Industry focus: Food in Netherlands


AKD is known for expertise in food sector legislation and regulation related to registrations, food safety requirements, recall, labelling requirements, claims, liability and contracts with suppliers. The firm handles a range of commercial contract, IP and administrative law matters in the area, while also providing experience in EU, procurement and competition law issues. Practice head Barbara Mutsaers advises and litigates on food law matters with strengths in commercial contracting and contract law, research and development, material transfer, manufacturing and supply agreements, and product liability. Another key name in the team is Erik Dans, who specialises in administrative food law, notably administrative law enforcement.

Practice head(s):

Barbara Mutsaers

Other key lawyers:

Erik Dans


‘The team is very committed to their customers and has a lot of expert knowledge on the poultry industry.’

‘Erik Dans is an excellent partner.’

‘I worked together with Barbara Mutsaers on a particular case. I thought I had a difficult case to explain but she had far more experience on the subject than I could ever imagine and she understood from the beginning what was going on and knew what to do. It was as if I was talking to a dedicated team member who works here already for 10 years. She approached the case proffesionally, calm and assertive. Thanks to her victory was on our side. Without a doubt I will call AKD again next time I need legal councel.’

‘We do like the fact we have one contact person. Several employees of AKD may work on our topics, but we have one case holder.’

‘We work mainly with Barbara Mutsaers. During our discussions she listens carefully, provides feedback with options and consequences, and assists us with external communication. She is fully aware on general law principles, but especially assists us with the interpretation of EU food law ’

‘Easy to approach, flexible team.’

Key clients

Perfetti Van Melle



Plukon Food Group

The Greenery

Yili Innovation Center Europe

Hoogwegt International

Van den Borne Aardappelen

Sligro Food Group Nederland

Interfood Holding

Esro Seafood


CBD Consultancy Group


B&S International




Work highlights

  • Represented Plukon Food Group in court proceedings against the Dutch State (Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety) regarding hygiene requirements.
  • Advised one of the market leaders in food ingredients in various regulatory matters, including food additives, GMO’s and flavourings.

Hoogenraad & Haak

Boutique Hoogenraad & Haak specialises in IP, advertising and food law, providing ‘outstanding knowledge with respect to advertising, nutrition and health claims on food’. The firm is known for its ‘highly skilled and very responsive team with vast, up-to-date knowledge of the market’. Advising on all aspects of food law, the group’s experience covers ingredients, labelling and litigation before the courts, the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) and self-regulatory bodies, as well as complex matters related to food safety including recalls. Ebba Hoogenraad leads the team and is ‘highly valued for her expertise in this area’, particularly in relation to legislation and regulation. Associate Lisanne Steenbergen is also active in food related matters.

Practice head(s):

Ebba Hoogenraad

Other key lawyers:

Lisanne Steenbergen


‘Front runner on food law. Very accessible team, pragmatic and pleasant to work with.’

‘Ebba Hoogenraad is highly valued for her expertise in this area. Always aware of the most recent developments in the field. Her expertise, pragmatic approach, passion for the job and enthusiastic personality combined, makes it very pleasant to work with her.’

‘Highly skilled and very responsive team with vast, up-to-date knowledge of the market. They are very versatile – Just as good and responsive when it concerns giving in-depth memos as being a sparring partner. And – very important (to me): good humored, so fun to work with. They have a passion for what they do and that rubs off.’

‘Ebba Hoogenraad: Highly skilled; very responsive; enthusiastic. Ebba appreciates out-of-the-box thinking and is not afraid to try something new. She is very adaptive to changes and volatility. All good qualities to be the trusted legal advisor for young ambitious companies (and also corporates). Her in-depth knowledge of the market is a valuable asset’.

‘Ebba is one of the most appreciated lawyers I have worked with in my 20 career as inhouse counsel.’

‘Hoogenraad and Haak and its team is uniquely positioned to represent clients from the food sector. They have provided us with strategic advice that reflected indepth knowledge of food legislation and insight in the unique policy environment we work in as sector oganisation’.

