Next Generation Partners

Industry focus: Food in Netherlands


AKD is known for its expertise in complex food matters where it often handles disputes involving slaughterhouses, organic produce and the farming industry, amongst others. Advising on food-specific regulations such as labelling requirements, food safety standards, and product compliance is another focus for the practice. Food law expert Barbara Mutsaers leads the group and is a member of the Dutch Food Law Association and the European Food Law Association, enabling her to advise clients on the full spectrum of food-related issues, and is especially recognised for her litigation skills, handling civil law procedures, non-conformity claims, and administrative procedures. She is supported by Erik Dans, who is the key contact for administrative food law issues, focusing on food processing companies, advising them on regulatory issues and representing them in enforcement cases.

Practice head(s):

Barbara Mutsaers

Other key lawyers:

Erik Dans


‘Erik Dans is a driven and very educated lawyer who has the ability to translate practical situations into language that can be understood by judges.’

‘Working with Barbara Mutsaers was a pleasure from start to finish. Clearly an expert in her field, her no-nonsense, pragmatic approach was appreciated by our business, whilst her reassuring presence during negotiations helped us to achieve a very satisfactory outcome.’

‘I experienced the individuals in AKD as very driven and committed to represent our company. I was impressed by Barbara Mutsaers who knew the dossier and relevant details in full. That not only requires knowledge of the dossier but understanding of our business, market and products as well.’

‘AKD has a very skilled team of professionals and know each other’s strengths. That makes it very easy for clients to get the best guidance in the large forest of compliance, rules and other relevant legal questions a client has. And for this expertise to be easy accessible is a head start for starting our business.’

‘Barbara Mutsaers is very involved and passionate in her expertise. She knows the fine lines and is very knowledgeable when it comes to legal issues. Barbara is very fast in responding to cases and always knows how to get to the bottom of the case and how to defend it. Her communication is clear and strong. She always has a goal in mind and very structured in her conversation.’

‘They are experienced in niche markets and do what they promise.’

‘The team has a lot of knowledge of our specific business.’

‘Contacts with Erik Dans were very pleasant. Erik responds quickly to our questions and thinks along with our wishes.’

Key clients

Perfetti Van Melle

Plukon Food Group

Yili Innovation Center Europe

Hoogwegt International

Sligro Food Group Nederland

Interfood Holding

Blueworld Seafood



B&S International


Purac Biochem


Andean Life B.V.

Baker & Baker

Chr. Hansen

Andean Life B.V.

Work highlights

  • Represented international manufacturers of own label and branded food products in a dispute with their supplier regarding the delivery of contaminated ingredients and the compensation for damages suffered as a result thereof.
  • Represented Plukon Food Group in court proceedings against the Dutch State regarding hygiene requirements.
  • Advised a company on entering the European market with their food product, encompassing crucial aspects of legality, regulatory compliance, and labelling requirements of the specific foods and their ingredients.

Hoogenraad & Haak

Boutique Hoogenraad & Haak combines expertise in food, advertising and IP law to foster a comprehensive practice that is well-versed in assisting a variety of food-related clientele, from supermarkets to food product brands. Typical issues the firm advises on include ingredients, labelling, and claims as well as good safety and recalls. The team also handles contentious matters both for IP-related food issues and sustainability. Team lead Ebba Hoogenraad is an experienced food lawyer who is known for her work concerning sustainability, and often advises at the intersection of food and retail matters. IP expert Maarten Haak assists multinational companies with trade marks, packaging design, and contractual issues. Another key member of the team is Lisanne Steenbergen who provides assistance on matters involving single-use plastics and often aids in litigation for sustainability claims.

Practice head(s):

Ebba Hoogenraad

Other key lawyers:

Maarten Haak; Lisanne Steenbergen


‘Hoogenraad & Haak have built up unique and valuable know how regarding regulation for food advertising. As the call for regulation and bans for advertising of ‘unhealthy’ products is increasing, it is important for advertisers to understand these regulations and the impact on their businesses.’

‘Ebba Hoogenraad is the driving force behind the firm. She is a knowledgeable, great communicator and inspiring person.’

