Thomas De Meese

Partner
Brussels
tdemeese@crowell.com
Phone: +32.2.282.1842
7, Rue Joseph Stevens
Brussels B - 1000
Belgium
Thomas De Meese serves as co-managing partner of the firm's Brussels office and has been a member of the Brussels bar since 1993. He focuses on competition and unfair competition, telecommunications, media and technology law and gambling regulatory matters. Thomas' experience includes day-to-day counselling on distribution issues, technology licensing, patent pools, joint bidding, standard setting, dominance issues, the activities of trade associations, etc. He has developed and implemented pan-European antitrust compliance and training programs for multinational companies. He represents parties in competition investigations and merger proceedings with both the Belgian Competition Authority and the EC Commission. Thomas regularly litigates competition cases before national courts.

Thomas assists clients on e-commerce and Internet-related issues such as ISP-liability, data protection, online services, distance selling, and e-advertisement. He regularly drafts and negotiates complex telecommunication agreements such as MVNO deals or interconnection agreements. He is involved in complex litigation in the media and telecommunications sector. He regularly represents one of the main players in the field of internet, telephony and interactive digital TV in Flanders in contentious and non-contentious matters.

Thomas has inter alia successfully represented gambling software vendors and online and land-based bookmakers in litigation against government-owned incumbent operators.

Thomas is a qualified lawyer in Belgium and obtained his law degree, magna cum laude, at the University of Antwerp. He also obtained a Master of Advanced European Studies (MA), magna cum laude, at the College of Europe (Bruges-Warsaw). He frequently speaks at professional and academic conferences and published several articles on e-commerce, commercial communications and competition law.

Thomas was awarded in 2015 by Global Law Experts as "TMT Sector Competition Lawyer of the Year" in Belgium. He was also recognized in the 2015 and 2016 editions of Chambers Europe in the areas of telecommunications and competition law. In addition, Thomas was recommended in the 2015 and 2016 editions of the Legal 500 EMEA for Competition and Media and Entertainment. He is praised for his "extensive knowledge," "hands-on, no-nonsense approach" and "drive for excellence." In 2017, Thomas was recognized by Leaders League as a Leading Partner in ICT. In that same year, Chambers Europe described him as “an expert in Belgian domestic competition law with particular expertise in the TMT sector. He also advises on a mixture of state aid matters, with a number of recent cases to his name.” With particular regard to the TMT sector, Chambers Europe portrays Thomas as “a well-known practitioner with extensive experience in the media and telecoms sectors” and a lawyer who is “singled out for his work in the areas of competition, technology and gambling legislation.” In 2017, Legal 500 EMEA emphasized Thomas’ privacy and data protection knowledge by calling him “an expert in TMT-related privacy issues.” In 2018, Thomas was listed in the Legal 500 Hall of Fame for IT and Telecoms.

Legal Rankings

  • Personally ranked in Chambers Europe for Competition law and for his TMT industry knowledge.
    • “an important figure in the firm's domestic competition law practice” (2020)
    • “combines ‘both legal and business knowledge with an excellent feeling for the sensitivities of our specific business’” (2019)
    • “knows telecoms work inside out” “helpful and responsive” “an ‘outstanding’ lawyer, who offers ‘excellent support’” (2018)
    • “a well-known practitioner with extensive experience in the media and telecoms sectors” “singled out for his work in the areas of competition, technology and gambling legislation (2017)
    • “sources note his ‘responsiveness and hands-on, customer-friendly approach” (2016)
    • “has ‘a very open approach, which means we feel comfortable approaching him’”a very intelligent and well-prepared lawyer” (2012)
  • Member of the Legal 500 EMEA Hall of Fame for IT and Telecoms and Leading Individual for Industry Focus: Media and Entertainment. Thomas is also recommended for Competition: Belgian LawCompetition: EU and Global and in the separate category of Dispute Resolution
    • “excellent firm, high-quality service. Very professional. Would recommend it to anybody” (2020)
    • “has vast expertise in BCA merger reviews, as well as investigations into abuses of dominance and cartels” (2020)
    • “highly regarded for his expertise in competition law” (2019)
    • “highly regarded” (2018)
    • “put[s] things in perspective” “an expert in TMT-related privacy issues” (2017)
    • “excellent preparation, response time and accurate advice” (2014)
    • “extensive knowledge” “a hands-on, no-nonsense approach and a drive for excellence” (2013)
  • Recognized by, among others, Global Law Experts and the Corporate INTL Magazine as TMT Sector Competition Lawyer of the Year.
  • Recognized by Leaders League as a Leading Partner in ICT.
  • Recognized by Who’s Who Legal for TMT.