Van Steenbrugge Advocaten aims to practise advocacy of an exceptionally high level, in which thoroughness, legal expertise and discernment, a multidisciplinary approach and a well-considered strategy are the building blocks, and which leads to socially relevant legal outcomes (in Belgium, Europe and worldwide) as much as possible.
Independence is indispensable at Van Steenbrugge Advocaten, enabling the lawyer to assist his or her client in complete freedom as an honest and indefatigable legal adviser and counsel, with respect for core values such as reliability, integrity and human dignity.
Our style of service is impeccable, shows a high degree of creativity and is clear in all its forms of communication.
Advanced technology and well-thought-out business processes support our service provision and ensure an excellent, innovative operational approach in which the client is central.
We defend every case the way we would want to be defended ourselves. We set ourselves a high standard. The only consideration is the client’s interests, which we pursue actively, unreservedly and without passing up on any opportunity.
During an initial meeting, we assess whether and how we can best serve new clients. Together, we examine whether our services match your needs and situation. You will find out what you can expect from us and under what conditions. This includes a cost assessment and we check whether you are entitled to legal aid.
The emphasis is on a thorough approach and we employ a standard method for every case. This is based on an analysis of the facts of the case and the legal aspects, underpinned as far as possible with multidisciplinary information. A strategy is then carefully devised, in which the preservation of human dignity is central.
A strong team of highly specialised lawyers will look for a solution to every aspect of your case. Our multidisciplinary approach is a unique strength, taking us beyond the confines of our own firm: we constantly rely on an extensive network of external specialists who are the best in their field and who provide insights and background information that can help resolve your legal problem.
We combine this thorough approach with a high degree of creativity and legal acumen. In this way, we are able to help you in the most complex situations.
THE STORY BEGAN IN 1991
In the early 1990s, three young lawyers, Christine Mussche, Walter Van Steenbrugge and Jo Van Acker, felt that their ideas were too similar not to work together. Their legal partnership was formed in September 1991, specialising from the outset in both criminal and corporate law.
For the first few years, Jo Van Acker and Walter van Steenbrugge worked from premises in Gebroeders Vandeveldestraat in Ghent. On 1 May 1994, together with Christine Mussche, they moved to an office in Limburgstraat. Soon, other lawyers and administrative staff joined the trio. In 2008, the team swapped the city centre for Merelbeke, but seven years later that house became too small again. Since 1 July 2015, VSA has been housed in a building surrounded by forest and nature in Mariakerke. Twenty-three lawyers and 11 administrative staff work there as a close-knit and well-oiled team.
The firm believes strongly in 360-degree teamwork, with specialists in a variety of fields and an ongoing process of knowledge and strategy transfer. Our single-minded goal is to represent and defend our client’s interests as effectively and fairly as possible.
THE BENEFITS OF OUR APPROACH
- With specialists in every field of law, we offer the best legal expertise.
- We don’t do run-of-the-mill advocacy: we fight with flair and with the utmost concern for our client’s interests. We leave no weapon unused in our efforts to win the fight.
- Every defence we conduct is based on a thorough analysis and a well-considered strategy. We’re convinced that hard work alone yields the best results for our client.
- We are also creative spirits: we know from experience that high-level advocacy requires you, as a lawyer, to be able to take an unconventional approach at times.
Although VSA has more than 30 years of experience in criminal and corporate law, it attaches enormous importance to the continuous training of its lawyers so that they are always up to date with the latest legislation and jurisprudence (national, European and international).
This is achieved, among other things, through the weekly "intellectual lunch" in which a lawyer explains the most relevant, recent legal articles, judgments or rulings to the other lawyers. Cases in which interesting or complex legal issues arise are discussed - obviously with respect for our clients' privacy - with a view to developing the best possible defence. Indeed, teamwork is one of the keys to VSA's success.
In addition, VSA is a pioneer in terms of its knowledge of other disciplines that may be relevant to the cases it deals with, such as neurology, psychiatry, psychology and sociology.
For instance, VSA organises the quarterly Forensic Competence Centre, inviting psychiatrists, psychologists, IT specialists and scientists, among others, to discuss interesting (anonymised) cases facing the criminal cell. The insights provided by these specialists often turn out to be a crucial piece of the puzzle for optimising our clients' defence.