‘Hoogenraad & Haak is a boutique firm that provides excellent legal advice in a very pragmatic way. They are business oriented and a pleasure to work with.’

‘They are specialised in food law which is quite a niche, and they always provide great advice.’

‘Ebba Hoogenraad’s in-depth knowledge, combined with her personal approach, make her a great business partner.’

‘The firm is strong in providing clear advice and insights. It is comforting to know that their knowledge and expertise are available to us. One of their key qualities is that they have the ability to explain tough legal matters in language understandable to people without a legal background. The advice is always practical and shows that they are knowledgeable and understand our business.’

‘Ebba Hoogenraad uses straight and clear language, is always kind and professional and feels like a team member rather than an external partner.’

‘The way they work together as a team, providing all the information to the client, is outstanding.’

Key clients



Ahold Delhaize




Perrigo/Omega Pharma




Kenniscentrum Suiker & Voeding


Koninklijke Vereniging Homeopathie



Cantina Mexicana

Cosun Nutrition Centre

Super Nature Products

Work highlights

  • Represented Super Nature Products in a case against the Dutch Minister of Medical Care, as a result of a high fine wrongly imposed for a food supplement under Medical Act instead of food legislation.
  • Advised a number of clients on creating a handbook for making sustainability claims, including in-house training of marketing teams.
  • Represented Cantina Mexicana in litigation against McIlhenny Company concerning its use of ‘tabasco,’ the generic name of a red pepper variant, for its red sauce made with tabasco pepper.

Van Doorne

The food and beverages team at Van Doorne focuses on the corporate and commercial aspects of food matters, often assisting clients with product recalls, contracts, and liability as well as IP, regulatory and finance-related issues. The team is able to advise on a wide breadth of issues faced by multinational and local food brands, manufacturers and companies, regularly handling cross-border commercial and regulatory food and beverage matters. Lisette Bieleveld leads the food practice and is she is the primary litigator for food-related issues and industry legislation. She also advises clients on commercial contracts, including franchising and distribution and service agreements. Florence Verbeek advises on complex food law issues including recalls, consumer and product liability, as well as being the point of contact with NVWA for the firm. IP-related food matters are handled by Kriek Wille.

Practice head(s):

Lisette Bieleveld

Other key lawyers:

Kriek Wille; Florence Verbeek


‘The team has large experience and strong enough to tackle the most complex questions; we have been working together within the framework of a food chain, operation through a franchise formula. Van Doorne showed the relevant knowledge and their advice was very helpful in rolling out the network.’

‘Lisette Bieleveld is outstanding in all aspects related to the introduction of a food chain into the Netherlands. She showed authority, which gave the client much confidence. It was obvious that she had experience to explain all the items which a client needs to launch a food chain in the Netherlands.’

Key clients

ABP Food Group Unlimited

Agrico B.V.

Ahold Europe Real Estate & Construction B.V.

AMC Grupo Alimentacion Fresco y Zumos S.

Baarsma Wine Group Nederland

Barentz N.V.

Bedo Imex B.V.

Bergbanket B.V.

Bio Detection Systems B.V.

BrunchCo 21



Carbonell Nederland B.V.

Coöperatieve Inkoopcombinatie Dranken Compagnie U.A.e

Cott Corporation

Crisp B.V.

Deen Holding Hoorn B.V.

Detailresult Services B.V.

De Banketgroep B.V.

Distilleries Group Toorank B.V.

Drie Mollen International B.V.

Dutch Bakery Holding B.V.

Eden Springs

Emmi Benelux B.V.


Euro-Caps B.V.

Europastry SA


FrieslandCampina Riedel B.V.


General Mills

Getir B.V.

Giorgi Global

Go Tan

Healthspan Ltd.


H. van Wijnen


ISK Bioscience Europe N.V.

JDE Peet’s


KFC Holdings B.V.

Klaas Puul B.V.

Koninklijke Agrifirm Group

Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize N.V.

Lenger Seafoods


Marine Harvest ASA


MCO Health B.V.

Meatless B.V.

Moët & Chandon

NewForrest B.V

Nutreco N.V.

Nutricia Export B.V.


Padifood Service B.V.

