Areas of Practice
Yaniss' practice focuses on the intersection between public policy, government affairs and legal advocacy. He brings interdisciplinary insights, combining legal, political and business experience to enable his clients to successfully realize policy risk assessments and compliance, monitor relevant policy developments and effectively advocate their interests towards key EU institutions and EMEA governments. With over 15 years of experience in EU Policy, international trade and strategic business development, Yaniss has worked with a multitude of corporations, financial institutions, non-profit organizations and government bodies. Yaniss started his career as an expert advisor on international trade and trade negotiations within the WTO's Doha Development Agenda, where he advised governments, corporations and trade associations on a range of intricate political and legal challenges including investment promotion, cultural services and goods, defense contracting and free trade. In 2007, Yaniss joined AHEL, the consulting arm of The International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, where he focused on advising Fortune 500 companies at executive and board levels on geopolitical and military risk, investment policy development. In this role he supported the business expansion of European and US companies in the Far and Near East. In more recent years Yaniss has worked in senior positions for leading global law firms assisting them with their regional expansion, client development strategies and legal services packaging.
The EU legislative process is becoming ever more complex. It is important to bring to clients an understanding of the regulatory and legislative activity in specific areas such as competition policy, international trade, consumer protection, the Internet and e-commerce, financial services, and life sciences. With this targeted approach, clients’ issues can be spotted early, providing further opportunities to advocate their interests.
Development of Strategies and Alliances
Assisting clients in establishing coalitions, associations and alliances to lobby on EU issues is a key value in supporting clients’ ambitions and strategic interests. This includes drafting and defending concept papers, bringing together defense groups, helping to recruit association members, developing work plans, and supporting ongoing work to maintain momentum towards legislators and regulating authorities.
Advocacy and Communication
Act as a direct advocate on behalf of clients and provide behind-the-scenes support to companies’ own personnel, bringing them experience in developing strategies towards various stakeholders including European Commission, the European Parliament, and the Council of Ministers.
Policy development is a long term game, and companies and associations need to plan long term if they want to establish themselves as successful players in the process. Clients need to think through their positioning in Brussels, integrate their corporate citizenship and governmental affairs efforts, and develop effective long term relationships with policy makers. The complex procedural rules that govern EU legislative and regulatory proceedings, (including consultation, codecision, and comitology procedures) can be overwhelming for clients. Expertise is required to help them through these proceedings and identify the points at which opportunities are greatest to ensure their voice is heard.
Data Protection, GDPR
Yaniss has launched the EU Data Protection practice in our Brussels office. He has a particular focus on complex cross-border data transfers. He regularly publishes and speaks on topics relating to EU Data Protection for multinationals, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)and EU-US Data Transfers. He advises a number of companies on challenging issues such as data breaches, data transfers in the framework of e-Discovery, e-Commerce and the use of new technologies in profiling and tracking. He assists multinationals with the drafting and implementation of various data protection policies, vendor agreements and cross functional compliance programs. Yaniss has also guided companies through large projects to get them compliant and up to speed with the GDPR.
•Represented ALSTOM in a phase II merger review process before the European Commission
•Advised AsiaSat on the lease of satellites to Iran and related export control issues
•Advised AsiaSat on their commercial relations with Pakistan and the risks associated with certain entities
•Assisted multinationals with exploring alternative credit mechanisms to the trade finance tools offered by the ExIm bank
•Advised a major electronics company on short and long term lease agreements in Europe and the related customs and VAT implications.
•Advised Orolia SA with the acquisition of Eurazeo SA of 50.1% of its shares and assisted with the CFIUS filings required for the deal completion.
•Assisted GEE Media with the drafting recordkeeping policies, advised on the establishment of data management systems and compliance.
•Advised KSAT on the changes to the US satellite regulation for commercial satellites and related export restrictions.
•Advised a leading communications analysis provider on Iran sanctions and EU and US policy changes pursuant to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
•Advised the world’s leading aircraft refurbishment company on Iran sanctions and EU and US policy changes pursuant to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
•Advised a leading Korean Electronics company on the application of double taxation treaties on the payment of follow-on damages.
•Advised Toyota Motors on the implementation of the Transpacific Partnership and regulatory convergence.
•Advised a Scandinavian tobacco company on applicable on-line sales and customs regulations in the US.
•Advised Belgian and French governments on subsidies to the music and film industry and the protection of cultural goods and services within the liberalization proposals of the World Trade Organization's Doha Agenda.
