Place des Barricades 13
+32 2 542 0780Fax:
+32 2 534 5888E-mail:
Dutch, English, French, German, Hindi, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish
Number of lawyers
Areas of practice
- EU trade: Edwin Vermulst, Folkert Graafsma
- International trade: Edwin Vermulst, Folkert Graafsma
- WTO litigation: Edwin Vermulst, Folkert Graafsma
- EU customs: Edwin Vermulst, Folkert Graafsma
- EU competition and state aid: Marco Slotboom
- Environment health and safety risk regulation: Peter Kugel
- EU and national corporate and corporate finance: Peter Verhaeghe
- International, EU and national tax: Peter Verhaeghe
VVGB was founded in 1996 by Edwin Vermulst and has grown from two partners to 15 lawyers. The firm has been consistently ranked top for international and EU trade law in all leading directories, and its partners are recognised as thought leaders. In addition, the firm has a leading corporate and corporate finance practice focused in particular on the biotech, high-tech and consumer goods industries, as well as a top-notch environment health and safety (EHS) risk regulation and litigation practice. The firm is equally well recognised for its outstanding international and cross-border tax practice.
Areas of practice
VVGB advises on all aspects of EU and international trade law and has many years of experience with the EU institutions. Internationally recognised for its expertise in trade defence instruments, the firm has played a leading role in trade remedy investigations and has been involved in virtually all major EU cases, including, among other recent examples, Solar Panels (expiry review), Silicon Metal, Solar Glass, Filament Glass Fibres, Manganese Oxides and multiple steel cases. In addition, VVGB is also active in third-country trade remedy proceedings, while it is also involved in other EU trade matters such as compliance and the EU’s negotiations of bilateral free trade and investment agreements.
In the field of WTO litigation, its partners have participated in numerous cases as members of delegations and have appeared before panels and the appellate body. For example, VVGB represented China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) in the EU – Footwear and EU – Renewable Energy Sector cases; represented the Indonesian government in three disputes concerning EU cost adjustments in antidumping cases. assisted the EU Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union in WTO disputes regarding the tariff treatment of certain information technology products and the US challenge to the EU Customs Union; and advised another WTO member in Large Civil Aircraft. In addition, the firm advises on potential WTO issues, ranging from marketing bans on chemical products to climate change initiatives, rules negotiations, subsidies, agriculture and REACH.
Apart from EU trade law, VVGB is highly acclaimed for its advice on EU customs law, including classification and compliance, valuation, rules of origin and REM/REC. Similarly, the firm has advised on regulatory matters, such as the compatibility of EU domestic regulation with international trade obligations, and here it has special expertise in the intersection of intellectual property rights, competition law, EHS risk regulation and trade law. Finally, VVGB has extended its expertise in international arbitration and investment, including arbitral disputes between investors and states.
Next to its international and trade practice, the firm has a leading practice in the fields of corporate, corporate finance, tax and contract law for the biotech, high-tech and consumer goods industries. The firm has been and still is lead counsel to almost all (privately held and publicly listed) successful biotech companies in the low countries and a series of successful high-tech and consumer goods companies.
In the EHS risk regulation and litigation practice, VVGB advises and represents clients in route to market strategies, compliance and enforcement issues, legal disputes (including ECHA-procedures, EU or domestic litigation) or legislative advocacy projects. The firm has particular expertise in agrochemicals (pesticides, fertilisers), biocides (BPR) and REACH/CLP cases (registration, compliance checks, substance evaluation and classification, RMOAs, etc) and other EU chemical control regulation (ROHS/WEEE, medical devices, food contact materials, packaging, waste and other regulated products, processes and circular economy matters, etc). VVGB is known for successful handling of data sharing negotiations and efficient consortium (task force) counselling and management. The firm also has a particular high-end experience in the various areas of EU food law (including novel foods, additives, supplements, health/ nutrition claims) and animal feed legislation.