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Houthoff Buruma


  • Gustav Mahlerplein 50
  • Amsterdam
  • North Holland
  • Netherlands
  • 1082 MA
  • Tel:+31 20 605 6000
  • Fax:+31 20 605 6700
  • Web:Visit website
  • Managing Partners: Walter van Overbeek, Johan Rijlaarsdam
  • Number of partners: 57
  • Number of lawyers: 285
  • Languages: Chinese, Dutch, English, German
  • INTERNATIONAL OFFICES The firm also has an office in New York. 

Firm Overview:
Houthoff Buruma is a long-established Netherlands based law firm with over 250 lawyers worldwide. This multi-award winning independent law firm prides itself in its proven ability to deal with a full spectrum of legal services that have helped shape industries and the economy. With its straight to-thepoint no-nonsense high quality advice it has carved a niche for itself as a new elite amongst the leading high-end law firms.

Main Areas of Practice:
The firm’s lawyers in each practice area and across its offices work collaboratively to help clients assess new opportunities and manage risk in a redefined marketplace. Its focus lies on four pillars, which contain the full range of legal advice.

Corporate / M&A / Private Equity:
Houthoff Buruma is an M&A power house with a 19 man strong team of 13 partners and 6 counsels. Experience in advising corporates and their leaders in complex circumstances has fine-tuned this firm’s ability to understand the unique aspects of each situation and the objectives of the client. Thinking comprehensively about the many layers of consequence that may flow from a particular decision makes this team suited to providing sound advice to senior decision makers.

Financial Markets:
Houthoff Buruma has a vision on economic growth that is productive, sustainable and inclusive. Harnessing the firm’s significant knowledge of financial institutions, Houthoff Buruma has one of the largest Financial Markets Teams in the Netherlands helping clients to respond to regulatory developments and evolving industry best practises. The firm also draws from a pool of first tier real estate experts, offering clients expertise in restructurings, recapitalisations and investments in/sale of debt and equity instruments related to the real estate industry. It also gives the firm an edge in PPP, project finance and asset finance.

Dispute Resolution:
At the vanguard of critical issues affecting business Houthoff Buruma has remained the chosen firm to represent companies in matters most critical to their business and reputation. The firm is one of less than a handful of firms that have the capacity and knowledge to handle proceedings in the Supreme Court, adding several successful landmark cases to its name in the past years.

Restructuring & Recovery:
As the fabric of the global economic environment unravelled,Houthoff Buruma partnered with clients to respond to unprecedented circumstances with innovative solutions and sound legal judgement. Houthoff Buruma has handled some unique restructuring and recovery cases in the past year, being praised for constructive solutions.

Areas of Practice

  • Asset Finance & Structured Finance
  • Automotive
  • Banking
  • Capital Markets (Debt & Equity)
  • Construction
  • Corporate & Commercial
  • Corporate
  • Criminal Law
  • Emerging Markets
  • Energy & Utilities
  • EU & Competition
  • Health Care
  • Insolvency, Restructuring & Recovery
  • Insurance & Reinsurance
  • Intellectual Property
  • Investment Management
  • IT & Internet
  • Labour & Employment
  • Litigation & Arbitration
  • M&A
  • Notarial Law
  • Pensions & Employee Benefits
  • Privacy & Data
  • Protection
  • Private Equity
  • Procurement
  • Projects & Project Finance
  • Public Law
  • Real Estate
  • Regulatory
  • Supreme Court Litigation
  • Tax
  • Telecom, Media & Technology
  • Transport & Logistics


