Karolien Vandenberghe

Senior Managing Associate, PwC Legal BV/SRL

Karolien, an attorney qualified in Belgium and the United States, has practiced as an international trade and customs lawyer in the U.S., as well as an international commercial and contracts lawyer in Belgium for more than thirteen years. With a practice focused on cross-border aspects of business law, EU and U.S. customs law, and international trade, Karolien possesses significant international experience. In the U.S., Karolien has advised companies on economic sanctions administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) within the U.S. Treasury Department, on tariff classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS), valuation rules, the applicability of free trade agreements on operations (US CBP audits), preferential trade programs (e.g., GSP), country‐of-origin rules (e.g., Double Substantial Transformation), supply chain safety, and export compliance (EAR). In Belgium, Karolien has advised clients on commercial contracts related to goods and services (e.g., agencies, distributorships, data management, engineering and construction, operations, and sales), customs, international arbitration, conflict of laws, and international jurisdiction. In addition, Karolien has litigated commercial, criminal (e.g., fraud and money laundering), and customs disputes before the Belgian courts. Karolien holds a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School (Philadelphia, U.S.), an LL.M. in Public Law from the University of Stellenbosch (Stellenbosch, South Africa), a law degree (cum laude) from the University of Antwerp (Antwerp, Belgium), and a pre-law degree from the Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix (Namur, Belgium). Karolien is admitted to practice in Belgium (Brussels Bar), the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia. Karolien speaks Dutch, English, French, and German. 

Professional background

2017 - present

Senior Managing Associate at PwC Legal - Member of the Brussels Bar

2015 - 2017

Senior Associate in the International Commercial Practice of a regional law firm (Brussels, Belgium)

2011 - 2015

Associate in the Global Regulatory Enforcement Practice of an international law firm and in the Customs & Trade practice of a national law firm (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.)

2000 - 2008

Attorney in the General Commercial Litigation Practice of a national law firm, serving international clients (Brussels, Belgium)


  • Agents and Employees May be Liable for Customs Violations”, The Legal Intelligencer, In-House Column, October 2014, T.J. O’Donnell and K. Vandenberghe
  • Attorney-Client Contract”, Advocatenpraktijk, Kluwer, 2013, J. Lambers and K. Vandenberghe
  • Commercial Agency Contract”, Bij Voorbeeld, Kluwer, 2008, J. Lambers and K. Vandenberghe
  • Judicial Appointment of an Expert”, Bij Voorbeeld, Kluwer, 2008, J. Lambers and K. Vandenberghe
  • Directors’ Liability”, Jaarrekening en Balans, Kluwer, 2003

Academic Experience, Awards & Extracurricular Activities

  • Presenter, Introduction to Contracts, professional seminar, IFE, 2016 & 2017
  • Presenter, Amendments to the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct, CLE Seminar, The Legal Intelligencer, Philadelphia, March 2014
  • Presenter, How Companies and Executives Run Afoul of Trade Sanctions: The Impact of Trade Sanctions on Business, CLE Seminar, GACC, Philadelphia, May 2013
  • Presenter, What is My Duty to Report My Client’s (Alleged) Misconduct?, CLE Seminar, The Legal Intelligencer, Philadelphia, October 2012
  • Presenter, Attorney Pitfalls with Social Media and E-mail: Ethics Considerations Raised by Social Media and Dangers to the Attorney-Client Privilege, CLE Seminar, DELVACCA, Philadelphia, August 2012
  • Client Communiqué, Cosmetic Sets Return to the Essentials. The Court of International Trade Rejects Customs’ Prior Rulings on Retail Sets in Reusable Containers, Estée Lauder, Inc. v. United States, April 2012
  • European Insolvency Regulation: Some Questions for the Main and Secondary Administrator, Insolvency Conference, Milan, May 2007
  • European Insolvency Regulation: Four Years of Experience, DIRO, Barcelona, May 2006 (with N. Crama)
  • Discrimination in Belgian Employment Law, Legalink, Rome, October 2005
  • Protection of Confidential Information and Trade Secrets in Employment, Legalink, Vienna, May 2004
  • Presenter, Consumer Protection in the Acquis Communautaire, PHARE Seminar, Brussels, November 2003
  • Comparative Corporate Governance: The Belgian Experience, Legalink, July 2003
  • Member, Planning Committee, Global Philadelphia Foundation, 2015
  • Founding member, Brazil-Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce, Philadelphia, 2014
  • Chair, Continuing Legal Education, German American Chamber of Commerce, Philadelphia, 2013-2014
  • Research Assistant, Insurance Law, Prof. Tom Baker, University of Pennsylvania Law School, 2010-2011
  • Editor, Res et Jura Immobilia, Bruylant, 2006-2008
  • Martindale-Hubbell, Client Champion Award (Silver), 2017


Contact details

Tel: +32 472 90 08 79



  • Tax Policy - Dispute Resolution & Litigation
  • Brexit services


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