Created by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs: Tecola is a specialist boutique law firm that deals in technical communicative legal analysis for businesses and individuals across Belgium and beyond. We take a closer look at the firm and its founder, Christophe Baekeland, as Tecola celebrates recognition as the Best Niche Technology & Privacy Law Firm of Belgium for 2021.
Based in Veltem-Beisem, Belgium, Tecola is a specialised boutique law firm created by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs. Tecola, named for its functions in Technical Communicative Legal analysis, is driven by innovation, forward-thinking and sustainability to go above and beyond its services in legal analysis in order to develop and implement pragmatic, strategic solutions and policies in accordance with its clients’ financial backgrounds.
The values that Tecola has been built on are embedded into its very name: Technical, Economic, Concrete, Original, Legal Interim Management, Anticipatory. Verbosely, these values guarantee that Tecola is both a practical and academic specialist in the domains of its services, committed to giving clients the most innovative yet pragmatic solutions at an optimum price to quality ratio that is transparent. Tecola focuses on sustainably integrating its solutions into the internal operations of its clients, and is predominantly driven by its core responsibilities of entrepreneurship and originality, exceeding expectations by proactively anticipating the future business strategies of its clients. In brief, the Tecola philosophy can be condensed into a single statement: ‘Business Innovation from Idea to Success’.
As part of its central ethos, Tecola also provides its bespoke, inhouse services for one or more legal subdomains or during reorganisations, and regularly contributes to the co-drafting of legislative norms such as laws, decrees and other regulations. Supporting both public and private undertakings, Tecola practices sustainable and efficient business that meets the standards of good corporate governance, providing expertise and services in three signature fields: Technology and Privacy, Communication and Legal Services.
Built on a strong background in IT, Tecola is able to provide leading services in Technology and Privacy that focus on intellectual property agreements in hardware and software related to ASP, Cloud & SaaS, consultancy, distribution, escrow, franchising, confidentiality, hosting, licensing, maintenance, development, outsourcing, service level and timesharing. Tecola is also able to deal with more general and traditional commercial agreements such as concessions, commercial agency agreements, e-commerce, leasing, and the contractual protection of trade secrets.
Based on this expertise, Tecola is also able to offer preventative and curative legal advice and assistance on a number of privacy-related matters, such as cookies and the processing of personal data. Going beyond the drawing up of agreements relating to the processing, joint processing and independent processing of personal data, Tecola also provides advice on ambiguities in current and future regulations, and working out affordable and efficient privacy policies, charters or regulations for its clients.
Tecola is also able to act as a certified Data Protection Officer and GDPR Lead Auditor that is dedicated to the support and advising of its clients, helping them in various capacities such as to respond to data breaches, to improve the security of their information, or to conduct an investigative audit that ensures a business’ compliance with current privacy regulations.
Within its second core function, Communication, Tecola handles all elements in communications relating to the effective implementation of a legal or strategic reorganisation, working out restructuring and investment guidelines, policies and strategies to create solutions that align with the operations and goals of its clients. This requires close collaboration with boards of directors, shareholders and stakeholders to explain and enforce their rights, thus avoiding liability and accountability.
This pillar of Tecola’s expertise also sees the firm developing internal and external lectures, training courses and workshops inhouse, designed for clients to gain an initial yet thorough understanding of specific subjects, solutions or strategies, whether it be about changes to specific regulations and its impacts on a business, or on subjects like public procurement and GDPR. Through these programmes, Tecola is able to equip its clients with the ability to carry out certain communications as an organisation and achieve, for example, acceptable and workable settlements through alternative dispute resolutions.
Finally, by the third quarter of 2021, Tecola will also be able to act as a recognised mediator in issues relating to trade affairs, co-ownership, and governmental institutions and public undertakings. With its vast experience in communications within legal and business matters, Tecola will be able to reconcile multiple parties and mediate with them to establish mutual, pragmatic, and efficient solutions that are typical of the Belgian firm.
Tecola’s third area of expertise is twofold. Within Legal Services, Tecola offers support in a vast array of corporate matters, including the selection of appropriate legal structures, support measures, grants, shareholders and directors agreements, mergers, acquisitions, reorganisations, B2B and B2C focus, trade agreements and non-profit regulations. The firm also advises private enterprises and public undertakings on a wide range of matters relating to real estate, dealing with building contracts, lease and purchase agreements, apartment co-ownership and more. Tecola is also able to provide support in matters pertaining to state aid, services of general economic interest, SPV and PPS, securities, rights in rem within particular construction structures, and in all kind of corporate and financial structures of huge real estate projects.
The combination of expertise in IT and IP with property law stems from the experienced knowledge of Tecola’s founder, Christophe Baekeland. A solution-oriented lawyer who is a self-proclaimed entrepreneur on the side of entrepreneurs, Christophe is known for his inquisitive character, keen eye for detail, and innovative mindset that helps him to successfully tackle even the most complex cases.
Drawing on a strong academic background and vast experience in a myriad of business-related areas, Christophe boasts leading expertise within property and intellectual property law. Regarding real estate, Christophe is experienced in reviewing and writing construction, leasing and purchase agreements; in assisting private and public undertakings in large real estate projects; integrating investment and financing strategies; creating Special Purpose Vehicles including joint ventures; providing both preventive and procedural assistance in public procurement; and in advising clients both technically and strategically in co-ownership and timesharing.
Meanwhile, for his expertise in IT services and IP law, Christophe is credited with superior service in various software agreements, including cloud, escrow, franchising, licencing, outsourcing, NDA and SLA, as well as IP contracts pertaining to copyright issues, the protection of trade secrets, and e-commerce. Christophe’s innovative approach to matters regarding GDPR and other fundamental rights and liberties has enabled him to establish his position as a leading partner to undertakings in implementing IT strategies and charters, both preventing potential issues for his clients and maximising their compliance with current and future regulations.
Christophe has obtained diplomas from institutions such as the University of Antwerp, the KU Leuven and the Brussels School of Competition, gaining the Master in Laws, Master after Master in Company Law, Master after Master in Intellectual Property Law, Master after Master in Corporate Law, LL.M. Competition Law & Economics, and a Postgraduate in Finance – Corporate Finance. He has also achieved both the certificates of Data Protection Officer and GDPR Lead Auditor, and is a certified mediator specialising in civil and trade affairs with a particular focus on conflicts regarding apartment co-ownership.
In addition to his position at the helm of Tecola, Christophe also currently serves as an associated professor at the AP University College Antwerp and at Syntra, where he teaches Constitutional Law, Construction & Property Law and IT Law. He is also involved in several scientific projects regarding those topics, publishing regularly in highly ranked scientific magazines, giving international lectures and symposia. Christophe is also the Chairman of the board of directors of Paralegals4Professionals, a non-profit organisation focused on the post-education of paralegals and the further development of their interests and skills.
As Tecola nears its fifth year of operation, its receipt of the award for Best Niche Technology & Privacy Law Firm 2021 in Belgium is a testament to its successes so far. Propelled by this accolade and its growing reputation for excellence, we can be sure to expect a continued positive trajectory for the future of Tecola.
For business enquires contact Christophe Baekeland of Tecola PLLC via www.tecola.be