‘We have worked with Ebba Hoogenraad who has been a great touch stone in terms of checking and discussing legislative issues, potential grey areas and policy implications. We value her personal and tailored approach when working with her, immensely’.

‘The team has outstanding knowledge with respect to advertising, nutrition and health claims on food. Unique expertise in the Netherlands’.

‘All of them are very accessible at all times, able to think commercially and think proactively along with the company. The relation is open minded and agreements are clear to all parties.’

‘Ebba Hoogenraad is a lawyer with thorough legal expertise, especially with respect to issues about food and nutrition. She is person that is very much dedicated to win a legal case, and fights for it with heart and soul. I work with her for nearly 25 years, she a very pleasant, trustworthy person to work with, next to the unique expertise she brings along. She never gives up, and goes for the win!’

Key clients



Ahold Delhaize




Perrigo/Omega Pharma




Royal Wessanen

Kenniscentrum Suiker & Voeding


Koninklijke Vereniging Homeopathie

European Palm Oil Alliance



Cantina Mexicana

Atida Pure

Work highlights

  • Regularly advise multinational company Barilla (WASA) in relation to all kinds of questions about campaigns and packaging of the well-known brand BARILLA.
  • Legal proceedings for Herbafit before the Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal (“College van Beroep voor het Bedrijfsleven” or “CBb”) in relation to health claims for food supplements, including request to consider referring questions to the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”).
  • Acted for Cantina Mexicana, a food producer in proceedings on fair use of the generic pepper name ‘tabasco’ against the owner of the TABASCO trademark.

Loyens & Loeff

Loyens & Loeff's broad practice provides full-service, multi-jurisdictional legal and tax advice for the food and beverages industry. The firm ‘knows the food industry well but also has tech-knowledge and insights’, which is combined with expertise in M&A, regulation, IP, contracts and compliance, as well as a niche specialism in advice related to the emerging area of ‘flash delivery’ companies. Gert-Wim van de Meent leads the team and handles EU regulatory, competition and procurement law with a focus on regulated sectors including food, healthcare, pharma and biotech. Also notable in the sector are senior associate Victor van Ahee, whose forte is European and Dutch food and administrative law; and Harmen Holtrop, who handles M&A, joint ventures and general corporate matters in the area.

Practice head(s):

Gert-Wim van de Meent; Victor van Ahee

Other key lawyers:

Harmen Holtrop


‘L&L delivers practical and useful responses and in a timely manner. I enjoy working with them when I have food related cases.’

‘Victor van Ahee has a good sense of how the market works and is a known figure in the market. I am comfortable he can get the job done when required.’

‘For a tech firm like ours it is important that our lawyers understand our business. L&L knows the food industry well but also has tech-knowledge and insights. Their digital economy team connects with their food team for businesses like ours, where the food and tech sometimes comes together.

‘I appreciate their proactive and tailored news dissemination. Usually law firms send out general newsflashes etc., but the intel we receive from L&L is custom gathered and therefore allways relevant.’

‘Loyens & Loeff is an all service firm, which is helpful if there are other relevant legal points of attention. However, main contact has been Victor van Ahee, who leads the teams in a brilliant way and makes sure the job gets done in an (cost) efficient and timely manner.’

‘Victor van Ahee (Senior Associate) is a true specialist in his area, who understands the needs of his clients and delivers practical to the point advice in an (cost) efficient and timely manner. He is the type of lawyer that doesn’t feel as an external counsel, but more as a right hand in a project.’

Key clients



Bayer Crop Science

B&S Group

Cargill B.V.


Collins Foods Ltd (KFC)

Cornelis Vrolijk

Danish Crown


Dawn Foods

Emmi Italy

Exal Corporation



FitForMe B.V.

Fleury Michon


Glencore Grain




Illovo Sugar

Kerry Group

Kettle Foods Ltd.


