Industry focus: Food in Netherlands
AKD provides outstanding expertise in the food industry due to its 'great network' and its ability to deal with industry regulators. Team head Barbara Mutsaers' level of service and expertise makes her 'a delight to work with' and Erik Dans is highlighted for being 'able to find practical solutions and think in possibilities'. From its offices in various locations including Amsterdam and Eindhoven, the team assists clients with any issues that arise in the sector including new legislation and regulations affecting labelling, supplier contracts and disputes. The group combines this expertise with an ability to deal with EU and cross-border work and competition complications; Huib Berenschot and Martin Hemmer add additional IP-related expertise.
‘In AKD we find a company which knows the market we are acting in. With their different lawyers we always find the knowledge we need.‘
‘The team is very professional and to the point. They are able to make the connection between legal texts and the day to day practice in a company.’
‘Erik Dans is very professional, but also very down to earth. He is able to find practical solutions and thinks in possibilities.’
‘This firm has a great network with key persons in the Netherlands. They also have experience with similar cases.’
‘Barbara Mutsaers is very service oriented and flexible. She always takes time for us (the customer) and is available on short notice when advice is needed. She gives very practical advice on what to do.‘
‘Working with Erik Dans and Stijn Visch – they are accurate in follow ups, quality of work is direct and short communication lines and they are available when needed.’
‘AKD has several experts on food legislation. They are able to help in case of a dispute with local or national (food safety) authorities.’
‘AKD really listens to the legal question and requested output that you wish to have. So no lengthy reports/advice if you request a hands-on solution/review.’
‘I have found Barbara Mutsaers of AKD a delight to work with. She is really fast to respond, a real specialist in the food industry legal jungle and easy to communicate with. Together we have worked out the best opposition paper possible in our case.’
‘Broad range of topics and international focus.’
Perfetti Van Melle
Plukon Food Group B.V.
Yili Innovation Center Europe B.V.
- Successfully represented Lucky Vitamin in summary proceedings initiated by Monster Energy before the District Court of Amsterdam. The matter involved Monster Energy’s claim that Lucky Vitamin (and co-defendant Bang) breached a number of comparative advertising and food laws concerning an energy drink.
- Represents industry organisation NEPLUVI and its members (all larger poultry slaughterhouses) in court procedures against the State of the Netherlands (Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority).
- Representing Nestlé, through the CAPIP (Coalition Against Piracy IP) network, in a variety of piracy and counterfeit matters throughout the EU.
As the 'exceptional' and well-known head of Hoogenraad & Haak, Ebba Hoogenraad leads a specialist team in the health, beauty and food law sectors. Hoogenraad is ably assisted by associate Bram Duivenvoorde, who is developing a blend of IP and advertising law expertise and also handles the related litigation. The team routinely advises on labelling, food safety and other food law issues, advertising law and promotional matters, as well as contractual obligations. This is combined with related IP issues including comparative advertising. The 'excellent and engaged' Sarah Arayess has started her own firm but will continue with the team as an of counsel.
‘Hoogenraad Haak is a very pleasant firm to work with. Easy to work with and highly skilled.’
‘Ebba Hoogenraad has advised on several food law cases I worked on. Her expertise is exceptional. Ebba has good business sense and her insights were extremely helpful, hands-on and practically applicable. Above all she is very pleasant to work with and easy to reach.’
‘Hoogenraad & Haak provides clear and practical advice that can directly be applied to the business.’
‘Very knowledgeable and easy to work with colleagues who are also engaged in the relevant industry associations. For me personally the first choice for food law and advertising issues in the Netherlands. I appreciate the personal handling of a matter and the clear commitment to food law.’
‘Sarah Arayess is an excellent and very engaged lawyer in the food area. She is very responsive and pursues a practical approach in dealing with a matter.’
- Defending Albert Heijn before the Advertising Code Committee regarding the use of the word ‘sustainable’ in advertising.
- Represented FrieslandCampina in proceedings before the Board of Appeal of the Advertising Code Committee regarding on-pack ingredient claims and whether the Dutch market practice of stating ‘taste’ on packaging is an adequate disclosure of the fact that the product does not contain a real condiment.
- Ongoing advice for supermarket Lidl on advertising and food related questions. Also representing it in trade mark infringement litigation brought by Grolsch.
Gert-Wim van de Meent and Natasja Brusik in Amsterdam and Victor van Ahee in Rotterdam are joint team heads at Loyens & Loeff. The firm has an established Benelux presence and serves a range of European and well-known international clients on all aspects of food regulatory matters; the team also has cross-sector expertise in highly regulated areas including the life sciences and healthcare industries. As a full-service firm, clients benefit from access to IP, tax, corporate and international trade specialists, and the practice also leverages expertise in other jurisdictions from its network of best friend firms. It is also active on various editorial boards and has a partnership with the European Food and Feed Law Review of Lexxion.
Collins Foods Ltd (KFC)
Samson & Surrey
Sligro Food Group
- Assisted FEMSA with the tax aspects of the divestment of a 5.2% interest in Heineken for €2.5bn.
- Advising FitForMe on the contractual and food regulatory aspects of its food supplement business.
- Advises Kneipp (a producer of food and cosmetics) on the marketability of its products in the Benelux.
NautaDutilh's team is commended for providing 'good and fast' responses to clients in the food and agriculture industries. Aside from advising on safety, labelling, organic quality and product recall issues, the group also assists with transactions and financings in the industry. Jolize Lautenbach heads up the regulatory team and Teska van Vuren, who has knowledge of the dairy farming industry, advises on transactional matters. Rotterdam-based counsel Silvia Gawronski left the firm.
