offer a personalized service in view of what our clients want. This can be a memo with legal references, a short confirmation by e-mail or a second opinion via phone.

With a large team of specialized HR lawyers in six different offices across Belgium, we are where you need us to be. And as a founding member of Ius Laboris, we offer HR law services for cross-border legal issues in all major jurisdictions.

Out-of-the box thinkers

Teamwork and creativity are in our DNA. When confronted with complex problems or new challenges, our lawyers work in collaboration with their colleagues to come up with inventive solutions together.

By working in partnership and opening up our minds, we accomplish more. This mindset has led us to be the first to obtain court injunctions in case of strike. Further it has made us pioneers in the development and implementation of the Claeys formula. Our dismissal indemnity calculation tools are still the reference used today.

Taking a stand(point)

Working with Claeys & Engels means that you receive a real answer to your question, not a summary of the law or an overview of legal opinions. Our approach is pragmatic: if what you need is a short memo with advice that is to the point, then that is what we will provide you with. If you wish to keep your options open, we can brainstorm with you on strenghts and weaknesses for different scenarios.

Sometimes the right advice is not what you hope to hear. But looking out for your best interest is our priority and that means that rather than focusing on the good news, we focus on giving you the right advice.

Be assured

Although we do not actively participate in awards or "best law firm" contests, we have the industry accolades illustrating our expertise. The latter is also illustrated by our consistent high rankings in Legal 500, Chambers, Who's Who, etc. Nonetheless it's the results with our clients that best illustrate why Claeys & Engels is the Belgian reference for a full approach towards HR law. Combining a large client database with the shared experiences of over 80 lawyers, we can offer you an unbeatable source of knowledge, experience and best practice in HR in broad range of industries.

We are at your side in difficult negotiations and litigation. HR law is what we do and what we know best. We put all of our knowledge and experience at your service to achieve real results.

Improving every day

Experience is important, but not sufficient. We continue to invest in knowledge development and in our management systems. We improve our own education on a daily basis. We share the insights that we gather along the way with our clients through a range of opportunities including high level seminars to short updates and telephone conferences.

We confidently look towards the future of our HR law practice. Managing people and workforces is critical for the success of businesses in the global economy. At the same time, HR law is increasingly complex. With our collective specialised knowledge, we can contribute to the success of your business.

Our Complementary Client Services

We want to keep our clients abreast of legal developments related to human resources.

Our free update services include:


Our clients regularly receive newsflashes. These flashes give concise information on relevant current developments with practical impact on HR and compensation and benefits (new laws, decrees, collective bargaining agreements, administrative positions, judgments etc.). On average we send about five newsflashes per month. Our flashes aim to be informative and to the point, rather than a source of legal analysis.


We send about three to four newsletters per year to give comprehensive overviews and diversified information, often on new laws. We also present overviews on some of our practice areas (e.g. tax, expats, pensions).


We organise about five client seminars each year on interesting current topics. The first seminar is held at the end of January, beginning of February and it covers the most important new tendencies.

Seminars are normally organised both in Dutch and in French in our auditorium in Brussels. Regularly, we organise seminars in other locations such as Antwerp, Li?ge and Ghent.


We also organise smaller workshops on topics that are of interest mainly for specialists, such as international employment/global mobility and pension funds.


When a new topic of immediate interest comes up, such as a draft law that is voted in Parliament, we organise one-hour telephone conferences to discuss possible developments and address questions.

Basic training

As a premium service offer, we organise four free one-day training sessions each year on the basics of our practice: basics of labour law; basics of compensation & benefits; basics of occupational pensions and pension funds and basics of international employment/global mobility. These trainings are designed particularly for members of your HR-team who have not had much prior exposure to the laws that we practise. If your company should be interested in participating in such seminars, feel free to contact us .

Upon specific request and on terms and conditions to be discussed, we also provide personalized training on-site to clients.

Summer refresh

Each year we organise a free one-day seminar at the beginning and at the end of the summer with an update on a practical topic. This seminar provides a complete overview of what has been going on in that particular area in the last couple of years.

Our History

Claeys & Engels was established on the 1st of January 2001 by Thierry Claeys & Chris Engels.

In fifteen years, the firm has grown from around 40 to over 85 lawyers.

The firm has offices in Brussels, Antwerp, Li?ge and Kortrijk since the beginning and opened an office in Gent in 2002 and in Hasselt in 2007.

From its inception, the focus of Claeys & Engels has been on HR legal services, an area in which the firm quickly became the recognised market leader in Belgium.

We confidently look towards the future of our HR law practice.

Managing people and workforces is critical for the success of businessess in the global economy. At the same time, HR law is increasingly complex.

With our collective specialised knowledge, we can contribute to the sucess of your business.


Information regarding our insurances



Geographic coverage

First layer -

Until EUR 1,250,000 each claim

First layer -

Until EUR 2,500,000 each claim

(through the bar policies - mandatory insurance)

For the lawyers registered at the Li?ge and Brussels (French) bars:

Ethias Assurance

rue des Croisiers 24

4000 Li?ge

For the lawyers registered at the Antwerp, Brussels (Dutch), Ghent, Hasselt and Courtrai bars:

Amlin Europe SE

(lead insurer)

Koning Albert II-laan 37

1030 Brussels

Worldwide, except for USA/Canada claims ("Difference in Conditions" cover in the Second layer)

Second layer -

Until EUR 10,000,000 per claim in "Difference in Conditions" and "Difference in Limits" compared to the bar policies

AIG Europe Limited - Belgian branch

Boulevard de la Plaine 11

1050 Bruxelles

Worldwide cover

(Remark: the insurance limit for the USA/Canada claims is limited to EUR 25,000,000 per claim and EUR 50,000,000 per year)

Third layer -

EUR 15,000,000 per claim in excess of EUR 10,000,000 EUR (see above)

Lloyd's of London

(main insurer)

One Lime Street

London EC3M 7HA

(United Kingdom)

Our profile

At Claeys & Engels, we offer a full range of legal services in all areas concerning human resources. We like to think that what sets us apart is how we partner with our clients and accomplish results that matter to our client's business.

Each question is dealt with by a specialist team of lawyers experienced both in providing advice and in litigation.

In addition, our lawyers can draft and implement with you, internal policies and codes of conduct that dovetail with your human resources policy.

Our office is the first specialist law firm offering a full service to both national and international clients on all aspects of human capital. In view of the growing internationalisation of the economy, Claeys & Engels is actively participating in a specialist international alliance, Ius Laboris.

Location and Practice Areas Wise Attorney Count:

Total Offices: 1

Total Attorneys: 81

Total number of Attorneys in this Practice Area:

Practice Areas No. of Attorneys
Immigration 1
IP 1
Tax 1
Tax - International 1

Practice Area Rankings by Region


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