Commercial, corporate and M&a in Netherlands
Allen & Overy LLP
Annelies van der Pauw and Charles Honée lead a top-flight practice at Allen & Overy LLP with a team that is 'strong, creative, diligent, and attentive to client needs'. Some of the highlighted team members include recently promoted partner Jasper de Jong, who is valued for 'being able to guide the client and drive a project to a timeline'. Christiaan De Brauw's work includes advising Gemalto's board, on the €4.75bn takeover by Thales which created a world leader in digital security. Jan Burggraaf advised Jumbo, as part of a consortium with Coop, on the €410m acquisition of EMTÉ Holding from Sligro Food Group.
Arne Grimme leads the in-demand practice at De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek which provides 'good coordination of tasks even in the heat of a very difficult deal' with the bonus that 'they are very nice people to work with, very down to earth, and who always respect deadlines'. Some of the other respected team members include Lennard Keijzer, Reinier Kleipool, and Bernard Roelvink. The team handles some of the largest corporate deals and successfully defended AkzoNobel against the unsolicited offers made by US competitor PPG Industries and also advised AkzoNobel in its dealings with activist shareholder Elliott Advisors.
The NautaDutilh team, spearheaded by global head of corporate and M&A Lieke van der Velden, can tackle large M&A deals; Leo Groothuis led the team which acted for Unibail-Rodamco in its acquisition of Westfield, the flagship shopping centre with an overall deal value of €21bn. The transaction included setting up a Dutch company to acquire Westfield’s US operations and certain Dutch assets, the company would then become a Dutch REIT. Joost den Engelsman's corporate practice includes handling private equity deals and he recently advised long-standing client ABB on the Dutch leg of ABB’s acquisition of the global Industrial Solutions business from General Electric, a matter valued at €2.6bn.
Stibbe counts a number of international banks, AkzoNobel, Bain Capital, and Heineken within its client roster. Allard Metzelaar, Heleen Kersten, and M&A partner Björn van der Klip, who also heads the firm's private equity practice, are the senior practitioners. In highlight work, the team represented Q-Park on its acquisition by KKR, a matter with an enterprise value of €2.95bn.
Kim Tan heads the corporate and corporate structures practice at Amsterdam-based Baker McKenzie which, as part of the global network, offers international private and public M&A and private equity expertise, particularly in the energy, mining, and infrastructure sectors. Casper Banz and Mohammed Almarini advised Ergon Capital Partners in setting up a partnership to acquire puzzle publisher Keesing Media Group from the Telegraaf Media Group; the latter had a 30% stake in the partnership and this intense transaction attracted interest from a number of Dutch and UK private equity houses. Henk Arnold Sijnja, whose broad expertise includes restructurings and reorganisations, is a noted partner.
The Clifford Chance practice advises corporates, private equity houses, and financial institutions on the gamut of acquisitions, disposals, and joint ventures in combination with its renowned banking and finance expertise. Hans Beerlage heads the corporate and private equity practices and led the advice to Air France-KLM on its proposed investment in Virgin Atlantic; a new joint venture with Virgin Atlantic and Delta Airlines; and on its increased commercial cooperation with China Eastern Airlines. Mark Jan Arends and Thijs Alexander are other noted partners.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
At Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, seasoned partner Shawn der Kinderen has an established financial investor clientele, especially those in private equity. He advised CVC Capital Partners on the acquisition by CVC Fund VII of TMF Group from DH Private Equity Partners. Jan Willem van der Staay advised Royal Boskalis Westminster on the purchase of 100% of the shares in the UK company Gardline Holdings. Alexander Doorman advised EQT on the acquisition of Curaeos from Bencis Capital Partners and other minority founders and shareholders in a highly contested private equity auction. Harald Spruit and Hanneke Rothbarth are other noted team members.
