International legal practice Osborne Clarke has advised mobility platform Bolt on its recent expansion into Belgium. The team in Brussels assisted Bolt with the structuring of their Belgian establishment, advising on corporate, employment and tax matters.
Bolt, which launched in Tallinn in 2013 and expanded into Belgium in 2021 with its shared scooter service, rolled out its on-demand ride-hailing service in Brussels on 9 February 2022. Bolt's business model is unique in several ways, not least because it allows Brussels users to order rides from both LVC (VVB) and taxi drivers using the Bolt app. Bolt local Management is convinced that they will bring solutions to the traffic jams in Brussels and to the mobility debate in Belgium. Their ultimate ambition is to reduce the private use of cars and provide affordable solutions for their users while their drivers earn a fair living.
Osborne Clarke has been advising Bolt in several other European jurisdictions and has a dedicated team of international experts in the latest disruptive technologies in urban mobility and transport. The collaboration with Bolt demonstrates how our legal expertise in Digitalisation, Urban Dynamics and Decarbonisation can help businesses harness technology to reduce our carbon footprint and positively affect the urban environment.
Laurent Pantusa, Country Manager Ride Hailing Belgium, commented on working with Osborne Clarke and the latest developments in Brussels, “Bolt is a European company that operates in over 45 countries worldwide. Local company law, taxation and employment regulation differ widely and we had to set up our business to be fully compliant with Belgian law. We are very satisfied with the legal advice from Osborne Clarke to make our launch a success. This helped us to work on the supreme goal of offering a solution for mobility issues in cities. Ultimately, Bolt wants to provide an alternative for private cars for most distances and use cases, and thanks to Osborne Clarke support we are one step closer to this goal.”
The Osborne Clarke team in Belgium included partners Hadrien Chef, Marie Canivet, Benjamin Docquir and Thierry Vierin, their counsel Olivier Lambillon and the following associates: Vanessa Uwamahoro, Karen Calvo Vleugels, Margo Cornette, Johan Collard and Frank Hoogendijk. They worked in close collaboration with UK Partner Tom Harding.