Firm Profile > De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek > Amsterdam, Netherlands

De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek

Banking and finance: Borrower side Tier 1

De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek’s practice is led by co-heads Niek Biegman and Menno Stoffer, and has recently grown its Dutch corporate client base. Biegman advised AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group on a series of credit facilities valued at $650m and Stoffer assisted Nederlandse Gasunie with the issuance of €300m medium-term notes, as part of its wider European mid-term note programme. Ferdinand Hengst is also recommended.

Capital markets: debt Tier 1

At De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, practice head Niek Biegman, who splits his time between London and Amsterdam, advised the trustee, representing the bond holders, on a €175m convertible bond issued by Besi. Menno Stoffer assisted Relx with the establishment of a note programme and a separate bonds issuance. The ‘knowledgeableFerdinand Hengst acted for Brenntag Finance on the issuance of €600m in fixed-rate bonds. Ernest Meyer Swantée has departed for an in-house position at Topicus.

Capital markets: equity Tier 1

At De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, the team 'really understands the market, the legal requirements and business practices' and is 'creative in finding solutions'. Practice head Jan Willem Hoevers and Gaby Smeenk are 'top of the class'. Hoevers advised Fugro on its placement of €100m-worth of subordinated convertible bonds and Smeenk led the Nasdaq follow-on equity offering of Affimed, valued at $24.5m.

Commercial, corporate and M&a Tier 1

Arne Grimme leads the in-demand practice at De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek which provides 'good coordination of tasks even in the heat of a very difficult deal' with the bonus that 'they are very nice people to work with, very down to earth, and who always respect deadlines'. Some of the other respected team members include Lennard Keijzer, Reinier Kleipool, and  Bernard Roelvink. The team handles some of the largest corporate deals and successfully defended AkzoNobel against the unsolicited offers made by US competitor PPG Industries and also advised AkzoNobel in its dealings with activist shareholder Elliott Advisors.

Construction Tier 1

Bommel van der Bend heads the team at De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek,  which is valued for its 'commercial knowledge of the industry, excellent services, and very high partner engagement'. Together with Edward van Geuns, van der Bend is leading a team acting for a well-known oil company in a high-stakes arbitration against a subsidiary of PETRONAS at the Asian International Arbitration Centre regarding the construction of a semi-floating production platform. The team also advises a transport client on its procurement and contracting strategies and on a number of disputes. Senior associate Stefan Derksen, who has 'outstanding analytical skills', represents clients in arbitrations and Court of Appeal proceedings.

Dispute resolution: arbitration Tier 1

De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek’s department works with a range of blue-chip and foreign government clients including Tiffany, Royal Dutch Shell and the Czech Republic. Practice head Marnix Leijten acted for Chinese state-owned agricultural group Cofco, as lead counsel, in various claims against Cygne following $2bn-worth of M&A transactions. He also represented the former majority shareholders of Yukos Oil alongside Eelco Meerdink in arbitration arising from the Kremlin’s expropriation of Yukos Oil; the case has also generated considerable litigation. Matthias Kuscher was promoted to the partnership.

Dispute resolution: Commercial litigation Tier 1

De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek’s team is ‘smart, dedicated and business savvy’. Eelco Meerdink and practice lead Bommel van der Bend are acting for the Yukos oil group of companies in a series of expropriation cases by the Russian state. Marnix Leijten and Jan de Bie Leuveling Tjeenk are acting for Enel in multi-jurisdictional proceedings challenging the recognition and enforcement of an Albanian court's judgment in the sum of €435m for breach of due process and natural justice, among other issues. Machteld de Monchy, Matthias Kuscher and Martje Verhoeven-de Vries Lentsch have been promoted to partner. Senior associate Stefan Derksen is also noted. Marc Yzonides left the firm.

Employment Tier 1

Stefan Sagel, Barbara Kloppert and Janneke van der Kroon are the senior partners at De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek and Evert-Jan Henrichs is now of counsel. The team undertakes the full range of employment and labour matters and also offers pensions expertise. It acted successfully for Holland Casino in proceedings brought by its works council in reaction to a proposed restructure. It also acted for an employee who was dismissed due to reporting for work while being under the influence of alcohol; the Supreme Court rendered a decision on what amounts to seriously culpable behaviour.

