Pierre Berger joined the Antwerp office of Baker McKenzie in 2001 and was admitted to the Antwerp bar in the same year. Mr. Berger has been a corporate, financial services and insurance partner since 2011. His principal area of focus is on the banking, funds and insurance industries. He also has advised clients in the Antwerp port, diamond and fashion industries, and has been asked to act as an arbitrator. Mr. Berger was recently mentioned in IFLR 1000. He worked on around 100 pro bono cases between 2001 and 2006.
Mr. Berger advises Belgian undertakings and foreign multinationals on all aspects of banking, funds, financial services and insurance law. He also advises on restructuring and insolvency matters and M&A. He has advised on financial services and insurance regulation (provision of financial services by local and foreign investment firms, banks, insurance undertakings and collective investment funds, UCITS, AIFMD, MiFID, EMIR, market abuse, private placement, money laundering, SEPA, PSD, MIF, development of transactional websites, dividend reinvestment plans, IMD, PRIPs, life and non-life insurance regulations, product development etc.), and regulatory issues in bank and insurance control. Mr. Berger is experienced in drafting and negotiating B2B contracts, B2C pre-contractual documentation and contracts involving consumer protective legislation. He has helped clients with public and private placement of financial products that require a prospectus or an offering memorandum. Moreover, he assists with related civil, criminal and administrative litigation, including mis-selling, contractual and tort liability, marketing of financial products and insurance, money laundering and market abuse, among others.
Representative Legal Matters
- Assisted a major card scheme provider in Belgium with several assignments in relation to its set-up, including (i) the development of a compliant governance structure and policies, (ii) the drafting of licensing agreements, (iii) the development of a PSD/SEPA compliant card scheme and rulebooks, (iv) the assistance with various outsourcing agreements in relation to the card scheme, and (v) the assistance with risk management processes.
- Assisted a large bank and insurance group with (i) the drafting and negotiation of a new template agency agreement and commissioning structure for its entire tied agent distribution network, (ii) a complete re-drafting of the template retail credit documentation for mortgage and consumer credits, including assistance with the automatisation of the credit granting process, (iii) a SEPA/PSD compliance review of the banking and insurance operations, (iv) the development of a transactional website, and (v) the outsourcing of its claims handling division.
- Assisted one of the largest Belgian pension funds with (i) the redrafting of its articles of association, (ii) the drafting of the agreement for a new individual pension benefit product for company managers, (iii) the regulatory and private insurance legal framework surrounding the creation of a new guaranteed income protection insurance product, and (iv) the negotiation of asset management, outsourcing and derivative agreements.
- Assisted a major card issuing and acquiring group with several assignments in relation to its organisational set-up and day-to-day business, including (i) the development and implementation of a regulatory compliant structure and policies, (ii) the drafting of licensing agreements, (iii) the assistance with various outsourcing agreements in relation to payment services, consumer credit and insurances, and (iv) the assistance with compliance and risk management processes.
- Assisted a leading Belgian asset manager with the compliance review and re-drafting of its template asset management agreements with private and institutional investors, as well as pension funds.
- Advising Vlaamse Milieuholding NV (and the Flemish government) on the disposal of its controlling stake in Indaver NV by way of an auction.
- Advising the 99 percent shareholder of a bank on the disposal of its shares in the bank after remediation measures imposed by the Belgian regulator.
- Assisted a major insurance undertaking with its defense against a civil and criminal "class action".
- Assisted Argenta Spaarbank NV in its successful litigation before the Constitutional Court aiming at the nullification of the Belgian bank tax.
Professional Associations and Memberships
- VRG Alumni - Member
- Antwerp Bar Association - Member
- European Association of Bank and Financial Lawyers - Member
- Belgische Vereniging van Advocaten in Beurs- en Financieel Recht - Member
- Antwerp~Belgium (2001)
- Lessius Hogeschool Antwerpen (Licentiate Business Sciences) (2005)
- University of Applied Sciences (Exchange Program Licentiate Business Sciences) (2003)
- Handelshogeschool Antwerpen (Candidate Business Sciences) (2002)
- Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Licentiate in Law) (2001)
- University of Illinois (Exchange Program Licentiate in Law) (2001)
- Université Picardie Jules Vernes (Erasmus Program Candidate in Law) (1998)
- UFSIA (Candidate Law) (1998)