Verhaegen Walravens is once again pleased to sponsor the annual “Belgian Beach Party” this Thursday 15 March at Cannes! Our team is already looking forward to welcoming you at this exceptional and exclusive event, particularly after a long day at Cannes’ real estate fair.
Verhaegen Walravens assisted Avisa successfully in its cross-border merger with companies CDP & Lexfo, giving rise to the leading French company ‘Avisa Partners’ in the sector of e-lobbying and cybersecurity.
Caroline Lebon co-authored the update of her elaborate 2004 publication regarding the principles of statutes of limitations in Belgian contract law (published in the loose-leaf commentary “Artikelsgewijze commentaar verbintenissenrecht” – Kluwer).
More information regarding the publication may be found on: http://shop.wolterskluwer.be/shop/nl_BE/navigation/308/Bijzondere-Overeenkomsten.-Artikelsgewijze-commentaren?p=7500115299.
As a first step in Belgium’s privacy reform, a new law was published today setting up a Belgian Data Protection Authority (replacing the current Belgian Privacy Commission) in anticipation of the future applicability of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). With this law, the Belgian Data Protection Authority acquires substantial investigative and judiciary powers, as well as new bodies which will be able to impose the sanctions introduced under the GDPR.
While the GDPR will provide for a greater degree of harmonization than the current regime , there are approximately 50 possibilities for Member States exceptions, additional requirements or specifications to the GDPR (e.g. in terms of processing of HR data, minimum age of children for consent, situations where a DPO is mandatory). These will be the subject of a separate piece of legislation, for which no draft is currently available.
Following up on our earlier post in September, we have meanwhile been informed that the Federal Government has ultimately decided past weekend to cancel the proposed introduction of an optional mechanism to subject professional leasing to VAT for notably budgetary reasons.
We believe this is highly unfortunate. The introduction of such a system could have drastically improved the competitivity of professional tenants towards foreign competitors and could have affected the real estate market on various fronts. Importantly, the system would have eliminated the need for complex structures to make the VAT-system applicable to a priori exempted transactions.
Notwithstanding the above, it cannot be excluded that the Federal Government may still introduce more minor changes to the existing real estate VAT regimes such as regarding the putting at the disposal of storage facilities. The discussions regarding these matters is still ongoing and other initiatives may still be developed.
Our Tax practice will keep you up date regarding these evolutions via our News section.
On 13 October 2017, the Brussels Parliament voted the ordinance which will substantially modify the Brussels zoning and town planning rules (the so-called Code bruxellois de l’Aménagement du Territoire, in short “COBAT” / Brussels Wetboek Ruimtelijke Ordening, in short “BWRO”).
The text will be published in the Belgian State Gazette in the coming weeks and will probably enter into force in the course of 2018.
More news to come regarding this important reform.
Bruno De Duve, who leads our Tax practice group, & Helene Mulier, summer intern, discuss in depth the recent legislative initiative of the Belgian Federal Government to allow the possibility to subject to VAT the mere letting of an immovable property to a business subject to VAT as of 1 January 2018. This draft bill may drastically improve the competitivity of professional tenants towards foreign competitors and may effect the real estate market on various fronts.
Emmanuel Szafran and Florian De Rouck going in depth on GDPR implementation with Verhaegen Walravens’ partner Approach during a lunch seminar. Our strong legal expertise in personal data protection and GDPR compliance combined with Approach cyber security and risk management expertise makes it a unique value proposition for our clients.
Jacques Verhaegen & Daria Likhatcheva assisted cybersecurity specialist Approach with the acquisition of TInSys (Total Integration Systems), a Belgian software development company specialising in mobile apps and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Verhaegen Walravens has been referenced in Tibbie McIntyre‘s Conference Report – ‘Moral Rights and New Technologies: Authorship, Attribution and Integrity in a Digital World‘, posted on today’s 1709 blog in relation to authorship and new technologies:
“Florian De Rouck from Verhaegen Walraevens, discussed artificial intelligence. He presented on the moral rights repercussions regarding artificial intelligence, from the 1960’s software Aaron to the cutting edge Google Magenta project, which is designed to ‘advance the state of the art in machine intelligence for music and art generation’. As it develops to greater and greater complexity, artificial intelligence will surely destabilise our current understanding of the concept of the author and the creative product.”
Please find more info on: http://the1709blog.blogspot.be/2017/05/conference-report-moral-rights-and-new.html