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 > Data privacy and data protection

Representing funding parties in data privacy collective action litigation is a niche specialism of bureau Brandeis‘ data protection practice. Christiaan Alberdingk Thijm and Vita Zwaan lead the practice, with the latter also head of the privacy compliance team. Silvia van Schaik and Caroline de Vries are key information and privacy law contacts in the team. A diverse range of clients, including theatres, retailers, telecoms and IT companies, seek the team’s advice on GDPR compliance.

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

(Leading individuals)

Christiaan Alberdingk Thijmbureau Brandeis

bureau Brandeis is known for its expertise in digital copyright litigation, representing clients in contentious e-book matters as well as social media IP disputes. Christiaan Alberdingk Thijm works on complex IP matters involving tensions between copyright enforcement and intermediary liability. Hans Bousie focuses on media and entertainment matters with associate Sophie van Everdingen, a key support in this area. The firm is noted for its range of associates, including Syb Terpstra, Sam van Velze, Caroline de Vries and Silvia van Schaik, who all are experienced in handling trade mark and copyright disputes in the technology and media spaces.

Netherlands > Industry focus: Media and entertainment

(Leading individuals)

Christiaan Alberdingk Thijmbureau Brandeis

Supreme court litigation concerning neighbouring rights and copyright contract disputes are a distinct feature of bureau Brandeis‘ media and entertainment practice. The team is co-headed by Christiaan Alberdingk Thijm , Machteld Robichon and Hans Bousie, who each specialise in a different area in the media and entertainment space, providing clients with a range of advice. Thijm works on landmark cases concerning soft IP and intermediary liability. Robichon is a key contact for companies and operators in the media, gaming and broadcasting regulatory space. The cross-over between competition law and digital copyright is routine cross-border contentious work for Bousie, who also represents an array of publishers and record labels.