  • Gustav Mahlerplein 50,
  • Amsterdam,
  • North Holland
  • Netherlands
  • 1082 MA
  • Tel +31 20 605 6000
  • Fax +31 20 605 6700
  • Website : www.houthoff.com
  • Weena 355,
  • PO Box 1507,
  • Rotterdam,
  • South Holland
  • Netherlands
  • 3000 BM
  • Tel + 31 10 217 2000
  • Fax + 31 10 217 2700
  • Keizerslaan 5,
  • Brussels,
  • Brussels Capital Region
  • Belgium
  • B-1000
  • Tel +32 2 507 9800
  • Fax +32 2 507 9898
  • 33 Sun Street,
  • London,
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • EC2M 2PY
  • Tel +44 20 7422 5050
  • Fax +44 20 7422 5050
  • 120 West 45th Street, 19th floor,
  • New York,
  • USA
  • NY 10036
  • Tel +1 212 403 6701

Banking & Finance - Netherlands

Basic facts about the department
- 9 partners
- 3 counsel
- 33 associates

What the team is known for Sizeable team with notable experience handling bankruptcies involving financial institutions. Notable expertise in the real estate sector, regularly advising on the unwinding and financial restructuring of distressed asset portfolios.

Work highlights Advised housing corporation Vestia on the winding down of its derivatives portfolio.

Represented Friesland Bank in its merger with Rabobank.

Notable practitioners  

Loet Venrooy recently advised FGH, ING and SNS on the financial restructuring of Fortress. His key areas of expertise include acquisition finance, syndicated and bilateral lending, asset finance and structured finance.

Competition/European Law - Netherlands

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 12 associates

What the team is known for Well-regarded competition practice comprising lawyers in Amsterdam and Brussels and advising on competition matters at both the domestic and EU level. Highly recommended for private enforcement cases.

Work highlights Represented the municipality of Eindhoven in an EU investigation into state aid for football clubs.

Notable practitioners  

Weyer VerLoren van Themaat heads the Dutch competition group at the firm. He focuses on cartel defence litigation and merger control matters and regularly represents prominent companies against the competition authorities.

Gregoire Ryelandt is appreciated by sources for his responsiveness and proactive approach.

Gerard van der Wal maintains an excellent reputation in the market and wins the trust of clients, who highlight his outstanding track record in this field. He recently advised an alleged member of a steel cartel before the ECJ on a EUR518 million fine.

Corporate/M&A - Netherlands

Basic facts about the department
- 11 partners  
- 7 counsel
- 36 associates

What the team is known for Large practice frequently involved in major domestic and international deals. Particularly commended for robust co-ordination when acting as Dutch counsel in cross-border transactions. Recognised capabilities in private equity and corporate restructuring.

What's new? New counsel Peter Werdmuller has joined the Rotterdam office. Jacques Kröner, based in the same office, was promoted to partner.

Work highlights Advised Petrobras on the USD1.53 billion sale of a 50% stake in Petrobras Oil & Gas to Brazil's BTG Pactual.

Assisted Siemens with the sale of its 50% stake in the joint venture Nokia Siemens Networks to Nokia for EUR1.7 billion.  

Notable practitioners  

Michiel Pannekoek wins outstanding feedback for his tactical skills and ability to find compromise in negotiations.  Sources also highlight his commerciality. He recently advised H2 Equity Partners on the sale of Sator.

Willem de Nijs Bik is described by sources as a sensible and pragmatic practitioner. He is recommended for his strong negotiation skills.

The Rotterdam-based Eddie Meijer is noted by sources as experienced strategist. He handles transactional mandates as well as providing corporate governance advice.

Jan-Paul van der Hoek is recognised for his pragmatic and hands-on style. He assisted Argos Group and its shareholders with its acquisition by Sistema.

Alexander Kaarls focuses on cross-border M&A, including recently advising on the Dutch aspects of GM's acquisition of Ally Financial's European car financing business.

Significant clients Cefetra, NedCar, Telegraaf Media Groep.

Dispute Resolution - Netherlands

Basic facts about the department
- 15 partners
- 1 counsel
- 50 associates

What the team is known for Sizeable and vastly respected department handling a raft of high-stakes litigation mandates. Boasts a leading Supreme Court team and is recognised for its work in international arbitration and finance-related disputes. Diverse expertise encompassing private enforcement claims and mass litigation proceedings.

