Van Traa Advocaten > Rotterdam, Netherlands > Firm Profile

Van Traa Advocaten

Netherlands > Transport Tier 1

Rotterdam-based boutique firm Van Traa Advocaten handles a broad range of domestic and international matters in the rail, road, aviation, shipping and logistics sectors, among others. Practice head Leendert van Hee  has considerable experience in dry shipping, road transport and logistics matters, and acts for insurers and businesses. Vincent Pool handles litigation and advisory work, while Robert Pessers is recommended for contentious and regulatory matters. Richard Latten often acts for German and Austrian transportation companies and their underwriters, and Jolien Kruit  focuses on dry shipping mandates.

Practice head(s):


‘Strong capabilities in international economic law, especially in transport and warehouse-related contractual matters’.

‘Professional and spot-on presentation of Dutch Civil Code matters for non-Dutch lawyers’.

‘Exceptional and solution-oriented advice, often on short notice’.

‘They know the law, the market and are very good negotiators’.

‘In any single case they deal with, they come up with a comprehensive assessment that includes the pros and cons of the possible next steps to take’.

‘Leading experts in the world of trade, transportation and logistics, and insurance and liability’.

‘Great team with a lot of knowledge on trade and transport law’.

‘We have a long partnership with Van Traa due to their understanding of our industry and their personal engagement’.

Work highlights

  • Assisted several Dutch underwriters in the general average process, following the stranding of the ‘Ever Given’ in the Suez Canal.
  • Assisting various leading airlines (Dutch and international) with Covid-19 related issues: advising on various contractual issues that arose as a result of the pandemic and the affect it had on airlines (force majeure, pricing, termination etc.).
  • Advising a globally active manufacturer of plastic crates for the consolidation of fruit, vegetables and other perishables on a contract dispute with two rail carriers.

Netherlands > Industry focus: Food Tier 2

Experts in logistics, trade and insurance for the food industry, Van Traa Advocaten has ‘a lot of experience with how to handle authorities’. The firm assists clients across the entire food supply chain, including companies engaged in the production, import and export to storage, transport, and distribution and trade of commodities to the final food products. Particular areas of strength for the practice are food safety, marketing and quality issues, as well as an increasing focus on organic food matters. International trade specialist Marc van Maanen co-leads the team with associate Silvia Gawronski, who focuses on administrative procedures, notably those related to food, consumer products and QHSE.

Practice head(s):

Marc van Maanen; Silvia Gawronski

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Giesbertz


‘The lawyers at Van Traa have a lot of knowledge in the field of food, feed and product liability. But also in cases where technology is relevant, Van Traa’s lawyers can advise and litigate effectively.’

‘Van Traa lawyers are easy to approach and can always be reached. Their advice is practical and often expressed in one or two pages.’

‘They have a lot of experience with how to handle authorities. And with patience and knowledge they build the case without frustrating the counterpart.’

‘Silvia Gawronski has personal dedication to the issues she handles and is always availble to to give help or to answer questions.’

‘I have worked with Van Traa over the past 25 years in many cases and a variety of subjects, related to logistic and production disputes, such as (but not limited to) thefts, production problems, transports, interpretation of contracts etc. VanTraa’s lawyers ( in particular Marc van Maanen) have never lost a lawcase for us. They also helped us in legal matters with governmental issues. Van Traa has a wide network in many different countries. They won for us cases in Belgium, Germany, Canada, France etc. With the help of their local associates. Marc van Maanen has assisted us in developing companies standard contracts and general terms and conditions.’

‘The individuals I work with are: Marc van Maanen – Marc knows our business and has the ability to anticipate. He is reliable and very responsive in case of need. Silvia Gawronski – specialized in governmental cases such disputes on fines, obtaining licences and protects against abuse of the freedom of information act. Thomas Giesbertz – assists Marc van Maanen and has proved himself as a fighter in various cases. He puts 100% effort in every single case and goes further in his investigations than most lawyers are willing to do.’

‘This practice is unique as it offers a custom made approach on a general approach. By this I mean that given the relationship, Van Traa is able to advise in line with our business and risk appetite but without having a deep dive each time.’

‘Silvia Gawronski is very keen on making the connection with business and legallity. She is very open to communicate and it is easy to discuss matters with her.’

Key clients

Various Insurance companies like Marsh, Amlin, AIG, NN, ASR – dealing with (recall) insurance

Olam Europe B.V.

Steinweg Handelsveem

Louis Dreyfus Company


Glencore Grain




Cefetra Group

Dutch Organic International Trade (DO-IT)

Champrix B.V.



Regional Grain Trading Group

Tradin Organic

Doens Food Ingredients


Van Marcke Food Group

Spack Trading

Van Schelven

Van den Bosch

HAP Foods

Bakker Seeds




Staay Food

NGM international

Olenex Edible Oils

FNG Meats


Dutch Bakery Group B.V.


Pacha de Cacao


Heereco B.V.

F. Wellink Lekkerkerk

Work highlights

  • Assist KLM Cargo on a regular basis in cases in which KLM Cargo is confronted with cargo containing foodstuffs with ingredients of protected plants or animals under CITES.
  • Assisted various clients in recalls following the outbreak of the food crisis regarding ethylene-oxide contaminated sesame seeds.
  • Co-counsel in a ground breaking decertification case in which one of the oldest and largest (organic) grain and seed importers in the Netherlands is confronted with 8 procedures / decisions of Skal (Organic supervisory authority) regarding not only the certification of their production and certain organic commodities, but also the decertification of the company itself.