Houthoff is appreciated for providing 'excellent, on the spot, informed advice at every stage'. This well-established team is headed by Alexander Kaarls whose broad expertise serves clients ranging from multinationals and private equity houses to institutional investors. He advised Wyndham Worldwide on the sale of its European vacation rental business which involved assets in numerous countries, to Platinum Equity for approximately $1.3bn. Other key members of the team include Michiel Pannekoek, Willem de Nijs Bik, Bram Caudri and Maurits de Haan. Its clients include Booking.com, eBay, Kellogg, and EQT. Jan-Paul van der Hoek left the firm.
Lexence partners Luc Habets, Joost Houtman and Michiel R van Schooten are commended for 'personal, communicative, and fast' service. The team is also 'able to think about pragmatic solutions which is often missing from other firms'. Diederick de Boer is also noted for 'being able to think with the client'. The practice, which has hired a number of new associates of late and has an impressive mid-market presence, counts Post NL Corporate, Synergia Capital, and Dutch Greentech Fund among its clients. Noted partner Wouter Helder led a team that assisted Digital Insurance Group on complex work relating to its collaboration agreement with Zurich Insurance Group.
Linklaters combines a full service, including banking and finance alongside its corporate/M&A and governance expertise with a focus on the international energy, infrastructure, and industrial sectors. Managing partner Jan Willem de Boer, Pieter Riemer, and Bart Jan Kuck are the key partners. In highlight work, the team acted for Unilever on the auction sale of its global spreads business. The transaction was structured as a binding offer of €6.8bn on a cash-free, debt-free basis from the European and North American private equity funds of KKR.
Loyens & Loeff attracts large and mid-market deals, especially those involving private equity, and is highlighted for its 'in-depth knowledge of the M&A market and its truly client first approach.' The 'proactive' Harmen Holtrop heads the group and is valued for 'knowing exactly the approach the client wants to take'. He assisted the Carlyle Group on its acquisition with GIC, the Singapore-based sovereign wealth fund, of the special chemicals division of Akzo Nobel. The matter had an enterprise value of €10.1bn. Other noted team members include Herman Kaemingk, who has a focus on management and leveraged buyouts, and Jan-Willem van Rooij whose international practice includes energy market transactions.
AKD garners praise for being 'hands-on, solution driven, and tough negotiators' who will nonetheless 'close fast and achieve results'. Practice head Carlos Pita Cao 'is a superb advisor and negotiator who can save a deal with an inventive move'. Other key partners include Erwin Rademakers, Nathalie van Woerkom, who is reported to be 'an outstanding M&A counsel, excellent negotiator and a great team leader' and 'skilled' Lennart Crain. The team undertakes the full range of regional and international corporate and M&A work for clients such as the listed Malaysian IOI, on the divestment of a 70% controlling stake in its IOI Loders Croklaan division.
deBreij is a prominent, specialist corporate/M&A firm that excels on mid-market deals. 'It is fast moving, highly engaged, and takes the initiative to create solutions and is strategically strong'. It counts Aalberts Industries and 3i, as well as banks, among its client roster and in recent work it acted for Klett Lernen on the acquisition of Thieme Meulenhoff from ING Corporate Investments. 'Fast strategic thinker' Joris Boon, Laura Overes, and Wytse Huidekoper are the key lawyers in the team together with Dennis de Breij whose 'delivery is as superior as a big name lawyer – he was creative in deal structuring and was able to manage the negotiations with a good sense of humour'.
At Dentons, technology, telecoms, and real estate expert Casper Haket, David Griston, and Kuif Klein Wassink are the senior partners in a team that has grown substantially in the past two years. The practice has a strong cross-border practice including in eastern Europe bolstered by its finance and real estate and tax practices. Together with a London team, the Amsterdam group advised KKR on its winning binding offer of €6.825bn for the spreads business of Unilever. The practice also acted for Park Hotels and Resorts on its sale of the Rotterdam Hilton to a consortium of buyers led by First Sponsor Group for €50.4m.