Pandriks Holding B.V.

Paterson Arran Ltd.

Plukon Food Group

PortionPack Europe Holding B.V.

Prins & Dingemanse B.V.

Prinsen Food

PV Industries B.V.

Rainforest Alliance

Refresco Group B.V.

Royal Sanders

Santé Group

Sonion Nederland B.V.

Starbucks Coffee Netherlands B.V.

Stichting Albert Schweitzer

Stichting de Zorgcirkel

Struik Holding N.V. and Struik Europe N.V.


Supergoods UG

Ter Maten Group

Texelse Bierbrouwerij B.V.

The Green Happiness

Tony’s Factory B.V.

Trioplast Industries AB

United Coffee Services Schweiz AG

United Softdrinks B.V

Van Oers United

Vaessen-Schoemaker B.V.

Vita Square B.V.


Work highlights

  • Assisted Tony’s Chocolonely with obtaining compensation for damages and providing assistance in Tony’s ongoing discussions with BC, its claim handler and insurer.
  • Assisted Lipton Teas with respect to contracting network services, infrastructure services, implementation services, various administration and BPO services and its application landscape.
  • Advised Agrico B.V. on its intended cooperation with Nedato as it concerns their respective international consumer vegetable businesses.

Van Traa Advocaten

Van Traa Advocaten is the go-to firm for insurance and brokering companies who require assistance with recall actions related to disease outbreaks, decertification of organic good, and other potential issues. The team also has a specialised organic sector group which is well-equipped to handle regulatory, arbitration, litigation, and contractual issues faced by the organics industry. Other main areas of the practice include food-related M&A, transport and logistics, contracting and financing, regulatory, and insurance and liability. Marc van Maanen co-leads the team alongside Silvia Gawronski, he handles issues related to food and feed law and largely assists logistics service providers, their insurers, organic commodity traders, trade financiers, and meat traders. Gawronski acts for national and international companies on regulation and enforcement matters, as well as material food and food safety regulations. Steven Oude Alink specialises in commercial and transport law for the food industry, while Tomas Uildriks assists with recall disputes.

Practice head(s):

Marc van Maanen; Silvia Gawronski

Other key lawyers:

Steven Oude Alink; Tomas Uildriks


‘Very professional in industrial food business. Exceptional in solving problems in the short term.’

‘The lawyers at Van Traa are very knowledgeable and experienced in insurance law, commercial law and liability law and, in my experience, are all very practical and straightforward. Lots of knowledge and experience in the food industry and on organic products and their supervision.’

‘Marc van Maanen, Steven Oude Alink and Silvia Gawronski are professionals and the cooperation is very pleasant and practically focused, namely on clients’ interests.’

‘My experience with Van Traa team is that they are very skilled, and they know the case to the smallest detail. By consulting Van Traa you know that they are very dedicated and always want to win the case. I have worked with them for more than twenty years and they have never lost a case! Van Traa always puts the customer’s interests first.’

‘My first choice is Marc van Maanen. He knows our company very well and is very skilled in the areas we need him for.  He is not only a lawyer doing his job, but thinks ahead and provides us with very useful information as and when needed.’

‘Capable lawyers who are not only legally minded, but also familiar with day-to-day practices in the industry. Proactive and practical responses. Give good and prompt feedback.’

‘Good knowledge of the food market, directly involved with the market and willing to think and look for practical solutions.’

‘Excellent ability to understand international problems and apply them in a Dutch context.’

Key clients


Olam Europe

Steinweg Handelsveem

Louis Dreyfus Company


Glencore Grain





Dutch Organic International Trade



Regional Grain Trading Group

Tradin Organic

Doens Food Ingredients


Spack Trading

Van Schelven

HAP Foods

Bakker Seeds



Dutch Bakery Group


Pacha de Cacao



Bio Next


Sime Darby


Work highlights

  • Assisted ADM on several questions related to their new joint venture with Marel to build an innovation centre which will accelerate alternative protein capabilities.
  • Assisted KLM Cargo with cases in which they are confronted with cargo containing foodstuffs with ingredients from protected plants or animals under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
  • Assisted insurance and brokering companies in the Netherlands and their clients with complex recall cases and addressed inquiries related to food law, including claims, notification obligations, and measures required under food law.

Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird assists large multinational food and beverage brands, as well as start-ups, on IP and data protection issues. Both contentious and non-contentious issues concerning trade marks, design, copyright, and patents all fall within the scope of the practice. The team is also routinely sought out for its ability to aid clients with brand development and regulatory compliance issues. Team lead Manon Rieger-Jansen is the go-to for brand management and product design protection matters. She is supported by a strong team which includes Raoul Grifoni Waterman, who advises on commercial and regulatory food issues, while Hester Borgers assists with patent litigation and food-related regulatory advisory work. Armand Killan retired in May 2023.

Practice head(s):

Manon Rieger-Jansen

Other key lawyers:

Raoul Grifoni Waterman; Hester Borgers; Daan Wijnnobel

Key clients

Taco Bell

Treasury Wine Estates

Just Eat


Blossom Hill


Hello Fresh

Mikel Coffee


Steak Ranches

La Fourchette

Dawn Meats




Kraft Heinz

Anheuser-Busch InBev

Domino’s Pizza

Reef Technology

Kanonkop Wine Estate


Swartland Winery


Work highlights

  • Assisted a global beverage company with trade & customs work relating to the modalities and the liabilities from a customs and commercial perspective in view of customs representation in the EU and UK.
  • Assisted Kraft Heinz with a wide variety of matters, including commercial, intellectual property, food regulatory, trade & customs and ESG.
  • Represented Chiquita in proceedings before the Dutch Advertising Committee concerning a sustainability claim made by the company, and advised on the relevant legal framework for sustainability claims, as well as the design of a new sticker.


A part of the wider consumer products team, food and beverages at CMS assists producers, retail, suppliers, and investors with cross-border and local food law related issues. Recently the firm has been focusing on ESG risk management and disputes on top of its established expertise in tech and energy sectors. Matters typically handled by the team include product liability, contamination and recall, product launches, labelling, IP, and data protection. Aukje Haan and Mark Ziekman co-lead the team, Haan is at the forefront of ESG-related matters, while Ziekman specialises in cross-border M&A and joint ventures. Litigator Rogier de Vrey advises on international patent and trade mark issues and Edmon Oude Elferink is the main contact for competition law issues such as abuse of dominance.

Practice head(s):

Aukje Haan; Mark Ziekman

Other key lawyers:

Rogier de Vrey; Edmon Oude Elferink ; Akin Aslan


‘It is a dedicated team, which gives confidence and often requires less explanation because they know the company well. The method is fast and to the point.’

‘Aukje Haan and Akin Aslan are our regular points of contact who are not only pleasant to communicate with, but also excel in expertise. Aukje and Akin stand head and shoulders above the rest.’

‘The team has broad experience and can adapt to your company’s business from a legal perspective.’

‘Aukje Haan and Akin Aslan can really empathise with an organisation, and have broad legal knowledge. The interest in your organisation helps to find the right legal steps to take.’

Key clients

Associated British Foods

Amarant Bakkersholding

Bake Five

Coca-Cola Europacific Partners


Friesland Campina

Fishflow Innovations


Hero Group

Holland & Barrett



La Bouteille d’Or

Mars GmbH

Mars Wrigley



Mosa Meat



Viscon Fresh Produce

Vreugdenhil Dairy Foods

Westmill Foods

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright's food and agribusiness team is led by corporate law expert Saskia Blokland, she advises producers, processors, traders, and financial institutions on food and beverage-related transactional issues. The practice has been active in food production company acquisitions, as well as advising producers on labelling regulations and carrying out investigations involving food corporations. The team is also able to advise on data privacy issues related to the food industry, as well as financing of soft commodities. Heimon Smits focuses on complex cross-border M&A transactions.

Practice head(s):

Saskia Blokland

Other key lawyers:

Heimon Smits

Key clients

Crisp Sensation Holding B.V.

Darling Ingredients


Emerald Kalama Chemical


Kerry Group

Louis Dreyfus Commodities

Monaghan Mushrooms

Roo Foods


Reckitt Benckiser (Ena) b.v.




