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Firms in the spotlight: employment

Firms in the spotlight: employment


Shearwaters is the unique boutique law firm focusing exclusively on advising clients in the international business environment on matters of Dutch corporate employment law. Shearwaters is a seasoned team of highly specialised and very experienced lawyers in their field, having worked at global law firms Baker McKenzie and Linklaters for a combined period of over 75 years. Since its inception in 2015, Shearwaters has been recognized as a leading firm by The Legal 500.

What we do

We work from Amsterdam's prime business location, its financial district (‘Zuidas’). Our clients are internationally operating corporates, financial institutions and (senior) executives. We help our clients navigate through the complexities of Dutch corporate employment law by providing:

  • Transactional support;
  • Strategic advice and;
  • Litigation capabilities.

We are particularly adept at advising clients on delicate (executive) dismissals, works council consultation processes, executive remuneration, non-competition matters, collective redundancies and reorganisations (including negotiations with trade unions on social plans).

We are best known for being a seasoned team with a strong track record as committed and trusted advisors to corporate clients and executives alike. Additional strengths are:

  1. Fostering personal relationships with companies and executives;
  2. Being consistent, pragmatic, business oriented, focused and well networked;
  3. Getting things done, cutting through to key issues;
  4. Providing sound judgement, not just technical expertise.

Our international reach

Shearwaters maintains an informal global network of boutique firms, based on the alumni networks of the abovementioned international law firms.

Our recent work

Recent work includes advising:

  • Bain Capital on a restructuring at Bugaboo, one of its Dutch portfolio companies;
  • various international law firms on Dutch employment law requirements in significant global M&A transactions;
  • an international paper manufacturer on the sensitive dismissal of its CFO under strict Dutch laws;
  • a global mining and metals group on aspects of Dutch employment law;
  • several top executives of various nationalities on their stepping down from office;
  • a global leader in maritime technology on the instant dismissal of employees;
  • several Japanese multinational companies on aspects of Dutch employment law.

Legal Developments in Netherlands

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Dynamic Contracts: Changing employment practices in the digital era

    Digital platforms designed to deliver professional services are changing the European employment landscape as both employers  and workers look for more flexible ways to work.
  • New Late Payments Directive

    Despite the implementation of Directive 2000/35/EC on combating late payment in commercial transactions in 2002, the European Commission (the “Commission”) concluded in 2008 that late payments were still widespread in the EU. It also turned out that public authorities in certain Member States were stipulating unjustifiably long contractual payment periods for transactions.
  • Amendment of the Collective Redundancy Notification Act

    On 1 March 2012 the Collective Redundancy Notification Act (Wet Melding Collective Outslug, "WACO") will be amended. What changes does this involve?
  • New Corporate Law Legislation

    In the field of corporate law, there are four (coming) Acts that attract attention, namely the introduction of the tenth book of the Dutch Civil Code, the amendment of the Marital Property Act and, to conclude, the coming entry into effect of the Management and Supervision Act and the Flexibilization of BV Act. Please find below a short explanation of each Act.
  • Shipping & Transport - Netherlands

    Attaching maritime assets in insolvency
    - AKD
  • The employment of foreign workers. What issues do you need to be aware of as an employer?

    The employment of foreign workers regularly raises questions. A brief summary of the most important areas of attention will be dealt with in this article.
    - AKD
  • Non-solicitation agreement violated via LinkedIn

    A non-solicitation agreement usually restricts the ability of an employee - after an employment contract has ended - to approach the clients of the former employer. The former employee of a software company recently discovered that the scope of such an agreement can also include contacts made via LinkedIn.
    - AKD

    Few jurisdictions can boast a foreign direct investment record like the Netherlands. As the world's seventh largest inward receiver of investments, housing approximately 9000 foreign-owned companies, the country's dynamic business environment provides an invaluable insight into macro investment trends.
    - AKD
  • Forming a company in the Netherlands

    The Netherlands and Dutch law The Netherlands is a perfect business location for foreign entrepreneurs (2,000 subsidiaries in Amsterdam, 140,000 jobs). It is the gateway to densely populated Western Europe and has a well-developed logistic and technical infrastructure.
  • Leasing of commercial premises in the Netherlands

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