What's new? Jan Willem de Groot was appointed partner in January 2013, and white-collar crime specialist Aldo Verbruggen joined the firm in May 2013.

Work highlights Represented global IT service provider BIT in arbitration proceedings with an African state related to an investment dispute.

Notable practitioners  

Renowned disputes specialist Rob Meijer wins praise for his Supreme Court practice, with one source describing him as a leading Supreme Court lawyer. His wider litigation practice involves insurance and liability disputes, and his recent clients have included The LEGO Group, Philips and Fujifilm.

Arbitration expert Dirk Knottenbelt engages in national and international arbitrations in commercial and investment contexts. Sources praise his business understanding.  

Bart van der Wiel continues to build his Supreme Court practice, winning extensive praise from clients, who regard him as an accomplished practitioner in this area.

Litigation head Albert Knigge's main areas of focus include financial litigation, D&O liability and broader professional liability issues.

Employment - Netherlands

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Best known for its advice on the employment aspects of M&A transactions in conjunction with the firm's active corporate team. Has recently been involved in a number of reorganisations and disputes, and in advising on collective pension transfers. Clients are drawn from a diverse range of industries, including finance, media, technology and retail.

Work highlights Advised Norit on the employment aspects of its USD1.1 billion sale to Cabot.

Represented Shell's central works council in challenging the introduction of a new pension scheme.

Notable practitioners  

Edward de Bock focuses on employment terms and conditions, as well as the dismissals of senior executives. Clients praise his straightforward, direct approach, as well as his ability to make legal concepts understandable to non-lawyers.

Significant clients Siemens, Telegraaf Media Groep, DSM, HEMA, DSB Bank.

Energy & Natural Resources - Netherlands

Basic facts about the department
- 9 partners
- 40 associates

What the team is known for Recognised transactional practice handling energy M&A for large companies, with additional strength in regulatory work. Interviewees praise the team's solid understanding of the energy sector and careful attention to detail.

Work highlights Advised Petrobras on the sale of a 50% stake in Petrobras Oil & Gas to BTG Pactual for USD1.53 billion.

Notable practitioners  

Willem de Nijs Bik specialises in transactions in the energy sector. He recently advised Indofin on the acquisition of IHC Merwede.

Jacques Kröner recently advised waste management company Attero on the planned exit by its shareholder committee composed of local authorities. He has a strong focus on advising on issues related to corporate and public law.

Marc van Beuge attracts notable praise from sources. They highlight his knowledge of the energy sector and regard him as a strong choice for regulatory matters. 

Significant clients DNV KEMA, Eneco, Tata Steel.

Insurance - Netherlands

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 20 other qualified lawyers 

What the team is known for Dedicated insurance litigation practice with a particular focus on D&O coverage disputes. Advises leading Dutch and international insurers.

Work highlights Advising several insurers on claims related to unit-linked life insurance policies.

Successfully represented the Dutch Credit Export Agency in an ultimately rejected appeal case brought by Boskalis concerning a project in Dubai.

Notable practitioners  

Clients say Hans Londonck Sluijk stands out due to extensive experience of D&O liability matters. He also receives praise for his industry knowledge.

Berry Jonk-van Wijk specialises in corporate and regulatory insurance issues, with a focus on the Dutch market. She is currently advising various insurers on claims regarding unit-linked life insurance policies.

Sources praise Huib Lebbing as an excellent strategic thinker. He focuses on product liability and health and safety matters.

Significant clients Dutch Credit Export Agency.

Intellectual Property - Netherlands

Basic facts about the department 
- 5 partners
- 22 associates

What the team is known for Versatile department covering trade mark, copyright and design law. Litigation expertise bolstered by renowned Supreme Court team. Also advises on transactional IP matters, and offers niche experience in areas including IP issues linked to the import of wholesale medicine.

Work highlights Acted for G-Star on a dispute with Benetton that addressed the extent to which a design can be protected as a trade mark.

