Firm Profile > Simmons & Simmons > Amsterdam , Netherlands

Simmons & Simmons

Banking and finance: asset finance and structured finance Tier 1

The expanding team at Simmons & Simmons handles a variety of mandates, from securitisations and covered bonds, to mortgage platforms and portfolio sales. ‘Quick and thorough’ group head Jeroen Bos and the ‘knowledgeable’ Peter Voorhees advised Coöperatieve Rabobank on two debt and bond issuances for F. van Lanschot Bankiers, valued at €12bn. The duo also assisted with a €2bn structured note programme for F. van Lanschot Bankiers as issuer. The ‘pragmaticRezah Stegeman negotiated a complex collateral agreement for MN, a Dutch asset manager, with a top-three UK bank. Vincent Engel and Niek Groenendijk were promoted to senior associate.

Industry focus: Food Tier 1

Simmons & Simmons provides clients in the food industry with specialist corporate, M&A, tax, employment and dispute resolution services. It is highlighted for being 'well organised, cost-efficient, and for having strong expertise in different areas'; it is also valued for being able to 'work in an international environment'. The team's client roster includes United Biscuits, Dutch brewer Bavaria, Coca-Cola European Partners and OranginaSchweppes. Department head Pieter van Uchelen focuses on corporate, M&A and private equity work and he advised Nimbus in respect of the sale of 45% of the shares in Halo Foods to a German company, a matter governed by Dutch law which required the approval of the German competition authority. Leo Verhoeff and employment specialist Joris Oster are other noted practitioners.

Banking and finance: Financial services regulatory Tier 2

Simmons & Simmons’s team has been very active in matters regarding Brexit planning, MiFID II implementation and cross-border work. ‘Knowledgeable’ group head Rezah Stegeman is assisting numerous clients, including ING Bank, with the implementation of MiFID II rules. Pieter van Uchelen advised Aegon on the acquisition of Robidus from Avedon Capital Partners; Robidus is an income protection service provider in the Netherlands. Counsel Joyce Kerkvliet was a new arrial from AFM, the Dutch financial markets regulator.

Leading individuals

Capital markets: debt Tier 2

Simmons & Simmons’ debt capital markets practice handles numerous large US securities mandates for Netherlands-based clients. Practice heads Peter Voorhees and Marieke Driessen led the team in acting for the State of The Netherlands on its debut unlimited global commercial paper programme, including handling the US issuance under the programme.

Dispute resolution: Commercial litigation Tier 2

Simmons & Simmons’s team focuses on finance, corporate and technology-related disputes. Johan Polet is representing EAM Solar Group in litigation in the Italian and Luxembourg courts, as well as in Norway and Switzerland, arising out of a conflict regarding the acquisition by EAM of more than 30 solar power plants. Alongside fellow practice head Bernard Verbunt, Polet is also acting for Gilde Equity Management in a post-M&A dispute concerning the acquisition of Leen Bakker. Robert Verburg joined as counsel in September 2018 from Clifford Chance.

Energy: transactional Tier 2

Rogier Schellaars, Pieter van Uchelen, and managing associate Andrea Chao are the senior advisors at Simmons & Simmons. With cross-border capabilities, the team offers an impressive range of transactional, finance, and arbitration and litigation skills in the energy sector. The group advised Eurus Energy Europe on the acquisition and development of an onshore wind farm project from seller/developer Yard. It has also advised on matters ranging from solar energy projects and a joint venture in the fuel cell industry to the issuance of green bonds.

Fraud and white-collar crime Tier 2

Simmons & Simmons’s team acts for corporate and individual clients and advises on a range of corporate criminal liability matters, including money laundering, corruption, extradition and international sanctions. Practice head David Schreuders is representing Delta Airlines in litigation brought before the lower courts concerning corporate criminal liability. Supervising associate Maarten ‘t Sas is another key name.

Industry focus: healthcare and life sciences Tier 2

Simmons & Simmons assists an impressive range of local and international clients with regulatory, commercial, competition, and IP matters including those relating to advanced therapies and biotech products. Bas Berghuis van Woortman and Machteld Hiemstra specialise in patent litigation; van Woortman led the team acting for the Netherlands Cancer Institute in a high-profile Court of Appeal royalty and licence case with Fujirebio Diagnostics, relating to the client's antibody technology used in the diagnosis of breast cancer. Michiel Wurfbain focuses on corporate matters and advised life sciences venture capital firm Medicxi on its investment in a clinical-stage biopharma company.