Koninklijke Zeelandia

Krynica Vitamin S.A.




Rembrandt Foods


Samson & Surrey

Sligro Food Group

Struik Foods

Yara Sluiskil



Work highlights

  • Advised Gilde Buy Out Partners by its shares in Vivera, the third largest plant-based protein producer in Europe to JBS, the world’s largest protein company and second largest food producer for an amount of EUR 341 million (USD 408 million).
  • Advised Pamplona Capital on their purchase of Signature Foods. Signature Foods has a EUR 300 million revenue in several EU-countries and operates several major food product brands (such as Johma, Heksn’Kaas and KaasTengels).
  • Assisting Gorillas Technologies, a flash delivery start-up, in their expansion in the Netherlands.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Advising a range of clients in the food and agribusiness sector, Norton Rose Fulbright’s ‘business oriented concise team’ specialises in soft commodities, food safety, labelling, M&A, investigations and employment matters. Saskia Blokland leads the practice and focuses on M&A, joint ventures and complex corporate restructuring. Another key name is Bart Vis, who was promoted to counsel in 2021 and is an expert in public law, advising clients on the development of renewable energy projects and the operation of industrial and chemical facilities.

Practice head(s):

Saskia Blokland

Other key lawyers:

Bart Vis; Stephanie Walthaus


‘Business oriented concise team. Great support’.

‘High knowledge of our company and sector.’

‘Stephanie Walthaus: High knowledge and expert level. Very friendly and easy to reach out for in case of need of help on a subject’.

‘Saskia Blokland: High knowledge and expert level. Easy to reach out for in case of emergency or urgent matter’.

Key clients

Crisp Sensation Holding B.V.

Darling Ingredients


Emerald Kalama Chemical


Gate Group (deSter)

Kerry Group

Louis Dreyfus Commodities

Monaghan Mushrooms

Plus Retail (Plus Holding B.V.)

Regal Beloit Corporation

Roo Foods


Reckitt Benckiser (ena) b.v.



Danone / Nutricia

Coca Cola European Partners

Coca Cola Hellenic AG

Fresh Trading Manufacturing B.V. (Innocent Drinks)

Work highlights

  • Advised Kerry Group on Dutch law aspects of the acquisition by Kerry Group of the Niacet Group, with target holding in USA but with material operations in The Netherlands as well.
  • Advise Reckitt Benckiser, a multinational consumer goods company and one of the world’s largest producers of health, hygiene and home products listed on the LSE, on all its Dutch employment law related matters.
  • Advising Fresh Trading Ltd in respect of the realisation of a new integrated juice terminal, blending and filling business (for the “innocent” juices and smoothies) in the port area of Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Van Doorne

The multidisciplinary food and beverage practice of Van Doorne combines expertise in various areas from commercial and corporate, finance, administrative and employment law to IT, IP, privacy, real estate, litigation, and EU and competition. The firm is ‘one of the best independent Dutch law firms with an excellent reputation and tradition’, and is known for its strength in cross-border matters. Practice head Lisette Bieleveld handles contentious and non-contentious matters for domestic and international companies and organisations regarding commercial contracts related to the sector.

Practice head(s):

Lisette Bieleveld


‘The Team of Van Doorne is unique as far as it concerns our case and they gave a very clear answer how to handle our case and to which tariff/costs. Their (legal) knowledge of the case we were having with one of our relations was very accurate and saved a lot of extra time and effort.’

‘Our contact person (Lisette Bieleveld) was very well informed with great knowledge of the case we asked Van Doorne for. Next to that she was very cooperative, transparant about costs, and willing to sort things out for our company of which we had no knowledge of.’

