Thursday, 01 October 2020



We are excited to announce that, as from now, T/A economics will be deploying its services as Tiberghien economics. Exactly 5 years after we established our privileged partnership with the highly regarded BeLux law firm Tiberghien, and based on the successful experiences we had in jointly serving our mutual clients, we felt it natural to take this next step, in order to give the market a strong signal that Tiberghien lawyers and Tiberghien economics will further intensify their network cooperation to address the challenges of their clients with a multidisciplinary mindset.

Connecting the dots…


The short read…

Our tagline - Connecting the dots… - embodies the key competence of our seasoned people: Drawing logical inferences, connecting items of information to reveal something previously hidden or unknown, or even to make an educated guess about the future.

It also reflects our move to rebrand to Tiberghien economics, since it depicts the intended reinforcement of our connectivity with Tiberghien lawyers.

Please find here below a long(er) read to discover why we took the next step, to become Tiberghien economics...  


More than tax More than transfer pricing and valuations

Tiberghien is an independent law firm with over 100 lawyers in Belgium and Luxembourg, not only specialized in all fields of taxation, but also adjacent legal practice areas such as family (property) law.

Tiberghien economics is a boutique of senior economists that, on the basis of its competencies and capabilities in the fields of transfer pricing and valuations, has developed pre-eminent value propositions in the areas of innovation and business modeling as well.

Together, Tiberghien and Tiberghien economics will relentlessly explore how to best combine and integrate their distinct expertise with one goal in mind: to offer excellence in addressing our mutual client’s challenges and aspirations.

Considering our joint belief that legal and economic arguments should be in harmony for offering sustainable solutions our efforts go beyond the usual suspects of international corporate taxation and transfer pricing advisory & tax valuations.

Griet Vanden Abeele, Partner Estate Planning, Tiberghien: “The people of Tiberghien economics have assisted us on numerous occasions to give us the required economic insights where we were rendering legal advice in respect of the succession planning of family businesses. For a modern lawyer it is essential to keep up with the business of its private clients. Although we train our lawyers to always think like an entrepreneur, being able to work with economists specialized in valuations and business processes is an important asset for us and our clients.

Andy Neuteleers, Partner, Tiberghien economics: “It is reassuring for us that we have a top-notch legal team available at our fingertips, when we have questions coming in on an issue that seems to be right up our street. In almost all instances, there is an important tax legal component to be addressed as well. Clients actually do not have a distinct tax legal and financial issue, they have comprehensive business issues. Often clients try to split up the business issues they face – like refinancing – in silo’s themselves – e.g. the tax issues concerned separated from the economic question of targeting the optimal capital structure, and look for advice on each of the components separately, and then try to lay the puzzle… Thanks to our privileged network relationship with Tiberghien tax lawyers, and their extensive network of legal specialists, clients can convey their business issues in a comprehensive way, where we sort out the various aspects that need to be dealt with in harmony.

Next to being a full service transfer pricing services provider, and a valuation boutique, free of potential audit-related conflicts, Tiberghien economics, in this respect uses its competencies and capabilities in connection with the following distinct practice areas:

Innovation: In respect of the (Belgian) innovation income deduction regime we can deploy our transfer pricing and valuation skills in order to substantiate the (embedded) intangible-related income that is subject to this beneficial corporate income tax regime, as well as structuring the group’s R&D activities to optimize the usage thereof. In most instances, eligibility for this regime, also means eligibility for other tax incentives such as a withholding tax exemption for R&D staff, R&D and environmental investment deductions and tax credits, and a beneficial tax regime for copyrights – all which our network partner Tiberghien has the expertise in-house. Jointly, we cover all aspects to unlock the full potential of what is available. Read more.

Business modeling: Based on our skill set developed and insights gained through being involved in transfer pricing and valuations, we have developed a mindset for further impacting organizations through assisting them with business modeling. Our services in this respect are of strategic nature, and include. amongst others, value chain analyses, investment decision support, operationalization of organization structures, supply chains and control frameworks, etc. Read more.


Positive past experiences The road ahead

One of the driving factors behind the rebranding to Tiberghien economics has been the appreciation of the success stories where we jointly served our mutual clients, and our firm belief that such cooperation is most beneficial to our clients.

In the past 5 years we successfully combined forces, amongst others, in the following cases:

  • Tiberghien’s procedural team assisted us in concluding a transfer pricing audit swiftly where economic argumentation solely would have taken us down the path of endless discussions back and forth;
  • We provided valuation expertise for Tiberghien to win a landmark court case, overhauling an established practice of the tax administration to the disadvantage of many taxpayers;
  • With the aid of Tiberghien (and other WTS Global member firms) we ensured the consent of multiple tax administrations in various countries, through rulings, in view of an early stage IP restructuring we designed to enable our client to effectively get the required funding for further research and to become the global multi-billion business they are today;
  • We assisted one of Tiberghien’s family owned business clients with its complete vendor process, eventually being sold to a global conglomerate, as from an early stage (making the business vendor ready 2 years upfront the eventual deal) until the transaction, and beyond (post-merger integration business and financial modeling); and many more.