Energy: regulatory Tier 1

De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek's practice is headed by Nicolien  van den Biggelaar whose expertise spans public and European environmental law and litigation. Anja Mutsaers and counsel Arjan Kleinhout, whose public law practice focuses on market regulations, are other core team members. The department is advising GasTerra in an arbitration which follows a previous €2bn gas price review arbitration with Eni.

Energy: transactional Tier 1

Anja Mutsaers heads the energy group at De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek that does 'great work', according to its clients. The practice provides an impressive client roster with end-to-end expertise in the energy sectors via multi-disciplinary teams. It is advising TenneT on a range of transactions including a large-scale energy project involving a joint venture to develop a renewable (wind farm) electricity system hub in the North Sea and on proceedings in respect of energy tariffs. Marnix Leijten is leading a team advising GasTerra in a high-value arbitration.

Environment and planning Tier 1

The De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek team is cited for its 'wealth of experience and lean staffing which provides excellent value for money'. It is also noted for 'the especially high quality of its associates compared to other firms'.  Nicolien  van den Biggelaar is lauded for applying her 'extensive industry knowledge of complex projects to excellent use'. Counsel Arjan Kleinhout is rated for his specialist public law expertise in planning and regulatory matters pertaining to large infrastructure and energy projects. The team routinely acts for AkzoNobel on all environmental, health and safety issues relating to its industrial sites.

EU and competition Tier 1

De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek has a strong track in the space and covers the full spectrum of EU and competition law. Cartel-related matters are a core strength and practice head Jolling de Pree is representing Philips in an appeal to the European Court of Justice concerning the alleged smart card chips cartel. Alongside Daan Beenders, de Pree is acting for British Airways in multiple follow-on actions in the Netherlands relating to the alleged air cargo cartel. Former practice lead Martijn Snoep has taken the chairman position at the regulator, the ACM. Helen Gornall, who joined from AkzoNobel in 2018, was promoted to the partnership in 2019. Damages litigation and enforcement activities are other key areas of expertise.

Fraud and white-collar crime Tier 1

De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek's team frequently acts for Dutch companies on matters with significant cross-border elements. Practice co-head Marnix Somsen represented SBM Offshore in attempts to reach a settlement with the Dutch prosecutor over US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Dutch anti-bribery charges. Patrick Ploeger co-leads the group, in which Roan Lamp and Richard van Staden ten Brink are other key names.

Intellectual property: trade marks, copyrights and design rights Tier 1

De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek 'stands tall in Dutch IP matters, especially for mission-critical transactions and disputes'. The team combines its IP expertise with its litigation, corporate, and competition skills to provide a full service to both regional and international clients. The group is representing NXP in infringement proceedings against Infineon Technologies; the dispute relates to NXP’s MIFARE trade marks for near field communication. Koen Limperg and Tobias Cohen Jehoram are 'rock stars with a formidable intellect, deep experience who provide pitch-perfect advice'. Jehoram is representing client Smilde in a novel copyright case brought by Levola which involves the right to a taste (of leeks and garlic). Senior associate Samantha Brinkhuis is another practitioner to note.

Private equity Tier 1

The team at De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek is led by Lennard Keijzer. Amsterdam-based Paul Cronheim advised CVC on selling its majority stake in an energy efficiency service provider for €4.5bn and Arne Grimme handled the €10.1bn sale of AkzoNobel’s specialty chemicals division. Klaas de Vries is also noted.

Restructuring and insolvency Tier 1

Ruud Hermans, Reinout Vriesendorp, and Ferdinand Hengst are the senior member of the De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek group which offers international restructuring solutions and insolvency expertise to financial institutions, multinationals, investors, and management teams. The team assisted Chicago Bridge & Iron on a range of financial restructurings which involved renegotiating a multi-billion debt package with numerous banks.

