Industry focus: retail in Netherlands
Dentons provides its retail clients with a comprehensive range of expertise, from real estate, planning and environmental matters to retail investments and brand protection and franchising mandates. Practice head Wendela Raas has a focus on real estate work; her clients include major shopping mall operators, developers and chain stores. Other key team members include Marc Elshof, who is a key contact for data protection work. In a recent highlight, Elshof, Raas and Jeroen de Clercq advised Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield on its €500m investment in the 'Mall of the Netherlands' retail park.
‘We work with Dentons particularly on lease reviews and they are excellent with their input, are on time, plus they are fairly priced.’
‘Jeroen le Clercq and Wendela Raas are both well-known and fast with letting leases.’
‘The team is well-organised and have a good knowledge about the subject. The team we work with knows us really well and this creates a good relation between us and them. This also makes sure that we both know what we can expect from each other.’
‘The Dentons team are experts in the franchise area, meaning sales to end-consumers by a third part. They are covering all aspects of this practice which are retail, distribution, and marketing. In addition to the knowledge they may have on other areas such as agency. The fact that they are covering multiple aspects of the business is key.‘
The Avocado Show
- Advising Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield on leasing and construction law issues relating to its €500m investment in the ‘Mall of the Netherlands’ retail park project.
- Advised Altera Vastgoed on the sale of the De Boreel shopping centres to ARC Real Estate Partners.
- Advising MRP on securing the appropriate planning and zoning permits for the redevelopment of a large mall in The Hague.
The Kennedy Van der Laan practice fields 'one of the leading teams in the Netherlands'. Martine de Koning heads up the group and, alongside her EU competition expertise, she is considered 'one of the best franchise lawyers'. Associate partner Bart-Adriaan de Ruijter handles a range of transactions, contentious matters and Brexit-related issues for retail clients, while senior associate Jelle Blom focuses on commercial and international trade matters. Acting for household-name clients, the team handles domestic and cross-border matters including joint ventures, distribution and licence agreements, competition and anti-trust work, and real estate mandates alongside the related litigation and arbitration proceedings.
‘The franchise and retail team of KvdL is one of the leading teams in the Netherlands. It is always a pleasure to work with them.’
‘Martine de Koning is one of the best franchise lawyers worldwide. She combines civil and consumer law, competition law and trade mark law in a unique and excellent way.’
‘The team is very successful in providing high level legal assessment together with a very good understanding of business environment.’
‘We have worked closely with Martine de Koning, Jelle Blom and Renske Sinke. Between them they share excellent knowledge of the legal issues that are relevant when working in retail and they know how to “translate” this knowledge to make it work on a practical level.’
Alu Design & Services AS
Van Doorne's clients point to its 'wide variety of expertise and in-depth knowledge' as a key strength of the group. Practice head Lisette Bieleveld is highly rated for her skills in retail-related contracting and litigation, Onno Boerstra focuses on M&A including buy-outs, and Elisabeth Thole brings data protection expertise, while Els de Wind handles international labour and employment law. The team provides retailers, distributors, suppliers, franchisors, brand owners and investors with a comprehensive service including advice on cross-border expansions.
‘Van Doorne has a very quick and adequate service and advice with thorough expertise. And they go beyond that, by proactively advising on related matters and/or risks that should be considered, so that as a client you feel really helped and comforted in handling the case.’
‘Their wide variety of expertise and in-depth knowledge and adequate approach to a wide variety of complex topics. The ability to address topics in the essence of its potential issues and separating the important from the unimportant.’
‘Their level of expertise and benchmark know-how. Each individual is a lead expert in their segment and they take away the burden for a company that is dedicated to focus on its own day-to-day business. Upon urgent matters each individual was either directly available at hand or ready to handle quickly after.’
‘Great to the point expertise and great customer focus. All disciplines in-house and flexible.’
‘Lisette Bieleveld is very dedicated. Excellent organiser and keeps to planning and promises. Realistic at the same time. Solid and up to date knowledge.’
Aberdeen Asset Management
Bottega VenetaSA/Bottega Veneta Holding
CBR Fashion Group
Dutch State Lottery
Hans Anders Retail Group
Laboratoires La Prairie
LG CNS Europe
M7 Real Estate
McArthurGlenGroup/Simon Property Group Interactive
Retail Estates N.V.
Schwan-STABILOSchwanhäuber GmbH &Co.
TW Steel Europe
Walt Disney Company
- Advising Green Swan on its acquisition and subsequent restart of toy retail chain Intertoys.
- Redrafting Eichholtz’s full range of purchase and sales documentation, renegotiating various agreements and advising on corporate matters.
- Acting for Street One and Cecil in several legal proceedings relating to a breach of contract by one of its purchasers (Vidrea/Miller & Monroe) and the subsequent bankruptcy of Vidrea.