DLA Piper draws praise for its 'straightforward, agile, and commercial' approach. Team head Daphne Bens, who also heads the technology group, attracts mandates from a range of US and European tech companies. Pieter Paul Terpstra is also highlighted, especially for his experience in the insurance and energy sectors; he advised Zurich Insurance Group on its investment in Digital Insurance Group. Richard Fens is another noted partner who assists clients in the chemical, energy, and technology industries.
The lawyers at Hogan Lovells International LLP are commended for being 'very hands-on and accessible' and for being 'solution finders'. The practice is also highlighted for its 'great international expertise'. Department head Victor de Vlaam and senior counsel Johan Kleyn are noted practitioners. Together with a cross-practice team, Johannes Buntjer, who covers M&A and private equity matters, advised Daimler on the creation of a joint venture with BMW to form innovative future mobility services. In other work, the practice assisted Kuala Lumpur Kepong on the sale of its surfactants business in the Netherlands to a Swiss-headquartered chemical producer.
Mike Jansen heads the Jones Day group which counts major US and European multinationals and significant domestic companies among its client list. In a highlight deal, Floris Pierik headed the team that advised US private equity fund Arsenal Capital Partners on the controlled auction of its Dutch portfolio company, IGM Resins. The deal involved colleagues in US, China, and Japan. Ton Schutte joined the team in May 2018 from De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek bringing considerable international M&A expertise.
The substantial team at Norton Rose Fulbright counts Saskia Blokland, Heimon Smits, and Ep Hannema among its senior advisors. The group is adept in all areas including M&A, disposals, buy-outs, joint ventures, and private equity transactions. Energy, infrastructure, food/agribusiness, and insurance are some of its key sectors. In recent work, it assisted well-known domestic and global clients on high-value acquisitions and mergers.
Simmons & Simmons's practice centres on energy, infrastructure, life sciences, and TMT sectors and it counts investment funds and asset managers among its clients. In recent work, it advised Aegon, the international life insurance, pensions, and asset management company, on the acquisition of Robidus from Avedon Capital Partners. Aegon acquired a 95% stake in the company and the remaining shares stayed in the possession of the management. Rob Hendrik heads the team which includes Pieter van Uchelen, Leo Verhoeff, and Martijn Stuart, who has been promoted to managing associate.
Onno Boerstra heads the team at Van Doorne, which also includes Hugo Reumkens, Arnout Stroeve, and Friso Foppes. The group provides 'a full offering of M&A-related legal services and a highly experienced team'. Senior associate Steffen Alleman is also highlighted as 'an outstanding lawyer who makes the difference in getting a deal done. His knowledge, creativity, and negotiation skills put him on top of any legal advisory list'. It advised IRI Investments, a subsidiary of IKEA Group, on the acquisition of a minority interest in Mopet Beheer.
Bird & Bird LLP partners are 'super hands-on and proactively involve the right specialists within the firm, drafting side documents, and proposing alternative solutions to concerns'. Practice head Pauline Vos 'proposes solutions that always take account of the bigger picture and the deal specifics'. Sophie Dingenen and René Rieter are also noted. Vos and Rieter advised Telindus Netherlands on its acquisition of Umbrio Group, a leading specialist in IT and network operations, monitoring, and analytics. They also advised Riverside Partners, the Boston-based private equity firm, and portfolio company Calero Software on the acquisition of A&B Groep and cMerge IT.
Led by Roman Tarlavski, the CMS group takes on the full range of M&A work and corporate governance matters in sectors including energy, life sciences, consumer products, financial services, and TMT. Its highlight work includes acting for a biotechnology company on a cross-border acquisition and assisting private equity houses on acquisitions and investments in the automotive, waste, and high tech industries. Mark Ziekman, who specialises in cross-border mergers, takeovers and joint ventures, and energy practice head Cecilia van der Weijden are noted practitioners.
