Karolien Vandenberghe

Karolien Vandenberghe

Senior Managing Associate, PwC Legal BV/SRL

Karolien Vandenberghe is a member of the Customs and Trade team, based in Brussels, Belgium. As an EU and US qualified attorney, she provides legal advice on customs, economic sanctions, including the extraterritorial reach of US sanctions programmes and the EU Blocking Statute, export control (dual-use), and foreign direct investment. In addition, as a member of the PwC Legal Core Brexit team, she advises companies on industry-specific regulatory requirements, for example with regard to chemicals (REACH), cosmetics, medical devices, and engineering. Areas covered are compliance programmes, transactional due diligence, and remediation.

As an attorney qualified in Belgium and the United States, Ms Vandenberghe is an experienced lawyer, who has practiced in the United States and in Belgium for more than 15 years. With a practice focused on cross-border aspects of law, EU and US customs law, and international trade, she possesses significant international experience. In the United States, Ms Vandenberghe has advised companies on economic sanctions, tariff classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule, valuation rules, the applicability of free trade agreements on operations, preferential trade programmes, country‐of-origin rules, supply chain safety, and export compliance. In Belgium, she has advised clients on complex commercial contracts, often involving conflict of laws. In addition, she has represented clients in international arbitration and in Belgian litigation (e.g. commercial disputes, customs fraud and fraud).

Ms Vandenberghe holds a Juris Doctor (JD) from the University of Pennsylvania Law School (United States), an LLM in Public Law from the University of Stellenbosch (South Africa), a law degree (cum laude) from the University of Antwerp (Belgium), and a pre-law degree from the Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix, Namur, (Belgium). She has been admitted to practice in Belgium (Brussels Bar), the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia. In addition, she is admitted to the US Court of International Trade.

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

  • Representative, Belgian National Customs Forum (Nationaal Forum/Forum National)
  • AmCham Belgium, Chair, Customs & Trade Subcommittee
  • Presenter, rules of professional conduct (ethics)
  • Martindale-Hubbell, Client Champion Award (Silver), 2017 – 2020



  • Customs & Trade - Brexit Services - Economic Sanctions and Dual-Use - Regulatory


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