Notable practitioners  

Bas Le Poole's IP practice encompasses trade marks and copyrights. He handles contentious and non-contentious matters and has a strong media client base.  

Wolter Wefers Bettink advises on trade marks and copyrights, with a particular focus on the IT and technology sectors. He is praised for his collaborative approach.  

Significant clients Ajinomoto, Kawasaki Motors.

Investment Funds - Netherlands

Basic facts about the department 
- 3 partners
- 9 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Respected team with an excellent reputation for all aspects of investment management. Offers a broad practice covering fund structuring, asset management and financial regulatory advice, as well as fund formation in the private equity and real estate sectors. Particularly popular with Dutch clients.

Work highlights Advised Man Group on the formation and restructuring of a number of hedge funds, including the EUR700 million Man AHL Diversified Markets EU Dutch fund. 

Assisted Pension Fund for Medical Specialists with a series of matters, including the appointment of Aviva as funds of funds manager, and a fiduciary asset management contract with BlackRock.

Notable practitioners  

Interviewees agree department head Oscar van Angeren is an established figure in this area.  Clients appreciate his clear advice and business understanding.  

Significant clients ING pension fund, BAT pension fund, Liongate Ventures, Pension Fund for Medical Specialists, CBRE Global Investors.

Private Equity - Netherlands

Basic facts about the department
- 11 partners
- 8 counsel
- 36 associates

What the team is known for Comprehensive private equity practice, well known for M&A transactions and private investments. Particularly strong in the mid-market and valued by clients for its pragmatic approach and negotiation abilities.

What's new? Counsel Peter Werdmuller joined the team from Cleary Gottlieb and Jacques Kröner was promoted to the partnership.

Work highlights Instructed by Doughty Hanson and Euroland Investments in the USD1.1 billion sale of Norit to Cabot Corporation.

Assisted Reggeborgh with its acquisition of a stake in VolkerWessels from CVC Capital, creating a controlling interest of 60%.

Notable practitioners  

Jan-Paul van der Hoek is praised for his hands-on approach to deals, and clients further value that his adaptability. He advised Argos Group and its shareholders on its sale to Sistema.

Michiel Pannekoek is seen as a strong mid-market practitioner. He advised H2 Equity Partners on a number of transactions, including as seller of Sator Holding to LKQ. Clients enthuse about his negotiation skills.

Public Law - Netherlands

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 20 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Highly regarded planning and environmental law practice, best known for large-scale energy, water and infrastructure projects. Other focuses of the public law team include financial and economic regulatory law, which is handled in conjunction with lawyers from the firm's white-collar crime department.

Work highlights Representing the private owner of the Hedwigepolder in litigation against the Dutch state's plans to submerge the polder.

Advising Renault Netherlands on its lobbying of the Dutch state to institute a fiscal distinction between hybrid and full electric vehicles.

Notable practitioners  

Practice co-head Jan Frans De Groot specialises in planning, zoning and project development, and represents corporations and project developers. He advised Eneco on a range of matters, including the zoning plan for an offshore wind farm.

Robert Crince le Roy advises on administrative law, with a strong focus on environmental matters. He recently advised companies and local authorities on zoning plans for residential, commercial and industrial developments.

Marry de Gaay Fortman's expertise is in PPP projects, governance issues and planning requirements for the energy sector and heavy industry. She recently advised Chevron on a case of potential soil and groundwater contamination.

Significant clients Eneco, Tata Steel, Salvation Army, Kemira, PPG Industries. 

Real Estate - Netherlands

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 5 counsel
- 36 associates

What the team is known for Leading real estate practice covering a broad range of related matters, including transactions, financings and project development. Advises domestic and foreign investors, facilitating cross-border deals and introducing entrants onto the Dutch market. Also offers a highly regarded team of notaries.

Work highlights Assisted CBRE Global Investors with the sale of the Rosada Factory Outlet Centre to Resolution Real Estate Advisers.

Advised Fidelity Worldwide Investment on its entry into the Dutch market with the purchase of a sustainable building.

