Dispute resolution: arbitration in Netherlands

De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek

De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek's 'very international, engaged and knowledgeable' team frequently represents blue-chip clients in high-stakes cross-border arbitration. The global reach of the practice can be seen in its recent work highlights, including representing Royal Dutch Shell in arbitration surrounding the construction of one of the biggest offshore oil platforms in the world in Malaysia. Practice head Marnix Leijten is noted for his ability to 'quickly spot the relevant issues and approach them with a focus on strategy' and Matthias Kuscher are also key names to note. Martje Verhoeven-de Vries Lentsch made partner in January 2019. Bregje Korthals Altes-van Dijk  has left the practice to join Ysquare Dispute Resolution.

Practice head(s):

Marnix Leijten

Testimonials

I have been working with the team for some time now on a complicated cross-border matter involving a number of jurisdictions. An outstanding team led by Albert Marsman and Marnix Leijten. Very international, engaged and knowledgeable.

Albert Marsmann and Marnix Leitjen are both exceptional lawyers. They work with an international mindset understanding the needs of other jurisdictions involved in the same case. They are strong litigators.

Focus on strategy, in-depth knowledge of the industry and the case, excellent collaboration within the team and with us as the client.

Marnix Leijten: ability to quickly spot the relevant issues and approach them with a focus on strategy and to translate them for the outsider. Bregje Korthals Altes-van Dijk: excellent knowledge, good communicator.

The team I worked with was very diverse. I really appreciate how this diversity and different perspectives contributed to what ultimately became a very dynamic litigation strategy. The execution of that strategy was project-managed very well – we were therefore always a few steps ahead. This disciplined approach really shone through at the hearing when compared to the team from the other side.

Very efficient team with all team members showing a high degree of knowledge.

Albert Marsman with his team is very competent and able to adjust to an international environment. Very humble, but firm and strong technically.

Creative thinking; professional and diligent; very experienced with ICC arbitration.

The team is professional, and have lots of experience in arbitration.

Key clients

Yukos Oil – former majority stakeholders

Royal Dutch Shell

GasTerra B.V.

Amlyn Holding

BYD Auto Industries

Crystallex

National Bank of Kazakhstan

Ecuador

Czech Republic

Achmea

NLMK

Tiffany

COFCO

Nationale Nederlanden

Waterland

Heineken

Nouryon

Rabobank

Work highlights

  • Representing the former shareholders of Yukos in setting aside proceedings related to a $50bn arbitration award.
  • Representing Amlyn Holding in a €100m ICSID investment treaty arbitration against the Republic of Croatia.
  • Defended a Chinese automobile manufacturer in an ICC arbitration brought by a Swiss-French integrated automotive group.

Houthoff

Houthoff fields a 'professional, responsible and talented team of lawyers', which has 'extensive experience with ICC and other international arbitrations'. The firm is heavily involved with various matters for its longstanding client, the Russian Federation, including representing it in four separate setting aside proceedings, which have a value range from $50m to $5.2bn. Key names to note are 'very analytical' practice head Dirk Knottenbelt; Marielle Koppenol-Laforce, who is 'tough, independent-minded and always goes the extra mile for the client'; and Rob Meijer. Also recommended are the 'razor-sharpThomas Stouten, who recently made partner, and counsel Isabelle van den Nieuwendijk.

Practice head(s):

Dirk Knottenbelt

Testimonials

Leading arbitration team in the Netherlands, active both on investor-state and commercial arbitration matters. Successful in the world’s most high-value complex disputes matters.

‘Ability to think outside the box in very complex and high-stakes matters.

Marielle Koppenol-Laforce stands out. She’s tough, independent-minded and always goes the extra mile for the client.

The team consists of lawyers with different capabilities/areas of expertise which makes the team well equipped to handle a variety of cases.

Knottenbelt: True advocate, great at hearings. Knows how to present his case. Very analytical. Koppenol-Laforce: great manager, knows how to handle the big ticket arbitrations. Stouten: appointment to the partnership well deserved, rising star within the team.