Fort Advocaten is recommended for its 'good knowledge of the retail sector' and also for providing 'the high-speed solutions that are needed in the industry'. 'Quick-thinking' managing partner Katinka Verdurmen provides clients with a blend of commercial contracting and real estate expertise, with particular experience in franchising work and leasing disputes. The team also leverages the firm's wider expertise in employment, corporate and M&A, litigation, and restructuring and insolvency law. Dirk van den Berg and Jodit de Bruin are other key names to note.
‘Very client friendly. Works to solve the problems asap instead of making long hours to make a high billing possible.’
‘You can 100% rely on the advice of Fort Advocaten. They know how to make legally complex issues look simple. They communicate very well. They listen very well to what exactly you need. And last but not least they are nice people.’
‘Good knowledge about the retail sector; also about the high speed solutions are needed in the retail sector; pragmatic approach; clear communications; open for feedback’.
Action Nederland B.V.
Big Bazar B.V.
Blokker Holding B.V.
Intertoys B.V. (Green SwanNetherlands B.V.)
JD Sports Fashion B.V.
Mexx Europe B.V.
MS Mode Nederland B.V.
Nedstede Retail B.V.
Nespresso Nederland B.V.
Scapino Retail B.V.
Sports Unlimited Retail B.V.
Association of Albert Heijn Franchisees
Yves Rocher B.V.
- Representing VAHFR – Association of franchisees of Albert Heijn in a complex court procedure regarding financial settlements against franchisor Albert Heijn Franchising and master franchisor Albert Heijn.
- Advising Blokker Holding, an international non-food retail company, on real estate and franchise related matters.
- Acting for a well-known Dutch retailer in contentious real estate matters.
Loyens & Loeff assists a wide range of well-known retail companies, real estate investors and funds with real estate acquisitions and disposals. The group also advises on a variety of other issues including employment matters. Real estate group head Lonne Rooseboom leads the team; Steven Lucas and Bram Linnartz are other names to note for real estate and commercial transactions.
The Blackstone Group
Scotch & Soda
Cairn Real Estate
M7 Real Estate
- Advised Primonial Real Estate Investment Management on the €98m acquisition of a retail portfolio consisting of 42 properties from RJB Group.
- Advised SSP Nederland (part of SSG Group, which operates 29 Starbucks stores in licensed partnerships on the railway stations of the Nederlandse Spoorwegen) on TUPE-related questions regarding the transfer of operations and assets.
- Advised Highbrook Investors on the disposal of shopping centre Maxis in Muiden.
NautaDutilh provides a broad range of expertise to global and Dutch retailers spanning M&A, competition, insolvency, data protection, IP, IT, real estate and tax issues; the group also has consumer products experience. Teska van Vuren and Jaap Stoop, who jointly lead the group, provide advice on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and fund formations to clients in the agriculture, food and retail sectors. David Van Dijk's work includes advising on acquisitions in the retail sector.
- Assisted Blokker Holding with the sale of De Marskramer to Audax Groep.
- Advised Lion Capital Partners on the sale of the HEMA group to investment company Ramphastos Investments Management, owned by Dutch entrepreneur Marcel Boekhoorn.
Osborne Clarke provides a cross-practice offering to Dutch and international retail sector corporates; advice spans real estate and employment mandates, commercial contracts and litigation. The team also handles issues relating to distribution, agency, supply and logistics agreements; outsourcings, data management work and e-commerce matters. Jeroen Bedaux and senior associate Paul Brouwer head up the practice and Bas Beenen has a focus on real estate matters.
O-I Netherlands B.V.
Sonos Europe B.V.
Diageo Great Britain Limited
- Represented HEMA in multiple commercial litigation matters and also advised the client on commercial and data privacy matters.
- Acted for Starbucks before the Court of Appeal, which ruled for the first time on the validity and use of a change of control clause to terminate a food service licence agreement.
- Represented Owens-Illinois, one of the world’s manufacturers of packaging products, in corporate governance and commercial disputes.
Allen & Overy LLP
Allen & Overy LLP provides clients in the retail sector with corporate and real estate expertise in addition to a full range of labour, employment and IP matters. The team advises a mix of traditional and online retailers.
Baker McKenzie's Amsterdam team, which sits as part of an extensive, global consumer goods and retail practice, 'performs cutting-edge legal work around consumer goods'. The multi-practice offering provides end-to-end assistance to retail corporates ranging from labelling, advertising and brand protection work to tax matters, new market expansions, merger control issues and disputes. Margreet Nijhof is a transfer pricing expert. Other key names include group head Itse Oosterhoff, who focuses on disputes; Mirko Marinc, who is part of the tax team; and Michiel Bijloo, who has expertise across commercial contracts and IP mandates.
