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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Netherlands > Commercial, corporate and M&A > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Commercial, corporate and M&A
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Providing β€˜top service and value for money’, Allen & Overy LLP’s practice is β€˜always available, and provides quick, thorough advice’. Christiaan de Brauw and notary Joyce Leemrijse advised Qualcomm on its $47bn purchase of NXP Semiconductor, and Jan Louis Burggraaf assisted Wolters Kluwer with its €300m acquisition of Tagetik. Annelies van der Pauw and Charles HonΓ©e head the department. The β€˜highly skilled’ Katinka Middelkoop is β€˜very hands-on’; Danielle du Bois-BunΓ© made counsel in May 2017.

De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek’s department is led by Arne Grimme, who according to some clients is β€˜the best dealmaker in the Netherlands’. He and Reinier Kleipool acted for NXP Semiconductors on its $47bn acquisition by Qualcomm. Michael Schouten advised Unilever on its €450m offering of preference shares to NN Investment Partners and ASR Nederland. β€˜Calm problem-solver’ Paul Cronheim is β€˜remarkable’; Bernard Roelvink, Ton Schutte and Klaas de Vries are also recommended.

The β€˜dedicated, experienced and quick’ team at NautaDutilh is β€˜easy to work with’. β€˜Excellent negotiator’ Joost den Engelsman, whose β€˜expertise is unquestionable’, is β€˜always one step ahead and is available 24/7’; he assisted PZEM with over €1bn-worth of energy sector divestments. Leo Groothuis advised Thermo Fisher on its $7.2bn purchase of Patheon. Notary Paul van der Bijl made partner in January 2017; he, Groothuis and Geert Raaijmakers are recommended for public M&A. Lieke van der Velden heads the group.

Allard Metzelaar, Heleen Kersten, BjΓΆrn van der Klip and Duco de Boer are the key partners in Stibbe’s team, which has excellent public M&A capabilities. Kersteen advised AkzoNobel on its proposed €27bn takeover by PPG Industries, and van der Klip acted for Talpa on its €301m offer to purchase Telegraaf Media Groep. Metzelaar and de Boer advised Q-Park on KKR’s attempt to buy the outstanding shares in Q-Park for over €2.9bn.

Clifford Chance’s β€˜outstanding’ practice is noted for its excellent private equity work, where clients include APG Asset Management and Gilde Buy Out Partners. It also handles public M&A, for which Hans Beerlage, Thijs Alexander and Jeroen Thijssen are the key contacts. Alexander advised Staples on the sale of a controlling stake in its European business to an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management. Gregory Crookes is UK-, Netherlands- and South Africa-qualified.

Dirk-Jan Smit heads Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s β€˜outstanding, pragmatic’ group, which has β€˜a high level of business acumen’. The β€˜very commercial, solution-oriented and creative’ Harald Spruit advised Talpa Holding on its purchase of a 67% stake in SBS Broadcasting from Sanoma. Public M&A expert Hanneke Rothbarth made partner in May 2017; she, Smit and Jan Willem van der Staay acted for NN Group on its €2.5bn acquisition of Delta Lloyd. Alexander Doorman and Shawn der Kinderen are also highly recommended.

Houthoff’s β€˜reliable, diligent’ practice provides β€˜sound, pragmatic advice, fast’. Private equity expert Bram Caudri, who made partner in January 2017, is β€˜someone you want on your side’; he and Michiel Pannekoek acted for Jac Capital and Wise Road Capital on their over $2.7bn acquisition of NXP Semiconductors’ standard products business unit. β€˜Excellent strategist’ Willem de Nijs Bik is an expert in corporate governance and energy M&A; the β€˜high-energy’ Maurits de Haan has β€˜an eye for detail’. Jan-Paul van der Hoek heads the department.

Traditionally strong in the energy and financial services sectors, Linklaters’ practice is increasingly active in technology, including fintech. It also advises on public M&A for clients such as Unilever and Mediahuis; Jan Willem de Boer advised the latter on its takeover bid for Telegraaf Media Groep. Department head Bart Jan Kuck is β€˜very capable’; Pieter Riemer and notary Guido Portier are also recommended.