Tiberghien and Tiberghien economics want to further intensify their cooperation, and will for the benefit of their respective clients consider whether the expertise of the other could bring incremental value.

Koen Morbée, partner international corporate tax, Tiberghien: “Following the latest regulatory changes, incrementally, as tax lawyers we have the need to check the soundness of our legal analysis against economic rationale. In many and continuously more instances, our clients are best served with the integration of a thorough economic analysis underpinning our legal analysis. Therefore, we are happy to have direct access to a strong team of senior economists for dealing with complex issues in detail, but also indirectly we can observe our people have become more business savvy thanks to being close to Tiberghien economics”.       

An important event that occurred in the recent past in respect of the further growth of Tiberghien economics and of the value propositions we jointly develop with Tiberghien lawyers has been the onboarding of Tine Slaedts as a second partner with Tiberghien economics. Read more.

Tine Slaedts, Partner, Tiberghien economics: “The past 4 months have been exciting for me, getting acquainted with the differentiating service philosophy of the team whilst helping clients in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis, preparing for the rebranding and last but not least our value propositions that we will focus on the coming months and year.”

In sneak preview we can highlight the following value propositions in transfer pricing we will be focusing on next to our well-established and proven areas of expertise such as transfer pricing design and restructuring, treasury transfer pricing, and tax valuations:

Transfer pricing documentation: Traditionally, the team has been very much involved in complex problem-solving and advisory work (audits, restructurings, planning). Drafting transfer pricing documentation and ensuring compliance with local transfer pricing regulations in a pro-active manner is however as essential in order to be prepared for tax/transfer pricing audits and to avoid penalties for not being compliant. We have therefore worked out service offerings you could consider to streamline your transfer pricing documentation project.   

Transfer pricing audits: As mentioned above, we have had successful experiences in dealing with transfer pricing audits, jointly with the procedural team of Tiberghien. Considering transfer pricing is not an exact science, embedded in soft law (OECD TP Guidelines), and substantially subjective in nature, too often we observe the tax administrations challenging transfer pricing policies based on argumentation for which the legal basis was lacking and/or turned to be problematic in view of the burden of proof. Thanks to these experiences we have further aligned our audit practices with the Tiberghien team in order to provide for an integrated economic and tax legal/procedural defense strategy, from the first request for information to legal proceedings. 

Other tax domains and transfer pricing: There are many other practice areas where Tiberghien has developed high level of legal expertise, with a connection to transfer pricing – e.g.:

  • M&A tax: where transfer pricing is often overlooked as a source of significant risk or opportunity;
  • Indirect Taxes: where any supply chain change has transfer pricing implications, and vice-versa, and
  • HR tax: where salary split schemes and cost recharges can be of importance for transfer pricing too, and vice-versa.
  • Digital taxation: Last, but not least, together with Tiberghien, Tiberghien economics follows closely any global development in this emerging field.

We will continue to jointly develop and enhance our integrated value propositions in these practice areas.



A law firm Not a law firm

What lies ahead is a virtually integrated practice that deals with our mutual clients’ challenges and aspirations, with due respect of each network partner’s input and deliverables.

Koen Morbée: “The fact that Tiberghien is a law firm, and Tiberghien economics is not, is very important, and has certain important consequences in view of our respective accountabilities, but should not hamper our ability to deliver the best service possible for our clients.

Andy Neuteleers in this respect further comments that: “The fact that we are separate firms, and have certain rules of joint engagement applicable to our network relation so that we are acting independent, indeed should not stand in the way of our common goal to serve our clients in the best manner possible, meaning that each partner has its own expertise, but put it into action in a fully aligned manner. The fact that each of the network partners retains its own full accountability over its deliverables is forcing each of the party’s to critically review how to integrate the other party’s viewpoints. The retention of our independence in opining – Tiberghien in view of tax/legal matters, and Tiberghien economics in view of economic consulting matters - in my view is the best guarantee for our clients that they get the best advice possible of both works, with our joint commitment that both worlds can live in symbiosis”.   


● WTS Global

Tiberghien and Tiberghien economics are both member firms of WTS Global for Belgium and Luxembourg. WTS Global is an independent (free of potential audit-related conflicts) global tax practice offering a full range of tax services in over 100 jurisdictions (


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