‘VAN DOORNE is one of the best independent Dutch law firms with an excellent reputation and tradition. Our firm is collaborating in the setting up of a worldwide franchise system in the food industry. Van Doorne is in charge with the Dutch part and is extremely helpful with to the point advice and a pragmatic approach’

‘Lisette Bieleveld is a partner our firm is working with since many years. She has shown her quality in high profile cases where she was acting with an authority you rarely meet. Lisette has the experience to handle the matters with the aim of reaching a pragmatic solution for the clients. Exceptional quality’

‘Within hours Van Doorne was there to support us with their best people. Immediately understanding for our case. With support on the content but also in line with our emotions at that moment.’

Key clients

ABP Food Group Unlimited

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

Barentz N.V.

Bedo Imex B.V. (Akdos)

Bergbanket B.V.

Bio Detection Systems B.V.

BrunchCo 21


Carbonell Nederland B.V.

C.I.V. Superunie B.A.

Coöperatieve Inkoopcombinatie Dranken Compagnie U.A.e

Cott Corporation (private label producer of non-alcoholic drinks)

Deen Holding Hoorn B.V.

Detailresult Services B.V. (Dirk van den Broek and DekaMarkt)

De Banketgroep B.V. (waffles, cookies and cakes)

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. (coffee and coffee pads)

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

Koninkijke Ahold Delhaize N.V.

Lenger Seafoods

Marine Harvest ASA (seafood)


MCO Health B.V.

Meatless B.V. (vegetarian meat and fish substitutes)

Moët & Chandon

New York Pizza

Nutreco N.V.

Nutricia Export B.V.

Padifood Service B.V.

Pandriks Holding B.V.

Paterson Arran Ltd. (biscuits)

Plukon Food Group

PLUS Retail B.V.

PortionPack Europe Holding B.V.

Prins & Dingemanse B.V.

Prinsen Food

PV Industries B.V.

Royal Sanders

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

Texelse Bierbrouwerij B.V.

The Green Happiness

Tony’s Factory B.V. (Tony’s Chocolonely)

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

  • Advising Deen Holding Hoorn B.V. on the proposed sale of all of its 80 supermarkets to Albert Heijn, Vomar Voordeelmarkt and DekaMarkt and, within this, on the overall commercial sales strategy and the commercial approach towards its suppliers as well as on its membership of C.I.V. Superunie B.A. (the cooperative association of supermarket chains).
  • Advised Getir on raising USD555m in a Series D funding round and on expanding its rapid grocery delivery service to the Netherlands.
  • Advised Tony’s Chocolonely on its Sweet Solution campaign.

Bird & Bird

Tech specialist Bird & Bird has a forte in providing e-commerce, IP and data protection advice to the food and beverage industry. The firm also has experience in regulatory matters and advice in relation to sustainability, an increasingly prominent area. Manon Rieger-Jansen leads the team and focuses on brand and product design protection and portfolio management, while also assisting clients with contentious issues.

Practice head(s):

Manon Rieger-Jansen

Key clients

Taco Bell

Treasury Wine Estates



Blossom Hill


Hello Fresh

Mikel Coffee


Steak Ranches

La Fourchette

Dawn Meats




Kraft Heinz

Anheuser Busch InBev

Dominos Pizza’s

Groupe Avril

Reef Technology


Work highlights

  • Providing on-going data protection advice for Domino’s Pizza for the Netherlands and other European jurisdictions.
  • Supporting KFC in a wide variety of commercial matters, including franchise, marketing, e-commerce and lease related questions, which is a testament to our retail expertise.
  • Representing Asolo Ltd. in proceedings at the General Court and Court of Justice of the European Union in proceedings about its main brand FLÜGEL.


Advising producers, retail organisations, suppliers, bankers, investors and regulators, CMS’ food and beverage practice draws on its multijurisdictional network and full service capabilities to provide comprehensive coverage in the area, including matters ranging from food law, product liability, and contamination and recall to new product launches, labelling, advertising, and IP and brand protection. The team also handles commercial contracts, antitrust and M&A, and is increasingly active in tech related matters. Aukje Haan assists clients in the consumer products industry with corporate and commercial issues. She co-leads the team with Mark Ziekman, who is active in company law and specialises in cross-border M&A and joint ventures.