Intellectual property: Patents Tier 2

Simmons & Simmons 'has what is needed for pan-European litigation'. The substantial team consists of specialists with a range of scientific and technical specialisms in addition to its IP expertise. Bas Berghuis van Woortman's focus is on broad technology and life sciences as well as patents and Mattie De Koning, who has an MSc in chemical technology, undertakes national and cross-border patent litigation in areas including ICT and life sciences and is considered 'a natural go-to person for technical questions, can produce winning arguments and understand business logic'. The team handles high-value litigation for multinationals and in highlight work, it continues to act for Allergan in numerous cases in the Court of Appeal and at the European Patent Office in relation to the protection of its patents.

Next Generation Partners

Project finance and PFI Tier 2

Simmons & Simmons offers 'a good combination of local (Benelux/Netherlands) and international (UK) experience' and 'in-depth knowledge and an efficient approach'. Luc Cohen heads the real estate and projects department and works with London-based finance specialist Andrew Petry along with Marieke Driessen and managing associate Andrea Chao. The team is advising German solar company PfalzSolar on various projects including financing matters and is also advising Eurus Energy Europe on the acquisition and development of an onshore wind farm which required corporate as well as finance advice.

Next Generation Partners

Real estate Tier 2

Simmons & Simmons offers a broad range of expertise across real estate acquisitions and disposals, developments, project finance, leases and related disputes. The senior partners Luc Cohen and Rob Hendriks led a substantial team that is advising 90 North Real Estate Partners on the acquisition (in partnership with Dubai-based Audacia Capital) of two adjacent office properties under construction in Hoofddorp and will be state of the art HQs for ASICS and Danone. The matter, valued at €91m, also drew in financing and transactional expertise from colleagues in other European and the Dubai offices. Counsel Siemkje Batenburg is also a core team member.

Banking and finance: Borrower side Tier 3

At Simmons & Simmons, the team handles mandates for large international banking clients that frequently include cross-border elements. Key names include Jan-Joost van Rijsbergen, Marieke Driessen and counsel Frédérique Jacobse. The firm advised Strukton and Sacyr on their bid to build the Hague to Rotterdam motorway. Dirk-Jan Gerrits and Vincent Engel were promoted to supervising and senior associate, respectively.

Banking and finance: lender or arranger side Tier 3

At Simmons & Simmons, the group has a niche in real estate financing but also handles a wide range of financing. Marieke Driessen, Jan-Joost van Rijsbergen and counsel Frédérique Jacobse jointly head the practice. In recent work, van Rijsbergen is acting for ABN Amro Bank and Allianz on the financing of the acquisition by Amundi and Koramco of the Atrium office building at the South-Axis in Amsterdam. Dirk-Jan Gerrits and Vincent Engel were promoted to supervising and senior associate respectively.

Construction Tier 3

Simmons & Simmons provides expertise across project development, tenders, and construction litigation and arbitration, together with project finance. The team advised the Connect Rotterdam consortium on its bid in respect of the A16 road projects. The advice included procurement, permitting, and corporate structuring matters, in addition to the finance element. The practice is also advising the German solar company PfalzSolar on the development of all of its various rooftop and greenfield solar projects in the Netherlands. Luc Cohen heads the real estate and construction department and managing associate Andrea Chao is a noted team member.

Dispute resolution: arbitration Tier 3

Simmons & Simmons fields 'a small but highly capable arbitration team’, which has ‘excellent knowledge’ and 'key strengths in determining the strategy of a dispute and responding swiftly'. It covers the full spectrum of arbitration matters in the Netherlands and internationally. ‘Outstanding’ practice co-head Rogier Schellaars is representing the Republic of Indonesia in an investment arbitration brought before a tribunal under Uncitral rules. Co-head and supervising associate Fleur Potter is also recommended. Ger van Essen has left to join Aegon’s dispute resolution team.

EU and competition Tier 3

Simmons & Simmons has developed its EU and competition practice with the recruitment of Robert Hardy as counsel from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. Practice lead Koen Platteau is representing Aegon before the ACM in relation to its acquisition of Robidus from Avedon Capital Partners. Alongside Jean-Pierre van Leeuwe, he is also advising CRH, a building materials group, on the sale of its DIY business to a US real estate investor.