Houthoff has a large and outstanding arbitration team that is capable of handling high-end and large-scale arbitrations. They have extensive experience with ICC and other international arbitrations.

This practice is unique because Houthoff helped us eventually win the case and as client of Houthoff, I feel very delighted to be working with such a professional, responsible and talented team of lawyers. They are always patient and work with great passion and efficiency.

A well balanced team with outstanding arbitration skills. The really know when to push through and when to settle. Compared to other firms the Houthoff team combines outstanding legal knowledge with practical business skills.

I worked with Dirk Knottenbelt, Thomas Stouten and Matthew Brown during the whole arbitration process. They are polite, passionate, smart, professional and always fully prepared for upcoming situations. Besides, they do wonderful paperwork.

Thomas Stouten just received a well-deserved partner appointment. Thomas’ legal skills are exceptional which he combines with a pragmatic approach to our legal issues. He is razor-sharp, both orally and in writing, and really knows what is going on in our business. The team is led by senior partner Dirk Knottenbelt who is leading in arbitration and has an overwhelming presence.

Key clients

Russian Federation

Petrobras

Work highlights

  • Representing the Russian Federation in four setting aside proceedings, with four different opposing parties and four different awards.
  • Defending Petrobras Brasileiro in multiple actions in the Netherlands against the enforcement of an arbitral award.
  • Representing the Russian Federation in the annulment procedure of the ECT arbitration awards of November 2009 and July 2014 against the client and in favour of the claimants, three former shareholders of Yukos Oil.

Allen & Overy LLP

The 'very experienced' team at Allen & Overy LLP is 'not afraid to give candid advice' to clients regarding international and domestic arbitrations. The firm represented South Stream Transport, a subsidiary of Gazprom, in its recently settled €1.3bn offshore construction dispute with Saipem, in a matter which involved multiple jurisdictions. The practice was strengthened by the promotion of Hilde Van Der Baan, who is 'technically very skilled' and impresses by 'taking into account the business perspective', to the partnership, and of Marnix de Planque to counsel, in 2019. Also recommended is 'extremely sharp' practice head Marieke van Hooijdonk, who is 'absolutely dedicated to winning a case'.

Practice head(s):

Marieke van Hooijdonk

Testimonials

The team is very experienced (they were one of the first specialising in arbitration), knowledgeable, and has a good commercial sense. They give candid and sensible advice and understand our business perspective. I believe they stand out compared to other firms as they are the best in their field, they are extremely good at their advocacy (also in the English language) and unlike other firms, they are not afraid to give candid advice. As said before I would not like to have them against me.

Partner Marieke van Hooijdonk is extremely sharp and an excellent strategic adviser, also because she knows the other side of the table as an arbitrator and court of appeal judge. Her advocacy is excellent, and she is absolutely dedicated to winning a case. Counsel Hilde van der Baan is a rising star, whom I believe will soon be promoted as partner. She is a “smooth operator”, technically very skilled but also taking into account the business perspective. I have seen her act in difficult situations where employees’ reputations were at stake, and she handled that very carefully and sensibly. At the same time, I have seen her litigating and arbitrating a case in various jurisdictions. She naturally takes the lead and sets out a successful strategy. Her English is impeccable.

Key clients

South Stream Transport (wholly owned subsidiary of Gazprom)

Landwasser (shareholder in the Julius Meinl Group)

Bourrelier Group

Work highlights

  • Represented Gazprom subsidiary South Stream Transport in its recently settled €1.3bn offshore construction dispute with Saipem.
  • Representing shareholder Landwasser in enforcement proceedings in order to ensure the Swiss arbitral award pursuant to which Oryxa had to transfer shares against payment of a purchase price in the Netherlands.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper has a 'closely connected and very responsive' arbitration team with an 'aggressive market approach that is bold and entrepreneurial'. The practice makes use of its close links with the greater dispute resolution department and transaction groups to assist clients from various sectors including construction, commercial and corporate. Practice head Michiel Coenraads, who leads a team which is representing Lotus Enerji in a €100m ICSID investment arbitration against Turkmenistan, impresses with his 'excellent court room and hearing presence'. Marnix Holtzer is also recommended. Associate Jorian Hamster, formerly of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, stands out for his 'great knowledge of international law and investment disputes'. Wouter de Clerck left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Michiel Coenraads

