Practice Areas



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Public and administrative law


Our public and administrative law team acts in the relationship between citizens and the government. The team is well-known and valued for its specialist knowledge of public law, its creativity, its pragmatic approach and its reactivity. We study our cases thoroughly and we advise, consult, guide, negotiate and mediate and, if necessary, we litigate. Our focus is on preventing problems from occurring. 

Over a period of thirty years, the public and administrative law department of Janson has in this way accrued knowledge and know-how which is valued by our clients. The specific nature of our team is that we - in an interdisciplinary approach - act in all three regions and at an international level.

Our services

Spatial planning, environment, heritage and retail establishments

Spatial planning and environment are first and foremost about permits. We guide applications for urban planning permissions, environmental permits, land division permits and permits for retail establishments. We assist permit holders if their permit is challenged by authorities or before administrative or judicial courts. On the other hand, we assist our clients in formulating their objections regarding permit applications in the context of a public inquiry and we challenge permits for our clients before administrative authorities or before administrative or judicial courts. In respect of spatial planning we have extensive experience with issues concerning non-conformity with zoning conditions. Furthermore, we assist our clients when an adjustment to the planning is required. The team is also very familiar with the specific aspects of heritage.

The designated use that a property receives in spatial implementation plans will determine its value. We assist our clients to accurately value their property. In the case of a change in the designated use, on behalf of clients we demand the annulment of the plan before the Council of State or claim compensation for loss resulting from planning decisions before the civil courts.

In respect of broader environmental law, we have extensive experience with soil issues, not only with the treatment of pollution, but also in the context of real estate contracts relating to contaminated soil, as well as experience with waste, noise pollution, water, environmental taxes and nuisance caused by neighbours and compliance with ownership rights.

Environmental and spatial planning law takes an increasingly important place in contract law. We are well-grounded in due diligence and the preparation of sale and purchase contracts. We work together with technicians (engineers, architects, surveyors, estate agents and appraisers) and other legal professions, such as notaries and company lawyers, in order to avoid problems later on.

With our interdisciplinary working method, we provide assistance with the design and development of real estate projects, land development projects, construction projects, the layout of economic sites, infrastructure (airports, sports grounds and stadiums) or other public or private infrastructure.

Expropriation, public domain and roads

We assist our clients in negotiating with the government on expropriation. The defence of ownership interests requires an effective strategy. We also assist our clients in legal expropriation proceedings. Expropriation is an instrumental authority that is often misused, which can lead to government liability. The road network is of specific importance to the accessibility of buildings and infrastructure. The installation, connection, maintenance and use of roads is a very special issue in spatial planning and environmental law.

Public procurement, concessions, government contracts and public-private partnerships

We help companies to prepare their tender for the award of public contracts (analysis of specifications, clarifying questions of or to the authorities). If clients are not awarded the contract, we will defend their rights before the Council of State or the civil courts in order that they might still get the contract or at least receive adequate compensation. Our team also assists governments in drafting specifications, reasoning the selection and award decision and in defending the decision taken before administrative or judicial courts. In the context of project development, we assist in the reconciliation of private and public interests in the context of the specific formula of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP).

Public service law and regulated professions

Public service law concerns the careers of public officials in particular. We assist governments in creating customized regulations or contracts. We also assist governments in the selection and recruitment of candidates and in reasoning its decisions. In the context of disciplinary proceedings, we assist clients governed by public law to conduct disciplinary proceedings, to prepare the case file, to organize the hearing and to duly motivating the disciplinary decision. When these decisions are challenged before the administrative or judicial courts, we conduct the defence on behalf of the government.

We assist public officials in the preparation of policies, their candidacy or in preparing for a disciplinary hearing. When necessary, we challenge the decisions of the authorities before the administrative or judicial courts.

We also provide assistance to regulated professions (lawyers, doctors, architects, pharmacists, bailiffs, surveyors, real estate agents) when they are held accountable in disciplinary matters in the context of their profession. 

Our strengths

  • We are specialists in our field. Our team is under the guidance of three university professors. We follow the evolution in our field closely and translate the latest scientific findings into practice. On the other hand, we also guide scientific research on the basis of our practical experience. Members of the team are part of the editorial staff of leading journals in their field and regularly publish in these journals. This unique combination of practical experience and scientific knowledge means that various authorities or professional organizations involve us when preparing or evaluating legislation
  • We look for solutions. Creating a solution requires customization. Firstly, we listen to our clients to find out exactly what their expectations are. If necessary, we assess the situation on site. Correct and proper knowledge of the client, the local conditions and/or the business sector is essential. Our extensive experience also makes us resourceful in finding solutions
  • We take a pragmatic approach to cases. A solution does not necessarily have to result in or from legal proceedings. Where possible we will assist the client in reaching a negotiated solution. Our pragmatic approach means that we take an interdisciplinary view. We work together with technicians (architects, engineers, environmental consultants, contractors, etc.) and with other legal professions, especially civil-law notaries and company lawyers. When legal proceedings must be initiated, we agree on a clear strategy with the client
  • We work in a cost-conscious manner. Our rates are competitive and our fee structure is transparent. Through regular invoicing, the client is able to assess the costs of our services and to monitor it from the company point of view. We make every effort to limit the costs for the client and assist the client if it is entitled to a refund
  • Our team and our services are multilingual. We provide legal services in French, Dutch, English and German. In the Belgian Federation, it is important to handle regionalized matters with the same quality

Our experience

  • Assisting a cinema operator in preserving its cinema complex, despite the government wanting to end the domain concession
  • Assisting an automotive company whose contractual liability was invoked during the sale of contaminated real estate
  • Assisting the owner of a mega dancing venue in obtaining proper compensation for the expropriation of his property and the resulting loss
  • Assisting a concrete factory, a fertilizer processing plant and a helicopter company to renew or obtain environmental permits
  • Assisting a municipality in connection with a windmill park
  • Assisting the operator of a hospitality complex in respect of the wrongful termination of the concession by the government
  • Assisting promoters in respect of lost profits and extra costs they have incurred in connection with the Decree on the land and building policy, which was annulled by the Constitutional Court
  • Assisting companies in negotiating the tariffs for the use of land along the Albert Canal that is owned by the Flemish regional authority or the public shipping company NV De Scheepvaart
  • Assisting in the context of an issue on the existence or time-barring of a local road
  • Assisting a promoter in the suspension of work
  • Advising civil-law notaries in connection with the sale of private or corporate real estate in connection with urban planning aspects or soil contamination
  • Assisting a Seveso company in connection with the access structure of the company
  • Assisting various municipalities in connection with the governability of the municipality

Our team

* SC Janson Baugniet CV


Brussels: + 32 2 675 30 30
Ghent: +32 9 240 77 20
Mons: +32 65 22 10 00
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