Practice head(s):

Aukje Haan; Mark Ziekman

Key clients

Friesland Campina




Coca Cola European Partners

Strik Ingredients

La Bouteille d’Or


Vreugdenhil Dairy Foods

Viscon Group

Associated British Foods

Westmill Foods

Bake Five Holding

Amarant Bakkerijen

Work highlights

  • Advised Viscon Group & Viscon Fresh Produce, a group of innovative companies, active in handling processes in food, non-food and agro businesses.
  • Assisted Mosa Meat (a Dutch food technology company) on its two-tranche Series B financing led by Blue Horizon Ventures (a food technology company based in Luxembourg) for a total of USD75 million.
  • Acted for McCain in a case that’s part of a global infringement dispute, including various EU countries, US and Canada, between the parties mentioned as well as a quite substantial number of (design) invalidity proceedings before the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).


The multidisciplinary food team at Ploum combines specialists in areas ranging from international trade, litigation, banking and finance, and insurance to corporate, labour and administrative law as well as IP, IT and privacy. The firm is well regarded for its ‘unique expertise in food related issues and Food Safety Authority cases’, as well as its experience in compliance issues surrounding the import and manufacture of food and animal feed and regulatory compliance of other products. Practice head Marijn van Tuijl ‘has all the answers and is a superb food lawyer, working in close synergy with the transport and customs team.’

Practice head(s):

Marijn van Tuijl

Other key lawyers:

Willem Leppink; Sabin Tigu; Mirjam Louws; Jikke Biermaz


‘Ploum is a very hands-on firm and very solution oriented. They are very straight forward in their communication and always deliver fast with high quality.’

‘We work on regular bases with Willem Leppink, Sabin Tigu, Marijn van Tuijl and Mirjam Louws on IP cases and international contract matters. Communication is very straight forward and delivery is always quick and of high quality. So far, Ploum has won every case.’

‘Ploum is a one stop shop for a variety of different issues a company like us face on a regular basis. On top of knowing ‘the law’, they also know ‘the real world’, such as commercial aspects and the role government bodies/authorities play within the sector. Involving Ploum means involving an efficient and solution oriented law firm and I am very pleased with the services provided by them.’

‘Unique expertise on Food related issues and Food Safety Authority cases’.

‘Marijn van Tuijl understands the Food related issues in detail. Jikke Biermaz is great in Custom related matters’.

‘The leading team in Rotterdam. Our go to firm for all issues impact the movement of food products into the EU across the Dutch border.’

‘Marijn van Tuil has all the answers and is a superb food lawyer, working in close synergy with the transport and customs team.’

Key clients


Pernod Ricard Chivas Regal

The Royal Dutch Grain and Feed Trade Association


United Biscuits/ Verkade


ADM (Archer Daniels Midland) International


Omega Pharma (Perrigo)

Van Sillevoldt Rijst (VSR Rice)

Vergeer Holland

Doens Food International

AVH Dairy Trade

H. van Wijnen

Schouten Europe

Jacobs Douwe Egberts

Vernof (Association of Dutch Producers of Edible Oils and Fats)

BayWa Agri Supply & Trade


NZV (Netherlands Subtropical Fruits Association)

Van Genugten Groep

United Dutch Breweries


Suiker Unie

Work highlights

  • After successful appeal proceedings, successfully represented Van Genugten Groep and Rined Fourages in proceedings at the Dutch Supreme Court level on behalf of prominent members of the Dutch pork industry against pharmaceutical manufacturer Wyeth (currently Pfizer). The matter concerns a claim for the illegal disposal of pharmaceutical hormone waste which waste was placed on the market as a food and as a feed raw material in violation of European legislation and causing widespread damages throughout the Dutch pork industry.  
  • Assisted The Royal Dutch Grain and Feed Trade Association, the Netherlands Subtropical Fruits Association (NZV) and seven of their members in administrative review proceedings and discussions with the Dutch food regulatory authority NVWA and with the European Commission in respect of widespread contamination of sesame seeds with ethylene oxide, a disinfectant used against microbial hazards, yet only allowed in food in the EU in minimal quantities.
  • Represents H. van Wijnen both in administrative proceedings against the Dutch regulator NVWA and in civil litigation against a major German retailer. The matter concerns the order by NVWA to conduct a widespread recall and to ban the exports of fresh smoked salmon due to the alleged contamination with the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria which caused extensive damages to the client.

