Defence team

Since its creation, V-Europe has been representing the victims of the 22 March 2016 terrorist attacks that took place in Zaventem and Maelbeek.

V-Europe has fought for the creation of a framework for compensation for the victims of the attacks.

It has participated in the parliamentary board of inquiry and in parliamentary work, and, on a daily basis, helps the victims of the attacks with their cases and giving them support. V-Europe has also been officially recognised by the Belgian authorities as spokesperson and support body for the victims.

Because in order to fight terrorism, we need to face up to it. V-Europe has actively participated in several major terrorist trials: the trial for the Rue du Dries shooting, the trial for the attack at the Jewish Museum of Brussels, and the trial for the 13 November 2015 Paris attack.

Armed with this experience in criminal and judicial matters, V-Europe intends to play a major role in the trial for the Brussels terrorist attacks, which will start in October of this year and will last nine months.

In order to effectively represent the victims and defend their interests, V-Europe has put together a defence team of leading, renowned and experienced criminal lawyers.

The lawyers

Adrien Masset

Member of the Liège-Huy and Verviers Bars since 1983, and recognised specialist in criminal law. 

​ Professor of criminal law and criminal procedure at the Faculty of Law of the University of Liège.

​ Expert for the parliamentary commission of inquiry on the Brabant killings (organised crime or terrorism).

Co-chair of the working groups for the creation of a Federal Prosecution Service and for reforming the public prosecutor's office. ​

Counsel for the civil parties in the recent trial for the attack at the Jewish Museum of Belgium. ​

​ Counsel for civil parties in several criminal assizes court cases.

Author of several scientific contributions on combating terrorism. ​

Full CV available at:  ​

Guillaume Lys

Member of the Brussels Bar since 2013. ​

Member of the Brussels Bar since 2013. ​

Counsel for V-Europe during the trial for the Rue du Dries shootings. ​

Counsel for the French Association for Victims of Terrorism (Conseil de l’Association française des Victimes du Terrorisme – AfVT), civil party in the trial for the attack at the Jewish Museum of Belgium. ​

Member of the criminal section of the Brussels Bar. Criminal lawyer involved in several assizes trials (for the defence and as a civil party).

Counsel for several victims of the Brussels terrorist attacks.

Partner at the ACT law firm.

Sanne De Clerck

Sanne De Clerck joined the Province of Antwerp Bar Association in 2013. She specialisation in criminal (procedural) law and provides daily assistance to suspects and victims all over Belgium. ​

In early 2021, she founded her own specialist law firm focusing exclusively on criminal cases. ​

She has already pleaded before the Court of Assizes on several occasions in the course of her career. ​

Besides her practice as a lawyer, Sanne De Clerck is also a member of the Supervisory Committee and the Complaints Committee at Antwerp Prison. This is an independent body responsible for monitoring the rights and treatment of people in detention."

Nicolas Estienne

Member of the Brussels Bar since 1994, and specialist in liability and compensation law. ​

Lawyer specialising in representing victims of accidents that have resulted in injury or death, such as traffic accidents, medical accidents, accidents at work or at home, railway accidents, technological disasters, acts of terrorism and other intentional acts of violence, among others. ​

He counsels, supports and represents clients throughout the compensation process, whether it be in relation to liability (contractual or non-contractual), evaluating their physical injuries in medical assessments (voluntary or compulsory), negotiations with debtors, and judicial proceedings (civil or criminal).

Contact the defence team

Do you have questions about your representation? Contact the defence team at

Do you have questions about your representation? Contact the defence team at containing the following information

  1. ​SURNAME, name, and date of birth.
  2. ​The phrase "I wish to be represented by the V-Europe defence team for the trials of the 22 March 2016 Brussels terrorist attacks".
  3. I hold / do not hold status of national solidarity for victims of terrorist attacks.
  4. I have / do not have legal expenses insurance. If you do, please indicate the name of the insurer and case number (if any). 
  5. Is / is not a civil party at this stage.

Note: if you do not know the answer to any of these questions, don't worry. Contact us and we will look over your case together.  

Organisation and funding​

The trial for the 22 March terrorist attacks is set to be out of the ordinary. This case is of a scale that has never before been seen in Belgian judicial history.

​It is expected to last at least nine months, which represents approximately 200 days of hearings and several thousand hours of debates. There are hundreds of boxes of material, representing hundreds of thousands of pages of minutes and other expert reports, all of which will need to be subject to rigorous legal analysis.

The defence team is ready to take on this uniquely large task: this is what it takes to defend your rights at trial.

​Given the expected length of the trial, many victims are unable to meet the costs for legal representation. The defence team wishes to ease victims' financial burden by sharing the legal costs of multiple victims across the team. Solidarity with the victims in this trial will be fundamental.

V-Europe is currently harnessing all public and private sources of funding to ensure quality representation for the victims.

Added value and objectives of the defence team

A nine-month trial at the Justitia, located outside Brussels, more than 200 days of hearings, and several hundreds of thousands of pages of procedures to analyse in detail: it is clear that this task cannot be accomplished by any one lawyer alone. No single lawyer could juggle the urgent work at their firm, the rigorous preparation of this case, and actively participate in the trial for such an extended period of time. On the other hand, no victim could bear the costs of quality representation over such a lengthy period.

From these observations came the idea for V-Europe – a defence team comprised of quality lawyers. Quality representation for victims can only be achieved in this collective way.

V-Europe has called on experienced, renowned and skilled criminal lawyers. These lawyers are fully invested in representing the victims of the attacks, and are specialised in terrorism cases. They have agreed to work together on behalf of the victims. They will rigorously analyse the criminal case, be an active presence at the hearings, and provide individual representation for each victim throughout the trial. Accurate and regular hearing reports will be drafted in order to inform the victims at each stage of the trial. A weekly newsletter in the same vein will also be distributed by V-Europe to help all those involved understand the issues at stake in the hearings. This defence team is committed to making themselves fully available to the victims and to listening to them, in order to personally respond to the questions of each and every one.

They will do everything to see this process through and to shed light on the truth of this case, to ensure that the victims' voices are heard and that they have a say in the proceedings, and to ensure that justice is done for the victims. This defence team has been formed for the trial itself. It may, however, be called upon, in a complementary manner and under conditions still to be agreed, to assist or represent victims before the Commission for Victims.

All victims who already have their own legal representation are, of course, very welcome to join the other victims represented by this defence team.