Of counsel highly specialised in International Sports Law and arbitration. A graduate in law from Ghent University and the Instituto Superior de Derecho y Economía (Madrid, Spain), Wouter first worked as a lawyer with a large independent law firm in Belgium after which he served as the General Counsel of the European Club Association (“ECA”) from 2011 until October 2017. ECA represents the interests of the top-clubs in European football and as General Counsel, Wouter provided strategic and legal advice to the ECA Executive Board and its member clubs on wide variety of sports regulatory, institutional and other legal matters. In October 2017, Wouter joined FC Barcelona and assisted the legal and football department on all international sports related matters including transfers of football players, international commercial projects and much more. Besides, at FC Barcelona, he successfully oversaw and conducted international sports related litigation (arbitration & disciplinary procedures) in excess of EUR 150 million, including high profile and leading cases such as disputes with Santos FC and the transfer of Neymar Da Silva Santos Jr. Wouter also served as advisor and right hand to the then President of FC Barcelona, Mr Josep Mª Bartomeu, on all football institutional related matters representing the club and its president in forums such FIFA, UEFA and the ECA.
In September 2021, Wouter left FC Barcelona and started working as an independent legal advisor advising investors, leagues, football clubs, players and agents on a wide variety of sports legal, regulatory and commercial matters. He has a particular focus for his work as an arbitrator at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he is listed on the general list and football list of arbitrators since September 2019 and has served as an arbitrator in over 50 arbitration proceedings.
Other relevant experience and positions include serving as a judge on the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber, the FIFA Players’ Status Committee, Vice-President of the European Handball Federation ECA Council, member of the UEFA Legal Committee.