Say Legal

Say Legal is dedicated to food law, advertising law and regulatory advice in the non-food consumer goods area. The firm's workload includes food safety queries, labelling, recalls, (self-regulatory) court cases and compliance issues pertaining to major advertising campaigns. Another key selling point for the practice is its in-house workshops and thought leadership on the sector. Food and advertising law specialist Sarah Arayess leads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Arayess


Say Legal is a boutique law firm, headed by Sarah Arayess, a passionate food lawyer – very reactive and professional.

Sarah Arayess is a joy to work with. She is efficient, personable and extremely knowledgeable. She has never missed a deadline and communicates clearly. I always know I’m in safe hands.

Say Legal is our number 1 trusted advisor when it comes to food law matters.

We love to work with Sarah. She is extremely knowledgeable, really makes an effort to understand our business, always available when we need her and never stops before finding the right solution. In addition it is simply lot of fun to work with Sarah. She is full of energy and very positive. Highly recommended!

Sarah is our go to food law advisor in the Netherlands. We have always found Sarah to be diligent and comprehensive in her advice, and have appreciated the ‘bigger picture’ approach she has taken in her advice, considering not only legal but also commercial factors. We look forward to working with Sarah for years to come, and would have no hesitation in recommending her services to any potential clients.

Sarah’s personal approach (customer intimacy). Always available for discussion. Practical approach in applying food law to questions from clients. Shows interest also when no billable work.

Sarah is very professional and competent and appreciated as a speaker in food law related issues, especially when it comes to advertising matters. She knows the food branch quite well and is pragmatic in her approach.

Key clients

Tony’s Chocolonely

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended a scale-up in proceedings before the Dutch Advertising Code Committee related to the use of non-harmonized claims in the EU.
  • Assisted an international law firm in helping its client prepare for a follow-up inspection by the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA).
  • Acted on behalf of an internationally operating client in the appeal procedure for a principal case regarding mutual recognition.

Simmons & Simmons

Full-service firm Simmons & Simmons combines ‘an extraordinary commitment to its clients’ with expertise across the food, beverage and agriculture sectors. Strengths for the group include corporate and commercial contracting, employment advice and tax issues. Leo Verhoeff specialises in corporate law with a focus on cross-border M&A, private equity, joint ventures and corporate governance. He co-leads the team with Joris Oster, whose experience covers transactional, advisory and contentious matters.

Practice head(s):

Leo Verhoeff; Joris Oster

Other key lawyers:

Annemarie Elenbaas


‘Simmons & Simmons has an extraordinary commitment to its clients, which I have experienced every time we were in need of their services. Quick responses, always really dedicated to the cases and solution oriented, and very knowledgable.’

‘I mainly work with Annemarie Elenbaas, who is my main contact over the last 5 years. Always responsive, also if she is not working, solution oriented, very quick in her support and commitment to find a solution. Challenging at the right times to make sure we have the full view and make the right decisions. I would recommend her to anyone!’

Key clients


Biscuit International


Plukon Food Group


Spirits International


Koninklijke Peijnenburg

Lamb Weston/Meijer

Gilde Equity Management (Societa Boboli and Bakker Bart)

Coca-Cola European Partners


Plantinum Equity (Biscuit International and De Banketgroep)

Coroos Conserven

Dawn Foods

Zwanenberg Food Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for Heineken N.V. as Issuer in connection with the update of its EUR 20bn Euro Medium Term Note Programme.
  • Assisted Societa Boboli, portfolio company of Gilde Equity Management and producer of various dough-based products, on various commercial contracting matters.
  • Represent Spirits in proceedings against FKP regarding the ownership of the “Stolichnaya” brands.

