International legal practice Osborne Clarke has made two senior hires in the Brussels office to significantly expand its sector expertise. Partner Fran Claes will be heading the Transactional Real Estate team and Counsel Cedric Degreef will be heading the newly launched Energy & Projects team.

Fran Claes has over 15 years of experience in real estate transactions. She assists domestic and international market players, institutional and private investors, regulated real estate companies, real estate funds, and developers as well as clients from other sectors (including tourism, consumer goods, leisure, catering wholesale). Ian Wilkinson, the International Head of Real Estate & Infra-structure, shared: "We are looking forward to welcoming Fran into our international team. Fran's collaborative outlook and client contacts mean she will be an important part of our close knit international real estate & infrastructure team."

Cedric Degreef is a project lawyer with a particular focus on the utilities, industry and infrastructure sector. As the head of the Energy & Projects team in Brussels, Cedric advises his clients on a broad range of matters relating to energy and climate law, environmental law, including permits, and general administrative and construction law. Cedric's expertise will further complement the wider Real Estate practice and he will be working closely with Fran to help clients navigate the regulatory framework around green real estate and construction. International Head of Energy Christoph Torwegge welcomes Cedric and says: "Having Cedric on the team is a further important step to demonstrate that Osborne Clarke offers a truly international energy and infrastructure team. His expertise and track record are outstanding. We are very happy to welcome him!"

Managing partner David Haex says, "The arrival of Fran and Cedric is a real milestone for our office in Brussels. Their combined expertise will greatly benefit our clients and is a significant step forward in building our international real estate profile. Their appointments also support our ever increasing efforts to help clients find sustainable and socially conscious solutions for building, working and living in Europe's cities."

Osborne Clarke's international practice has been growing rapidly and now boasts offices in 25 locations. Founded in 2013, the office in Belgium now counts 35 lawyers and has nationally and internationally recognised experts in our key sectors (TMC, Life Sciences & Healthcare, Energy & Utilities, Real Estate & Infrastructure, Retail, Financial Services, Transport & Automotive and Workforce Solutions). The arrivals of Fran and Cedric will also critically support Osborne Clarke's 3D client strategy of addressing today and tomorrow's drivers of transformation: digitalisation, decarbonisation and urban dynamics.

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