1 December 2022 –  Panel discussion on Neurodiversity

On 1 December LDIA celebrated the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, with a focus on neurodiversity.
We were very honored to welcome Chantel FOUCHE, Secretary of ADHD, ASC, and LD Belgium, Emily Rammant, Neurodiversity Champion and Business coach at YIN United on inclusive leadership and culture, Muriel Marseille, Global Chief Risk Officer, at Ashurst and Koen Deweer, CEO of Konekt.
This wonderful panel discussion was moderated by Rosa Oyarzabal, Attorney at Covington & Burling LLP.
Very interesting discussions took place about how to go beyond awareness and intent to offer concrete opportunities to disabled and neurodivergent lawyers and staff. 
See photos


24 November 2022 – Lunch & Learn / LDIA Bi-monthly meeting, hosted by Allen & Overy (members only)

We are delighted to announce that Chokri Ben Chikha is joining us as a guest speaker tomorrow, Thursday, November 24 at our next Lunch & Learn session. Ben Chokri is the author of the book: “Zoo Humain, de blije terugkeer van de barbaar”.

Chokri Ben Chikha is an international performer/artistic director/researcher. He obtained a Master in History at Ghent University and accomplished additional trainings as theatre-maker, actor, dancer and choreographer. He has taught at several institutions: LUCA – School of Arts Ghent, RITS Brussel, Toneelacademie Maastricht, Universiteit Antwerpen. Since 2007 he is lecturer and researcher in arts at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Ghent (KASK). Between 2003-2008 he was artistic director, theater-maker and performer for the international performance group Union Suspecte. Chokri Ben Chikha interrupted his theatre activities in order to focus on a PhD in the Arts at KASK/UGent, entitled “What is the critical value to use stereotypes as signs in theatre? The ‘human zoo’ as a (re)search tool”. This research project made the link between colonial history and the post-colonial present by using the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the world exhibition in Ghent (1913). The research project gave rise to the foundation of the international performance company Action Zoo Humain (AZH) and the multidisciplinary performance The Truth Commission (2013) in Ghent. The production was performed in Cape Town, South Africa (2014) and in the old courthouse in Antwerp (2016).

27 September 2022 – LDIA bi-monthly meeting (members only)

So nice to meet again in person to discuss our events to close out another wonderful LDIA year.

Thank you Clifford Chance for hosting.

Watch this space!

#ldia #diversityandinclusion #togetherwearestronger


15 June 2022 – LDIA bi-monthly meeting with guest speaker Emmanuelle Verhagen (members only)

Emmanuelle Verhagen, MBA, CPCC is a Diversity & Inclusion professional, Co-active Leadership Coach, intersex & transgender spokesperson and human rights activist, as well as playwright/theatre maker.   Following a corporate career in international market research, and having co-founded a global brand advisory firm, they are an independent DEI consultant working with a wide range of companies and organisations in their diversity, equity and inclusion programmes.   As a certified co-active coach they design inclusive approaches to leadership for private, public and social profit organisations. They are also certified as a cultural change consultant enabling values-driven systemic change in organisations. A practice they enhance with their deep democracy facilitation skills.  Finally, they bring a voice to the intersex community in their quest to end non-consensual surgery on children born with an intersex variation, a practice that is still very present in our European space. Their actions have led a.o. to including “sex characteristics” as a protected criterion in anti-discrimination laws.


21 June – World Refugee Day hosted by Covington (members only)

LDIA, Covington & Burling and the NGO Serve the City organized a hybrid event in honour of World Refugee Day, on June 21, 2022.

19.00 Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Brussels
  • Facts & Figures
  • Reality on the ground
Farah Al-Saidi

(Intercultural Mediator at Bxl Refugees, Volunteer at Serve the City Brussels)

19.15 Being a Refugee is not a Choice: Sharing a Personal Story
  • How I get here
  • Life in new country
  • Where I am now
Mahmoud Qeshreh

(Project leader at Serve the City Brussels)

19.45 What Can You Do: Serve the City
  • What is Serve the City
  • Volunteering projects supporting refugees
Sara Tchaparian

(EU Projects Manager at Serve the City International)

20.00 Networking



21 May – Belgian Pride

LDIA proudly participated, together with Open@Work, in the Belgian Pride.  

We stood with those who have fought so hard over the years to achieve LGBTQI+ rights and took a moment to reflect on the progress that has been made towards LGBTQI+ equality.  It was also a time to acknowledge that we still have so much more to do.  LGBTQI+ people still face unacceptable stigma and discrimination – not to forget homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in the media and social media.



In January 2019, an open letter was published (in the American Lawyer) with the title ‘Improve on Diversity or Lose our business’.  During our 3rd anniversary celebration of the launch of LDIA, we hosted a panel discussion entitled ‘DEI in the legal profession’.  One of the topics discussed was why it is so important to companies that law firms commit to diversity and inclusion.  The panel discussion was moderated by Claudia de Castro Caldeirinha, Senior Leadership Specialist, Author and keynote speaker.

Meet our impressive speakers who shared their expertise and experience, plus provided useful insight on DEI programs and tools used at their companies and organizations:
Zoe Kimberley, Area Counsel, Region South & CEE, AbbVie
Luke Vincett, Diversity & Inclusion Manager, Chambers and Partners
Agapi Patsa, Legal counsel for EU Affairs, Google
Romanie Dendooven, Legal & Corporate Affairs Director, BENEFRALUX at Anheuser-Busch InBev
Bart Abeel, Director, Micro Focus Belux
Isabelle Ekierman, Partner at Sagrek and candidate au Dauphinat 2022 chez Barreau de Bruxelles
We were very honored as well that Deputy Prime Minister Petra De Sutter opened the evening with an inspiring speech.

Location: Le Châtelain Hotel Brussels

See photos.
Photos by Lala Belyaevskaya – www.lalafoto.com


8 March – International Women’s Day

Several LDIA members proudly celebrated IWD by organizing various events in their respective offices.

See photos.


27 January – International Holocaust Remembrance Day 

Sidley Austin LLP and LDIA have commemorated International Holocaust Remembrance Day by holding an exclusive 1-hour program featuring:

Eli Wald, Professor, Sturm College of Law, who has studied the way anti-Semitism plagued white shoe firms for decades

Maram Stern, CEO of the World Jewish Congress

The program was moderated by Richard Weiner, Founding Partner of Sidley’s Brussels office and Yohan Benizri, President of the Belgian Federation of Jewish Organizations.