The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Houthoff

GUSTAV MAHLERPLEIN 50, 1082 MA AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
Tel:
Work +31 20 605 6000
Fax:
Fax +31 20 605 6700
Web:
www.houthoff.com
Amsterdam, Brussels, London, New York, Rotterdam

Jessica Terpstra, Partner Banking & Finance & Oscar van Angeren, Partner Investment Management

CLIENTS EXPECT CROSS-BORDER ADVICE AND SUPPORT ACROSS THE GLOBE Houthoff is an independent firm that provides advice on Dutch law in an international context.

How do you stand out from the competition in an increasingly globalised environment?

Houthoff prides itself as an innovative law firm in many fields. Not only in the area of legal services but also in our personal dealings – we like to do things in a 'Houthoff way'.

 Over the past decades, Houthoff was formed as a result of mergers between smaller firms. As the firm is now, it is the sum of the specialist knowledge and visions of all of these firms. In the words of our managing partner Edward de Bock: "No matter how many years our firm has been in business, we are still as curious and enthusiastic as youngsters. This mentality has benefited us and our clients for decades and continues to do so today."

Many international corporations are doing business or have offices in the Netherlands. Rooted in Dutch law, we are an independent and strong legal partner who understands our clients' specific needs.

In this increasingly globalised world, our clients need us to assist them with matters on an international scale. We are committed to guaranteeing our international clients the same services and quality that we provide to our clients in the Netherlands. For this reason, we have opened hubs and appointed representatives in key economic centres.

As we grow alongside our clients, we always have a team ready to meet their new challenges. 

The firm has a number of representatives in Houston, Singapore and Tokyo. What was the rationale behind this and what are the main advantages to this model? Conversely, what are the main challenges?

Instead of opening offices all around the world, we introduced our Global Representative Programme. Each representative is appointed to serve a strategically chosen economic hub. Their goal is to foster our international law firm network, stay close to our clients and create brand awareness. The representatives have profound knowledge of the local market because they have already lived in the cities for a long period of time.

 In the last year, our Global Representative Programme has proven to be successful which has only made our international ambition grow. Globalisation requires more than being able to work remotely. Personal relationships are invaluable in our line of work; clients state that they appreciate the physical presence a lot.

One of the challenges we face is how to ensure that our representatives keep in close contact with Houthoff despite the physical distance. Twice a year we organise a homecoming week. During this week our representatives meet their colleagues at our offices in the Netherlands and share knowledge and accomplishments in person.
What are the key challenges in maintaining an integrated network as one firm and how do you adapt to this? How does legal tech assist with this?

We make sure our key values are represented at every Houthoff location. If you are working at our office in London, New York or Amsterdam, you'll experience the same Houthoff culture. Our partners regularly visit our offices and colleagues abroad. In addition, we have different communication resources that we use to get in contact with our international colleagues. With videoconferences, Skype for business and telecommunication devices we can stay in contact with each other non-stop.

Increasing efficiency is at the core of what we do. We are a known leader and innovator in Legal Tech. For example, we were the first Dutch law firm to adopt Luminance, an AI platform for due diligence. We use this platform to secure file sharing and online collaboration, and our colleagues and clients have 24/7 online access on any device to critical project documentation. 
Can you give a practical example of how the London office has added value to clients’ business?

London remains one of the most important cities in the legal and financial world and we value our presence there. The office is an important Houthoff hub. Our lawyers closely follow developments in the British and Dutch markets and are therefore able to respond well to the needs and wishes of our British and American clients. Being physically present in London provides us the opportunity to meet with our clients in person as often as needed, and that personal contact is essential for a trusted relationship. 

How does the combination of domestic offices, international offices and representatives encourage innovation and entrepreneurship?

It is inspiring to learn from each other. Our representatives stimulate our resident partners and vice versa. Because we are well-connected, we spot cross-border opportunities others might miss. Our clients and friends benefit when we are able to connect organisations.

What do you see as the main challenges and opportunities in maintaining overseas offices in the next three years? Where do you expect to see growth and what will be the driving force behind this?

Globalisation provides both opportunities and challenges. Now more than ever, today’s clients demand that the law firms they work with have a global outlook and can assist them anywhere in the world.

The challenge is to keep the relatively small offices involved with our people in the Netherlands. We aim to achieve this by offering our colleagues in the Netherlands the opportunity to work temporarily at our foreign locations. Our colleagues abroad regularly return to the Netherlands.

We also see a lot of opportunities. Houthoff's presence abroad is essential for building and maintaining good friendships with other law firms. Our ambition to grow further is shaped by the representative programme.

Our unique positioning allows us to serve clients with agility and confidence in growing key markets. Houthoff's presence abroad will allow us to deal with our clients in their relevant jurisdiction while opening up a gateway to opportunities.

Legal Developments in Netherlands

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • New Late Payments Directive

    Despite the implementation of Directive 2000/35/EC on combating late payment in commercial transactions in 2002, the European Commission (the “Commission”) concluded in 2008 that late payments were still widespread in the EU. It also turned out that public authorities in certain Member States were stipulating unjustifiably long contractual payment periods for transactions.
  • Amendment of the Collective Redundancy Notification Act

    On 1 March 2012 the Collective Redundancy Notification Act (Wet Melding Collective Outslug, "WACO") will be amended. What changes does this involve?
  • New Corporate Law Legislation

    In the field of corporate law, there are four (coming) Acts that attract attention, namely the introduction of the tenth book of the Dutch Civil Code, the amendment of the Marital Property Act and, to conclude, the coming entry into effect of the Management and Supervision Act and the Flexibilization of BV Act. Please find below a short explanation of each Act.
  • Shipping & Transport - Netherlands

    Attaching maritime assets in insolvency
    - AKD
  • The employment of foreign workers. What issues do you need to be aware of as an employer?

    The employment of foreign workers regularly raises questions. A brief summary of the most important areas of attention will be dealt with in this article.
    - AKD
  • Non-solicitation agreement violated via LinkedIn

    A non-solicitation agreement usually restricts the ability of an employee - after an employment contract has ended - to approach the clients of the former employer. The former employee of a software company recently discovered that the scope of such an agreement can also include contacts made via LinkedIn.
    - AKD
  • NETHERLANDS AS A GLOBAL FINANCE CENTRE

    Few jurisdictions can boast a foreign direct investment record like the Netherlands. As the world's seventh largest inward receiver of investments, housing approximately 9000 foreign-owned companies, the country's dynamic business environment provides an invaluable insight into macro investment trends.
    - AKD
  • Forming a company in the Netherlands

    The Netherlands and Dutch law The Netherlands is a perfect business location for foreign entrepreneurs (2,000 subsidiaries in Amsterdam, 140,000 jobs). It is the gateway to densely populated Western Europe and has a well-developed logistic and technical infrastructure.
  • Leasing of commercial premises in the Netherlands

    Normal 0 false false false EN-GB X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";} Dutch Law distinguishes two categories of commercial premises. Depending on the type of premises or the purpose for which it is used, they are referred to as:
  • Employment of foreign workers in the Netherlands

    The employment of foreign workers in the Netherlands regularly raises questions. What issues do you need to be aware of as an employer? A brief summary of the most important areas of attention will be dealt with in this article.
    - AKD