MAURITS J.F. LUGARD leads Sidley’s Life Sciences team in Brussels, a part of Sidley’s premier Global Life Sciences group. Maurits has an uncommon wealth of experience in EU law, drawing on his tenure within the European Commission and on years of private practice in the regulatory capitals of Brussels and Washington, D.C.
Maurits’ practice focuses on helping clients navigate the complex web of EU and Member State rules and procedures with an emphasis on food, drugs, medical devices, cosmetics and biotechnology. He helps corporate clients and trade associations shape future legislation and advises on the complex legal issues of the current regulations in areas such as pharmacovigilance (drug safety), clinical trials, marketing authorizations, advertising and promotional issues, labeling and the application of the precautionary principle.
Maurits also advises clients on a broad range of market access and product safety issues such as GMP compliance, life-cycle management, product recall procedures, adverse events, health claims, in-vitro diagnostics, implantable medical devices, food additives, parallel trade and supply chain management. He also advises on pharmaceutical contractual issues, including distribution, supply, manufacturing, R&D and other cooperation agreements in Europe. He has represented clients in matters before the European Commission, the European Medicines Agency, the European Food Safety Authority and Member State authorities.
He assists a range of multinational pharmaceutical clients with product commercialization and marketing, as well as clinical trials and product recalls.
Maurits is widely recognized as a leader in the EU regulatory sphere. Year on year, he and the firm’s EU Life Sciences team feature prominently in the rankings of the leading bar publications, such as Chambers, Best Lawyers in Belgium, and Who’s Who Legal. Most recently, he was recognized in Chambers Europe 2023, where clients stated that “he has a strategic, pragmatic, multi-stakeholder approach that brings lots of value to the discussions and risk management.” In the 2022 Chambers Europe edition, clients enthused that he is “very good to work with” because he is “very pragmatic and fast.” In the 2020 edition, sources describe Maurits as “always an excellent partner.” Chambers Belgium 2019 picked Maurits out as “a very good regulatory lawyer.” Market commentators in the 2018 edition state that he is “good technically and a nice person to work with.” Maurits is also recommended in Who’s Who Legal 2023 and 2022. In the 2019 edition, he was named as “one of the highly sought-after lawyers in the market.” His broad practice encompasses most regulatory and market access issues. Maurits has also been described by clients as having “great technical and subject matter expertise and provides fantastic client support,” adding that he has “a real grasp on the key issues facing global pharmaceutical companies” (Chambers Europe 2017). Maurits has also been listed in the LMG Life Sciences Guide 2014 for regulatory, where peers describe him as “one of the most capable attorneys in dealing with the EU,” and he has been recognized in Best Lawyers in Belgium since 2012.
In addition to EU life sciences regulatory issues, Maurits also advises on EU regulatory issues involving chemicals and the environment. He helps clients conduct risk assessments and advises on anti-corruption compliance and government enforcement, including FCPA investigations.
Prior to entering private practice, Maurits gained nine years of regulatory and legal experience at the European Commission. During a three-year term at the European Commission’s Legal Service, Maurits advised on health and safety related trade barriers. In particular, he dealt with sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures and technical barriers to trade (TBT). He was responsible for analyzing draft legislation prepared by the Directorate-General for Environment and the Directorate-General for Health and Consumer Protection (DG Santé), including amendments to the EU Cosmetics Directive. He was also the European Commission’s legal counsel on its Communication on the precautionary principle. Maurits also spent six years at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Enterprise.