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De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek

Amsterdam

De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek - Amsterdam
  • Claude Debussylaan 80
  • Amsterdam
  • North Holland
  • Netherlands
  • 1082 MD
  • Tel:+31 20 577 1771
  • Fax:+31 20 577 1775
  • Email:Contact Us
  • Web:Visit website
  • Managing Partner: Martijn Snoep
  • Number of partners: 60
  • Number of lawyers: 330
  • Languages: Dutch, English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese
  • INTERNATIONAL OFFICES The firm also has offices based in New York, Beijing and Singapore.

Firm Overview:
The firm stands beside clients wherever they operate globally. This is the keystone of the firm’s focus. Whether in the Netherlands or abroad, it delivers a powerful corporate and finance practice, a centre of excellence in litigation and arbitration, and an unparalleled team of regulatory experts. The firm’s role of trusted advisor is rooted in its history as a firm, and is integral to who they are today. From the home office in Amsterdam, the firm advises more than 70 per cent of the largest companies headquartered in the Netherlands. It accompanies clients abroad in their international transactions, litigation and regulatory work. This is why the firm has offices in strategic locations like Beijing, Brussels, London, New York and Singapore and works closely together with top-tier local counsel in all jurisdictions.

Main Areas of Practice:
Corporate & Finance:

29 partners; 53 associates 
• Advising ASML, on the development of a unique customer co-investment program, in which Intel, Samsung and TSMC participate
• Advising Philips Electronics (TV division) on its joint venture with Chinese conglomerate TPV Technology
• Advising international retailing group Ahold on its E350 million acquisition of online retailer Bol.com, and the E290 million acquisition of 82 supermarket stores from Jumbo / C1000
• Advising Rabobank Nederland on the acquisition of Friesland Bank
• Advising NXP on the divestment of high-speed data converter business to Integrated Device Technology, Inc. (IDT). The business has sales and production points in the United States, France, the Netherlands and China
Key Clients: Philips Electronics, AkzoNobel, NXP, Ahold, Schiphol Group, DSM, Rabobank.
Contact: Kees Peijster (also member of the board) Tel: +31 20 577 1906
Email: kees.peijster@debrauw.com

Litigation & Arbitration:
40 partners; 160 associates
• Representing NXP Semiconductors in ICC arbitration filed by STMicroelectronics
• Representing all major energy companies in the Netherlands in their claim against the State of the Netherlands regarding the loss of priority import capacity
• Advising insurer Achmea in an investment treaty arbitration under the Netherlands- Czechoslovakia Bilateral Investment Treaty. A claim was brought after the Slovak Republic had sought to reverse an earlier liberalisation of its health insurance sector
• Advising Sara Lee/DE Masterblenders 1753 as European lead counsel in multi-jurisdictional patent litigation initiated by Nestlé, after Sara Lee’s entry into the market for Nespresso coffee machines capsules
• Advising Unilever in its battle against private labellers imitating its famous products, such as Ben & Jerry’s, Glorix, Robijn and Zwitsal
• Advising GasTerra, an international company trading in natural gas, on a $1.1 billion UNCITRAL award against Italian energy company Eni in a dispute over the price payable under one of two long-term gas supply contracts
Key Clients: Shell, Philips Electronics Achmea, Unilever, GasTerra
Contact: Marc Ynzonides (also member of the board)
Tel: +31 20 577 1805
Email: marc.ynzonides@debrauw.com

Regulatory:
14 partners; 49 associates
• Representing Philips and Philips Pension Fund in the largest criminal financial fraud matter in Dutch legal history, in connection with the criminal proceedings brought by the Dutch Public Prosecutions Office, the dealings with the Dutch Central Bank and the AFM, and the ensuing civil litigation to recover the losses suffered as a result of the fraud, as well as conducting one of the largest and most highprofile internal investigations into fraud in the Netherlands to date
• Representing Shell in its appeal before the European courts against the fine of E160 million imposed by the European Commission for its alleged participation in a rubber cartel
• Advising AkzoNobel on obtaining unconditional merger control clearance for the acquisition of the global powder coatings business of Dow Chemical (EU and worldwide)
• Representing Rabobank as lead counsel in the worldwide investigations into the LIBOR submission process
Key Clients: Shell, Philips Electronics, DSM, AkzoNobel, GasTerra, Rabobank
Contact: Martijn Snoep (managing partner)
Tel: +31 20 577 1365
Email: martijn.snoep@debrauw.com

