Personal text

Stijn Claeys wrote a PhD thesis on distribution law and has taken a keen interest in retail matters ever since.

For more than 15 years, he has been assisting companies in choosing an appropriate distribution model and helping clients to manage their relationships with distributors, landlords and suppliers in a wide range of sectors. Stijn has a long track record in drafting trade agreements. He also boasts a wealth of expertise in competition law. Stijn also frequently provides advice about e-commerce and intellectual property issues. Stijn has several published contributions about distribution law and related topics to his credit ad frequently speaks and lecturers on these topics.



Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, KUL (Master’s degree, 2002)


Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, KUL (Doctor in laws, 2009)

Lawyer since 2008

  • Since 2018 Lawyer – Partner at RACINE
  • Since 2016 Lawyer – Counsel at RACINE
  • 2008-2015 Lawyer at CMS Belgium, departments of commercial and competition law
  • 2008-2015 Professor at Lessius Business School Antwerpen (Ecnomic law), GroepT Leuven (Commercial law)
  • 2002-2008 Phd Assistant KUL (2002-2008), PhD thesis on the franchise agreement  (published in 2009, Bruges, Die Keure)


Dutch, French, English



  • “Franchising”, Bruges, Die Keure, 2009, (668 p.).

Contributions in compendia

  • “Chapter VI. Franchise agreement”, in Compendium Distribution law,  Mechelen, Kluwer, nr. 26, November 2023, 4-104.
  • Introduction:  Precontractual phase: Disclore obligations and documents for distribution agreements, Book X Title 2 Belgian Code of Economic Law’’ in Compendium Distribution Law, Mechelen , Kluwer, part 25, Jnauary 2023, 1-81.
    “Belgium, Franchise & licensing”, in The Legal 500 Country Comparative Guides 2021.
    “Distribution law. Sense or non sense of statutory intervention” in S. DE REY, N. VAN DAMME en T. GLADINEZ (eds.) Grenzen Voorbij Antwerpen, Intersentia 2020, 319-635.
  • Franchising, in Advocatenpraktijk, nr. 29, May 2014, (120p)
  • “De juridische verankering van het Distributienetwerk”, in P. DEMOLIN en B. SIMPLEARE en L. HAWKES, Commercial Distribution/ La Distribution commerciale/ Commerciële distributie, Brussels, Larcier, 2014, 119-155
  • “De wet van 19 december 2005 met betrekking tot de precontractuele informatie bij commerciële samenwerkingsovereenkomsten – Evaluatie van zeven jaar rechtspraak”, in Retail Aperçu Juridique –  juridisch bekeken, Brusselss, Larcier, 2014, 43-78
  • “Franchising”, in Artikelsgewijze commentaar, Bijzondere Overeenkomsten, Mechelen, Kluwer, 2014, afl 96, p. 69-155
    Chapter VII. B “Franchising” in Recht voor de onderneming, ed. 67, 2013, Mechelen, Kluwer, nr. 20-3.
  • “Informatieplichten en documenten” in Distributiecontracten, Knops Publishing, 2011, p. 11-72.
  • “De Franchiseovereenkomst: Koninginnenstuk van de distributiesector?” in XIII Handels en Economisch recht deel I ondernemingsrecht, in Beginselen van Belgisch Privaat Recht, Mechelen , Kluwer, 2011, p. 1229-1241.
  • “Precontractuele fase: de informatieplichten en – documenten bij distributiecontracten”, in XIII Handels en Economisch recht deel I Ondernemingsrecht, in Beginselen van Belgisch Privaat Recht, Mechelen , Kluwer, 2011, p. 939-985.
  • Chapter 3 « Overeenkomsten met consumenten », in T. Heremans (ed.) De nieuwe wet marktpraktijken en consumentenbescherming – La nouvelle loi relative aux pratiques du marché et à la protection du consommateur; een volledig overzicht van oud en nieuw; tout sur l’ancien et le nouveau régime, Ghent, Larcier, 2010, p. 65-92.
  • “Het einde van de Franchiseovereenkomst”, in E. Terryn (ed.) Beëindiging van overeenkomsten met Handelstussenpersonen, in reeks Recht en onderneming, Bruges, Die Keure, 2009, 419-480.
  • «Loi du 19 décembre 2005 relative à l’information précontractuelle dans le cadre d’accords de partenariat», in La protection du Franchisé au début du XXIe siècle, Entre réalité et illusions, Paris, L’Harmattan, 2009, p. 179-235.

Annotations of case law

  • Annotation of Brussels 10 December 2008, D.A.O.R. 2009, no. 90, 152.

Articles in legal periodicals

  • « Pourquoi inclure ses distributeurs dans sa stratégie e-commerce », Trends, dossier Retail,September 2016.
    F. BRUYNS and S. CLAEYS “Het eigendomsrecht van de Leasinggever”, D.A.O.R. 2016, nr 119, 6.
  • “Nieuwe wet Precontractuele Informatie, oplossing voor oude problemen”, D.A.O.R. 2014, 81-95.
  • “Boek X Wetboek economisch recht lost verwachtingen niet in”, Juristenkrant 14 mei 2014.
  • “Niet naleven van de Wet Precontractuele Informatie kan zuur opbreken”, D.A.O.R. 2009, nr. 92, p. 392.
  • “Precontractuele marktstudies zijn bij franchiseovereenkomsten geen afdwingbare garanties”, D.A.O.R. 2007, no. 84, p. 493.
  • “Het onderscheid tussen een commerciële samenwerkingsovereenkomst en de arbeidsovereenkomst”, D.A.O.R. 2007, no. 84, p. 501.
  • “De partnerschapsovereenkomst en de bijstandsverplichting”, D.A.O.R. 2007, nr. 84, p. 511.
  • “Precontractuele informatie bij commerciële samenwerkingsovereenkomsten. Wet van 19 december 2005”, N.J.W. 2006, 290.
  • “De bijstandsverplichting van de franchisegever en het gevaar gekwalificeerd te worden als feitelijk bestuurder”, D.A.O.R. 2004, no. 70, p. 3.


  • Member Belgian Franchise Federation
  • Member of the association for the study of competition law
  • Member of the Belgian Leasing association
  • Arbiter for the Institute of Arbitration


  • 3We have experience with Stijn Claeys and his team. They understand the business, they attack the core problem, and they give adequate and honest advice. We especially appreciate the transparency and pragmatic approach of dealing with our files. Down-to-earth approach, accessibility of partner (Legal 500 2022 Commercial Corporate and M&A)
  • “Stijn Claeys applies his profound legal technical knowledge to real business situations” (Legal 500 2018 Commercial Corporate and M&A)
  • “Stijn Claeys has been selected by our research with clients and peers as being among the world’s leading franchise lawyers..” (Who’s Who Legal: Franchise 2015 and Who’s Who Legal 2017 – Compendium Edition)

Practice Areas

  • Dispute Resolution
  • Commercial
  • IP/IT
  • Real Estate
  • Competition law
Apply form V2
Upload your resume *

Maximum file size: 10MB

Upload your motivation letter

Maximum file size: 10MB

By applying, you accept that the information entered will be processed according to Racine's privacy policy to enable us to contact you.