Testimonials

DLA Piper Amsterdam fields a young  and dedicated arbitration team. Headed by corporate law expert Michiel Coenraads – supported by senior associates Wouter de Clerck and Jorian Hamster, the team acts in a number of high profile matters. Perhaps most relevant is the enforcement battle between Gazprom and Naftogaz of a Swedish arbitral award, before the Amsterdam Court of Appeals.

The closely connected and very responsive team showed mastery of the many cross-border aspects of the case.

These guys have made an impressive journey over the past couple of years. They are doing big ticket work (enforcement and merits) including a 3bn enforcement case for Gazprom. They are also pretty active in the corporate arbitration market with joint venture disputes, post M&A work, etc. They are very smart in using experts from the global DLA Piper network and by doing so they have a competitive edge over the domestic firms or less integrated international firms. I particular like their aggressive market approach that is bold and entrepreneurial yet high quality. I expect a lot of them in the coming years!

Michiel Coenraads – impressive guy, excellent court room and hearing presence, commercially minded, quick to grasp numbers and ideas, extremely fast thinker. Tough but fun guy. Wouter de Clerck – very nice guy to work with, smart, technically very gifted, sophisticated. Jorian Hamster – an associate to watch, great knowledge of international law and investment disputes. I’m sure we’re going to hear more about him!

Recommended: Michiel Coenraads, Frank Van De Wakker.

Key clients

PJSC Gazprom

DEME

Veon

Airbus

Wintershall

Work highlights

  • Acting as lead counsel for Gazprom in a multi-jurisdictional €3bn enforcement dispute following the conclusion of two inter-related SCC gas-pricing arbitrations in Stockholm.
  • Representing Lotus Enerji as co-counsel in an ICSID investment arbitration against Turkmenistan.
  • Representing Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift Europe, Peinemann Mobilift Group and Rocla Rus in ICC arbitral proceedings against their Russian dealers for non-performance under the applicable contracts.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Loyens & Loeff

The 'highly responsive' team at Loyens & Loeff is instructed by a range of clients, including domestic and international companies and their shareholders, and leading investment companies, to represent them in national and cross-border arbitrations. Tom Claassens, who heads the practice jointly with Amsterdam-based Hendrik van Druten, led a team which represented a large globally operating manufacturing company in multinational proceedings under the ICC Arbitration Rules, in relation to a dispute concerning the sale of certain equipment. Jeroen van den Brande left the practice in June 2019.

Practice head(s):

Hendrik van Druten; Tom Claassens

Testimonials

Highly responsive, excellent knowledge of the industry.

NautaDutilh

The team at NautaDutilh is jointly headed by newly promoted partner Mirjam van de Hel- Koedoot, who focuses on investment treaty arbitration and the enforcement of arbitral awards; Kasper Krzeminski, who has a 'thorough' approach; and Freerk Vermeulen, whose sphere of activity is centred on Dutch Supreme Court proceedings. The practice stands out for its 'excellent understanding of the position of the client'. Recent highlights include representing Leidos in the enforcement proceedings of an ICC arbitral award with a value of €52m. Gerard Meijer joined Linklaters and Bastiaan Assink was appointed advocate general at the Supreme Court.

Practice head(s):

Kasper Krzeminski; Mirjam van de Hel – Koedoot; Freerk Vermeulen

Testimonials

The team combines a wealth of experience in arbitration with every aspect of service you’d expect from a law firm at this level. This resulted in the team getting quickly to the core of the fairly complex case, them being extremely flexible in responding to developments within the law case itself or on the client side and a full-service approach to us as the customer.