•Assisted the Egyptian Ministry of Trade and Industry in their negotiations with the EU to upgrade industrial standards to allow for export to the EU and to access cooperation and capacity building funds.
•Consulted ASEAN and MERCOSUR food producing and processing companies on the implementation of EU complying sanitary and phytosanitary standards, packaging norms and supply chain and tractability measures to allow export to the EU.
•Assisted the European Association of Chambers of Commerce, in formulating defense strategies against monopoly allegations for the sale of export certificates.
•Consulted various EU member states on the compatibility of ACP-EU (The African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States and the EU agreement) commitments and WTO policy in the field of agricultural goods.
•Formulated and defended common policies for the various Belgian federated entities in the framework of the European Union legislative process with a focus on scientific cooperation, cultural subsidies, investment and trade promotion and the treatment of minorities.
•Advised on the legislative reforms to EU-funded assistance schemes of the EIC (Euro Info Centre's) and investment and trade promotion systems across Europe and the impact on their local structures, procurement rules, subsidies and state aid policies.
•Assisted several companies and multinationals to tender for EU scientific research and development funds, set up cross border networks of academic institutions and private partnerships to access EU structural funds. Managed budgets and reporting systems on behalf of rewarded parties.
•Advised the chemical cluster in the port of Antwerp, including major French and German Petrochemical companies, on the implications and implementation process of REACH (European Regulation on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals).
•Advised Belgian and Dutch seaports on the EU’s liberalization of port services and built strategic alliances to include exceptions and delay the implementation of new regulation.
•Implemented EU-sponsored trade capacity building projects in the SADC region (Southern African Development Community) in the framework of NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa's Development) with a focus on mining and financial institutions.
•Represented a leading UK financial institution in defending non-separation of activities before the EU Commission following the financial crisis of 2007-2008.
•Supported a team of lawyers in an impact assessment study and in developing strategies for a leading Tobacco company to delay the implementation of the EU plain packaging directive.
•Assisted a South African defense company in gaining access to EU markets and in obtaining trade and export licenses for a 1.3 billion USD contract.
•Represented a Defense and Security subsidiary of a leading French-German conglomerate, in a 20 billion USD border control deal and high tech security fence in Saudi Arabia and in obtaining preliminary EU clearance and support.
•2018 EU Competition & Regulatory Trends
Sheppard Mullin EU Competition Alert , January 24, 2018
Antitrust Law Blog Posts
• Top 12 EU Legal Developments to Watch in 2017, January 23, 2017
• Brexit, Here We Come (or Go), June 24, 2016
• The European Commission’s New Pandora’s Box - Reopening Final Tax Rulings as a Form of “State Aid , October 22, 2015
Global Trade Law Blog Posts
• 2018 EU Trade, Regulatory and Competition Trends, February 8, 2018
• EU-US Privacy Shield: Brace Yourself . . . or Maybe Not, March 3, 2016
• EU-US Privacy Shield: Still Awaiting Certainty, February 9, 2016
Eye on Privacy Blog Posts
• What You Really Need To Know About The GDPR, January 25, 2017
•Egypt Charges Ex-Football President with Criminal Abuse of Dominance
Global Competition Review , March 17, 2017
• Breakfast with Europe Webinar Series
March 16, 2017
•The Court of Justice of the European Union as a catalyst for a closer Union
European Studies Institute of Berkeley, University of California , November 17, 2016
•The Future of Multinational Corporate Taxation in the European Union - Impact of Ongoing EU State Aid Investigations
University of Stanford’s Europe Center
November 14, 2016
•Is Europe Still an Attractive Unified Market for U.S. Corporations? Successfully Expanding Into Europe
Cuckoo’s Nest/Bootup Ventures
Menlo Park California , November 14, 2016
• Breakfast with Europe Webinar Series
November 3, 2016
• Breakfast with Europe Webinar Series
October 6, 2016
• Doing Business with Arab Countries : Seeing Beyond the Horizon
Noorderlaan 87 -2030 Antwerp , September 21, 2016
•FCPA & Anti-Corruption for the Life Sciences Industry
American Conference Institute's 10th Advanced Forum
Park Lane Hotel, New York , April 27, 2016
•Why Multinationals Should Care about EU State Aid - Is it a Tax Break or a Competition Risk?
Sheppard Mullin Palo Alto
January 19, 2016
•Board Member, [email protected], a non-profit organization supporting entrepreneurship in disadvantaged communities in Belgium
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