Eversheds Sutherland (Netherlands) B.V. undertakes a range of mid-market and global transactions, especially in the renewable energy market and is noted for its trans-border network. 'Great communicator and great lawyer' Rob Faasen and Miriam van Ee are noted senior partners together with Tom van Wijngaarden who advised Incyte on its acquisition of a 20% share in Merus. Wijngaarden also advised on a collaboration agreement between the parties regarding bispecific antibody research programmes. The team made a number of new hires including associate Laila Kouchi, who joined from DLA Piper.
In addition to being 'very responsive, pragmatic, and deal-driven', Heussen is identified as 'a very internationally oriented law firm working to the highest quality standards' and its foreign desks are considered 'a big plus' by clients. 'Energetic dealmaker' Paul Josephus Jitta and Suzanne Beijersbergen are recommended; Tim Schreuders 'is always available and provides great support on transactions', while Stan Robbers is highlighted for his 'successful Chinese practice and excellent network'. The team acted for US-based energy and natural resources private equity firm Denham Capital on the setting up of a partnership with Pembroke Resources through a Dutch company to acquire and develop a portfolio of metallurgical coal assets in the Asia Pacific region.
'Highly skilled, knowledgeable and experienced', Ploum lawyers 'are involved at all levels and available at all times'. The key partners include 'excellent transactional lawyer' Tom Ensink, 'who is noticeably comfortable in complicated cross-border transactions' and 'equally brilliant transactional lawyer' Stephan Sluijters, who has a focus on the energy, transport, and logistics sectors. Partner and notary Jolande van Loon specialises in real estate-related deals. Senior partner Albert Wiggers 'is a strong negotiator, technically advanced, and incredibly fast'. The team advised BayWa Renewable Energy on the establishment of a joint venture with the shareholders in Groen Leven, through which it will own and operate a significant number of solar projects in the Netherlands.
Stek's team head Eelco Bijkerk, together with Dierik Cras and Maarten van der Graaf, advise private equity houses, corporates, and financial institutions on M&A and broader corporate law, as well as restructurings. 'The hands-on attention from the partners results in high-quality legal work with the courage to be pragmatic'. The 'proactive' Bijkerk is acknowledged for providing clients 'with the comfort that nothing is left behind which should have been dealt with'. In the renewable energy market, Cras advised the shareholders of Lagerwey, the wind turbines manufacturer, on the sale of their shares to Enercon of Germany.
Michiel Martin is the lead partner at BarentsKrans who advised Zwanenberg Food Group acquiring the Oss-based meat, sauce, and soup factory from Unilever and the subsequent entering into a strategic alliance with Unilever. The highly experienced Harry Rek assisted engineering software provider Bentley Systems with its acquisition of 100% of the shares in Dutch geotechnical software provider Plaxis/Plaxinvest. Rhamsey Croes leads the team which was boosted with the arrival of Koen van Wijk who joined from Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn NV.
Biesheuvel Jansen advocaten is recognised for dealing with complex business setups in the Netherlands and across Europe. Founding partner Quirijn Biesheuvel is lauded by one client for being 'the best M&A lawyer I have worked with', while another commented that he 'owns the situation and controls the case'. Other well-regarded founding partners are the 'outstanding lawyer and true dealmaker' Rutger Jansen and the 'structured thinking' Inge Timmerman. The team advised private equity and venture capital firm Karmijn Kapitaal on its acquisition of a 40% stake in Gielissen from its shareholders. The team also advised Fiber Nederland on the acquisition by M7, a Luxemburg-based Group, of all its shares.
'Commercially oriented and providing pragmatic advice', Buren has offices in Amsterdam, The Hague, and Luxembourg, and a strong Asia-facing practice thanks to its offices in Beijing and Shanghai. Pieter van den Berg, Paul Deloo, and Tjeerd Aghina are the notable partners and senior associate Coen van der Mark is also recommended. The group advised Valeant Pharmaceuticals on the merger of Netherlands-based Valeant Europe into a Hungarian pharma company. Recent arrivals include Jan Holthuis, who specialises in Chinese law, and Damien Berkhout who joined from Stibbe.
