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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 > Employment > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Employment
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Hall of Fame

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Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Employment clients in Netherlands using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


The β€˜fast, effective’ full-service practice at Allen & Overy LLP is led by Suzanne Sikkink, who advised LeasePlan on a major reorganisation and cross-border outsourcing. Arnold Keizer made counsel in May 2017; Frank Doornik is recommended for pensions matters. Ferdinand Grapperhaus left to become the Minister for Justice and Security in October 2017.

β€˜Easily available and quick to react’, the team at BarentsKrans acts for clients such as KPMG, ABN Amro and the municipality of Delft. Group head Caroline van Gent is an expert in civil service, non-profit and healthcare employment. The β€˜very smart, creative and proactive’ Laurens de Graaf is β€˜calm and mature’; β€˜down-to-earth litigator’ Max Keulaerds has β€˜a brilliant legal mind’; and Peter Vas Nunes is β€˜caring and intelligent’. Rogier Duk is also recommended.



Shearwaters is the unique boutique law firm focusing exclusively on advising clients in the international business environment on matters of Dutch corporate employment law. Shearwaters is a seasoned team of highly specialised and very experienced lawyers in their field, having worked at global law firms Baker McKenzie and Linklaters for a combined period of over 75 years. Since its inception in 2015, Shearwaters has been recognized as a leading firm by The Legal 500.

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Holland Casino, Rabobank and KlΓ©pierre are among the clients of De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek’s full-service department. β€˜Outstanding professional’ Stefan Sagel is β€˜a real authority’ with β€˜a great sense of humour’; he represented Shell in litigation concerning a new pension scheme for new hires. The β€˜very senior’ Barbara Kloppert is β€˜a great coach’; Evert-Jan Henrichs and Harro Knijff are also recommended.

β€˜Fast, sharp and to-the-point’, the β€˜proactive’, β€˜accessible and well-coordinated’ team of β€˜critical thinkers’ at Houthoff is headed jointly by Edward de Bock and Rixt de Vries. De Bock assisted Insinger de Beaufort with the employment aspects of its merger with Theodoor Gilissen. Senior associate Jet Stolk is β€˜flexible and pragmatic’; senior associate Margot van Herwerden is also recommended.

Stibbe’s β€˜exceptional, sophisticated’ department has β€˜very thorough knowledge’ and provides β€˜very pragmatic’ advice. β€˜Creative’ β€˜industry leader’ Jaap van Slooten is β€˜always available’; he and Paul Vestering handle KLM’s employment and pension issues. The β€˜wonderful’ Astrid Helstone is β€˜affable, extremely smart and has a knack for finding creative solutions to difficult problems’.

Baker McKenzie’s β€˜exceptional’, β€˜creative and client-focused’ department is β€˜very knowledgeable’; β€˜savvy, pragmatic and flexible’ group head Mirjam de BlΓ©court β€˜gets ten out of ten’ from clients. She and counsel Astrid van Ommeren advised Corbion on the employment aspects of its joint venture with Total. Multi-jurisdictional reorganisations and litigation are also strengths.

Noted for its β€˜in-depth knowledge’, Van Doorne’s team is β€˜always up to date with recent developments’. β€˜Very experienced’ group head Els de Wind provides β€˜timely, well-thought-out advice’, and β€˜distils complex problems down to commercial solutions’. The β€˜confident, commercial’ Marjolijn Lips advised Degreed on the employment aspects of its acquisition of Gibbon. Albert van Marwijk Kooy is the practice’s pension expert.

With particularly deep expertise in the pharmaceutical, IT, media and tobacco industries, Bird & Bird LLP’s β€˜client-friendly’ department is led by the β€˜outstanding’ Philip Hartman; clients β€˜wonder if he ever sleeps’. The team is noted for its β€˜enormous experience in pan-European matters’; Hartman conducts all Teva’s European employment matters. β€˜Personable expert’ Marcus Huisman provides β€˜custom-made counsel’.

DLA Piper’s practice handles a wide range of employment and pensions matters, and counts technology, retail, aviation and the financial services as sectors of particular activity. Group head HΓ©lΓ¨ne Bogaard advised AkzoNobel’s central works council on the company’s self-defence against various takeover bids; Marnix Holtzer is also recommended.

