Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Jaap van Slooten, Paul Vestering and Astrid Helstone
- 3 partners
- 14 other qualified lawyers
What the team is known for Highly regarded full-service firm, providing advice on the full range of stand-alone employment matters, including collective redundancies and restructurings. The group offers a multidisciplinary focus that includes an increasingly strong emphasis on pension fund related matters. Fields a reputable litigation team well equipped to assist with the employment aspects of transactions. Also has notable expertise in the financial and consumer goods sectors.
Strengths Several interviewees point to the overall calibre of the practice, one in particular stressing that "the quality of the team is outstanding," adding: "They are highly responsive, flexible, hands-on and are fully up to speed with the latest legal developments."
Other sources note the team's excellent cross-border capability, with one saying: "As they regularly advise foreign clients, they know exactly how to approach foreign, non-Dutch HR and legal in-house lawyers. That is a big difference to law firms that only regularly advise national clients."
Work highlights Advised KLM on various employment and pension matters, including litigation against a trade union regarding the collective labour agreement, a dispute with a works council and several claims brought against former personnel.
Acted for Ahold on the employment elements with regard to its EUR25 billion merger with Delhaize.
Significant clients ABN AMRO, Heineken, PostNL, Sodexo, Smurfit Kappa.
Clients and peers alike hold Jaap van Slooten in the highest regard, saying: "He is one of the top employment lawyers in the Netherlands. He combines academic knowledge with a practical approach to support you." A client adds: "He is a very strategic lawyer with excellent skills of communication." He is vastly experienced on collective employment litigation and has a notable focus on company closure, industrial actions and pensions.
Astrid Helstone acts on executive remunerations and terminations and disputes with works councils at both the national and European levels. Clients say: "She provides an excellent service and strikes a great balance between the commercial opportunity and achieving the best outcome for the client. A highly trusted adviser." Her highlights include advising LeasePlan Corporation on the employment aspects of its sale to a consortium of investors and pension funds.
Clients say of Paul Vestering: "He is a very knowledgeable, sharp and practical lawyer that is calm, unflappable and knows what he is talking about. Paul is able to clearly define the scope of the matter, set out a strategy and explain that in a clear and simple way to the relevant stakeholders." He has a particular focus on works council issues, pensions and executive remuneration and termination matters. He advised APG on its pension plans, including the amendments thereof and the role of works councils following recent changes to legislation.
Since publication, Teun Huijg has joined Held Law Advocaten