Dirk De Keuster and Elke Casteleyn have joined forces and are working together in one office.
Dirk De Keuster studied law in Louvain and Strasbourg. He also received an MBA from the University of Antwerp. He started his career at the cabinet of the Flemish Minister of Finance and Budgeting in 1992. He became an attorney in 1999 at the law firm of De Bandt, Van Hecke, Lagae (now Linklaters). He has been practising as an independent attorney since 2008.
After a musical career Elke Casteleyn started her law studies in 2003 at Ghent University and graduated in 2007. Since then she has been practising as an attorney and from day one has been focusing on public procurement contracts and private construction law. In these matters she regularly defends clients before the Council of State and the civil courts. In addition Elke is frequently asked to speak at seminaries and in-house training courses and she regularly publishes in leading trade magazines.
They are supported by Uschi Steurs (attorney), Patrick Vandevelde (town planner) and Danielle Bracke (administration and book-keeping).
Areas of law
Public Procurement Contracts
The firm assists both public and private clients with public procurement contracts. This relates to both giving advice during ongoing litigation and legal representation in the awarding or execution of public procurement contracts. We represent clients before the Council of State (UDN proceedings (matters of extreme urgency), annulment proceedings, …) as well as before the ordinary courts (preliminary relief proceedings before non-administrative public authorities, compensation, implementation disputes).
Public-Private Partnership involves a public authority and a commercial company working together intensively in order to bring a complex project to a good end. Our firm has extensive experience in this field. In the references section you will find a number of projects we are or have been involved with. We can offer full supervision of the process, in which the legal aspects (choice of the tender method, preparation of selection guidelines, preparation of tender guidelines, preparation of tender report, preparation of PPP contract, …) and the construction aspects (review of urban planning context, preparation of the project definition including the output specifications and site records, site monitoring, …) are bundled together in one assignment.
Private Construction Law
In the area of private construction law we handle disputes between the principal and the architect and/or contractor.
We can also help you with questions about (co)-ownership, apartment ownership, building rights and ground lease rights, property demarcation, common wall, …
Rental disputes (unpaid rent, termination, eviction, inventory of fixtures, …) is another area we cover. We assist many clients in their appearance before the Justice of the Peace.
We handle files in connection with implementation plans, urban planning and allotment permits. You can come to us for advice or for a procedure before the Council, the Permit Dispute Council and the Council of State. Because of our cooperation with Patrick Vandevelde, former regional urban planning public servant and spatial planner, we can also assist you when elaborating an urban planning strategy for new projects or developments.
Environmental law encompasses inter alia the regulation of soil clean-ups, Vlarem (environmental protection regulations), General Provisions regarding environmental management, waste … We enter into discussions with the competent Flemish government institutions including OVAM and handle procedures relating to environmental permits (Council, Flemish minister responsible for the environment, Council of State, …). Naturally we closely follow the introduction of the environment permit.
Expropriation and concessions
Public law institutions with the power of expropriation can come to us for advice on the expropriation options as well as advice on working out the expropriation procedure. We represent public authorities and individuals before the Justice of the Peace, the Court of First Instance and the Council of State.
In concessions we advise on the various types: domain concessions, concessions of public services and concessions of public works. We often assist in the drawing up of the concession contracts.
Public service law
Our firm also has experience in disputes relating to appointments and disciplinary sanctions. These relate to both the internal procedures and representation before the Council of State.
Supervision of subsidy files
We supervise application files of both public and private clients to obtain subsidies for, inter alia, sports infrastructure, urban development, expansion of tourist infrastructure, …
Since the “Dioxin crisis” of 1999 our firm has had broad experience in files relating to food safety. In this manner we represent private companies in their disputes with the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC).
The areas of spatial planning and town planning on the one part and food safety on the other contain criminal law provisions. Therefore we also represent clients before the criminal court, being the Correctional Court and the Court of Appeal.
On the explicit request of our clients we expanded our activities a few years ago to traffic matters before the Police Court and the Correctional Court.
Dirk De Keuster has also obtained certification for cassation appeals in criminal proceedings.
If you have legal expenses insurance, we will arrange payment of our fees with the insurer. No additional costs will be charged.
The firm represents clients before the various courts, including the Council of State and the Constitutional Court.
The firm also gives advice and assists clients through the entire process of public procurement contracts.