Van Traa Advocaten

Experts in logistics, trade and insurance for the food industry, Van Traa Advocaten has ‘a lot of experience with how to handle authorities’. The firm assists clients across the entire food supply chain, including companies engaged in the production, import and export to storage, transport, and distribution and trade of commodities to the final food products. Particular areas of strength for the practice are food safety, marketing and quality issues, as well as an increasing focus on organic food matters. International trade specialist Marc van Maanen co-leads the team with associate Silvia Gawronski, who focuses on administrative procedures, notably those related to food, consumer products and QHSE.

Practice head(s):

Marc van Maanen; Silvia Gawronski

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Giesbertz


‘The lawyers at Van Traa have a lot of knowledge in the field of food, feed and product liability. But also in cases where technology is relevant, Van Traa’s lawyers can advise and litigate effectively.’

‘Van Traa lawyers are easy to approach and can always be reached. Their advice is practical and often expressed in one or two pages.’

‘They have a lot of experience with how to handle authorities. And with patience and knowledge they build the case without frustrating the counterpart.’

‘Silvia Gawronski has personal dedication to the issues she handles and is always availble to to give help or to answer questions.’

‘I have worked with Van Traa over the past 25 years in many cases and a variety of subjects, related to logistic and production disputes, such as (but not limited to) thefts, production problems, transports, interpretation of contracts etc. VanTraa’s lawyers ( in particular Marc van Maanen) have never lost a lawcase for us. They also helped us in legal matters with governmental issues. Van Traa has a wide network in many different countries. They won for us cases in Belgium, Germany, Canada, France etc. With the help of their local associates. Marc van Maanen has assisted us in developing companies standard contracts and general terms and conditions.’

‘The individuals I work with are: Marc van Maanen – Marc knows our business and has the ability to anticipate. He is reliable and very responsive in case of need. Silvia Gawronski – specialized in governmental cases such disputes on fines, obtaining licences and protects against abuse of the freedom of information act. Thomas Giesbertz – assists Marc van Maanen and has proved himself as a fighter in various cases. He puts 100% effort in every single case and goes further in his investigations than most lawyers are willing to do.’

‘This practice is unique as it offers a custom made approach on a general approach. By this I mean that given the relationship, Van Traa is able to advise in line with our business and risk appetite but without having a deep dive each time.’

‘Silvia Gawronski is very keen on making the connection with business and legallity. She is very open to communicate and it is easy to discuss matters with her.’

Key clients

Various Insurance companies like Marsh, Amlin, AIG, NN, ASR – dealing with (recall) insurance

Olam Europe B.V.

Steinweg Handelsveem

Louis Dreyfus Company


Glencore Grain




Cefetra Group

Dutch Organic International Trade (DO-IT)

Champrix B.V.



Regional Grain Trading Group

Tradin Organic

Doens Food Ingredients


Van Marcke Food Group

Spack Trading

Van Schelven

Van den Bosch

HAP Foods

Bakker Seeds




Staay Food

NGM international

Olenex Edible Oils

FNG Meats


Dutch Bakery Group B.V.


Pacha de Cacao


Heereco B.V.

F. Wellink Lekkerkerk

Work highlights

  • Assist KLM Cargo on a regular basis in cases in which KLM Cargo is confronted with cargo containing foodstuffs with ingredients of protected plants or animals under CITES.
  • Assisted various clients in recalls following the outbreak of the food crisis regarding ethylene-oxide contaminated sesame seeds.
  • Co-counsel in a ground breaking decertification case in which one of the oldest and largest (organic) grain and seed importers in the Netherlands is confronted with 8 procedures / decisions of Skal (Organic supervisory authority) regarding not only the certification of their production and certain organic commodities, but also the decertification of the company itself.