Kasper Krzeminski was the driving force behind the case. He combined an excellent understanding of the legal side of things with the ability to grasp the particularities of the case. In this he found the right balance between listening to the customer and building on his own vision and experience. In addition to managing the case very well from a process and content perspective, Kasper was also extremely responsive. This really helped when the case got linked to urgent developments at the board level.

Beside the fact that the team are experts in their respective fields, they provide clear and to the point advice. In their way of advising they have an excellent understanding of the position of their client and know how to respect but also deal with it. The latter is a unique selling point of NautaDutilh.

Kasper Krzeminski is an excellent lawyer, who is willing to go the extra mile to get the best result. A thorough lawyer with an outstanding skill set.

Experienced, accurate and quick to research/respond. In my experience NautaDutilh is superior in these qualities to other firms with whom I have worked.

A particular mention goes to Paul Olden (partner) who is very capable of understanding both the client and the opponent and acting accordingly, with excellence.

Key clients

Anatoli Stati

Gabriel Stati

Ascom Group S.A.

Terra Raf Trans Traiding Ltd.

Chevron / King & Spalding LLP

Cygne B.V.

Leidos Inc.

Fincantieri S.p.A

Diag Human A.S.

Work highlights

  • Representing two foreign investors in the enforcement proceedings concerning a $500m arbitral award rendered against Kazakhstan and its sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna.
  • Representing the claimants, Chevron Corporation and Texaco Petroleum Company, in arbitral proceedings under the Uncitral rules before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.
  • Representing Leidos in the enforcement proceedings of an ICC arbitral award with a value of €52m.

Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn NV

Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn NV's team is praised for its 'top quality knowledge of the construction sector and government' and it has a niche position acting on behalf of many public and semi-public authorities and institutions in a number of arbitrations relating to major infrastructure projects. Longstanding clients include the cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague, as well as the provinces of North Holland, South Holland, Utrecht, North Brabant, Limburg, Gelderland, and Zeeland. The key contacts are practice head René Kiers, Mark Birnage, and associates Jan-Willem Riedijk and Michael van Rijckevorsel.

Practice head(s):

René Kiers

Testimonials

Top quality knowledge of the construction sector and government.

Key clients

State of the Netherlands

North Holland province

South Holland province

Utrecht province

North Brabant province

Limburg province

Gelderland province

Zeeland province

City of Amsterdam

City of Rotterdam

City of The Hague

Feadship Holland

Royal Van Lent

Royal De Vries Shipbuilding

ABNAmro Bank

Nationale Nederlanden

KPN

Siemens

Rabobank

Work highlights

  • Represented the province of North Holland in a dispute relating to critical construction errors in the tarmac of the N207 Highway.
  • Defended the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations in arbitration surrounding damages for the alleged delay during the renovation and extension of the courthouse of the province Overijssel.
  • Represented the city of The Hague in a series of disputes before the Dutch Arbitration Board for the building industry regarding the design and construction of multiple concert halls and a university at the Onderwijs- en cultuurcomplex.

Van Doorne

Van Doorne's arbitration team was strengthened by the recent arrival of associate Fleur Potter and the 'sharp and pragmaticRogier Schellaars from Simmons & Simmons; the latter is now jointly heading the practice with Bas van Zelst. Schellaars and van Zelst have considerable experience arbitrating before both the ICC and NAI, making them 'a very strong team to handle international arbitration cases'. In recent work, the group represented Caratube International Oil in highly contentious enforcement proceedings regarding an ICSID Award against the Republic of Kazakhstan and the National Bank of Kazakhstan. Jasper Leedekerken is another key contact.

Practice head(s):

Rogier Schellaars; Bas van Zelst

Testimonials

Van Doorne’s arbitration practice has become considerably stronger with the arrival of Rogier Shellaars (former Simmons & Simmons partner), who, next to existing partner Bas van Zelst, also strongly focuses on arbitration.

