Didier De Buyst is Civil Engineer (M.Sc. in Engineering) from Ghent University where he obtained his PhD. He is an alumnus of INSEAD and he also obtained degrees in corporate finance and negotiation from the Vlerick Business School and the Harvard Business School. Since nearly 30 years he acts as independent court surveyor in industrial claims for Belgian and Luxembourgian tribunals and courts and also for international commercial arbitration institutions. Since 2013 he is certified mediator in civil and commercial matters. In dispute resolution Didier De Buyst always tries to keep a keen eye on the business relying on his board room experience, mainly in Belgacom where he was at the board of directors from 1996 till 2006 and in the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre since 2009 where he is also member of the Financial Committee, chairman of the Myrrha project Supervisory Board since 2021 and vice-chairman of the Board of Governors since 2021 . At the same time he also pursues an academic career at the Hasselt University where he is visiting professor at the architecture faculty. Didier De Buyst was made Officer of the Order of the Crown by H.M. the King in 2021.
Niki Leys is judge of the Dutch speaking Brussels Commercial Court. He sits in cases on building and construction law and advocates alternate dispute resolution in such disputes. He is engaged in academic research at the Ghent University and lectures law at Karel de Grote University college. Prior to his appointment, he was a lawyer practising for several years in an international law firm before starting his own firm.
Gaëtan Auvray is Electromechanical Engineer (UCLouvain) and holds a complementary master in management (Solvay Brussels School). For several years, he worked on construction projects as well as for corporate functions for contractor BESIX, covering several aspects of project management. In 2017, Gaëtan Auvray founded the risk management department that he still heads today. The primary purpose of the department is to support the projects at their different stages of their lifecycle in identifying the risks, determining their importance using qualitative and quantitative approaches, determining the most appropriate response strategy and foreseeing and following up treatment measures.
Luc Imbrechts acts as contract consultant to as well employers, contractors, engineers and subcon-tractors. Specifically, he provides legal assistance on infrastructure and industrial projects located on- and offshore worldwide. These works involve(d) container and bulk cargo terminals, wind turbine and photovoltaic parks, battery energy storage, CO2 capture and storage, dredging and reclamation works, locks, N2 and biomass plants, etc. The contracts for such projects are generally D&B or EPC. Luc Imbrechts assist client at drafting tender documents, tender procedure management, contract negotiations, contract administration, claims correspondence and (alternative) dispute avoidance/resolution.
Kris De Langhe graduated in 1994 as a civil engineer in civil engineering at the University of Ghent, obtained the MBA degree in 2006 at the Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School and followed several other courses including business economics at the UAMS (University of Antwerp Management School), and various long-term seminars. For the MBA program at the Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School he developed as graduation project a model for investment analysis in project development: the IAP model.
From 1994 to 1999 he was project manager at Algemene Aannemingen Van Laere for large-scale projects, including two years in Berlin. From 1999 to 2004 he was member of the management team and director of works at Project², an Antwerp-based project developer of quality and large-scale developments. He teaches as a visiting professor investment analysis of project developments at the Antwerp Management School and the Artesis-Plantijn hogeschool.
In 2004 he founded Orientes. As Managing Director Kris is responsible for the general management of Orientes. Through his experience he is specialized in delegated construction management in all its aspects and financial analysis of projects. Furthermore he is the driving force behind innovations and the development of new products and services. He regularly acts as an expert for complex and often disruptive projects.
Based on his extensive experience, Kris specializes in delegated construction management of large and complex projects in all its aspects, in which stakeholder management and guidance of all kinds of cooperation agreements, PPP, DB(F)(M), corporate rights, bilateral cooperation form an important part.
Benoît Kohl is a professor at the law faculty of the Université de Liège, where he heads the department for contract law and construction law. He is also a guest lecturer at the Université de Paris II (Panthéon Assas), where he teaches European construction law. Moreover, at the law faculty of Liège, he is in charge of the programme of evening classes intended for construction professionals who wish to become legal experts. Benoît Kohl is also an attorney at the Brussel’s Bar. He concentrates on real estate law, construction law and contract law in general. Besides negotiating contracts, drawing up legal advice and structuring operations in relation to these matters, he has also dealt with various disputes before judicial courts and in arbitrational procedures. Besides, he often acts as an arbitrator in these matters. He has been appointed as arbitrator in many domestic or international cases (ICC, ad hoc, …). Since June 2020, Benoît Kohl is the President of the CEPANI, the Belgian Centre for Arbitration and Mediation (www.cepani.be). Between 2012 and 2017, he was also the Co-President of Cepani40. He is also appointed by the Belgian Minister of Justice to represent Belgium at the United Nations, for the negotiation of the UNCITRAL instruments on arbitration and alternative dispute resolution (https://uncitral.un.org/en/working_groups/2/arbitration). Benoît Kohl is a founding member of the Belgian Association for Construction Law (www.abdc.be). He was president of the association between 2010 and 2019. In 2011, he was appointed President of the European Society of Construction Law (www.escl.org). He is also a member of the International Academy of Construction Lawyers (http://int-acl.org).
Marco Schoups obtained his law degree magna cum laude in 1986 at the KU Leuven. He is a lawyer at the Bar of the province of Antwerp and the Bar of Brussels. Marco has thirty five years of experience assisting companies with proceedings and arbitration, as well as with contract work, providing advice and conducting negotiations. He regularly publishes and gives lectures as well as in-house trainings. Marco Schoups was President of the Bar Association of the Bar of the province of Antwerp from 2018 till 2020 and is managing director of BV Schoups. Since 2020 Marco teaches the practical course “Construction Law” at the KU Leuven. He is listed with Legal 500 and Chambers as Leading Individual in the category Real Estate and Construction. Marco is vice-President of the NGO Avocats sans Frontières. He is member of the Board of Directors of Cepani vzw, The Belgian Centre for Arbitration and Mediation. He is a registered mediator in civil and commercial matters and allowed to the program Mediating Disputes in June 2022, Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA, USA.