‘The group of experts Baker McKenzie pulled together for us through engagement partner Itse Oosterhoff – performing cutting-edge legal work around consumer goods such as distribution, digitalization (e-commerce, (big) data, social media), advertising and labelling. Keeping up with the trends and ahead of the curve, the team speaks the industry language and understands the business challenges which allows them to anticipate the legal changes having an impact on us.’
‘Some of the stand out partners and associates are Itse Oosterhoff, Wouter Seinen and Wibren Veldhuizen.’
Johnson & Johnson
- Advised a global retailer on strategic issues, litigation and arbitration proceedings including advice on distribution, franchise, and sponsorship matters and the insolvency of retailers.
- Representing Alpro in a dispute before the Dutch Supreme Court against the NZO (Nederlandse ZuivelOrganisatie), which is an association of Dutch dairy producers, relating to the interpretation of EU regulations.
- Advised TastyBasics, a consumer food producing company supplying the major Dutch supermarkets, on a matter which concerned the reputational damage to the client from the airing of a leading Dutch consumer programme Keuringsdienst van Waarde, which provided insight into the production of food and other consumer products and aimed to draw attention to issues and irregularities in the industry.
The CMS consumer products division handles real estate, tax, IP and bankruptcy issues for its retail sector clients. Distribution and franchise agreements, product recalls and financing matters are handled by the team, which includes corporate and M&A specialist Mark Ziekman, Aukje Haan, who focuses on corporate issues including distribution models and franchise agreements, and Marc van Zanten, who is regularly appointed by the courts as a bankruptcy trustee.
Pioneer & Onkyo Europe
Praxis Doe Het Zelf Center
Ahold (Albert Heijn)
- Advised on the Dutch aspects of the transfer by Pioneer & Onkyo Europe of its business activities of hi-fi and home cinema brands Pioneer, Onkyo, Integra, TEAC and Esoteric to Aqipa.
- Represented a client in litigation regarding the non-performance of a franchise agreement by a franchisee and franchiser’s duty of care.
- Acted for Joe & The Juice on its expansion in the Netherlands including construction, zoning and leasing matters.
The senior team at Leeway includes Marga Verwoert, Michiel Odink and Remco van Leeuwen, who are well known for their IP expertise, which is utilised by an impressive range of retail sector clients. The group advises on franchise, licensing, distribution and other agreements and also handles advertising law issues including e-commerce work. Associate Nini Blom joined the team in 2019 from Greenberg Traurig LLP.
‘The team is one of the strongest in retail and its high regard is well deserved.’
‘Michiel Odink is always a top performer.’
‘Leeway is handling all our trade mark, design and copyright infringement matters for us across the world. In addition, they are assisting us with a range of important deals/agreements where our trade mark rights play a significant role, such as licensing agreements with foreign partners, distribution, franchise and agency agreements, and promotional services/endorsement contracts.’
‘They are solution-oriented and problem-solving. Leeway has always been very responsive, extremely professional, seemingly conscientious and dedicated to tailoring its case to our wishes. They also interact very well with the commercial side of the business.’
‘Leeway is a high-quality team with a very and practical approach. Founding partner Michiel Odink is efficient, commercially minded, and well-liked by his clients and peers. The entire team works together very well.’
‘Partner Remco van Leeuwen has great expertise in the retail sector. Associate Roel Dolk is an outstanding lawyer who also has a lot of technical expertise.’
AimiaHoldings UK Ltd (airmiles)
American Icon B.V.
Colourful Rebel B.V.
Electronic Arts, Inc.
FieldTurf USA, Inc.
Hudson’s Bay Company
Karl Lagerfeld Group
Minus Four Studio’s
NorthernLight Design B.V.
Novamedia B.V. and itssubsidiaries NationalePostcode Loterij B.V.|People’s PostcodeLottery Ltd. | SvenskaPostkod Lotteriet |Deutsche PostcodeLotterie
Pentland Brands Limited
Royal Boch BVBA
Scotch & Soda B.V.
Takko Holding GmbH
United Soft Drinks B.V.
Urban Outfitters (URBN Netherlands B.V.)
VF Corporation (TheNorth Face)
Warner Bros.Entertainment Inc.
WE Brands B.V. / O’Neill Europe B.V.
Yamaha Motor Europe N.V
- Advised international retailer Action on numerous commercial and IP matters.
- Acting for the Karl Lagerfeld Group in the Netherlands on the full range of IP matters, licensing and franchise agreements, enforcement and anti-counterfeiting mandates and other commercial work.
- Advising Hudson’s Bay Company on all commercial, privacy, advertising, retail and IP matters.
At Russell Advocaten B.V., Reinier W.L. Russell and Jan Dop advise retail sector clients on employment, real estate, tax and commercial agreement mandates. The team's most recent work includes advising a global fashion company on its corporate structure; assisting a client with leasing matters, and acting for a number of clients including luxury goods companies on a variety of employment issues.