ADMINISTRATIVE & PROPERTY LAW
1) ENVIRONMENTAL LAW AND LAND-USE PLANNING
Astrea advises public and private clients on land-use planning and the environment and represents them in dispute resolution before civil and administrative courts.
As such, Astrea has years of in-depth experience with:
- application files for urban planning and land division permits
- environmental permits and socio-economic permits
- soil contamination
- waste problems
- sound and odour nuisance
The approval of a municipal, provincial or regional implementation plan may lead to the depreciation of your property, leaving you with a claim against the government for loss resulting from its planning decisions. Astrea can assist you in bringing the necessary proceedings before the civil court.
Astrea represents its clients in all civil law dispute proceedings relating to land-use planning and environmental law before the civil courts:
- environmental protection injunctions
- building demolition applications
- nuisance caused by neighbours
- reparation of loss resulting from urban planning
- environmental damage
Astrea also conducts proceedings to have administrative acts suspended and declared void before all administrative courts, such as the Council of State and the Council for Permit Disputes.
Astrea even has the necessary in-house experience with respect to enforcement, both for dealing with the criminal law aspects of infringements before the correctional court and administrative law restrainment, for instance by the Environmental Enforcement Court of Flanders.
Astrea’s practice extends over the Flemish, Brussels-Capital and Walloon Regions.
If necessary, Astrea will handle your case in close cooperation with technical experts.
Astrea’s property specialists handle all legal aspects associated with the management, development and transfer of immovable property. This overlaps with many other branches of the law: property law, contract and tort law, environment law, land-use planning legislation, company law and tax law.
Astrea provides advice and conducts proceedings before civil and/or administrative courts in relation to:
- purchasing or transferring immovable property
- purchasing or transferring a real estate company
- due diligence for these purchases or transfers
- acquiring permits
- building or renovating buildings
- expropriation procedures
- disputes concerning vacant or neglected properties
We answer our clients’ questions about property rights such as building and planting rights, usufruct, long-term leases, etc. Clients also come to us for advice on and dispute resolution regarding commercial and other leases.
Astrea also represents its clients if they are faced with rights of first refusal exercised by governments or if they wish to exercise such a right themselves.
Astrea provides its expertise on expropriation procedures to private individuals faced with a threat of expropriation or to public authorities that have obtained authorisation to expropriate, both in the phase of extrajudicial acquisition and judicial expropriation proceedings.
Finally, Astrea assists clients on whom a levy has been imposed for vacant or neglected properties. Astrea represents them in administrative appeals and legal disputes before the tax courts.
CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT LAW
Astrea’s lawyers defend the interests of owners, building contractors, architects, project developers and engineering consultancies in private building law and construction contract law. In addition to conducting litigation proceedings, Astrea often acts in an advisory capacity before or after entering into contracts.
Astrea represents its clients when their business premises or home are defective and they wish, as owners, to hold their architect and/or building contractor liable. We also assist clients if they are held liable in their capacity as project developer, building contractor or architect by the owner, co-owners’ association or a neighbour. We represent our clients if they are prosecuted for infringements under criminal law.
Astrea also handles any questions or disputes pertaining to public works contracts that relate to the performance of the awarded works, including observing or exceeding the execution period, stoppages by the contracting authority, claims for compensation, liability disputes, etc.
Nowadays any contract or public tendering procedure is subject to competition rules or legal protection mechanisms.
Astrea represents its public and private clients during all phases of public tendering procedures: from the preparation and submission of the bid to the award of the contact and its execution.
Authorities can rely on Astrea for the draftingof special terms and conditions (lastenboek), reasoned award decisions, etc.
Astrea also offers its clients assistance in public contract disputes, both in the precontractual phase, before the civil courts and Council of State with respect to preliminary injunctions and in proceedings on the merits, and in claims for compensation and other disputes relating to the performance of the contract.
Astrea can also offer added value to its clients through its multidisciplinary approach. Indeed, in addition to public law aspects, Astrea's specialised lawyers can also handle all aspects of civil law, property law, tax law, financial law and company law.
Astrea provides legal assistance in all aspects of public-private partnership (PPP) projects.
Astrea’s multidisciplinary approach is a major asset in this regard. It enables us to identify and propose appropriate solutions for all legal risks in the very complex PPP process.
Our public or private sector clients can request Astrea’s involvement in all stages of the project, from the assessment and preparation of tender documents, the review of financial agreements, creation and structuring of project companies, drafting and negotiation of agreements with various partners and government institutions, to the monitoring and performance of project contracts.
Astrea obviously also has the necessary expertise to represent its clients in any legal proceedings, both before the civil courts and the Council of State.
Astrea’s lawyers are well-versed in representing and advising both federal and regional authorities and government institutions and local authorities in relation to administrative and public law.
Private entities can also benefit from Astrea’s representation and advice in these areas.
The administrative law practice mainly handles cases in relation to:
- the environment
- urban planning
- land-use planning
- public contracts
- administrative disputes
- liability of authorities
Astrea further supports its national and international clients in areas that are specifically regulated and/or where permits must be obtained. Astrea has exceptional experience in the following regulated areas:
Astrea’s lawyers have extensive litigation experience before the regular Belgian courts and the Counsil of State, the Constitutional Court and specialised administrative tribunals.
Astrea’s administrative law practice extends over all regions of the Belgian territory.