The Greenberg Traurig LLP practice has an established client roster of domestic and international listed and private companies, start-ups, and government bodies. Thédoor Melchers advised the Nordic group BEWI on the purchase of Synbra Holding, the Netherlands-based manufacturer. Martijn Hermus acted for Bunzl on the purchase of 85% of the shares from JéTé Holding in QS Nederland. Other team members include Jan Kees Brandse, who advised the Toronto-based Dream Global REIT on its investment in Merin, one of the largest commercial real estate platforms in the Netherlands.
Osborne Clarke is a 'solution-driven team that is creative in getting the deal done' and is also acknowledged for 'working very collaboratively amongst its practice groups and offices throughout different cities'. Head of corporate Cristine Brinkman is highly recommended; 'she is technically very good but also honest, open, and easy to communicate with'. Jeroen Lub and Herke van Hulst are also noted practitioners. The practice counts international private equity and venture capital firms and investment funds among its client base and in recent work, the team advised the Calco Group on its MBO backed by UK-based Inflexion Private Equity Partners.
Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn NV is described as 'an excellent team providing top-quality services from top-notch partners' and is capable of 'turning true know-how into practical advice'. The 'creative' Luc Defaix leads the practice and 'is very good at keeping parties moving forward through good negotiations'. Senior associate Carel van Swaay is also noted for being 'effective in getting deals closed'. Senior associate Margriet Middelkoop joined the team in November 2018 from De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek. The team advised KPN which acquired 100% of the shares in QSight IT from private equity firm Holland Venture.
Vestius offers a full range of mid-market corporate and venture capital expertise. The team underwent notable growth since a number of lawyers joined from LEXSIGMA Advocaten in 2017 and it is recognised for its 'personal approach, 24/7 service, and above par knowledge'. Helger Kamerman combines 'pragmatism with humour' and is 'a fast and sharp thinker in negotiations'. Henk Brat is also noted because 'he formulates a clear strategy and has a pragmatic approach'. Senior associate Daan Van Noord 'looks beyond the legal aspects' and has good client handling skills. The team advised GreenFlux and its founding shareholders regarding the investment made by sustainable energy company EnecoGroup and independent investment fund SET Ventures, both acquiring a minority stake of the company.
'Constructive, considered, and practical', BOLT Advocaten has 'deep experience of cross-border transactions and is a pleasure to work with'. Senior partners Rogier Dahmen is highlighted for being 'effective across a broad range of corporate and commercial issues' while Bart Bendel stands out for 'combining legal expertise with strategic insights'. Mark Eising heads the practice which counts Stantec, Groeneveld Groep, and DC Netherlands among its clients.
Florent is considered to be 'the best firm for SMEs and it helps entrepreneurs accelerate their businesses' and 'it is more efficient than the larger players'. Managing partner Pieter van den Brink advised Hemubo Almere on the acquisition of the majority of the shares in H&R Bouw and he acted with Matthijs Brons, who is 'highly valued for being results-oriented and efficient', for EAB Group Plc on the acquisition of 14% of the shares in the capital of Fortum Sun. The team's clients range from startups to private equity houses.
Orange Clover Law
The highly recommended Orange Clover Law counts private equity houses, financial institutions and investment managers among its client base and has expertise in sectors such as energy, IT, manufacturing, and chemicals. Pien van Veersen, Machiel Galjaart, Kees Hooft, and Marcel van den Nieuwenhuijzen are all recommended for their 'depth of knowledge, responsiveness, and for being pleasant to work with'. Managing associate Christopher Parker joined from De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek in July 2018.
Managing partner Reinier WL Russell is the highly experienced head of Russell Advocaten B.V.. Russell's skills include corporate restructuring and mediation in addition to more general corporate work. Together with Guus van Lieshout he advises a well-known international luxury goods client on day-to-day corporate matters and most recently assisted it with a cooperation agreement. Jan Dop is also a key member of the team.