Areas of Practice

  • Banking & Finance
  • Capital Markets
  • Corporate / M&A
  • Corporate Governance
  • Corporate Recovery & Insolvency
  • Employment & Employee benefits
  • Energy, Infrastructure & Natural Resources
  • EU Law, Competition & Regulation
  • Financial Markets Regulation
  • ICT & Telecoms
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual Property
  • Investment Management
  • Litigation & Arbitration
  • Media, Sports & Entertainment
  • Mediation
  • Pensions
  • Private Equity
  • Real Estate
  • Regulatory & Criminal Enforcement
  • Tax
  • Transportation

Branches

  • 125 Old Broad Street,
  • 17th Floor,
  • London,
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • EC2N 1AR
  • Tel +44 20 7374 0086
  • Fax +44 20 7337 3520
  • Email : london@debrauw.com
  • De Meeûssquare 40,,
  • 1000 Brussels,
  • Brussels,
  • Brussels Capital Region
  • Belgium
  • Tel +32 2 545 1100
  • Email : brussels@debrauw.com

Corporate/M&A - Europe-wide

THE FIRM This prominent Dutch firm is a popular choice for market-leading transactions in the Netherlands. It has impressive capabilities on multi-jurisdictional mandates and can call on its teams in London and Brussels for support. Recent cross-border highlights include acting for BAM on the EUR200 million divestment of a stake in Van Oord to a Belgian and Dutch consortium, and acting for Centrica on the sale of a Dutch electricity and gas customer supply business of Oxxio.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Arne Grimme is a leading lawyer at the firm.

Banking & Finance - Netherlands

THE FIRM This Dutch heavyweight has a comprehensive financing team, with an impressive client base of corporates and financial institutions. It remains best known for its work as borrowers' counsel, recently advising Infracapital Partners on the financing for its acquisition of 24 telecoms towers. The lawyers also assisted BAM with the financing of a motorway project and the formation of a joint venture with PGGM. Its regulatory team is considered a true market leader and is in great demand with domestic and international banks.

Sources say: "A top firm in the regulatory field." "A dedicated team that works with us to get the best deal."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Francine Schlingmann is "an absolute authority" on financial markets regulation. She advised Rabobank on new European regulatory requirements.

Jan Marten van Dijk is highly skilled in both the regulatory and transactional aspects of banking and finance. Recent work includes assisting Imtech with its USD300 million private placement of senior notes.

Berend Crans specialises in asset and project financing, and recently handled aircraft financings for DVB Bank and the US Ex-Im Bank.

Menno Stoffer is particularly admired for his project finance work. "He's an inspirationally clever man – he always comes up with practical solutions," say interviewees. He advised Netherlands Railways on the EUR350 million refinancing of an agreement with EUROFIMA.

Capital Markets - Netherlands

THE FIRM This prestigious firm is hailed by market commentators as a leading firm in equity capital markets. It advised the underwriters on Ziggo's IPO on NYSE Euronext Amsterdam and assisted Siemens with its USD3 billion issue of two tranches of bond with warrant units, listed on the Frankfurt stock exchange. Recent debt work includes advising Schiphol Airport on a EUR438.4 million debt exchange transaction.

Sources say: "We were impressed by the way the team mastered all aspects of the transaction. It lived up to our expectations."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Jan Willem Hoevers is highly respected by the market for his work in equity capital markets. He recently advised Unilever on its EUR157 million public offer to buy back its preferred shares.

Active in equity and debt markets, Joost Schutte recently assisted Amsterdam concert hall Het Concertgebouw with its innovative structured share placement targeted at retail investors.

Competition/European Law - Netherlands

THE FIRM Major corporate clients continue to flock to this firm, which enjoys a very strong reputation in merger control, cartel cases and abuse of dominance investigations. The team has lately handled extensive work for Philips, including co-ordinating its global merger control proceedings and defending it in various cartel investigations. It also recently managed to have a fine imposed by the Commission on Grolsch annulled. Other major clients include Royal Ahold, AstraZeneca and Stempher. The firm's strengths in dispute resolution and litigation are viewed as a boon to clients.

Sources say: "The quality is very, very good – you get the right people who think along with you and give you the right advice for your business."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Jolling de Pree is a prominent figure in merger control, cartel investigations and follow-on litigation. He is described by one client as "pleasant, client-committed and always reachable. He's the kind of person who thinks with the client."

Erik Pijnacker Hordijk receives praise from interviewees for his broad EU and competition practice, and is particularly highlighted for his skills as a litigator. One client comments: "He does a superb job – highly knowledgeable, practical, really helpful in all respects."