The β€˜proactive, first-rate’ team at Eversheds Sutherlands (Netherlands) B.V. is β€˜solution-oriented’ while being β€˜cognisant of the human element’ of employment matters. Wijnand Blom successfully represented A.O. Smith in a pension liability matter. The β€˜accurate, hands-on’ Ingrid van Berkel is β€˜an empathetic listener who provides sound advice’; the β€˜very knowledgeable, astute’ Simon Tan heads the group.

Though well known for its strength in transaction-related employment work, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s β€˜fast, pragmatic’ practice is highly active in strategic matters, such as assisting Primark with establishing its works council and advising Nomura on remuneration. Group head Brechje Nollen advised AB InBev on the employment aspects of its takeover of SAB Miller.

Kennedy Van der Laan’s β€˜very skilful, knowledgeable’ department is led jointly by Chris Nekeman and the β€˜engaging’ Eva Knipschild, who is β€˜reassuringly strong and clear’. Healthcare and technology are sector strengths of the team, which is also noted for its employee co-governance capabilities. Thijs Ridder is β€˜a very helpful, effective’ senior associate; the β€˜absolutely brilliant’ Soo-ja Schijf made associate partner in January 2017.

Providing β€˜quick, accurate, to-the-point’ advice, Lexence’s team is headed by Judith Schulp and Mark Keuss, who specialises in collective dismissals and misconduct inquiries. The practice handles all kinds of employment work, including acting for works councils. Frank ter Huurne is β€˜knowledgeable, reliable, down-to-earth and sensitive to business considerations’; Floor Damen is recommended for collective redundancies. Annejet Balm made partner in January 2017.

The β€˜no-nonsense’ team at Loyens & Loeff is β€˜extremely responsive’. The β€˜mentally flexible’, β€˜thoroughly knowledgeable’ Klaas Wiersma has β€˜a wealth of experience’ and provides β€˜simple, direct, on-the-spot advice’; he heads the practice jointly with Hermine VoΓ»te, who assisted O-I Manufacturing Netherlands with closing its Schiedam factory. Hans van Ruiten is the group’s benefits expert.

NautaDutilh’s β€˜insightful’ department is led by Homme ten Have, who advised PZEM on a large-scale restructuring. Warner Roeters van Lennep is β€˜highly experienced in all aspects of labour law’, and Albert van der Kolk is the key contact for pensions matters. β€˜Excellent negotiator’ and senior associate Gijs van Nes is β€˜extremely knowledgeable and solution-oriented’.

AKD’s β€˜top-notch, always available’ department is led by Pieter Huys, who represented Den Breejen in a high-profile case regarding work permits. β€˜Pragmatic’ senior associate Henrike van de Laar β€˜explains things simply’; FranΓ§ois Defaix and Hans van Mens are also recommended. Suzanne Bos arrived from HVG Law LLP in October 2017.

Employment boutique Bronsgeest Deur Advocaten, member of Ius Laboris provides β€˜very good service’. Led by Erik Deur, it is especially active in reorganisations and strategic work, though also spends much time on day-to-day matters such as harassment and dismissals. HenriΓ«tte Bronsgeest and Philip Nabben are also recommended. Clients include Holland Casino, Marks & Spencer and TomTom International. Myra Dickhoff, formerly a senior associate with the firm, moved to an in-house position.

Multi-jurisdictional matters feature strongly in the repertoire of CMS’ team, which frequently handles strategic work, including on behalf of works councils. Practice head Katja van Kranenburg-Hanspians acted for Accor on the employment aspects of the split of its Hotel Services and Hotel Invest activities worldwide. Of counsel Paulus van den Bos is the group’s pension expert.

The β€˜extremely fast’ team at Clifford Chance, which is headed by the β€˜very capable, friendly and smart’ Floris van de Bult, β€˜clearly understands its clients’. The practice is particularly strong in strategic work, remuneration (especially in the financial sector), M&A-related employment matters, and benefits and pensions; counsel Wijnanda Rutten is recommended for the latter. BNP Paribas is an outsourcing client.

