Firm Profile > Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn NV > The Hague, Netherlands

Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn NV
PO BOX 11756

Construction Tier 1

Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn NV is judged to be 'unique in its knowledge of the special position of the Dutch public sector and its realistic approach to legal issues' and is well known for its track record representing central and regional government agencies. Mark Birnage heads the practice and led the team advising the Municipality of the Hague on the €14m Spuikwartier concert hall construction project which generated a number of disputes. Some of the standout lawyers include Pieter Stuijt, who combines 'a great sense of humour with extensive knowledge of European procurement law' and 'diplomatic' senior associate Diederik Wolters Rückert 'whose reasoning is impeccable'. Senior associate  Lonneke de Graaf 'fiercely argues pleadings'; Elisa Palm combines 'charm with keen insights into the market'; Christina Muntinghe is also a core member of the team.

Dispute resolution: Commercial litigation Tier 1

The team at Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn NV is ‘very responsive and very knowledgeable’ and is commended for its 'excellent' work. It is well known for acting for the Dutch state but has made a concerted effort to broaden its commercial litigation practice recently. The team is jointly led by Willem Heemskerk ('an excellent lawyer with the ability to really think a case through', who 'then adds the right solution') and Karlijn Teuben ('analytical and responsive'). The firm is representing Royal Dutch Shell in the ‘Ogoni-9’ case, which concerns allegations of the client's complicity in the trial and execution of environmental activists in the 1990s. Heemskerk is also acting for steel conglomerate ArcelorMittal in an action for cartel damages initiated by Deutsche Bahn. Bert-Jan Houtzagers and the ‘productiveHans van Wijk are also recommended.

Energy: regulatory Tier 1

Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn NV's clients range from central and local government clients to corporates including ExxonMobil,  Lundin Petroleum, and Royal Dutch Shell. It has a leading regulatory litigation offering in addition to areas such as transactions and environmental law. Iman Brinkman, senior associate Ewoud de Vries, and competition expert Erik Pijnacker Hordijk are the key members of a group that represented the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy in a claim against utilities company Eneco in relation to the allegedly erroneous allocation of capacity on cross border interconnectors. It is also assisting energy infrastructure company Rendant in a dispute with DSO Stedin over the forced transfer by Rendant to Stedin of its electricity and gas infrastructure (which stems from legislation).

Environment and planning Tier 1

Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn NV 'offers a broad range of services combined with the best specialists who are able to offer in-depth knowledge and are not afraid of challenges'. The 'inspiring and energetic' Liesbeth Schippers is a first choice for complicated mandates and all the lawyers are described as 'civilised and pleasant to work with'. These include Hans Besselink, 'fine sparring partner' Daniëlle Roelands-Fransen 'who always senses what is needed' and Jelmer Procee. The team's clients include major government departments and municipalities.

EU and competition Tier 1

Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn NV’s ‘excellent and pragmatic’ team has a significant practice representing private clients in cartel damages proceedings, merger filings and advisory work, as well as government representation. The team is acting as counsel for ArcelorMittal in an action for cartel damages initiated by Deutsche Bahn. The team was strengthened by the arrival of Marleen Botman from a teaching position and PhD programme at Free University Amsterdam in January 2018. Erik Pijnacker Hordijk leads the team.

Industry focus: Information technology Tier 2

Meine Dijkstra and senior associate Jeroen Naves are the key contacts at Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn NV together with data protection expert  Gerrit-Jan Zwenne. The team has a track record on complex governmental IT projects; it advised the Dutch Ministry of Justice in relation to the delivery of several e-gates for Schiphol Airport. The practice also advised APG and PGGM, two of the largest pension administrators in the Netherlands, on issues including data protection in relation to a project to put their pension administration in a blockchain application.

Project finance and PFI Tier 2

Acting predominantly for government-side clients, Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn NV is entrusted with PPP projects in the infrastructure, energy, and accommodation areas. It is credited with 'good knowledge, coupled with much practical experience of DBFM tenders for large infrastructure projects'. Mark Birnage is advising the state of the Netherlands on the €550m Afsluitdijk sea defence PPP, which is the reconstruction of the largest sea defence in the Netherlands. Maarten van Rijn and senior associate Elisa Palm are two of the key practice members.

Dispute resolution: arbitration Tier 3

Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn NV is best known for acting for the Dutch state in cross-border arbitration matters, but has recently increased its commercial caseload. Practice head René Kiers primarily represents government bodies in complex arbitration matters regarding infrastructure projects; he, with assistance from associate Michael van Rijckevorsel, is handling a building dispute for the the state of the Netherlands. Mark Birnage and associate Jan-Willem Riedijk are representing the province of Utrecht before the Arbitration Board for the Building Industry in a claim by a contractor for delay and costs concerning a project at the Soesterberg air force base.

Employment Tier 3

What sets Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn NV apart from the pack 'is its ability to think outside the box and adjust the strategy accordingly'. Team head Ruben van Arkel and senior attorney Annette de Jong impress with their 'excellent work and critical thinking' and senior associate Femke van Herk is also noted. Aside from its extensive roster of government and public clients, it also assists corporates such as KPN, DAF Trucks and McDonald's – in the latter case it assisted the Netherlands company with adjustments to its standard contracts in light of the Working Hours Act. It assists other clients with negotiations with unions and collective labour agreements.

Industry focus: healthcare and life sciences Tier 3

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.

Industry focus: telecoms Tier 3

Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn NV's telecoms focus is based on its strong regulatory, litigation and administrative law expertise. Elisabeth Pietermaat has an established administrative law practice and routinely advises on regulatory regimes. Jannetje Bootsma advises government bodies on telecoms issues and Arnoud Boorsma is also a noted team member.