Managing partner Martijn Snoep is described by sources as a highly talented competition lawyer. One client remarks: "He's easy-going, practical and firm."

Corporate/M&A - Netherlands

THE FIRM This Dutch heavyweight comes highly recommended for all manner of corporate work and counts major blue-chip internationals and Dutch household names as clients. The team recently advised Philips on its joint venture with TPV Technology, and the subsequent transfer of its worldwide TV business to the joint venture. ABN AMRO is another client, which the group recently assisted with the EUR100 million disposal of Fortis Commercial Finance to BNP Paribas.

Sources say: "It has always retained a forefront position in this sector, particularly for larger transactions." "The corporate team is incredibly dedicated and quick to react to any questions."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Active in numerous high-profile transactions, Arne Grimme is praised as "an excellent M&A lawyer." His recent highlights include advising Philips on its TPV joint venture, and assisting ABN AMRO with the EUR100 million divestment of Fortis Commercial Finance to BNP Paribas.  

Bernard Roelvink advises on the full scope of corporate work, and is praised for his skills as a corporate litigator.

Practice head Pierre Nijnens "is keen to help his clients and has a great deal of in-depth knowledge," according to a source.

Paul Cronheim is highly skilled in corporate governance and private equity work, and recently advised on a joint venture between HBO and Ziggo.

Rising star Klaas de Vries is singled out by commentators for his M&A work, which has included handling Ahold's EUR350 million acquisition of Bol.com.

Dispute Resolution - Netherlands

THE FIRM Interviewees commend the breadth and strength of De Brauw's dispute resolution department. The large team often represents clients in Supreme Court litigation, with corporate litigation being another key area. The group represents Shell in a widely publicised case regarding environmental damage caused by oil spills in the Niger Delta. Other highlights include defending Ageas against claims brought by former shareholders, and assisting several companies formerly owned by Russian oil company YUKOS with high-value debt collection and the enforcement of arbitral awards.

Sources say: "I would particularly recommend it for complex litigation." "The team always considers the bigger picture, including economic and strategic issues." "A broad group of excellent litigators."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Marnix Leijten is praised by sources for his international arbitration and energy expertise. "His advice and approach are always spot-on," says one client.

Corporate litigation head Ruud Hermans has a highly regarded Supreme Court practice and is well known for his restructuring work.

As part of his corporate practice Harm-Jan de Kluiver often handles corporate litigation. According to sources, "he's a very calm and balanced litigator, really in control." 

Bommel van der Bend is a skilled arbitrator and often assists clients with construction arbitrations.

Berto Winters focuses on corporate and Supreme Court litigation. He also handles restructuring and insolvency cases.

Practice head Marc Ynzonides has a top reputation for his Supreme Court work.

Active in financial litigation and Supreme Court work, Jan de Bie Leuveling Tjeenk is described as "very thoughtful – he doesn't rush into things but examines the matter from all angles."

Maarten Schenck is commended for his Supreme Court practice. One client notes: "He's brilliant at pleading. He knows all the details of the case and acts in your best interests."

Employment - Netherlands

THE FIRM This firm maintains its position as a market leader in the employment sector. It is unanimously respected by peers for its powerful capabilities in all aspects of employment law, including pensions. It is particularly admired for its substantial litigation work in the Supreme Court. In a key instruction, it represented VNV, the trade union for civil aviation pilots, in litigation involving three instances of forced retirement. 

Sources say: "The work is concise, relevant and done quickly, and the lawyers are very accessible."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients praise Evert-Jan Henrichs for his "transparent, open and honest approach," and for his extraordinary capabilities in dealing with the most complex of cases. He is known for being an expert in general employment law as well as in pensions law. 

Stefan Sagel is widely known as an expert litigator. One client comments: "He is very creative when looking at the law; he strikes the right balance with the lawyers on the other side and is able to quote jurisprudence in a way that is extremely applicable to the case in hand." 

Energy & Natural Resources - Netherlands

THE FIRM Despite the departure of one of its leading practitioners, this major Dutch player retains a prominent role in both transactional and regulatory energy work. In a key mandate the team represented the National Grid in front of the ECJ in a case relating to the Dutch exit tax. In another highlight it advised Gasunie on expanding its gas transport network. On the transactional side the energy team assisted KEMA with its sale, and advised Spyker Energy on its 100% sale of shares in Smart Energy Solutions to Tulip Oil. Other prominent clients include Shell and TenneT.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Marnix Leijten is renowned in the market as a "pre-eminent litigator" with noted strength on disputes in the energy sector.

