A Word of Introduction

GCO is an independent law firm specialising in all aspects of EU Regulatory law. GCO is based in Brussels Belgium, the city headquarters of the key institutions of the European Union.

Our client base is predominantly international. We often work with companies with no formal presence in Brussels or in the EU.

As our work often involves highly technical issues, we regularly work with, or create, multi-disciplinary teams of advisers.

Above all we aim to provide our clients with effective advice and counselling which responds to their specific needs, remembering all the time that our role is to develop winning strategies for our clients not merely to offer legal advice.

On 15 February, the European Parliament voted in favour of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the EU and Canada (CETA), with a following ratification from Canada on 17 May 2017. At the G-20 meeting in Hamburg, the date of 21 September has been communicated as the start of the CETA's provisional application.

On 6 July 2017, the EU and Japan reached a general political agreement over the negotiations of the Economic Partnership Agreement, however the agreement is not signed yet (investment protection and regulatory cooperation are still open for negotiations).

In long-awaited Opinion 2/15, the Court of Justice rendered its opinion that following matters fall within the EU shared competence:

  • Investor-to-state Dispute Settlement (ISDS),
  • The Non-direct Foreign Investment,
  • State-to-State dispute settlement relating to portfolio investment and ISDS.