Noted for its multi-jurisdictional capabilities, Loyens & Loeff’s team β€˜makes clients feel secure’. Jan-Willem van Rooij, who β€˜always remains composed and bridges differences between opposing parties’, advised DIF on the sale of DIF Infrastructure II’s assets to APG Asset Management. The β€˜flexible’ Peter Corten advised Toyota Industries on its €1.2bn purchase of Vanderlande Industries from NPM Capital. Harmen Holtrop and notary and Latin America expert Bastiaan Cornelisse head the group; Herman Kaemingk and Bas Vletter are also recommended.

Baker McKenzie’s practice is well known for its multi-jurisdictional strength. Henk Arnold Sijnja, who heads the group jointly with corporate structures expert John Paans, advised Busitalia-Sita Nord and Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane on their acquisition of Qbuzz and Abellio Mobility Services from Nederlandse Spoorwegen. Mohammed Almarini and private equity expert Casper Banz are also recommended.

The β€˜quick, service-minded’ team at DLA Piper provides β€˜tailored advice’ and has β€˜in-depth industry knowledge’. The β€˜very knowledgeable’ Richard Fens advised GPS Netherlands on its purchase of Hydrocarbon Hotel from Varo Energy Tankstorage. Group head Daphne Bens acted for Cushman & Wakefield on its acquisition of DTZ Zadelhoff. Pieter Paul Terpstra made partner in May 2017. Barbara van Hussen left the firm.

Dennis de Breij, Joris Boon, Laura Overes and Wytse Huidekoper are the key partners at corporate and M&A boutique deBreij, which is noted for its high transactional volume. The β€˜dedicated, highly qualified’ team is β€˜fast, concise and knowledgeable’; though known mostly for its private equity expertise, it has a strong line in strategic M&A. Overes advised Yourzine and SearchResult on their sale to PostNL; Inter Oil, Olympus Holding and Aalberts Industries are also clients.

Real estate and technology are key sector strengths for Dentons Boekel’s practice, which counts Oracle and Regus among its clients. Casper Haket, who heads the group jointly with commercial contracting expert Marc Elshof, advised Dominion Colour on its sale of a majority stake to H.I.G. Capital. In September 2017, private equity specialist Kuif Klein Wassink and energy expert David Griston arrived from Baker McKenzie and Clifford Chance respectively.

Hogan Lovells International LLP’s β€˜excellent’ department is headed by Johannes Buntjer; most of its work is multi-jurisdictional. Victor de Vlaam and senior associate Aafke Pronk are β€˜practical, helpful and pleasant to work with’; de Vlaam advised Macquarie and GIC on their $1.3bn offer for a 30% stake in Energy Development Corporation. Senior counsel Johan Kleyn joined from Jones Day in September 2017.

The β€˜personable, pragmatic’ team at Jones Day has β€˜a very reassuring global network’. Practice head Mike Jansen advised SHV Energy on its purchase of American Midstream Partners’ propane businesses. Marc Rijkaart van Cappellen β€˜thinks outside the box’; β€˜dedicated, strategic’ and β€˜very skilled’ senior associate Bastiaan Kout shows β€˜cross-border thinking’. Floris Pierik made partner in January 2017.

Lexence’s β€˜very knowledgeable’ team provides β€˜closely tailored advice’, and is led by Joost Houtman and Joost Kolkman. The β€˜supportive, dependable’ Luc Habets has β€˜a high level of commercial flair’ and β€˜ensures smooth negotiations’; his clients include Intelligent Group and Waterland Private Equity. Diederick de Boer made partner in January 2017; Michiel van Schooten, Wouter Helder and Mathijs van Doormalen are also recommended.

Counting energy, infrastructure, TMT, life sciences and financial services as sector strengths, Simmons & Simmons LLP’s department is also increasingly active in the food industry; DOC Dairy Partners is a client. Group head Rob Hendriks is highly active in corporate real estate; Pieter van Uchelen, Leo Verhoeff and Jean-Pierre van Leeuwe are other names to note.

Van Doorne’s β€˜well-respected, well-informed’ team provides β€˜focused, trustworthy advice’. It is led by expert Arnout Stroeve, who along with Daan ter Braak is a civil law notary; Stroeve advised Cott on its €470m purchase of Eden Springs. Other key partners include Onno Boerstra, Friso Foppes and Jeroen Sombezki. β€˜Hands-on, pragmatic’ associate Sander Maarschalkerweerd is β€˜a true business partner’.