Intellectual property: trade marks, copyrights and design rights Tier 3

Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn NV's team head Sikke Kingma is 'a very strong Supreme Court lawyer'. His team acts for a range of state, municipal, and corporate clients which include Delft University of Technology and the Municipalities of Amsterdam and The Hague. Highlight work includes acting for Spirits International in Supreme Court proceedings against FKP Sojuzplodo, a Russian state-owned company in a dispute over the ownership of the well-known brands Stoli, Stolichnaya, and Moskovskaya. Martijn Scheltema is a key team member which has expanded with the joining of Jordi Bierens from De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek.

Industry focus: Media and entertainment Tier 4

Sikke Kingma heads the IP and media practice at Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn NV which serves a range of government agencies, municipalities, and corporate clients and has an established reputation for handling Supreme Court cases. The team acted for the Municipality of Rotterdam in an action brought by Persgroep Nederland concerning the right to broadcast a tribute to the players of Feyenoord football club. The group is also handling a Supreme Court case concerning issues of freedom of the press.

Real estate Tier 4

In addition to its well-established government clientele, Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn NV assists national and international corporates, developers, and pension and investment funds on the gamut of real estate transactions. Alain de Jonge and Maryse Mesu-Abbekerk are two of the senior partners in a substantial team, while René Spit is leading the advice to the Dutch Central Government Real Estate Agency on the structured sale of a former prison to AM. Valued at €84.5m; the site will be developed into one of the biggest residential new builds in Amsterdam.

Commercial, corporate and M&a Tier 6

Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn NV is described as 'an excellent team providing top-quality services from top-notch partners' and is capable of 'turning true know-how into practical advice'. The 'creative' Luc Defaix leads the practice and 'is very good at keeping parties moving forward through good negotiations'. Senior associate Carel van Swaay is also noted for being 'effective in getting deals closed'. Senior associate Margriet Middelkoop joined the team in November 2018 from De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek. The team advised KPN which acquired 100% of the shares in QSight IT from private equity firm Holland Venture.

Department Name Email Telephone
Administrative law
Competition and market regulation
Disciplinary law
European law
Intellectual property and media
IT law
Law enforcement and criminal law
Liability, damage and insurance
Litigation and arbitration
Planning and environmental law
Procurement law
Public transport law
Real estate
State aid
Supreme Court litigation
Photo Name Position Profile
Mrs Marije Batting  photo Mrs Marije Batting
Mr Hans Besselink  photo Mr Hans Besselink
Mr Mark Birnage  photo Mr Mark Birnage
Mrs Cécile Bitter  photo Mrs Cécile Bitter
Mr Arnoud Boorsma  photo Mr Arnoud Boorsma
Mrs Jannetje Bootsma  photo Mrs Jannetje Bootsma
Mr Iman Brinkman  photo Mr Iman Brinkman
Mr Luc Defaix  photo Mr Luc Defaix
Mr Meine Dijkstra  photo Mr Meine Dijkstra
Mr Willem Heemskerk  photo Mr Willem Heemskerk
Mr René Kiers  photo Mr René Kiers
Mr Sikke Kingma  photo Mr Sikke Kingma
Mrs Maryse Mesu-Abbekerk  photo Mrs Maryse Mesu-Abbekerk
Mr Frank Oranje  photo Mr Frank Oranje
Mrs Elisabeth Pietermaat  photo Mrs Elisabeth Pietermaat
Mr Erik Pijnacker Hordijk  photo Mr Erik Pijnacker Hordijk
Mr Jelmer Procee  photo Mr Jelmer Procee
Mrs Daniëlle Roelands-Fransen  photo Mrs Daniëlle Roelands-Fransen
Mr Martijn Scheltema  photo Mr Martijn Scheltema
Mrs Liesbeth Schippers  photo Mrs Liesbeth Schippers
Mr René Spit  photo Mr René Spit
Mr Pieter Stuijt  photo Mr Pieter Stuijt
Mrs Karlijn Teuben  photo Mrs Karlijn Teuben
Mr Reimer Veldhuis  photo Mr Reimer Veldhuis
Mrs Wemmeke Wisman  photo Mrs Wemmeke Wisman
Mr Gerrit-Jan Zwenne  photo Mr Gerrit-Jan Zwenne
Mr Alain de Jonge  photo Mr Alain de Jonge
Mrs Monique de Witte-van den Haak  photo Mrs Monique de Witte-van den Haak
Mr Cees de Zeeuw  photo Mr Cees de Zeeuw
Mr Ruben van Arkel  photo Mr Ruben van Arkel
Mrs Sandra van Heukelom-Verhage  photo Mrs Sandra van Heukelom-Verhage
Mr Aemile van Rappard  photo Mr Aemile van Rappard
Mr Maarten van Rijn  photo Mr Maarten van Rijn
Mr Hans van Wijk  photo Mr Hans van Wijk
Mr René van de Klashorst  photo Mr René van de Klashorst
Number of lawyers and (deputy) civil law notaries : 177

Pels Rijcken’s aims to increase the diversity of our staff: everyone contributes to the culture in his or her own special way. To achieve this objective, Pels Rijcken consciously recruits people from different backgrounds, and offers them the best possible options for growth within the company.

We think that quotas, positive discrimination and other standards are of secondary importance. After all, we want to create a culture in which there is room for people from different backgrounds, including different areas of competence and experience. We hope – and expect – that this will make our firm more innovative, more effective and more representative for its clients.

As we want to underscore the importance of diversity, Pels Rijcken has drafted a declaration of intent, formulating the principles and ways in which Pels Rijcken intends to improve this aspect of the firm.