Insurance - Netherlands

THE FIRM This firm's strengths lie in corporate advisory work for insurers and representing insured parties in complex litigation. Its client base includes prominent names such as ABN AMRO, Akzo Nobel and Philips, in addition to several major insurers. Sources speak highly of the team's skills in dispute resolution, and praise the breadth of expertise which the firm is able to draw on.

Sources say: "The team's level of experience is very high, and its strategic thinking is very good. The co-operation within the team is excellent."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Practice head Eelco Meerdink specialises in contentious insurance matters, and regularly represents insured clients. One interviewee comments: "He's realistic and careful. I appreciate his expertise."

Senior associate Dennis Horeman is singled out by clients for his creativity in insurance work. One states: "He's very intelligent and up to date with recent laws. An out-of-the-box thinker."

Intellectual Property - Netherlands

THE FIRM This firm has a thriving IP practice. One of the market leaders on the soft IP side, it is also a solid presence on patents matters. The four-partner team acts for a number of clients in the retail, electronics, entertainment and life sciences sectors. Recent highlights include representing Gillette against Wilkinson, and acting for Shell in various proceedings. The group continues to defend Sara Lee in major patent litigation case against Nestlé. 

Sources say: "The experts in the Netherlands. Thorough and hands-on."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Tobias Cohen Jehoram is "an authority" in this field, say sources, with undisputed expertise in trade marks and copyright. "He's definitely someone you want on your side," enthuses one interviewee, whilst another notes: "He's very knowledgeable and provides great business-oriented advice."

Interviewees say that practice head Koen Limperg is "absolutely fantastic. He strikes the right balance in court and has very good people skills." He focuses on IP litigation.

Gertjan Kuipers' scientific background is appreciated by clients, which he mainly advises on patent matters. "He's not just a lawyer but also a technician. He understands technology quickly, is thorough and detailed, and very easy to work with."

Jan Pieter Hustinx co-heads the patent and technology practice. "He's a pragmatic, skilled negotiator," says a client. He handles a lot of IP and patent litigation and has much experience of international licensing. 

Investment Funds - Netherlands

THE FIRM This three-partner practice remains at the pinnacle of the market, and receives particular praise for its strength in the pension funds sector. It recently assisted Ahold Pensioenfonds with the transition of its portfolio of Euro credits to a Global credits portfolio. It also advised on the outsourcing of Stichting Pensioenfonds Unilever Nederland's fiduciary management and asset management to Univest. Other key clients include Robeco, Avedon Capital Partners and Harbourvest. The firm receives particular praise for the financial regulatory expertise it brings to funds work.

Sources say: "De Brauw is a quality name, especially in pension funds. The firm is on top of changes in the field and explains things thoroughly."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Practice head Kees Groffen has a leading reputation in this field. One client comments: "We're impressed by his knowledge and efficiency. He's the main guy for us."

Francine Schlingmann brings formidable expertise in financial regulation to the investment funds practice. "She's one of the best in her area – she really understands our business," praises a client.

Bernard Spoor is commended for his technical aptitude. He specialises in complex structuring advice and also advises on financial market regulation.

Private Equity - Netherlands

THE FIRM This leading private equity practice is regularly involved in many of the market's top-tier transactions. The team has been most visible of late advising AAC Capital Partners on a number of deals. It advises other major Dutch and international private equity houses including HAL Investments, Waterland and Investcorp. Clients cite the experience and size of the team as particular advantages.

Sources say: "When there's tough deadlines, it has the capacity to get the work done. A top-notch firm which we use for complex, larger projects."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Arne Grimme commands much market respect for his work in public and private M&A and private equity. One market commentator states: "He does a fantastic job."

Paul Cronheim advises a range of major private equity investors and receives warm praise from clients. One comments: "He rises above the purely technical to be a true adviser."

Public Law - Netherlands

THE FIRM This Dutch powerhouse attracts praise for its work in PPPs and planning, environmental and permitting matters. It continues to advise the Port of Rotterdam on the major ongoing Maasvlakte 2 project, and plays a lead role in a number of other notable infrastructure projects around the country. These include advising Typhoon Offshore and HVC on the environmental and planning procedures relating to Project Gemini, and advising Groningen Seaports on the extension of the Eemshaven port. Other clients include BAM, AkzoNobel and KPN.