‘A good team with fast follow up.’
Louis Dreyfus Company
Juices Suisse SA
Lineage Van Soest
United Biscuits Dutch Co B.V.
- Advising Upfield (a Unilever spin-off) on various matters related to its products following the takeover of Unilever’s spreads departments in 2018.
- Assisted Argentrade, a meat trader, with issues arising from a salmonella outbreak in frozen raw pork meat at a slaughterhouse.
- Acted for Louis Dreyfus Company Juices Suisse in a dispute relating to the storage and loading of orange juice under an agreement incorporating the Nekovri terms.
Saskia Blokland leads the Norton Rose Fulbright group, which assists clients in an array of industries; in addition to agribusiness and food production clients, the practice also advises agrichemical companies, commodities traders and financial institutions. The team has broad expertise in the corporate, banking, litigation, environmental and employment spheres, and advises on the regulatory regimes affecting the industry. Banking expert Paul Vine has a focus on the food industry; his expertise includes structured and commodities finance work.
deSter / Gategroup
Emerald Kalama Chemical
- Representing Deliveroo Nederlands in the Court of Appeal in a case against trade union Federatie Nederlandse Vakbeweing, which is claiming that the client’s riders are not self-employed.
- Advised Kerry Group, an Irish taste and nutrition company, on the acquisition of a majority stake in Ojah, a key name in the Netherlands for the production of plant-based meat alternatives.
- Advised long-standing client Monaghan Mushrooms on acquiring all membership rights in the cooperative MG Coöperatief W.A. from private equity firm Gimv and a management-owned SPV.
The 'rigorous and hardworking' practice at Simmons & Simmons assembles a team of practitioners from the corporate M&A, commercial, tax, employment and IP departments, and also handles product safety and recall issues. Joris Oster leads on employment law, and international private equity group head Leo Verhoeff handles cross-border M&A; Verhoeff acted for Gilde Equity Management on the sale of Bakker Bart.
‘A very knowledgeable team with different degrees of seniority to adapt to client needs and budgets.’
‘Very knowledgeable and rigorous, hard-working and strong dedication. Able to give strategic input and take a position about a topic to obtain the best output.’
‘Leo Verhoeff is always available, and can put all the firm’s resources behind a project.’
Plukon Food Group
Van Hessen Group
Gilde Equity Management
Coca-Cola European Partners
Zwanenberg Food Group
- Advised Hines on its acquisition of the assets of Fresh Park Venlo, the largest fresh food hub (logistics centre) in Europe.
- Advised Gilde Equity Management on the sale of Bakker Bart (Bart’s Retail) to Vital Food Group.
- Advised Coroos Conserven industry (a Dutch company specialising in the preservation of fruits, vegetables and pulses) on a YouTube promotional campaign to promote its new product, Servero 100 % apple sauce; the campaign was challenged by a major competitor on the basis that the campaign featured unlawful comparisons.
Van Doorne provides end to end expertise to its food and beverages clients, who appreciate its 'accuracy, good service and collaborative approach'. The 'very experienced' Lisette Bieleveld heads up the team, and counts Starbucks Coffee Netherlands among the clients she is assisting with a range of corporate matters. The team also acts on sales, acquisitions and major supply, distribution and franchising agreements. Kriek Wille and Bart van Reeken are other senior key practitioners.
‘Very accurate professionals, listening well, compose very good contracts, good service (fast delivery and after-service), social skills, collaborative, exceptional availability and engagement, plenty of knowledge, very good communication.’
‘Knowledge of our business, specialists in certain fields.’
‘Lisette Bieleveld is very experienced in our type of business.’
Agrico B.V. (potatoes)
Ahold Europe Real Estate & Construction B.V. (Albert Heijn and Gall&Gall)
AMC Grupo Alimentacion Fresco y Zumos S.
Baarsma Wine Group Nederland
Bedo Imex B.V. (Akdos)
Bio Detection Systems B.V.
Carbonell Nederland B.V.
C.I.V. Superunie B.A.
Coöperatieve Inkoopcombinatie Dranken Compagnie U.A.e
Detailresult Services B.V. (Dirk van den Broek and DekaMarkt)
De Banketgroep B.V.
Distilleries Group Toorank B.V.
Drie Mollen International B.V.
Dutch Bakery Holding B.V.
Emmi Benelux B.V.
FrieslandCampina Riedel B.V.
- Advised Europastry on the acquisition of Grand Duet through a share deal.
- Assisting Bio Detection with developing its international distributorship agreements, licence agreements and general terms and conditions of sale and delivery.
- Advising General Mills, the manufacturer of Häagen-Dazs ice cream, on various distribution related matters in the Benelux.
Aukje Haan, Mark Ziekman, Marcoline van der Dussen and Madeleine Lamers jointly lead the team at CMS and have a notable focus on the food industry. The group's experience encompasses a variety of corporate and private equity transactions combined with expertise in IP matters, product launches, packaging work and the related regulations.
Coca Cola European Partners
La Bouteille d’Or
- Acted for McCain in a number of Dutch design infringement cases against competitor Simplot relating to potato products.
- Defended McDonald’s in proceedings brought by a competitor opposing the permits and zoning plan for the client’s new restaurant in Deventer.
- Assisted Strik, which provides high-quality ingredients in over 30 countries, with several high-profile international commercial contracts and agreements.