Intellectual property: trade marks, copyrights and design rights Tier 3

'A strong team with sound knowledge and experience', the Simmons & Simmons group is co-headed by managing associate Paul Tjiam, 'who stands out acting on IP infringements and is very sharp and focused on achieving the best possible solution', and the highly experienced Bas Berghuis van Woortman. The team has been enlarged with the addition of Mathijs Schonewille and Sebastiaan Brommersma who both joined from DLA Piper. The department successfully acted for Gold’s Gym in complex disputes with various Piloxing entities over trade mark and copyright infringements; proceedings took place in the court of Midden-Nederland and two proceedings went to Appeal Courts.

Next Generation Partners

Investment funds Tier 3

The team at Simmons & Simmons advises a number of hedge funds and banks, including ABN Amro and Allianz, on the financing of the acquisition by  Amundi and Koramco of the Atrium office building in Amsterdam. The team is led by René van Eldonk and Leo Verhoeff. Minke Hoekstra and Joyce Kerkvliet, formerly senior associates with the firm, departed to De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek and the Dutch financial regulator, respectively.

Private equity Tier 3

Simmons & Simmons fields 'a very hands-on team with good mid-market capabilities', which is 'highly capable of seeing issues on the deal and finding resolutions' and is 'able to handle highly charged situations with key stakeholders such as management very well'. Practice head Leo Verhoeff advised Gilde Equity Management on the €100m exit sale of one of its portfolio companies. Pieter van Uchelen, who is 'an exceptional senior lawyer', acts for clients including Arcus Infrastructure Partners and Aegon. Martijn Stuart is also singled out. Qualium Investment is also a client.

Tax Tier 3

The team at Simmons & Simmons handles non-contentious tax matters - frequently with a cross-border element - as well as tax disputes. René van Eldonk is acting for Staples in a high-value restructuring matter. Monique van Herksen joined the team from EY in April 2018; she specialises in transfer pricing. Peter Flipsen is another key name.

Capital markets: equity Tier 4

At Simmons & Simmons, counsel Michiel Wurfbain assisted Growthpoint Properties, a South African-listed property company, with its €150m participation in an equity raising by Globalworth Poland Real Estate. Wurfbain, Marieke Driessen and the US-qualified Peter Voorhees are advising multi-exchange listed life sciences company Kiadis Pharma on a private placement with institutional investors, valued at €18m.

Commercial, corporate and M&a Tier 4

Simmons & Simmons's practice centres on energy, infrastructure, life sciences, and TMT sectors and it counts investment funds and asset managers among its clients. In recent work, it advised Aegon, the international life insurance, pensions, and asset management company, on the acquisition of Robidus from Avedon Capital Partners. Aegon acquired a 95% stake in the company and the remaining shares stayed in the possession of the management. Rob Hendrik heads the team which includes Pieter van UchelenLeo Verhoeff, and Martijn Stuart, who has been promoted to managing associate.

Employment Tier 4

Simmons & Simmons is highlighted for its 'thorough understanding of labour law' and 'its good balance between the legal and commercial positions'. Joris Oster's and counsel Annemarie Elenbaas's clients include Warner Bros, Palo Alto Networks, and VEON (formerly VimpelCom) and act for OranginaSchweppes on all its employment matters. The team's work spans collective and individual redundancies, investigations, restructurings, and outsourcings.

Industry focus: Media and entertainment Tier 4

The Simmons & Simmons media and entertainment team offers 'swift answers', according to one client. The team is led by managing associate and IP practice head Paul Tjiam, who is appreciated for his ability to 'translate client's views into legal arguments'. Other team members include litigation partner Bas Berghuis and counsel Machteld Hiemstra. The team's clients include TerumoWarner Brothers, VEON, and Doorbraak.

Simmons & Simmons is a leading international law firm with fully integrated teams working throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East, bringing experienced professionals to some of the most active growth markets.

Established in London in 1896, the firm has had a presence in The BeNeLux region for well over 50 years, with the Netherlands office relocating to its current location in Amsterdam approximately ten years ago.

Simmons & Simmons applies its considerable expertise to all business sectors, but focuses on: asset management and investment funds, financial institutions, life sciences, and technology, media and telecommunications. Simmons & Simmons acts regularly on the most innovative cases, deals and transactions in its chosen areas of specialism and receives recognition for the quality of its work from clients and others within those industry sectors.

The firm is constantly expanding and is closing in on 1,000 lawyers worldwide. The Amsterdam office currently has 22 partners and a further 45 lawyers who are well integrated with the wider Simmons & Simmons network.

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 Maarten ’t Sas  photo Maarten ’t Sas