Rogier Schellaars and Bas van Zelst, who both also strongly focus on arbitration, lead the “new” litigation & arbitration practice at Van Doorne. Rogier is extremely hands on, sharp and pragmatic, and Bas has extensive knowledge of Dutch arbitration law. This makes them together a very strong team to handle international arbitration cases.

Good speed of service and availability of the team.

We worked with Rogier Schellaars who was able to put a multi-disciplinary team together really fast and arrange expedited arbitration proceedings that protected our company from potentially significant financial loss. This requires being available “at all hours” and making quick decisions and at the same time not compromising the quality of the output.

Key clients

Gilde Investments / Koninklijke Swets & Zeitlinger

Caratube International Oil LLP

Republic of Indonesia

Strukton Group

Unitel International Holdings B.V.

Tokeyna Management Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing Caratube International Oil in highly contentious enforcement proceedings regarding an ICSID Award against the Republic of Kazakhstan and the National Bank of Kazakhstan.
  • Acting for Strukton Group, a major construction company, in setting aside proceedings concerning an arbitral award.
  • Representing Unitel International Holdings and Tokeyna Management in ICC arbitration proceedings against PT Ventures.

Van Oosten Schulz De Korte Advocaten

The arbitration team at Van Oosten Schulz De Korte Advocaten specialises particularly in CIS-related disputes concerning debt collection, and is also frequently instructed by Russian clients. The firm is acting for Sberbank in connection with enforcement of a claim in excess of €65m against the owner of the failed retail chain Agrokor and Konzum. Other noteworthy clients include Turkish Airlines, Gazprom Dutch Group Entities, and Kenya Airways. Practice head Jurjen De Korte is 'very responsive' and 'always thinks at least one step ahead to serve the client's interests'. Harro Schulz specialises in international commercial arbitration.

Practice head(s):

Jurjen de Korte

Testimonials

The arbitration practice of Van Oosten Schulz De Korte stands out because of its significant experience with numerous high-profile matters, its flexibility and its cost-effectiveness. In particular, I note the practice’s experience in working on complex cross-border matters, including for numerous CIS clients.

Jurjen de Korte and his team provide excellent service. Jurjen’s advice is to the point, he is very responsive and always thinks at least one step ahead to serve the client’s interests.

Key clients

Gazprom Dutch Group Entities

Sberbank

IATA

Alfa-Bank

Indorama

Louis Dreyfus Company

Andritz Asko

InterLeaseInvest (EBRD)

Turkish Airlines

Kenya Airways

Arthur Daniels Midland

Aspen

IB Capital FX

Work highlights

  • Representing Gazprom Dutch Group entities in a $2.6bn dispute between Naftogaz and Gazprom.
  • Represent IATA in proceedings before the Dutch courts concerning more than $14m in refunds for flights cancelled by defunct Hungarian airliner Malev.
  • Successfully acted for international steel industry supplier Andritz Asko in NAI arbitrations and subsequent court proceedings against a subdivision of the Slovenian state steel company SIJ.

Clifford Chance

The team at Clifford Chance represents a diverse client base, including national corporations, sovereign states and international organisations. The firm is respected for its 'straightforward practical advice' and for always being 'three or four steps ahead'. Counsel Juliette Luycks, who heads the practice, has experience in commercial arbitration under the Netherlands Arbitration Institute, ICC, Milan Chamber of Arbitration and Uncitral rules. Recent work includes representing an international media company in a dispute regarding an alleged breach of warranties following the sale of its media business, in a matter worth €20m.

Practice head(s):

Juliette Luycks

Testimonials

Straightforward practical advice, non-theoretical. Out-of-the-box solutions. Always three or four steps ahead of the counterparty.

Guido Bergervoet is an outstanding litigator with good commercial sense. Able to grasp difficult matters at a very quick pace. If needed comes with out-of-the-box solutions, which can make all the difference in the case.

Work highlights

  • Representing an international media company in a dispute regarding an alleged breach of warranties following the sale of its media business.