Netherlands > Insurance Tier 2

Insurance and complex liability matters are a core area of specialism at Van Traa Advocaten, which acts for the world's leading insurance companies and brokers, multinational corporates and state-owned enterprises. One of the main contacts at the firm is personal injury expert Derk-Jan van der Kolk, whose recent work included advice to Ajax Amsterdam on legal questions arising from the brain damage sustained by football player Abdelhak Nouri, following his collapse during a match against Werder Bremen. Van der Kolk is also acting for the largest agricultural insurance company in the Netherlands in claims arising from a thunderstorm, where so-called supercell hailstones caused severe damage to households across the south east of the country. Robert de Haan primarily undertakes advisory work on issues such as cargo, logistics liability and events, among others. Robert Pessers leads the highly-regarded group, which also includes Peter Drion and Arian Lengton.

Practice head(s):

Robert Pessers


‘This practice is unique as it offers a custom made approach on top of a general approach. By this I mean that, given the relationship, Van Traa is able to advise in line with our business and risk appetite but without having a deep dive each time.’

‘Derk-Jan has the ability to de-stress yourself by providing the right point of view at the right time.’

‘Van Traa is, for us, the law firm for custom assignments. They have extensive knowledge of liability law and insurance Law. From personal injury to transport law. They can advise concisely and the advice is useful for practice.’

‘We work with Robert Pessers and Derk-Jan van der Kolk. Both lawyers are distinguished by their practical approach to disputes, their in-depth legal knowledge and their ability to simplify complex cases. They do this in a personal and pleasant way.’

‘The team is extremly responsive, on top level regarding experience and legal advice on Dutch marine insurance law and Dutch transportation law and always fair in billing.’

Key clients

Ajax Amsterdam

Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment

Charterers and their underwriters of the inland barge “Fox”

Malaysia Airlines and their insurers

Nationale Nederlanden


Dutch Ministry of Justice and Defense and the National Police

Letselschade Raad

Work highlights

  • Assisting several underwriters with disputes over claims made under insurance policies with regard to events that could not take place due to COVID-19 and the measures implemented by the Dutch government.
  • Provided an international insurance company with multi-faceted advice on a high impact event in Germany in which a tank fell of a trailer during road carriage within Germany destined for Denmark. This led to several complicated insurance and liability questions involving multiple parties.
  • Advised a major insurance company on policy coverage and liability of the insured who used a jet grit at several locations where it had to perform works. The jet grit was contaminated with asbestosis, which poses a serious risk for personal injury claims, environmental damage and consequential damages.

Van Traa’s lawyers are specialists in the fields of international trade, transport and logistics and insurance and liability.

Our clients are national and international companies, such as trading companies, transport and logistic service providers, financial service providers such as banks, brokers and insurers, aviation companies, construction companies and contractors and shipping companies.

At Van Traa we strive to quickly and accurately get to the essence of the problem and provide clarity for our clients. Our objective at Van Traa: to make matters clear.

Our firm has around 30 lawyers. Large enough to allow us to designate specialized teams to large cases. But small enough to enable us to be flexible, combine our experience and share specific knowledge and expertise.

Through the training and guidance we give our junior lawyers, we can guarantee that clients receive our accumulated knowledge and experience; not only today, but also in the future.

Our lawyers are involved in academic research, so are well-informed about the latest developments within the various areas of law and are well able to put this knowledge into practice.

Our lawyers meet the requirements as set by The Netherlands Bar which appears from their registration on various jurisdictions in the register of The Netherlands Bar.

Since 1898 we have been assisting our clients to solve problems quickly and efficiently. We are internationally oriented but firmly rooted in Rotterdam. We value an open, professional and informal working atmosphere, where expertise is of paramount importance.

This is how we arrive at good ideas and solutions that contribute to the business success of our clients.

Transport and Logistics | Shipping: dry shipping | Railroad law | Marine Insurance | Insurance: general and personal liability, property and construction Robert de Haan
Transport and Logistics | Shipping: dry shipping Vincent Pool
Aviation (aircraft financing, passenger and cargo claims, regulatory matters, accidents, insurance, licences and charters) | Insurance: general and personal liability, property and construction | Professional indemnity (lawyers, brokers, contractors and architects) Robert Pessers
Transport, Logistics and Liability Jan Willem Bruidgeom
Insurance and Liability Peter Drion
Administrative (procedural) law | QHSE | Food and Product Safety | Supervision & Enforcement and Administrative Sanctioning Silvia Gawronski
Transport and Logistics | Shipping: dry shipping Leendert van Hee
Insurance and Liability | Personal injury | Professional indemnity (lawyers, brokers, contractors and architects) Derk-Jan van der Kolk
Transport and Logistics | Shipping: dry shipping | Maritime accidents: hull and machinery (hull and machinery: collision, salvage, offshore and shipbuilding contracts) Jolien Kruit
Transport and Logistics | Maritime law (dry and wet) | Rail Richard Latten
International Trade and Commodities | Transport and Logistics Marc van Maanen
International Trade and Commodities | Transport and Logistics Steven Oude Alink
Number of lawyers : 30
Contact : Robert de Haan