Tel: +32 3 203 45 07
Fax: +32 3 203 45 01
(Kapellen, 26-07-1949) obtained a law degree at the Catholic University of Louvain (K.U.L.) in 1972. He obtained a postgraduate degree in maritime law and air law at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) in 1975.
He worked as a lawyer at the Brussels Bar in the law firms of Botson & Associés and Goffin & Tacquet from 1974 until 1979, where he concentrated mainly on commercial law and labour law.
In 1975 he completed a traineeship with Meuren & Meuren in Mainz (Germany). In 1976 he worked as in-house counsel in the legal department of the Brussels town administration.
In 1979 he undertook a traineeship at the West of England P&I Club in London and, at the request of a leading Belgian shipping company, he started his own firm in Antwerp in which he specialised in commercial law, with a particular emphasis on maritime law.
Over the years he has represented almost all the major Ship owners and P&I Clubs in the world.
Wim Fransen is regularly appointed as an Arbitrator in disputes regarding marine insurance law.
He advises the Belgian Ministries of Transport and Justice in general matters of maritime law and incorporation of International Conventions into Belgian maritime law.
By Royal Decree of 29th May 2007 he was appointed as a member of the Royal Commission for the Revision of the Belgian Maritime Code.
He has published many articles on maritime law in Belgian and international review. He has organised or taken an active part, as president of a panel or as speaker, in numerous international conferences and colloquia on maritime and customs law. He was invited to give lectures on maritime law at the University of Antwerp and taught maritime law to foreign judges as part of an educational programme organized by Belgium, Morocco and Algeria.
Wim Fransen was the President of the Belgian Maritime Law Association from 1998 to 2003.
Since 1999 he has been a member of the Albert Lilar Foundation, which awards a price to an author of an innovative work on maritime law every two years and as from 2011 he is a member of the François Génicot Foundation that awards a price to the author of a valuable book on maritime law or maritime insurance law.
He has been the Administrator of the Comité Maritime International (C.M.I.) since 2003.
Since September 2004 he teaches courses on “Principes généraux de droit maritime” and “Crédit et vente maritimes” at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB.).
He pleads in Dutch, French and English, is fluent in German and Spanish and reads Italian.
The office opened in Antwerp in 1979. In the beginning a single partner and one apprentice dedicated all their time to maritime law. Over the years the crew became more important. New individuals joined the office practising transport law in general, commercial law, insolvency law, ship’s finance, civil law, labour law and penal law.
Although we are a relatively small firm we endeavour to give immediate and around the clock service to clients on a no-nonsense basis. If clients decide to work with us they will find out that in every important case several persons are aware of its evolution and capable of responding whenever needed.
Although we feel comfortable before the Belgian maritime courts (procedures in Belgium – both summary and substantive – have become quicker and more efficient since the change of the Belgian judicial system) we try to achieve out of court settlements through mediation and negotiations.
As far as maritime law is concerned we believe it to be helpful that we work within a circle of less than 15 maritime law firms in Belgium whom we know well both on a professional and a private basis. This is often helpful in resolving matters quickly on reasonable terms even within a legal environment that is antagonistic by nature.
We work on a time basis and every minute spent on a case is accounted for. Our commitment is to act for our clients in a spirit of efficiency and transparency.