With more than 30 years of experience, Bob Martens is one of the most reputable "go to" lawyers in Belgium to turn complex public law challenges into successful solutions for his clients, both in public law projects (such as PPP and infrastructure projects) and in handling litigation before the various Belgian and European institutions and courts.
His vision is that each file and every client deserve the run of the extra mile in view to exceed clients' expectations, done with a passion to help and being a trusted advisor for every client. He is recognised in the leading legal tables such as Chambers and Legal 500. Clients describes him as follows: "Bob Martens is well known in Belgium for his public law work and is considered to be "Excellent for negotiations and litigation." His clients say he is very experienced, as well as "down to earth and accessible, with the capacity to grasp our needs." and "He's very deal-driven - he'll concentrate on looking for a solution instead of fixating on the problem".
He is a pioneer in the development of PPP projects in Belgium and participated in several important PPP projects and public contracts (Oosterweel, Diabolo, Scholen van morgen, Brabo I and II, prisons, sports halls, etc.) and was involved in the realisation of numerous brownfield projects. In addition, he has acted in various important and complex cases of administrative and public law (§in the field of public contracts, state aid or environmental law, such as ARCO, Oosterweel, language requirements, night flights, etc.) where he has gained additional experience in the legal support of politically sensitive cases.
Recent experience includes:
- Guidance and support of a global pharmaceutical company in the joint procurement proceedings organised by the European Commission relative to the contracting of COVID Vaccins.
- Guidance and support for the Flemish government (School Invest and Agion) in the realisation of the second PPP School Construction Programme (value > €550 million) for the construction of 42 schools in 13 clusters of DBFM projects.
- Guidance and legal support for the Flemish Agency for Innovation and Enterprise (2009-2019) in the realisation of approximately 80 Brownfield projects following a call from the Flemish government. The assistance consisted of organising the calls, providing legal support for decisions, solving all kinds of legal problems to achieve project development and general project support.
- Guidance and legal support for the realisation and contract conclusion of the DBFM programme for the construction of a tram connection; the assignment consisted of guiding the private party from the start of the procedure to the signing of the DBFM agreement.
- Guidance and legal support for the Oosterweel contractors' consortium for the realisation of the Oosterweel connection (from the start in 2004 until the conclusion of the contract in September 2021); the assignment consisted of carrying out the contract negotiations and the development of a new type of contract for complex construction works, based on the experience in the United Kingdom.
- Guidance and legal support for VRT in the choice of award method, the elaboration of the assignment documents, the conduct of the procurement procedure, the drawing up of the contracts and the negotiations with the Participants, the drawing up of the reasoned award decision and the conclusion of the assignment for the construction of the new VRT head office building in Brussels.
- Assisting several companies, both from the private side as well as public side in the development of public contracts, assisting with smaller public contracts and ad hoc queries.
- Conducting various proceedings before the Council of State concerning award disputes for various public authorities and private parties.
- Conducting various proceedings before the General Court of the European Union regarding award decisions of the European institutions and state aid decisions from the European Commission.
- KU Leuven: Master of Laws (cum laude), 1991
- Facultés Universitaires Notre Dame de la Paix Namur: Bachelor of Laws, 1988
Memberships And Affiliations
- Former Managing Partner of the Belgian DLA Piper practice
- Former member of the International Board of DLA Piper UK LLP
- Ridder in de Leopoldsorde - Chevalier dans l'Ordre Leopold
My latest insights
Belgium - Whistleblowing Laws in Europe: An international guide
6 July 2022 .27 minute read
Public procurement: The EC publishes notice to fight collusion and provides guidance on...
18 March 2021 .3 minute read