Coca-Cola European Partners

Coca-Cola Hellenic AG

Fresh Trading Manufacturing B.V.

Work highlights

  • Assisted Archer Daniels Midland (UK) Limited with the acquisition of the entire issued and outstanding share capital of D.C.A. Finance B.V.
  • Assisted KWS Vegetables with the sale of the trading business of Pop Vriend Vegetable Seeds to Zasco.
  • Advised Fresh Trading Ltd on the realisation of a new integrated juice terminal, blending and filling business in the port area of Rotterdam.


Ploum‘s food team is known for its experience and expertise in handling high profile litigation related to food. The practice is especially adept at representing clients facing enforcement actions by regulatory authorities and in fraud allegations. Common issues it handles includes microbiological safety, contaminants, and pesticide residues. On the compliance side, the team handles imports and manufacturing of food and animal feed, as well as regulatory compliance issues related to import or manufacturing of products. The practice is also able to assist with IP-related issues, recalls or withdrawals, and product liability. Practice head Marijn van Tuijl is an expert in advising and litigating on issues related to manufacturing and international trade of goods. Matters involving government supervision and enforcement affecting manufacture, import, carriage, and marketing of products are also key areas for van Tuijl. Willem Leppink assists with IP-related issues involving copyright, designs and marketing.

Practice head(s):

Marijn van Tuijl

Other key lawyers:

Willem Leppink; Alexandra Danopoulos; Dorine ten Brink; Mirjam Louws


‘What makes Ploum unique is its hands-on, pragmatic approach to legal practice. Ploum’s lawyers are highly skilled and reputable, and they are committed to working closely with us to understand our specific needs and goals. Ploum truly is a one stop shop for all our legal affairs to us.

‘I highly recommend the Ploum partners and associates I have worked with. They are all extremely pragmatic, knowledgeable, and experienced lawyers who are committed to providing us with the best possible service. I have been particularly impressed with Ploum’s lawyers’ pragmatism.

‘The Ploum team is well experienced, has a hands-on approach and is not in the least quite knowledgeable of the field of highly regulated law. The go-to lawyers if you are ever in need of specific legal advice for food and feed related matters.’

‘Marijn van Tuijl is a highly communicative and a seasoned professional.’

‘I have worked with different people at the firm but Marijn van Tuijl stands out in for his accessibility, quick turn around time & well versed in the specialities of food law, customs & supply chains.’

‘Great knowledge and coverage on intricacies of Dutch implementation of EU regulations. Straightforward, clear and commercial.’

‘Marijn Van Tuijl is thoughtful, proactive and a good communicator.’

‘Marijn van Tuijl is the leading food law individual in the Netherlands and great in food safety authority issues.’

Key clients






United Biscuits/Verkade

Pernod Ricard/Chivas Brothers

Cefetra (BayWa Agri Supply & Trade)

Jacobs Douwe Egberts




Sea Value Europe



Vergeer Holland

Doens Food International

LT Foods

Van Sillevoldt Rice

Work highlights

  • Advised Gorillas on its acquisition by its competitor Getir for $1.2bn.
  • Assisted Refresco Group with acquiring Avandis from Lucas Bols N.V. and De Kuyper Royal Distillers.
  • Assisted IDH Farmfit Fund on the financing of KOA Switzerland AG and KOA Ghana Limited.

Say legal

Say legal is headed up by Sarah Arayess, who is an expert in food law matters. The boutique focuses on food law and advises on a myriad of issues, from discussions with the NVWA, labelling, recalls, and food composition requirements. Its clients largely consist of major enterprises and international companies, and the firm is well-versed in handling cross-border issues. The food-focused practice allows the team to delve deep into food and beverage matters, often handling complex legal cases.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Arayess


‘Say legal is an extremely professional law firm with great expertise in food law. Sarah Arayess is responsive, reliable and client-focused.’

‘Sarah Arayess’ professionalism is unquestionable. Whether it comes to handling urgent and complex matters, or helping a client with its day-to-day food law issues, Sarah is there.’

‘Say legal has remained our go-to external counsel in the Netherlands for all food law matters.’