Executive dismissals, the pension aspects of M&A, and privacy and co-determination are the core pillars of employment boutique CLINT | Littler. Clients include Samsung Electronics Benelux and Hilton. Dennis Veldhuizen, Wouter Engelsman and Eric van Dam are the key partners; senior associate Hilde de Kubber is a pensions specialist.

The team at Dentons Boekel frequently handles transactional and outsourcing-related employment matters, as well as contentious work arising from employment termination, non-compete clauses and industrial action. β€˜Extremely effective, responsive and practical’ department head Eugenie Nunes is β€˜particularly good at dispute resolution’; Epke Spijkerman is also recommended. Clients include Tech Mahindra, McArthurGlen and CBRE Global Workplace Solutions.

Anita de Jong leads Hogan Lovells International LLP’s practice; experienced in cross-border mandates, she advised Ball Packaging Europe Oss on works council and trade union negotiations in connection with the carve-out of the company’s Dutch production and sales activities. Senior associate Maria Benbrahim is also recommended.

With β€˜in-depth knowledge and business acumen’, Norton Rose Fulbright’s β€˜well-connected’ department provides β€˜useful, concrete advice’. β€˜Dedicated, efficient’ practice head Maartje Govaert β€˜combines legal knowledge with industry experience’, and β€˜goes the extra mile’; she advised IG Markets, Sid Lee and NetScout on unrelated matters concerning the closure of their Netherlands offices. Holland Casino and Mitsubishi Electric are additional clients.

Jorgo Tsiris and commercial lawyer Jeroen Bedaux lead the team at Osborne Clarke, which is praised for its β€˜great service and out-of-the-box thinking’. Tsiris advised Tech Mahindra on various strategic issues, including negotiations with works councils. Hotel Booker is another client. Marije Stiebner Bergman made associate director in May 2017.

Employment boutique Palthe Oberman is β€˜very much on top of its game’, and β€˜aware of all the latest issues and developments’; clients include Seaway Heavy Lifting, Barilla Wasa and Grundfos. Gieneke van Wulfften Palthe provides β€˜very accurate’ advice, Christiaan Oberman is a civil service employment expert, and Marcus Draaisma is very experienced in the intersection between employment and insolvency.

Assisting large public sector employers is the calling card of Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn NV’s practice, though it also acts for private corporations. Senior associate Annette de Jong advised KPN on its human resources policy and on certain union agreements. Monique de Witte-van den Haak and Ruben van Arkel jointly head the team.

The β€˜fast, flexible and creative’ department at Ploum is β€˜hands-on, friendly and very professional’. β€˜Highly knowledgeable’ group head Rutger Ploum is noted for his β€˜responsiveness, political savvy and spot-on risk assessments’; he handles day-to-day employment matters for Unilever and Rabobank. Peter de Waal assisted GEA with its global restructuring.

Simmons & Simmons LLP’s β€˜fast, pragmatic’ practice counts financial services, TMT and, increasingly, energy as sector strengths. Group head Joris Oster and counsel Annemarie Elenbaas-van den Berge are β€˜empathetic, high-energy and results-driven’; β€˜they know the industry and the latest developments’. The pair assisted Progress Software with the reorganisation of its EMEA headquarters in Rotterdam.

The team at Buren is headed by Suzan van de Kam, who acted for Coty on the Dutch employment aspects of its €13bn acquisition of certain beauty brands from Procter & Gamble. She also advised Medux, Sime Darby Group and Marsh on reorganisations. Jan Holthuis, who has a particular focus on China-related matters, was part of a team that assisted Damen Shipyards with the employment aspects of its China operation; Joost Quant and DamiΓ«n Berkhout are also recommended.

Consistently acting for high-profile clients on reorganisations and in litigation, β€˜pragmatic, highly experienced’ employment boutique HDK Advocaten also advises domestic and international law firms on the employment aspects of cross-border M&A. Honeywell and Cimpress instructed the team on contentious and non-contentious matters. The β€˜very senior, proficient, service-oriented’ Juliette Huyzer leads the group; Michiel Koole is β€˜very patient and level-headed’.

