Christiaan Alberdingk Thijm > bureau Brandeis > Amsterdam, Netherlands > Lawyer Profile

bureau Brandeis




Christiaan A. Alberdingk Thijm is a partner at bureau Brandeis. With his clients, he has been creating landmark case law since 1998, often on the interaction between new technologies and the law. Few can match his experience in complex litigation with high stakes in information law.

Alberdingk Thijm is considered an expert on free speech, privacy and reputation management. He is regularly asked to fight or defend a publication in summary proceedings.

His experience in the field of (digital) copyright law is unrivaled. Especially when it comes to the duties of care of Internet platforms such as Facebook and Google, companies that he has often battled with in court. The complexity of the cases he handles has brought him to the European Court of Justice many times.

Clients describe him as “incredibly knowledgeable” and “the definition of calm”. His legal peers say he is “difficult to outsmart” and “able to handle the most difficult cases, because he masters both technology and law”. The quotes are from Chambers, the authoritative guide that has ranked him more than 15 years.

As a member of the committee to review the disciplinary rules for lawyers, he helped write the current code of conduct for lawyers.

In addition to his work as an attorney, Alberdingk Thijm is a senior lecturer at the internationally renowned Institute for Information Law at the University of Amsterdam. His academic publications appear regularly. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the law faculty.

Christiaan is also a novelist. His novel “The Trial of the Century” was published in 2011 and is a classic among lawyers. In 2021, “The Family Watchman” was published and is currently running its fourth edition.

Freedom of speech, privacy and reputation management

Alberdingk Thijm knows both sides of press cases. Challenging cases, often conducted under high time pressure. He regularly represents companies and individuals whose honor and reputation have been affected. For example, the Dutch Financial Times had to rectify on its front page after successful proceedings. He is the go to lawyer of the business glossy Quote, published by Hearst, for whom he often defends publications.


As a lawyer, Alberdingk Thijm pleaded in a large number of cases that have become part of the regular teaching of the intellectual property profession. Cases that have been fought all the way to the Supreme Court or even the European Court of Justice. Examples are the cases on digital exhaustion, (Tom Kabinet), hyperlinking (GS Media), cable transmission (NLKabel), home copying (Norma) and e-lending (VOB).

Intermediary liability

Alberdingk Thijm has conducted unprecedented proceedings on the duty of care of online platforms and internet intermediaries. This involves the question of what measures platforms must take to protect the rights of third parties. He litigated for over ten years for KPN and XS4all against the anti-piracy organization Brein about the blocking of The Pirate Bay, via the Supreme Court to the European Court of Justice and back again to the Supreme Court. He assisted Marktplaats in a landmark case against Stokke. For Tommy Hilfiger, he successfully sued Facebook on several occasions.

Pro bono

Alberdingk Thijm devotes 15% of his time to socially relevant cases; proceedings he handles at a greatly reduced rate. The condition is that answering the legal question serves an interest that transcends the individual case. Examples include proceedings in Citizens v. Plasterk, proceedings on Brexit, proceedings on the right to interrogatory assistance and proceedings on Samsung’s update obligation.

Class actions
Alberdingk Thijm has unique expertise and experience in class actions. He has a long track record as counsel to claim vehicles and assisting funders in class actions. He was the first to litigate GDPR claims under the WAMCA, the new Dutch regime for collective redress introduced in 2020. Currently, he acts against Oracle and Salesfore on behalf of The Privacy Colllective and against TikTok on behalf of the foundation Massaschade & Consument.

Lawyer Rankings

Netherlands > Intellectual property: trade marks, copyrights and design rights

(Leading individuals)

Christiaan Alberdingk Thijmbureau Brandeis

The ‘highly experienced and approachable team’ at bureau Brandeis specialises in disputes concerning digital copyrights, and frequently appears before Dutch and European courts on issues centred on infringements, questions of platform liability and contractual disagreements. Leadership of the practice is shared between Christiaan Alberdingk Thijm, a specialist in matters at the intersection of copyright and intermediary liability, and Hans Bousie, who handles both copyright and competition matters for media and entertainment clients. Syb Terpstra focuses on copyright and trade mark disputes tied to the music industry, while he and Sophie van Everdingen both handle matters of portrait and image rights. Caroline de Vries moved to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy in December 2022.

Netherlands > Data privacy and data protection

Specialist dispute resolution and prevention firm bureau Brandeis handles a mix of contentious and non-contentious data protection mandates. Collective actions and other litigation issues are also a focus for the practice, which has a track record of work in areas such as telecoms. Vita Zwaan and Christiaan Alberdingk Thijm jointly lead the team.

Netherlands > Industry focus: Media and entertainment

(Leading individuals)

Christiaan Alberdingk Thijmbureau Brandeis

bureau Brandeis continues to be a go-to firm for clients needing advice on digital copyrights, entertainment law and publishing, among other matters. The team is co-led by Hans Bousie, Christiaan Alberdingk Thijm and Machteld Robichon. Bousie is skilled at navigating cross-border litigation and frequently advises clients within the music industry. Alberdingk Thijm is recommended for high-profile defamation claims, while Robichon is an expert in broadcasting and gaming regulations. Sam van Velze is another noteworthy member of the team with a focus on copyright issues within the media and entertainment sector.