Industry focus: healthcare and life sciences in Netherlands

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Rutger Kleemans, Jelle Drok and senior associate Paul van den Berg are the key members of the team at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Clients benefit from corporate, antitrust, regulatory, litigation and product liability expertise, especially in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical devices sectors, thanks to the firm's global network. The firm has a strong focus on patent litigation; it is representing Roche, Biogen, and Genetech against Celltrion in patent validity proceedings concerning rituximab, one of Roche’s blockbuster drugs.

Hogan Lovells International LLP

Hogan Lovells International LLP's life sciences and healthcare regulatory practice works in conjunction with its patent practice, especially in connection with multi-jurisdictional patent litigation. Hein Van den Bos and Bert Oosting head a large group of specialists covering areas including regulatory compliance on drugs, medical devices, veterinary, products and new technologies, as well as clinical trials. Senior associate Ruth Franken is noted for her extensive experience in EU and Dutch regulatory, pricing, and reimbursement matters. The practice advises major European and international clients including Merck Sharp & Dohme, Intervet, and Lilly.


Houthoff is noted for its 'excellent knowledge of the insurance market and healthcare sector' and has an impressive roster of hospital clients. With a dedicated industry focus, it provides corporate/ M&A, competition, regulatory, real estate, litigation, IP & IT, and labour law expertise. Weyer VerLoren van Themaat, who has a competition focus, heads the practice while counsel Freeke Heijne, who is strong on the regulatory side, is noted for being 'really knowledgeable, proactive, and for providing pragmatic solutions'.  In typical work, the team advised Bergman Clinics on one of the largest mergers of two private groups of clinics which attracted an investigation by the Dutch Competition Authority.

Loyens & Loeff

Loyens & Loeff offers clients in the life sciences and healthcare fields a comprehensive range of corporate, tax, compliance, and real estate expertise. Tom van Helmond, Kim Lucassen, and Frank Leijdesdorff lead a practice that advised Swiss global diagnostics company Unilabs on the acquisition of  Medlon Unilabs. The team advised on regulatory regimes, the corporate and competition aspects, as well as the merger notifications. Other clients include global pharmaceutical and bioscience companies as well as investors and lenders.


NautaDutilh 'has a small dedicated team of high-quality, specialised individuals' providing an impressive range of regulatory, IP, and financing as well as M&A advice. The team is also highlighted for 'working very harmoniously to put the person most capable of handling a specific task front and center for every interaction'.  Corporate expert Ruud Smits and senior associate Rebecca Pinto 'both deserve special mention for being crisp, clear, and strong communicators and for thinking about how to get the deal done'. IP specialist Anne Marie Verschuur is also in demand. The team's clients range from big pharma to startups as well as private equity and other investors including Celltrion Healthcare, GlaxoSmithKline, and Wacker Chemie, which it is assisting with the acquisition of SynCo Bio Partners Holding.

Allen & Overy LLP

Commercial transactions, IP protection, financing and regulatory, and data protection are some of the services offered by the Allen & Overy LLP team, which is 'highly responsive, has a  good feeling for situations and is goal-orientated'. The practice counts pharmaceutical, generics, and biotech companies and financial institutions among its clients. IP specialist Frits Gerritzen and corporate partner Christiaan De Brauw are the names to note. Their work includes advising Janssen Pharmaceutica on a dispute relating to the performance of a joint development agreement with Philips Electronics Netherlands and the subsequent termination of that agreement.

Axon Lawyers

Axon Lawyers is rated for the breadth of its regulatory expertise. It is a life sciences specialist covering the gamut of sector-relevant work ranging from mergers and acquisitions to clinical trials, serving pharma, biotech, and food companies. The practice is also a founding member of the European Alliance of Life Sciences Law Firms. Carine van den Brink, Karin Verzijden and Erik Vollebregt are some of the key specialists.


Marleen Van Den Horst heads the practice at BarentsKrans which has 'respected lawyers with a broad network' and who 'go into depth in understanding technology and provide a strategy'. Van den Horst has decades of experience in relation to litigation over blockbuster drugs and regulatory proceedings; she is well assisted by senior associate Claudia Zeri. The team assisted Haaglanden Medisch Centrum on the formation of a joint venture as well as on competition and regulatory matters. It is also assisting Bayer/Van Beest on a major product liability case regarding a veterinary vaccine. The team also advises on real estate matters and Caroline Van Gent assists on employment work.

Bird & Bird LLP

Head of the Bird & Bird LLP life sciences group, Marc van Wijngaarden 'is a joy to work with, has a great eye for detail and leaves no stone unturned to explore possible arguments'. His team, which 'has a unique spread across Europe', is also home to Armand Killan and Wouter Pors who together have an impressive roster of pharmaceutical, biotech, medical devices, and research clients. With an especially strong IP offering, typical work includes advising Polpharma on patent disputes with Biogen over an antibody treatment for MS; it is also handling a range of corporate work for clients in the life sciences and healthcare sectors.


The CMS team offers a broad range of expertise including regulatory, IP, and competition. Ellen Gielen, who has extensive experience of regulatory regimes, and managing partner and litigator Willem Hoorneman, co-head the group; of counsel Gertie Lintjens is also notable for her experience of the pharma and medical devices industries. The team advised Apologistics on the regulatory issues associated with the development of a new business model for its online international pharmacy business.


HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER provides patent protection and regulatory advice for clients in the biotechnology and medical devices fields. Simon Dack and Carla Schoonderbeek are the leading partners in the group, together with IP litigator Bart van den Broek and Theo Blomme. The team acts for major pharmaceutical companies including Pfizer on the protection of its second medical use patent for its blockbuster drug Lyrica. The practice also counts Johnson & Johnson, Mundipharma, and Lundbeck among its clients. Willem Hoyng is also a senior advisor worthy of note.

Maverick Advocaten N.V.

Diederik Schrijvershof, Martijn van de Hel and Bas Braeken are the key partners in the team at Maverick Advocaten N.V. which is highlighted for its 'very strong knowledge and creative approach'. Schrijvershof, who is noted for his competition expertise, 'is a quick thinker and has great connections with the regulators' and advises Zorg van de Zaak on acquisitions. The team advises on all aspects of healthcare including collaborations and administrative proceedings on behalf of healthcare providers and pharmaceutical companies including ADG Dienstengroep, one of the largest home care organisations in the Netherlands.

Simmons & Simmons

Simmons & Simmons assists an impressive range of local and international clients with regulatory, commercial, competition, and IP matters including those relating to advanced therapies and biotech products. Bas Berghuis van Woortman and Machteld Hiemstra specialise in patent litigation; van Woortman led the team acting for the Netherlands Cancer Institute in a high-profile Court of Appeal royalty and licence case with Fujirebio Diagnostics, relating to the client's antibody technology used in the diagnosis of breast cancer. Michiel Wurfbain focuses on corporate matters and advised life sciences venture capital firm Medicxi on its investment in a clinical-stage biopharma company.


Stibbe has 'a strong team committed to getting things done and the diversity of knowledge in the team was a strong trigger to select them'. Judica Krikke, who heads the healthcare and life sciences group, covers IP, ICT, and data protection and is assisted by senior associate Dennis Mollema, who has a focus on the corporate and finance side of transactions. In recent work, the team advised a consortium of the University Medical Centers on a major ICT tender process pertaining to server and storage infrastructure. It also continues to act for Mylan on all its EU antitrust issues.

Van Doorne

Van Doorne's team heads, Willemien Bischot and Dimitri van Hoewijk, serve an extensive client base including private equity company NPM Capital which it advised on the merger of its healthcare portfolio company NL Healthcare with Bergman Clinics. Van Hoewijk in particular 'stands out as a one-of-a-kind dedicated corporate healthcare partner'. In other work, the practice advised digital healthcare service provider Topicus Healthcare on its participation in NetQ, the patient data collection company. Marg Janssen left in April 2018 to become a full-time judge.

Vondst Advocaten N.V

Vondst Advocaten N.V is a specialist firm that handles contentious and non-contentious IP and IT matters for clients in the pharmaceutic and life sciences sectors. The team has in-depth expertise in the regulatory regimes and also niche expertise in plant variety rights. Ricardo Dijkstra, Otto SwensTjeerd Overdijk are the senior partners together with Arvid van Oorschot, who joined from Brinkhof in January 2018. The team acted for Sandoz in an action with AstraZeneca over the latter's drug Faslodex and counts Teva, Mylan, and Pfizer among its client list.


Brinkhof counts Sandoz, Synthon, Celltrion among its clients. The team recently acted for Accord Healthcare, the generic division of Intas, in a range of patent cases, one of which ended at the Hague Court of Appeal. It also acted for Boston Scientific on complex patent litigation against Edwards Lifesciences. Mark Van Gardingen leads the work with Daan De Lange.

De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek

The team at De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek 'has outstanding knowledge on medicament development and registration on an international level' and more broadly 'is very interactive in discussions on healthcare matters and finding creative solutions and defences'. The team's expertise spans patent litigation in addition to regulatory matters covering pharmaceuticals, food, and health claims and investigations. Gertjan Kuipers led a team acting for Biogen in a complex case involving court hearings, which was eventually settled with AbbVie and provided the client with the ability to commercialise its biosimilar product Imraldi. Senior partner Tobias Cohen Jehoram and senior associate Oscar Lamme are other core team members.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper specialists offer expertise in IP, corporate tax, and employment as well as regulatory and biochemistry matters. Paul Reeskamp and Johan Renes advised Fresenius Kabi in a high-profile patent infringement case against Eli Lilly over a generic version of the latter's Alimta drug, a matter that is being litigated globally. Daphne Bens is advising UK-based Dechra Pharmaceuticals on its acquisition of AST Farma and Le Vet, both based in the Netherlands.

Kennedy Van der Laan

Kennedy Van der Laan has a special focus on mergers and joint ventures together with medical liability and disciplinary actions. The team is a member of Biolegis, the pan-European network of independent law firms with a focus on life sciences. Fenna van Dijk heads the healthcare team and Maarten Schut specialises in IP within the life sciences sector. Meltem Koning advises on corporate and private equity matters. The group advised the Oncode Institute, a new ‘super’ institute combining oncology research from numerous academic hospitals and research institutes. It assisted with its set up and governance, funding negotiations, and complex IP arrangements. In other work includes advising on licensing, R&D collaborations, and patent disputes.

Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn NV

Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn NV has an established reputation in the healthcare sector acting for both public and private sector clients including the government, healthcare insurance companies and healthcare providers, and academic hospitals. Elisabeth Pietermaat's expertise lies in healthcare regulations and litigation, while Karlijn Teuben's clients include the Ministry of Health. The Dutch Healthcare Authority is a longstanding client which the team has advised on a range of matters including a new funding system for hospitals which resulted in a number of appeals.