With offices in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Eindhoven, Utrecht and The Hague, HVG Law LLP’s practice is frequently active in collective bargaining agreements, outsourcings, restructurings and executive dismissals. Department head Joost van Ladesteijn advised Infosys on its employee compliance framework, and assisted ITW with cross-border restructurings. Executive directors Nicky ten Bokum and Huub van Osch are also recommended.

Heussen’s β€˜very satisfactory’ department is β€˜highly knowledgeable about case law, legal technicalities and practical solutions’. The β€˜insightful’ Niels van Gelder β€˜understands clients’ mindsets with ease’; he heads the group jointly with the β€˜flexible, down-to-earth, results-driven’ Nils van Dijkman, who assisted Aviko with a large reorganisation. Other clients include Sodexo, Honeywell Group and Hitachi.

Reorganisations and litigation are particular strengths of HΓΆcker Advocaten’s practice. β€˜Quick’, β€˜dedicated and very creative’ group head Jasper van Hulst has β€˜a personal touch’, is β€˜really on top of things’ and provides β€˜extremely good value for money’. Martyn Top, who made partner in July 2017, represented 31 Atos employees in a bonus remuneration case.

Jones Day’s team, which provides β€˜very good service in every respect’, is jointly led by MariΓ«lle Daudt and pensions, benefits and compensation expert Irene Vermeeren-Keijzers. β€˜Very intelligent, ambitious’ counsel Franck van Uden is recommended for litigation and arbitration; on the non-contentious side he assisted BioMarin Pharmaceutical with restructuring its Dutch business.

Marian van Eck and Boudewijn Kanen jointly head the practice at Liber Dock; Kanen is a certified pension lawyer. Van Eck advised Merck Sharp & Dohme on strategic matters and on the dismissal of one of its vice-presidents, and Kanen assisted HunkemΓΆller International with restructuring its IT department.

Rachida el Johari and Madeleine Molster are the key contacts at β€˜customer-oriented, immediately responsive’ employment boutique Sagiure Legal. β€˜Dedicated, passionate, well-informed and well-connected’, both partners advised Ecofys on the employment aspects of its acquisition by Navigant. El Johari also represented NG Europe in a dismissal case.

β€˜Very committed’ employment boutique Shearwaters provides β€˜high-quality counsel’; transactional support, reorganisations, strategic advice and litigation are its key pillars. The β€˜extremely knowledgeable, pragmatic’ Maarten Vestering heads the group jointly with Martijn van Broeckhuijsen. β€˜Results-oriented, hands-on’ of counsel Karin Bodewes is β€˜a good listener’. Senior counsel CΓ©line Estourgie joined from in-house at Shell in July 2017. Rio Tinto is a new client.

With particular expertise in the healthcare and childcare sector, the team at Valegis Advocaten is headed by Carolien Brederije, who also has experience in the construction and engineering industry. Associate Fleur van Bree advised Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories on the employment aspects of its purchase of Interactive Intelligence. Associate Natascha Niewold is also recommended.

Vestius’ practice is β€˜very flexible and service-minded’. β€˜Highly skilled, creative’ managing partner Bart de Vroe has β€˜a deep knowledge of employment law’; he advised Sandvik Mining and Construction on its global reorganisation. Group head Michiel van Haelst is β€˜trustworthy and very experienced’; Bas Derhaag and of counsel Jan Trap are also recommended.

β€˜Fast, knowledgeable’ managing partner Else Loes Pasma and β€˜strategic thinker’ Leendert Kruidenier jointly head the β€˜down-to-earth’ team at Wijn & Stael Advocaten N.V., which handles M&A- and insolvency-related matters, reorganisations, dismissals and strategic work. Clients include Sweco, Brainnet and Meurs Werkt. Senior associate Joyce Snijder is especially recommended for flexible employment matters.

The β€˜highly qualified experts’ at employment boutique Workx Advocaten provide β€˜very fast, hands-on service’. Jochem de Roos is β€˜internationally experienced and well-connected’, Marnix Ritmeester is β€˜extremely reliable’, and the β€˜pragmatic’ Maaike de Jong is particularly experienced in the care sector. Bas den Ridder is also recommended. Clients include Dura Vermeer Group, Refresco Group and RWE Generation.

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