Tax Tier 1

The ‘efficient and effective’ department at De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek has the capabilities to handle both international transactions and contentious tax matters. The team advised on the spin off by Altice’s Dutch unit of its US business, valued at $10.1bn. Wiebe Dijkstra  and Paul Sleurink are 'top-notch tax professionals'. Paul CronheimMaarten van der Weijden and Henk van Ravenhorst are also noted.

Banking and finance: Financial services regulatory Tier 2

De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek fields a 'strong' and 'high-quality' team that has 'up-to-date knowledge, easily bridging into neighbouring topics'. Group head Mariken van Loopik, who 'can think contrary to the mainstream thinkers' and is 'a solution-oriented, excellent professional', worked with Niek Biegeman as lead counsel to Vivat on its subordinated notes issuance, valued at $575m.

Industry focus: Information technology Tier 2

De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek is credited with being 'willing to go above and beyond to look for solutions and deal with possible hurdles' relating to data privacy and security issues. Richard van Staden ten Brink's focus is on cybercrime, information security, data privacy, and international data transfers. The team acted for Verbond van Verzekeraars – the Dutch Association of Insurers – on the completion of the Data Governance Code of Conduct which translates the general provisions of the GDPR into sector-specific guidance.

Industry focus: Media and entertainment Tier 2

De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek is considered 'strong on know-how and capable of handling complex litigation'. It is also noted for being 'proactive in getting to a solution'. IP and media expert Tobias Cohen Jehoram heads the team and acted for Anne Frank Stichting in a number of copyright disputes, including with Anne Frank Fonds over the copyright in certain parts of the famous diary. Senior associates Samantha Brinkhuis and Selmer Bergsma cover IP litigation and media and advertising matters. The team also continues to advise NOS regarding the broadcasting rights for the Dutch Premier League football competition.

Industry focus: telecoms Tier 2

De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek offers regulatory expertise and a leading corporate practice to clients including Portugal Telecom International Finance, T-Mobile and Ericsson. Jolling de PreeDaan Beenders and Gertjan Kuipers collectively offer specialisms in M&A, competition and IP; de Pree led the advice to KPN following the European Commission approval of the acquisition of cable TV operator Ziggo by Liberty Global. KPN appealed against the approval and the  EU General Court annulled the decision.

Insurance Tier 2

An extensive and multi-disciplinary De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek team offers regulatory expertise combined with corporate, investment, and financing capabilities to a range of insurance and corporate clients. Practice head Dennis Horeman leads a large team acting for SRLEV/Vivat in various disputes related to the alleged mis-selling of investment-linked insurance products. Other key team members include Mariken van Loopik and Eelco Meerdink.

Intellectual property: Patents Tier 2

De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek is a trusted advisor on the full range of IP matters including cross-border patent protection and enforcement; 'it combines a very good understanding of IP with commercial understanding and finds creative solutions'. Gertjan Kuipers' expertise spans a range of sciences and electrical and mechanical, computer, and pharmaceutical technologies and is cited for being 'business savvy' and for 'having a profound knowledge of the law'. Together with Tobias Cohen Jehoram, Kuipers represented Merck Sharp & Dohme regarding cancer immunotherapy patents, on the Dutch leg of a multi-jurisdictional dispute; the patents were held by Ono Pharmaceutical, under which Bristol Myers Squibb had an exclusive licence. With an engineering background, senior associate Oscar Lamme is also noted.

Investment funds Tier 2

De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek’s practice has strong cross-border capabilities. The team is acting as counsel to Avedon Capital Partners on its registration as a European Venture Capital fund structure and setting up its third growth capital PE fund. It also acts for Lone Star on various investment structures involving the Netherlands, including its investment in one of the major Polish property investment companies, GTC Real Estate. Kees Groffen, Bernard Spoor, René Maatman and Wiebe Dijkstra are the key names.

