Dispute resolution: arbitration in Netherlands

De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek

De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek’s department works with a range of blue-chip and foreign government clients including Tiffany, Royal Dutch Shell and the Czech Republic. Practice head Marnix Leijten acted for Chinese state-owned agricultural group Cofco, as lead counsel, in various claims against Cygne following $2bn-worth of M&A transactions. He also represented the former majority shareholders of Yukos Oil alongside Eelco Meerdink in arbitration arising from the Kremlin’s expropriation of Yukos Oil; the case has also generated considerable litigation. Matthias Kuscher was promoted to the partnership.


Routinely handling standalone arbitration matters Houthoff’s ‘exceptional’ group has 'considerable experience in ICC arbitrations' and stands out for the 'accuracy and clarity of its legal advice'; it is also a key name for large-scale investment arbitration. Marielle Koppenol-Laforce, whose 'advice is never wanting', and Rob Meijer are representing the Russian government in efforts to secure the annulment of arbitration awards against the Russian Federation totalling $50bn, in favour of the claimants, three former shareholders of Yukos Oil. The group is headed by the ‘excellentDirk Knottenbelt and also includes counsel Isabelle van den Nieuwendijk.


The ‘strong, academic and practical’ practice at NautaDutilh routinely handles investor-state and corporate arbitration matters. In an example of its strength in the former, practice head Gerard Meijer, who stands out for his 'strategic' approach, is acting for two foreign investors in securing attachments in the Netherlands and other jurisdictions pertaining to a $500m arbitral award rendered against Kazakhstan. Meijer, alongside counsel Mirjam van de Hel- Koedoot and Bo Ra van der Plas-Hoebeke, is also representing Chevron Corporation and Texaco Petroleum Company, in arbitral proceedings under the Uncitral rules before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague; the case concerns claims by the clients concerning the basis of the Bilateral Investment Treaty between the US and the Republic of Ecuador. Meijer and Bastiaan Assink 'are absolutely brilliant: their clarity of thought, methodological approach and responsiveness make working with them so easy and efficient'.

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP’s team is 'very experienced, knowledgeable and has a good commercial sense'; the group provides 'candid and sensible advice' and is 'extremely good at advocacy'. Group head Marieke van Hooijdonk and counsel Hilde Van Der Baan are acting for South Stream Transport in the Dutch aspects of its dispute with Saipem and Cargill pertaining to storage damage claims against Cefetra, a supplier of raw materials to the feed, food, and fuel industries. Other clients include the Netherlands Arbitration Institute and Sevilla Beheer. Senior lawyer Marnix de Planque has rejoined the Dutch team from the firm’s Perth office.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s group is able to leverage the firm's global network to handle matters across a range of sectors. Practice head Jeroen van Hezewijk acted for ConocoPhillips in enforcing an arbitral award granted by an ICC arbitral tribunal against Venezuela´s national oil company PDVSA, and two of its subsidiaries. Jan Willem van der Staay is also a key arbitration partner. Senior associate Ulrike Verboom is noted for her experience in domestic and international arbitration. Hub. Harmeling retired.

Loyens & Loeff

Loyens & Loeff’s arbitration practice regularly represent clients in domestic arbitration concerning oil and gas, onshore and offshore facilities, power generation, construction and engineering. The team frequently acts in disputes concerning joint ventures, partnerships and shareholder agreements. Jeroen van den Brande successfully defended a cloud data protection company against a claim for full penalty payment related to an earn-out agreement with the sellers of all stock in another large Dutch cloud data company. Other names to note include Tom Claassens  and practice head Hendrik van Druten.

Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn NV

Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn NV is best known for acting for the Dutch state in cross-border arbitration matters, but has recently increased its commercial caseload. Practice head René Kiers primarily represents government bodies in complex arbitration matters regarding infrastructure projects; he, with assistance from associate Michael van Rijckevorsel, is handling a building dispute for the the state of the Netherlands. Mark Birnage and associate Jan-Willem Riedijk are representing the province of Utrecht before the Arbitration Board for the Building Industry in a claim by a contractor for delay and costs concerning a project at the Soesterberg air force base.

Simmons & Simmons

Simmons & Simmons fields 'a small but highly capable arbitration team’, which has ‘excellent knowledge’ and 'key strengths in determining the strategy of a dispute and responding swiftly'. It covers the full spectrum of arbitration matters in the Netherlands and internationally. ‘Outstanding’ practice co-head Rogier Schellaars is representing the Republic of Indonesia in an investment arbitration brought before a tribunal under Uncitral rules. Co-head and supervising associate Fleur Potter is also recommended. Ger van Essen has left to join Aegon’s dispute resolution team.

Van Oosten Schulz De Korte Advocaten

Van Oosten Schulz De Korte Advocaten's arbitration practice is led by Jurjen De Korte; he recently successfully acted for numerous affiliates of Dutch Gazprom in relation to a dispute between Ukrainian state energy company Naftogaz and the client's Russian parent company Gazprom. Harro Schulz was a new arrival from Greenberg Traurig LLP in 2018. Senior associate Leonore Bruining is also noted.

bureau Brandeis

bureau Brandeis’ team is commended for its ability to 'make something difficult look simple'. The group  is led by Louis Berger and Frank Peters. Simone Peek was a new arrival in 2018 from Clifford Chance.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance's team handles numerous international arbitration matters. The practice is led by the firm's senior partner Jeroen Ouwehand, who also heads the firm's litigation and dispute resolution group in Amsterdam and continental Europe, and well-regarded of counsel Juliette Luycks, who divides her time between the firm’s Amsterdam and Madrid offices. The group has recent experience in ICC arbitration.

DLA Piper

The team at DLA Piper is jointly headed by recently promoted partner Michiel Coenraads and well-regarded arbitration specialist Marnix Holtzer. Coenraads, assisted by legal director Wouter de Clerck, is acting for Gazprom in an enforcement dispute following the conclusion of two inter-related SCC gas-pricing arbitrations in Stockholm. Holtzer is representing Lone Star in arbitration proceedings against the Dutch state arising from the client's acquisition of all shares in Propertize.

Van Doorne

Van Doorne’s ‘hands-on’ group remains best known for commercial and post-M&A disputes. Insurance-related disputes are another area of strength and Maurits Kalff is a key name in this space. Jasper Leedekerken leads the practice and recently promoted partner Bas van Zelst is also noted.