Transport, technology, agribusiness and healthcare are sectors of particular expertise for AKD’s practice. Lennart Crain arrived from De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek in January 2017; he and Zabdaj Pollen acted for IOI on its sale of a 70% stake in IOI Loders Croklaan to Bunge for €297m plus $595m. Erwin Rademakers, Nathalie van Woerkom and practice head Carlos Pita Cao are also recommended.

Bird & Bird LLP counts TMT, energy, healthcare and life sciences as its core sector strengths. Department head Pauline Vos, who β€˜meets deadlines some deem unmeetable’, acted for Cellnex Telecom on its €109m acquisition of 261 Dutch telephony sites from Protelindo. Energy expert Sophie Dingenen is β€˜very conscientious and reliable’, β€˜strong in negotiating complex contracts’ and β€˜a pleasure to work with’.

CMS’ practice is led by Roman Tarlavski, who is an expert in the TMT, automotive and hotels and leisure sectors. Reinout Slot, though also very active in life sciences and financial institutions M&A, advised Cott on the over $1.2bn sale of its non-alcoholic bottling business to Refresco Holding. Also worth noting are Mark Ziekman and energy experts Cecilia van der Weijden and Martika Jonk.

The β€˜outstanding’ practice at Eversheds Sutherland (Netherlands) B.V. is frequently involved in cross-border work. Rob Faasen, who brings β€˜deep experience, outstanding judgement, great business and phenomenal leadership to the table’, assisted Westrock with the Dutch aspects of its global divestment of various of its packaging and dispensing activities. Tom van Wijngaarden and practice head Miriam van Ee are also recommended.

Counting technology and food as areas of particular activity, Norton Rose Fulbright’s practice is headed by Saskia Blokland, who advised Bureau Veritas on its acquisition of a stake in Schutter Group. Ep Hannema assisted Frasers Centrepoint with its €316m purchase of an 87% stake in Geneba Properties. Heimon Smits β€˜can put together a well-balanced team with short notice, and get things moving swiftly’.

Noted for its β€˜excellent industry knowledge, practical, thorough advice and great value for money’, Stek’s six-partner practice β€˜never fails, even when the deadlines are very tight’. Jeroen Timmermans advised the shareholders of Nuts Groep on the sale of their 50% stake to Waterland Private Equity, and Dierik Cras assisted Simpel with purchasing all shares in Simpel held by De Hoge Dennen Capital, and selling a minority stake in Simpel to Parcom Capital.

BarentsKrans’ β€˜efficient’ department provides β€˜well-tailored, no-nonsense advice’. β€˜Proactive, client-oriented’, β€˜ever-enthusiastic perfectionist’ Rhamsey Croes heads the practice, and is β€˜available 24/7’; he made partner in January 2017. Michiel Martin acted for KPN on its acquisition of Solcon, and Harry Rek assisted Wellpet with its purchase of Paragon Products Holding. Nick Surber and notary Robert-Jan Zwaan are also recommended.

Biesheuvel Jansen advocaten’s β€˜entrepreneurial’ department provides β€˜outstanding service’ at β€˜great speed’. β€˜Very experienced dealmaker’ Quirijn Biesheuvel is β€˜a strong negotiator’; he advised Alldra on its sale to Finasucre Group. Energy experts Rutger Jansen and Inge Timmerman, who are β€˜sharp, experienced, dedicated, collaborative and responsive’, assisted Engie with its purchase of Sungevity International from Solar Spectrum.

The team at Buren is noted for its cross-border scope. Steven van der Waal heads the Japan and China practice groups, Paul Deloo and Peter van Dijk are the key contacts for CIS and Russia work, and Cees-Frans Greeven is the Latin America expert. Pieter van den Berg advised Van der Lee on the sale of Van der Lee International to Transports Vervaeke.

Greenberg Traurig LLP’s team β€˜works well every step of the way’, and leaves clients β€˜very happy’. Led jointly by Jan Kees Brandse, ThΓ©door Melchers and the β€˜excellent’ Martijn Hermus, it is very strong in corporate real estate, and has been increasingly active in TMT M&A. Melchers advised Creative Clicks on its €11m purchase of Matomy’s desktop and mobile advertising agency business.