Project finance and PFI Tier 2

De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek 'is well equipped to handle the hardcore legal work and understands the larger perspective'. Menno Stoffer, who specialises in domestic and international financing and restructuring matters, co-heads the practice with Bommel van der Bend. 'All lawyers in the team have outstanding analytical skills' especially senior associate Stefan Derksen and Nicolien Van Den Biggelaar. The practice offers a full finance service on projects combined with real estate, corporate, and litigation expertise. Highlight work includes advising BAM PPP on the financing and subcontractor agreements in relation to the DBFM agreement in relation to the A12 Motorway project. It also advised the client on the refinancing of its facilities.

Banking and finance: asset finance and structured finance Tier 3

De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek’s team has a particular focus on US lease financing, aviation and rolling stock financing, project financing work and Tier 1 and securitisation leasing among others. The team assisted NS Reizigers with a controlled auction for the sale-and-leaseback of 45 Traxx locomotive trains. It also advised Vion Food Group on refinancing its working capital facility of €200m. Menno StofferNiek Biegman and Ferdinand Hengst are noted.

Industry focus: healthcare and life sciences Tier 3

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.

Transport Tier 3

At De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Menno Stoffer, who is an asset finance expert, is the key name.

The firm: De Brauw is a law firm with a global reach, a robust corporate practice, a centre of excellence in litigation and with an unparalleled team of regulatory experts. Big matters, big risks and big arenas require multidisciplinary and multinational teams composed of strong strategic thinkers willing to dig deep. De Brauw believes it is possible to strike a balance between rigour and pragmatism, especially when the stakes are high.

De Brauw puts business in a legal context, not the other way around. So the needs of the clients come first, legal expertise second. That’s why it goes out of its way to recruit graduates and hire people with a variety of interests, experience and nationalities. It takes the long view, leaving no stone unturned along the way. De Brauw practises the art and science of collaboration – across all disciplines and national borders – with both internal and external legal experts, with in-house counsel and with other specialists.

Headquartered in Amsterdam, De Brauw also has offices in Brussels, Frankfurt, London, Shanghai and Singapore. The Best Friends network – composed of premier European law firms – and their system of informal contacts around the world mean De Brauw can always draw on the best local expertise as and when required.

Areas of practice: The firm’s practice covers a broad range of Dutch and EU law. This includes corporate, mergers and acquisitions, private equity, banking, equity and debt capital markets, asset and structured finance, project finance, financial markets regulatory, regulatory and criminal enforcement, corporate recovery and insolvency, restructuring, investment management, tax, corporate and commercial litigation, arbitration and mediation, EU/competition, intellectual property, information technology and communication, public law, insurance, real estate, employment and employee benefits. The firm has cross-practice groups for, among others, energy, telecoms, financial institutions, private equity, public-private partnerships and transport.

Department Name Email Telephone
Corporate, M&A Arne Grimme
Corporate, M&A Klaas de Vries
Corporate governance Reiner Kleipool
Corporate governance Martin van Olffen
Corporate litigation Jan de Bie Leuveling Tjeenk
Corporate litigation Jeroen van der Schrieck
Banking and capital markets Niek Biegman
Banking and capital markets Jan Willem Hoevers
Asset and structured finance Menno Stoffer
Corporate restructuring and insolvency Ferdinand Hengst
Corporate restructuring and insolvency Ruud Hermans
Investment management Kees Groffen
Tax Maarten van der Weijden
Tax Paul Sleurink
Employment and employee benefits Stefan Sagel
Employment and employee benefits Barbara van Duren-Kloppert
Information technology Richard van Staden ten Brink
Intellectual property Tobias Cohen Jehoram
Intellectual property Gertjan Kuipers
Real estate Mark Rebergen
Energy Anja Mutsaers
Energy Marnix Leijten
Competition and EU law Jolling de Pree
Competition and EU law Martijn Snoep
Private equity Lennard Keijzer
Arbitration Marnix Leijten
Arbitration Bregje Korthals Altes-van Dijk
Healthcare and life sciences Gertjan Kuipers
Number of lawyers : 350
at this office : 325
Other offices : Brussels
Other offices : Frankfurt
Other offices : London
Other offices : Shanghai
Other offices : Singapore