Sources say: "The firm's impeccable reputation is very helpful whenever we interact with the authorities." 

KEY INDIVIDUALS The "outstanding" Nicolien van den Biggelaar is highly commended for her work in public law, environmental law and spatial planning. "She provides solid, accurate, practical advice. An excellent client-focused approach."

Menno Stoffer heads the PPP group, and is praised for his expertise in project finance and construction matters. His clients include major financial institutions and infrastructure companies.

Real Estate - Netherlands

THE FIRM This firm stands out for its impressively broad practice, and especially for its skills in real estate finance and construction law. The eight-partner team recently advised Philips on the landmark sale of its High Tech Campus in Eindhoven to a consortium of investors. Further highlights include advising Bouwinvest on the disposal of 17 portfolios of residential properties, and advising ASR REIM on the structuring of a new retail real estate fund.

Sources say: "I'm very satisfied – the team can work to tight deadlines and it has multiple types of expertise in-house."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Notary Annemieke Wessels heads the real estate department. She specialises in project development and real estate finance.

Restructuring/Insolvency - Netherlands

THE FIRM This firm is traditionally strong in restructuring and insolvency, and is further boosting its capabilities in this field with new additions to the team. The firm chiefly acts for corporate clients, and recently advised the Dutch state on the EUR1 billion repayment by Aegon of financial aid received during the crisis. The team also played a role advising ING on the bankruptcy of DSB Bank.

Sources say: "I'm impressed by the work the team does." "A great Dutch firm."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Ruud Hermans heads the corporate litigation practice and also advises on the full scope of restructuring and insolvency work. "He's a smart guy with great technical and financial knowledge," say sources.

Berto Winters handles a number of corporate restructurings and is praised for his skills as a litigator. Clients say: "He's knowledgeable, approachable and able to explain complicated matters in layman's terms."

Tax - Netherlands

THE FIRM This stalwart of the Dutch market retains a strong client list of blue-chip domestic companies and major multinationals, including names such as Philips and Rabobank. It focuses on corporate and M&A tax advice, boasting strong transactional abilities. The team recently advised Intel on its acquisitions of Silicon Hive and Telmap, and assisted Royal Ahold with its acquisition of Bol.com. The group regularly assists pension funds with alternative investments. It also has a substantial tax litigation practice. 

KEY INDIVIDUALS The "exceptional" Dick Hofland "is the best tax lawyer by a mile," according to sources. He is best known for his tax work in the corporate/M&A and banking and finance fields.

Practice head Paul Sleurink is commended for his skills in M&A-related tax and his commercial awareness.

TMT - Netherlands

THE FIRM This firm excels in outsourcing transactions, where it has extensive experience in the financial services sector. It recently advised KAS BANK on its joint venture with dwpbank, which involved a major outsourcing, and represents Insinger de Beaufort in a major claim related to outsourcing. The team is also viewed as a leader in ICT compliance and cybercrime, and regularly handles contentious IT cases. The firm's telecoms practice is strongly regarded, and the group handles a high volume of transactional work. It has been busy of late advising key client KPN on a number of acquisitions.

Sources say: "A large team with a great track record." "First-class support, advice and service."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Described by sources as "the data protection expert," Lokke Moerel is a commanding presence in the field of data privacy. "She's excellent," enthuses an interviewee.

Bart van Reeken's IT and outsourcing practice is highly regarded, and one client praises him as being "really creative in finding solutions."

Transportation - Netherlands

THE FIRM This firm is unanimously recognised as a market leader in aviation. Its sizeable aviation industry practice group is made up of lawyers with expertise in a variety of fields, ensuring that the team can offer specialised advice on a range of matters. It is especially strong in aviation finance, including tax, and regularly advises aircraft insurers. Highlights include advising BBAM on the acquisition and refinancing of three Boeing 737s leased to KLM, and assisting Aercap with the repossession of an Airbus A320 on lease to Amsterdam Airlines. The team continues to act for long-standing clients Ex-Im Bank of the US and Schiphol Airport on various matters. Other clients include Boeing and Dutch Air Traffic Control.

Sources say: "The team is able to balance the commercial side with the legal in a way that adds meaningful value to the advice given." "Outstanding knowledge in this field."

KEY INDIVIDUALS "Doyen of the aviation industry" Berend Crans is a master of aviation law, particularly in the area of financing. "His advice is detailed, sound and pragmatic. He goes beyond the scope expected and is able to offer advice on the broader transaction," said one client. Crans regularly leads the team on its largest mandates.