Jean-François Tossens has a longstanding experience in corporate, commercial and financial law. A major part of his practice focuses on national and international arbitration, both as counsel and as arbitrator. He mainly acts in ICC, CEPANI or ad hoc proceedings. He also deals as counsel with commercial and corporate transactions and disputes, such as partnership agreements, shareholders’ or post-acquisition disputes, notably in sectors such as sovereign funds’ investments, aeronautics, insurance, energy, distribution and biotechnology.
Jean-François was admitted to the Brussels Bar in 1989. He co-founded the law firm Tossens Goldman Gonne in 2016.
Jean-François teaches national and international arbitration law at the faculty of law of the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL). He is a member of the arbitration committee of the ICC in Paris and a board member of Cepani and of ICC Belgium. He is the author of various publications in corporate law and arbitration. He is co-editor in chief of the Belgian Review of Arbitration b-Arbitra.
Clients describe Jean-François Tossens as “straightforward, pragmatic and a strong lawyer to have on your side” (Chambers, 2014) and “very level-headed, reasonable in his approach and intelligent.” (Chambers – Dispute Resolution, 2015).
In its 2015 ranking of Individual arbitrators, the French magazine “Décideurs” awards the mention “Excellent” to Jean-François Tossens.
1989 – Member of the Brussels Bar
1989 – Associate at Coppens, Horsmans & Malherbe
1994 – Founding partner of Tossens & Prioux
2013 – Founding Partner of Strelia
2016– Founding Partner of Tossens Goldman Gonne
- Chairing an Arbitral Tribunal in a CEPANI proceeding concerning the representations and tax guarantees of sellers of a construction company.
- Representing the “Société Fédérale de Participations et d’Investissement” (the Belgian Federal public investment fund) in multiple investments, including among others an investment in an Indian Fund and in Euronext.
- Representing a leading French company active in the air freight sector in a procedure against an airline for the recovery of severance payments related to an agency contract
- Representation of family shareholders in managing shareholder relations or the buying back of shares or companies in several industry sectors.
- Representing an autonomous public entity linked to a foreign State in an action disputing the validity of the seizure of assets in Belgium by the creditors of that State in execution of an annulled foreign arbitration award.
- Chairman of an ICC arbitral tribunal in a dispute concerning the breach of a contract for the construction of a hotel complex in Morocco.
- Sole arbitrator in several ICC proceedings on the breach of consultancy contracts, in particular in the food and mechanical industries.
Sophie Goldman focuses on complex civil and commercial litigation, both in national and international settings, relating to, among others, partnership agreements, service contracts, distribution, directors’ liability and post-acquisition disputes in various sectors such as distribution of industrial products, energy, aeronautics, insurance, and construction.
A major part of her practice consists in national and international arbitration. She regularly acts as arbitrator or as counsel in ICC and CEPANI proceedings.
She has been ranked by “Who’s who legal : Arbitration” since 2021 after being ranked as “Future Leader” between 2018 and 2020. She is also “highly recommended” by Leaders League Intelligence Report & Directory Services as an arbitrator as well as in commercial litigation.
Sophie was admitted to the Brussels Bar in 2008. In September 2016, she co-founded the firm Tossens Goldman Gonne.
Sophie obtained a law degree from the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) in 2007 “Magna cum laude“. She also studied at the Universiteit van Amsterdam in 2007 with the Erasmus Exchange Program. She holds a LL.M. from the King’s College in London (2008).
She has been a teaching assistant at the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) in civil and commercial law for more than ten years. She has also been teaching “droit commercial international et résolution des conflits internationaux” at the Ichec Brussels management School for several years. She still teaches International Commercial Dispute Resolution at the Solvay Summer School.
She is the author of various publications and regularly speaks at conferences, in Belgium and abroad.
Sophie is very active within the CEPANI, the Belgian Center for Arbitration and Mediation. She is the Co-Chair of CEPANI40 since 2017 and she is part of the CEPANI Delegation at the at the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law. She also co-chairs the CEPANI working group on Diversity and Inclusion created in 2021.
Finally, she is a member of the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR (Paris) and of ICC YAF, Young ICCA and ArbitralWomen.
