Martijn van Broeckhuijsen > Shearwaters > Amsterdam, Netherlands > Lawyer Profile


Work Department

Corporate Employment Law


Founding partner and co-head


Linklaters’ former Dutch employment and pensions head resigned at the end of 2014 to found corporate employment boutique Shearwaters on 1 January 2015. He continued working closely with former Linklaters clients such as Novartis and Bain and Company prior to the arrival of Maarten Vestering in September 2015.

Martijn has been practising employment law and related litigation since 1996 (20+ years). He has an international background, having lived in Singapore, Brazil, El Salvador and on St. Maarten. He is a senior lawyer specialising in all employment law aspects of M&A, employment litigation, contract drafting, board room dismissals, mass dismissals, corporate restructurings, executive remuneration, and trade union/works council negotiations.

Martijn started his career at Dutch domestic firm Houthoff Buruma, advising (i.a.) on the formation of a global technology leader. He continued building his strong track record in standalone as well as in M&A related individual and collective employment law at global law firm Baker McKenzie.

Martijn has extensive experience in solving employment issues in international transactions and in standalone employment matters for corporates, financial institutions and executives operating internationally.

He is recognized as one of Europe’s leading lawyers for business. Sources quoted (from 2014 to 2019) say:

Responsive, commercial and knowledgeable.”

“An effective negotiator with a high level of clarity in communication.”

“Highly experienced and knowledgeable.”

He has a broad practice that encompasses individual dismissals, restructuring processes and the Dutch employment law aspects of significant global M&A transactions.

“Business oriented, pleasant and factual”.

“He really wants to represent you and to help you. He has that drive.”

A skillful and amicable guy.”

Commercial, helpful and prompt.”

“Creative in finding solutions”.

“An excellent team with a business-oriented rather than a minimalistic legal view, which helps the transaction.”

“The lawyers have a good understanding of M&A and how that translates to the Dutch employment situation.”

“Quick turnaround, clear communications and guidance.”

“The team was able to package the advice in such a way that we could easily forward it to other departments in our company. There was no legalese and it was very clear. It really understands us and our commercial drivers.”

“Provides advice without allowing the heat of the situation to interfere with timing and decisions”.



Dutch, English


National Association of Employment Lawyers(“VAAN”)
Regional Association of Employment Lawyers (“VvAA e.o.”)
National Association for Employment Law (“VVA”)
International Bar Association (“IBA”)
Amsterdam Bar Association
Dutch Bar Association


Erasmus University Rotterdam (Master’s degree in Law; 1991-1996)
Radboud University Nijmegen (Grotius Academy – Post University Specialist Diploma; 2001-2002)
United World College of South-East Asia (College/University Preparatory and Advanced High School/Secondary Diploma Program; International Baccalaureate)

Lawyer Rankings

Netherlands > Employment

Boutique firm Shearwaters is known for its expertise in corporate employment law and often acts as local counsel to international law firms on their employment mandates in the Netherlands. The firm also assists various international clients with the employment aspects of M&A transactions and potential follow-up litigation. Martijn van Broeckhuijsen and Maarten Vestering co-chair the practice, supported by Hester van den Dorpel.