Isabelle De Smedt

Isabelle De Smedt focuses her practice on cross-border M&A and corporate transactions, complex litigation, the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and related anti-corruption and fraud matters. As a licensed practitioner in Belgium and working primarily in Brussels, Isabelle is known for her keen ability to navigate the EU regulatory landscape. Her extensive regulatory compliance experience is crucial to guiding multinational clients through complex transactions. She also has substantial experience working with clients in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America.

Isabelle is licensed to practice in Belgium and is a member of the Brussels Bar (List A). She is not admitted to practice in North Carolina or licensed to practice law in the United States.

What do you focus on?

Much of my practice involves cross-border transactions for health care and life sciences companies, including contract research organizations (CROs). I work with numerous international corporations, including many Belgian companies, on complex mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and corporate restructuring and reorganizations. I also represent clients with respect to complex contract and corporate disputes.

A large piece of my international practice involves assisting clients with respect to the FCPA and other anti-corruption laws. This includes leading anti-corruption compliance investigations in connection with global mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures, as well as advising clients on issues relating to bribery and fraud matters. I work with clients to both establish and strengthen FCPA compliance programs and provide training sessions. I conduct internal investigations, risk assessments and due diligence interviews and guide clients through enforcement proceedings and government investigations when they arise.

I have a deep understanding of the distinct business models within the health care and life sciences industries, which allows me to tailor my approach to accommodate individual client’s needs and preferences.

What do you see on the horizon?

Much stricter regulations for how companies deal with data will be enforced when the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) takes effect in 2018, causing a significant impact to companies operating in Europe. Companies that underestimate the impact of the new GDPR face the potential for significant fines if appropriate measures are not taken to comply.

Representative Experience

  • Assisted numerous clients in developing and enhancing FCPA compliance policies and procedures, as well as business ethics compliance programs
  • Provide ongoing counseling with respect to agent due diligence, interactions with government officials and related matters
  • Conducted various internal investigations in respect of allegations of bribery
  • Managed teams of lawyers conducting global due diligence for health care companies with respect to operations in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Australia.

One more arrow in the government’s anti-corruption quiver: the Global Magnitsky Act

The Anti-Corruption Report | May 30, 2018

Corporate partners Alexandra Lopez-Casero and Isabelle de Smedt are quoted in this article discussing the business consequences of the Global Magnitsky Act, a new anti-corruption statute.

4 M&A partners join Nixon Peabody’s new N.C. office

Law360 | July 17, 2017

The article focuses on the arrival of M&A and corporate transactions partners John Erwin Brian Brown, Angie Cottrell and Isabelle de Smedt, and paralegal Patricia Harris as well as the firm’s Raleigh office.

Nixon Peabody opens in North Carolina with K&L Gates hires

American Lawyer | July 10, 2017

The following coverage is about the arrival of M&A and corporate transactions partners John Erwin, Brian Brown, Angie Cottrell and Isabelle De Smedt to Nixon Peabody’s new Raleigh, North Carolina office.


Isabelle De Smedt



Phone: +32 (0)474 71 54 00

Fax: +32 (0)2290-1505

Fordham University School of Law, LL.M.

Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Law, cum laude





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