β€˜Fast, accurate’ and β€˜cost-effective’ corporate boutique Heussen is β€˜a pleasure to deal with’. Paul Josephus Jitta advised Vision Healthcare on the sale of its healthcare business to Vemedia Consumer Health. Tim Schreuders is β€˜proactive’; Stan Robbers has β€˜an impressive track record, broad M&A knowledge and an understanding of business rationale’. Martijn Koot and senior associate Ernst ter Braak are also recommended.

The β€˜service-oriented, no-nonsense’ team at Ploum β€˜handles small, medium-sized and large transactions very well’. β€˜Effective negotiator’ Tom Ensink is β€˜attentive to detail while retaining a global perspective’; he heads the practice with civil law notary Jolande van Loon. Albert Wiggers and Stephan Sluijters are also highly active. Clients include Macquarie Capital, BayWa Agrar International and Nuon.

Founded in late 2015, BOLT Advocaten is noted for its multi-jurisdictional scope. Mark Eising acted for Palacio de Caserta, Palacio de PΓ©saro and Dutch company Lord Real Estate on their merger, and Rogier Dahmen advised the shareholders and management of Bellt on their sale of the company to Batenburg Techniek. Bart Bendel is also recommended.

The eight-partner team at HVG Law LLP is based across Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Eindhoven; the latter office is particularly active in technology, agribusiness and food M&A. Sijmen de Lange and Rutger Lambriex head the M&A and commercial groups respectively; de Lange advised Schouten Zekerheid Holding on its purchase of Boelaars & Lambert.

β€˜Sophisticated, high-end’ corporate boutique Orange Clover Law is particularly strong in advising private equity and financial institutions. β€˜Tough, pragmatic negotiator’ Pien van Veersen advised Gilde Buy Out Partners and Nordic Mezzanine Fund on their sale of Novagraaf Group to Paragon Partners. Mark Loefs and Marcel van den Nieuwenhuijzen joined from Linklaters and Clifford Chance respectively. Practice head Machiel Galjaart is β€˜dedicated, creative and technically skilled’.

Private equity and venture capital are particular strengths of Osborne Clarke’s department. The β€˜skilled, supportive’ Herke van Hulst advised Breath Therapeutics on a €44m investment in it by Gimv and Sofinnova Partners. Group head Cristine Brinkman is β€˜trustworthy, engaging and always available’; notary Cars-Jan van Gool is noted for his β€˜experience, methodical approach and extensive legal knowledge’. Jeroen Lub is a technology M&A expert.

Private equity and family office work are busy areas for Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn NV’s practice, which is also particularly active in privatisations and regulated-markets M&A. Department head Luc Defaix advised Domicil Real Estate Group on its purchase of a 95% stake in IWF Duitsland Holding and IWF Duitsland Holding 2. Senior associate Carel van Swaay joined from De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek in March 2017.

The β€˜very well-respected, well-connected’ team at Russell Advocaten B.V. has β€˜a high level of expertise’, especially in commercial matters, and is noted for its expertise in the retail and luxury brands sector. β€˜Very responsive, trustworthy’, β€˜flexible’ name partner Reinier Russell heads the group; he β€˜puts things in perspective, and guides his clients through difficult moments’. Jan Dop is also recommended.

β€˜Outstanding, thorough, highly practical’ founding partner Helger Kamerman heads the β€˜fast, very pleasant’ team at Vestius, which has β€˜vast experience’ and is β€˜up to speed with market developments’. Kamerman and widely recommended senior associate Daan van Noord advised the founding shareholders of Triumph Studios on its €25m sale to Paradox Interactive. Henk Brat arrived from Lexsigma Advocaten in December 2017.

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Legal Developments in Netherlands

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
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  • Amendment of the Collective Redundancy Notification Act

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  • Shipping & Transport - Netherlands

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  • The employment of foreign workers. What issues do you need to be aware of as an employer?

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  • Non-solicitation agreement violated via LinkedIn

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    The Netherlands and Dutch law The Netherlands is a perfect business location for foreign entrepreneurs (2,000 subsidiaries in Amsterdam, 140,000 jobs). It is the gateway to densely populated Western Europe and has a well-developed logistic and technical infrastructure.
  • Leasing of commercial premises in the Netherlands

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  • Employment of foreign workers in the Netherlands

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Press Releases worldwide

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