2008 – Member of the Brussels Bar
2008 – Associate at Stibbe
2010 – Associate at Tossens & Prioux
2013 – Senior Associate at Strelia
2016 – Founding Partner at Tossens Goldman Gonne
Recent interventions (Acting as arbitrator)
- Sole arbitrator in CEPANI proceedings concerning a dispute between shareholders
- Chair of the arbitral tribunal in ICC proceedings opposing a French company active in cosmetics to its Spanish distributor about the termination of an exclusive distribution contract
- Co-arbitrator in ICC proceedings opposing an Indonesian company to a Dutch company about the execution of a contract with respect to the sale of molasses
- Co-arbitrator in CEPANI proceedings opposing a Belgian company to an Italian company in a commercial dispute in the food sector
- Sole arbitrator in CEPANI proceedings relating to the sale of the shares of a company and a business capital
- Sole arbitrator in ICC proceedings concerning a dispute between a French company and a German company in relation to a contract for international distribution of wood preservation products
- Sole arbitrator in CEPANI proceedings for a post-acquisition dispute on a branch of a Belgian bank
Representations (Acting as counsel – arbitral and judicial proceedings)
- Representing a Canadian company active in the production of PVC, in a dispute with a Belgian group, claiming indemnification following the termination of a concession contract binding the parties
- Representing a leading French company active in the air freight sector in proceedings against an airline for the recovery of severance payments related to an agency contract
- Representing a Belgian company active in the oil sector in a dispute against an international group on unfair commercial practices and violations of intellectual property rights (including an action for injunction and a descriptive seizure)
- Representing a leading French insurance company for its customers active in the aeronautical maintenance sector
- Representing a leading French group in the field of air cargo in ICC arbitration proceedings which concerned the dismissal of the manager of an affiliated company and the breach of a no-compete commitment
René Gonne‘s activity first developed in international litigation and arbitration until the hostile takeover bid on the Société Générale de Belgique, which he successfully assisted in its defence. His practice then evolved towards company law, issues related to acquisitions and restructurings, shareholder assistance, partnerships and complex contracts, including numerous public offerings.
René also gained extensive experience in financial regulation and advised buyers or sellers, target companies and shareholders in a wide range of situations.
He represents States – including non-European ones – and public shareholders, private or listed companies, as well as individuals, families or investors in structuring projects, agreements, investments and partnerships, or in industrial or financial restructurings within multiple sectors such as glass, steel and iron, holding companies, telecommunications, biotechnology and energy, as well as in related litigation cases.
Since 2002, René Gonne has been strongly recommended by Legal Expert EMEA and Legal 500 EMEA, in company law and restructuring. Then in 2012 by Chambers in restructuring and joint ventures. He was noted as having “in-depth experience of the energy industry”.
1979- Law degree – UCL – Magana cum laude – First in the year
1979 – Member of the Brussels Bar
1982-1986 – Assistant professor – Economic law department – UCL
1983 – Partner of the law firm Coppens Horsmans & Malherbe
1995 – Managing partner of the merged firm Coppens Van Ommeslaghe & Faurès
2000 – Managing Partner of the merged firm Coppens Van Ommeslaghe Faurès – Coudert Brothers LLP
2005 – Partner of the law firm Dechert LLP, then in 2011 managing partner of the Brussels office
2017 – Partner of the law firm Tossens Goldman Gonne
- Assisting the Government of Luxembourg in the hostile takeover bid of Mittal for Arcelor
- Assisting Elia (Electricity TSO) and Fluxys (Gas TSO) in implementing sectoral directives and managing their impact on shareholder structures
- Assisting one of the European energy leaders in pre-litigation and the renegotiation of very long-term gas exchange contract
- Counsel to a European start-up in the field of biotechnology, victim of breaches of exclusivity and confidentiality commitments
- Assisting a major European telecom operator on structuring shareholders agreements and the acquisition by a Belgian subsidiary, resulting in a takeover bid of a North African telecom operator – Assisting a Walloon public company regarding a construction dispute
- Counseling a family on partnership structuring of financial investments at European level, and coordination in several countries.
Lily has started her career at the Brussels Bar in September 2016 and joined Tossens Goldman Gonne in March 2019.
She obtained a Bachelor Degree from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (2013) and a Master Degree in International and European Law from the KU Leuven cum laude (2015). Lily also studied at the University of Edinburgh in the framework of the Erasmus Exchange Program in 2015.
Lily focuses on civil and commercial litigation, including arbitration, as counsel, administrative secretary to arbitral tribunals (ICC and CEPANI) and, since recently, as an arbitrator as well. She also has experience in data protection law and holds the CIPP/E certification (Certified Information Privacy Professional/Europe) from the IAPP (2018).
Since 2020, Lily has also been an assistant-lecturer at the UMONS-ULB Law School in European Union Law and Economic and intellectual property law.
2016 – Member of the Brussels Bar
2016 – Associate at Van Bael & Bellis
2019 – Associate at Tossens Goldman Gonne
Anne-Marie Devrieze has been Jean-François Tossens’ personal assistant since 2007.
Before that, she was assistant at the S.F.P.I. (previously S.F.I.) as from 1981 to 2006.
Simon has started his career at Tossens Goldman Gonne in February 2020. He was admitted to the Brussels Bar in May 2020.
He holds a Bachelor’s degree (2017) and a Master’s degree in economic law from the Université Libre de Bruxelles with cum laude (2019).
He assists the partners of the firm, both in negotiation and litigation matters.
Soraya holds a Bachelor’s degree in law (Magna cum laude) as well as a Master’s degree in economic law (Magna cum laude) from the Université Libre de Bruxelles. At the latter, she also was a student teaching assistant in legal methodology. In the framework of the Erasmus program, she studied for a semester at the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Summa cum laude). Having completed various internships in international law firms, she decided to choose practicing litigation and arbitration by starting her traineeship at the Brussels bar at Tossens Goldman Gonne in September 2022.