Els Empereur

Els Empereur

Lawyer - Director, PwC Legal BV/SRL

With more than 20 years’ experience, Els specialises in administrative and public law as well as real estate, with an emphasis on project development, planning and permits (building, environmental and retail permits).

In this respect, Els advises public authorities, multinationals, companies, Belgian and foreign investors and developers with regulatory and real estate related matters, including building, environmental and socio-economical permits, real estate planning, redevelopment of industrial sites and large-scale infrastructure projects, as well as mixed and retail projects and large-scale housing.

This includes assistance relating to the delivery of necessary authorisations, negotiations and cooperation with public authorities, follow-up of administrative aspects and drafting of contracts, as well as handling of complex litigation before judicial and administrative courts. She also assists various public authorities in the drafting of legislation and advised the Flemish Government on planning issues and Brownfield projects.

Her clients include a mix of private companies and large public authorities, located in the Flemish, Walloon or Brussels Capital Region.

Els is the author of numerous books on urban planning and real estate, including “Jaarboek Administratief Economisch Recht” and “De milieuvergunning in het Vlaams Gewest”, as well as articles in legal reviews such as Panorama Codex Stedebouw, Larcier Wetboeken, Vlarebo, Vlaremi, Rec. Arr. Rvst, Handboek Bouwrecht, and UGA.

She regularly speaks at conferences and seminars on matters concerning retail permits, environmental and building permits. She is also a member of the editorial board of the legal magazine “Review of Building Law and Real Estate”.

Els is fluent in French, English and Dutch.

Professional background

2017 - present

Advocaat vennoot/Avocat associé, PwC Legal - Member of the Antwerp Bar

1999 - 2017

Partner, DLA Piper

1994 - 1999

Partner, Belgian law firm  

Publications (selection)

  • Brownsfields in Vlaanderen”, Empereur E. en Martens B. (ed.), 2016, Wolters Kluwer, 420 p.
  • Grond en Pandendecreet, de gevolgen van de vernietiging”, Empereur E., (co-auteur) 2016, Intersentia, 201 p.
  • Complexe Projecten”, Empereur E. en Hectors K., 2016, Omgeving Terecht, Larcier, 58 p.
  • Rechtspraak Raad voor Vergunningsbetwistingen (ruimtelijke ordening en stedenbouw) in kort bestek”, Empereur E., Van Giel I.,TBO 2012, 172 – 183
  • Het Handhavingsplan Ruimtelijke Ordening: een nieuwe dimensie in het handhavingsbeleid?” Empereur E., Hectors K., TBO 2011, afl.1, 22-24

Academic Experience or roles in professional organisation

  • Member of several editorial boards (Panorama Codex Stedenbouw, Larcier Wetboeken, Review of Building Law and Real Estate - 2010)
  • Member of the Municipal Planning Commission (GECORO) of Schoten (2000 - 2012)


  • Real estate, Public law


  • Public Law


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