Industry focus: retail in Netherlands

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP's real estate specialist Leon Hoppenbrouwer and corporate M&A and securities expert Tim Stevens head a team which assists clients with both traditional and online retail matters across a comprehensive range of practice areas, including real estate, IP and corporate/commercial. The team advised Euro Garages (EG Group) on the acquisition of NRG Value Retail which included 97 Esso-branded petrol stations in the Netherlands. Following the acquisition, it also advised on integration and labour and employment matters. Senior associate Gijs Linse is a noted member of the team.

Dentons

The Dentons team is highly rated for the depth of service it offers clients, especially with regard to real estate matters. Managing partner Wendela Raas heads the real estate practice; he and senior associate Jeroen de Clercq inspire 'confidence in their expertise'. The 'knowledgeable and experienced' Paul Wanders, Midas Lagerweij and Justine van Lochum are considered 'a pleasure to work with'. The team continues to advise Unibail-Rodamco following its merger with Westfield; assisting on the €500m redevelopment of the Leidsenhage retail park, due to be rebranded 'Mall of the Netherlands'. It is also assisting Under Armour on all aspects of the development of its new European headquarters.

Kennedy Van der Laan

The Kennedy Van der Laan practice 'provides creative solutions, combining expertise in different areas such as IP, distribution, data protection and licensing and also stands out at managing complex projects' and it specifically benefits clients with 'significant expertise in the retail industry'. Martijn van Bemmel and Jelle Blom are 'outstanding' while Martine de Koning is viewed as 'a top lawyer who perfectly knows the retail industry'. Nike, Converse, VodafoneZiggo and Elecosoft UK are among its client list. Of late the team has handled matters including a complex distribution dispute, franchising, and online retailing issues. It also advised Panda Sporthallen Exploitatie in a Court of Appeal case in which it claimed compensation for the early termination of a fitness club franchise format. Counsel Bart-Adriaan de Ruijter and senior associate Isabel van Tuyll van Serooskerken are other team members of note.

Loyens & Loeff

Loyens & Loeff is hailed as a 'best-in-class team with broad knowledge and the willingness to take a view'. Lonne Rooseboom, Bram Linnartz and Steven Lucas are the senior partners in the team that advises on large-scale transactions involving retail assets including shopping centre portfolios. It  assisted IEF Capital on a transaction regarding a retail portfolio consisting of 31 department stores, a matter with a price tag of some tens of billions. Other clients include the Blackstone Group, Coolblue and Nike.

NautaDutilh

The NautaDutilh team is headed by Corporate and M&A partners Teska van Vuren and Jaap Stoop and offers a full suite of practice area expertise to its retail sector clients. It advised Grupo Bimbo, the world’s largest baker and distributor of baked goods, in connection with its $650m acquisition of East Balt Bakeries from One Equity Partners. In other work, together with Polish firm, Wardyński & Partners, the team advised ForFarmers on the purchase of a 60% stake in Polish feed company Tasomix. Anne-Marie Klijn and David Van Dijk are other key members of the practice.

Van Doorne

Van Doorne attracts praise for 'its highly valuable combination of in-depth knowledge of this sector and business thinking' with team head Lisette Bieleveld especially noted in this respect. Its impressive client roster span retailers, manufacturers, distributors, and franchisors as well as a range of real estate developers and investors; Agrico, Audi, Chartis and Hans Anders Retail Group all feature. In recent work, it assisted BCC in its negotiations with Wehkamp, the e-commerce retailer, in connection with an exclusive supply agreement for electronics and household appliances. Onno Boerstra is a pivotal member of the team.

Fort Advocaten

The Fort Advocaten team offers specialisms across real estate, franchising, corporate and commercial, employment and litigation within the retail sector. It serves HEMA, JD Sports Fashion, Blokker and Nespresso Nederland. In recent work, it has handled contentious real estate, pre-insolvency and a number of complex franchising matters. Katinka Verdurmen, who has a focus on franchising and property law, heads the team assisted by senior lawyer Maaike Boomsma.

Osborne Clarke

Jeroen Bedaux leads a strong cross-departmental group at Osborne Clarke which includes real estate expert Bas Beenen and associate director Marije Stiebner Bergman who focuses on employment and labour law matters within the retail sector. Bedaux led the team that advised Starbucks in the Court of Appeal in connection with novel issues concerning the termination of a Food Service Licence Agreement following a change of control, a matter involving a South African company and a purported shareholder. He is also leading a team advising HEMA on disputes with several suppliers, including a product recall.

CMS

CMS advises on the tax and legal aspects of operating in the retail/consumer products sector. Corporate specialist Mark Ziekman has a focus on cross-border mergers, takeovers and joint ventures, especially in the insurance and consumer products industries, and is the chair of the firm's consumer products group. Rogier de Vrey heads the IP work and is acting for McCain in actions against Simplot which are part of a global infringement dispute including disputes over design validity.

Leeway

Marga Verwoert, Michiel Odink and Remco van Leeuwen are the key partners at Leeway serving a roster of well-known, international clients. The team's focus is on the protection of IP assets and related commercial work such as franchise and licence agreements. The team advised WE Brands, which owns the Gils and O’Neil brands, on several IP and commercial issues including trade mark opposition proceedings against Banana Republic. It is also advising Jumbo Supermarkten on international franchise arrangements including in respect of the international rollout of the La Place brand.

Russell Advocaten B.V.

Managing partner Reinier WL Russell heads the Russell Advocaten B.V.  practice together with Jan Dop. It undertakes a range of employment work for high-end clients as well as real estate matters. It is advising an international client on the requirements of the fourth anti-money laundering directive as it applies to various EU states and is assisting another retail client on corporate structuring. It counts a number of luxury goods companies among its clients.