Notable practitioners  

Jan Cees Kuiken advises investors, banks and pension funds on real estate investments and transactions. Clients speak highly of him, valuing his experience and commerciality.

Herman Lohman frequently advises international institutional investors operating in the Dutch market. He is praised for his hands on and to the point advice.

Peter Habraken heads the firm's project finance team and specialises in PPP and PFI projects. Clients consider him a pragmatic advisor.

Sources regard Jan-Michiel Hebly as a particularly strong choice for regulatory mandates. His main focus is on procurement and construction law.

Significant clients Far West Housing Corporation, ASR Property Fund, AXA Real Estate.

Restructuring/Insolvency - Netherlands

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 18 associates

What the team is known for Market-leading team of restructuring and insolvency practitioners. Renowned for extensive experience as court-appointed administrators and trustees, with visibility on top mandates in the financial services sector. Broad expertise, covering recovery cases as well as corporate and financial restructuring.

Work highlights Represented the Dutch National Railways in the politically sensitive restructuring of a high-speed railway project.

Advised on the wind-up scheme of Lehman Brothers Treasury. 

Notable practitioners  

Rutger Schimmelpenninck is renowned for his excellent insolvency administration practice, and for his wider work on issues including restructuring. He has acted as administrator on the high-profile unwinding of the failed DSB Bank.

Frédéric Verhoeven receives excellent feedback from clients and peers alike for his capacity as an insolvency administrator. They highlight his creativity and leadership.  

Rotterdam-based practitioner Marcel Windt is described as a practical lawyer. He has been involved in the restructuring of the Dutch high-speed railway.

Corporate specialist Eddie Meijer advises on both contentious and non-contentious insolvency matters.

Restructuring expert Bert Verburg recently assisted TPG and Patron Capital with the acquisition and restructuring of Opera Finance's distressed real estate portfolio. This was an innovative matter involving the restructuring of a European CMBS bond. 

Significant clients Nedcar, Thermphos International, Vestia.

Tax - Netherlands

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 1 counsel
- 14 associates

What the team is known for Focus on taxation issues surrounding M&A, finance and insolvency, as well as the ability to handle tax litigation up to the Supreme Court level. Advises on international tax structures, with experience in the Luxembourg and Dutch Antilles tax systems.

What's new? Sylvia Dikmans was promoted to the partnership.

Work highlights Advised on the Dutch tax aspects of the PPP for the renovation and expansion of the A1–A6 motorway. This is the biggest PPP to date in the Netherlands, with a value above EUR1 billion.

Notable practitioners  

New partner Sylvia Dikmans is described by a client as a practical and responsive adviser. Her recent highlights include advising on the tax aspects of international investments, corporate transactions, bond issuances and public offerings. 

Rob Havenga is recommended for international tax planning and structuring. Sources value his experience and solution-oriented approach. 

Significant clients Shandong Kaitai, Petrobras, Centerbridge, TMF Group.

TMT - Netherlands

Basic facts about the department 
- 4 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Full-service TMT practice that handles outsourcing projects, particularly in the financial services industry. Also noted for its work on e-business and privacy matters. Acts on litigations in the media field before Dutch and European courts for international publishers and producers, as well as assisting with regulatory mandates in the telecoms sector.

Work highlights Advised the receivers of DSB Bank on the outsourcing of aspects of the bank's services.

Represented De Telegraaf in a litigation against the Dutch state before the ECHR in Strasbourg.

Notable practitioners  

Sources confirm Wolter Wefers Bettink is a well-known figure in this area. He handles outsourcing projects and litigation as part of a wide-ranging IT practice.

Bas Le Poole's clients commend his work in contentious cases. He wins praise for his client-oriented approach and extensive knowledge. 

Jaap Doeleman is highlighted for his telecoms, regulatory and EU law knowledge.

Significant clients adidas, CIZ, FttH Platform, RTL.

Since publication, Jaap Doeleman has retired from this practice.