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie's team is especially valued for its 'ability to work with and understand complex legal problems arising from the application of cross-border sporting regulation', which it demonstrated in various court proceedings relating to the enforcement of sporting arbitral awards. The firm has experience acting before the Netherlands Arbitration Institute, and the ICC, as well as the American Arbitration Association. The practice is headed by Robert van Agteren. Also worthy of note are Frank Kroes and senior associate Mathieu Raas, who 'combine an encyclopedic knowledge of arbitration law and procedure with a highly responsive and pragmatic approach'.

Practice head(s):

Robert van Agteren

Testimonials

Frank Kroes and Mathieu Raas combine an encyclopedic knowledge of arbitration law and procedure with a highly responsive and pragmatic approach. At the same time, they never lose sight of the main objectives and the goals to be achieved. Importantly, both Frank and Mathieu are excellent communicators and a pleasure to work with.

Their ability to work with and understand complex legal problems arising from the application of cross-border sporting regulation, understanding the particularities of this sector, and, specially, understanding the mindset of the actors involved in it, is particularly remarkable.

From my point of view, Mr. Mathieu Raas did a great job coordinating the team, jointly with Ms. Corinne Schott. Their availability and quick answers on a particularly complex matter, with no precedent, in the sector of sports arbitration, in which regulations from several countries were affected, and their attitude towards all those involved, looking always for the best solution in a dynamic and a creative way, made the excellent results of the procedure possible.

Key clients

Ouwendijk

World Sport Advisors

Yanmar

Work highlights

  • Successful defended Yanmar Marine in proceedings before the NAI against a €20m claim by a former French distributor after termination of a diesel engines distribution contract.
  • Successfully enforced a Court of Arbitration for Sport award against a Dutch premier league club on behalf of client World Sport Advisors.
  • Successfully represented the holding company of the former CEO of the Vlisco Group in court litigation and NAI arbitration following the termination of the CEO’s management contract.

Conway & Partners

Boutique firm Conway & Partners handles work 'in a very effective and expeditious manner' and impresses with its 'creativity and fundamental knowledge of Dutch law'. Clients mainly come from the construction and engineering, petrochemical, oil and gas, technology, manufacturing, maritime and transport industries, and the firm has particular expertise in assisting with arbitration related to some of the largest global construction and industrial projects. Shawn Conway is 'highly experienced, clever and has excellent communication skills'. He jointly heads the practice along with Thabiso van den Bosch and Peter van der Velden, who focuses on representing clients from the transport and maritime sectors.

Practice head(s):

Shawn Conway; Thabiso van den Bosch; Peter van der Velden

Testimonials

What makes this practice unique is that you have an American common law educated lawyer who learned the civil law system. He has worked in several major law firms in the Netherlands and has a good set of clients.

Shawn Conway is highly experienced, clever and has excellent communication skills. Thabiso van den Bosch has a Dutch background, but is fluent in multiple languages which can make the difference in international disputes. Besides this, Thabiso is an excellent lawyer, and a skilled legal person.

Conway performed its legal services in a very effective and expeditious manner. Its approach to the drafting of court submissions, pleadings, and appeal statements impressed me very much due to its creativity and fundamental knowledge of Dutch law. After Conway’s clarifications and explanations regarding the case, I got the full picture of further proceedings in the Court of Appeal and probable scenarios of upcoming events.

I have worked with Partner Stan Putter on the preparation of a full Statement of Appeal submitted to the Court of Appeal against the judgment rendered by Amsterdam District Court which partially set aside the arbitral award of the Netherlands Arbitration Institute to the detriment of our client.

Key clients

Network Steel

Plasticon Composites

Van Oord Dredging

Hosokawa Micron

Vekamaf

Work highlights

  • Representing Alpha Investgroup Corporation in setting aside proceedings before Dutch courts relating to a NAI arbitral award against the German multinational HeidelbergCement.
  • Represented Plasticon in ad hoc arbitration against Beroa Deutschland for damages arising out of the termination of a contract for the design, fabrication and installation of several fibreglass-reinforced plastic ducts for industrial chimneys.