Marius van Haaren – GC Powerlist
Benelux 2022

Consumer Products

Marius van Haaren

General counsel Benelux and public affairs director, the Netherlands | L'Oréal Benelux

    Team size: Four

    What are the most significant cases and transactions that your legal team has recently been involved in?

    Over the last year, our team has been involved in the creation of a new Benelux organisation, integrating the L’Oréal Belgilux (Belgium and Luxembourg) and L’Oréal Nederland subsidiaries. Besides the real estate side of the project with the development of an entirely new “cradle to cradle” office near Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, this project entailed a large organisational change where hundreds of new jobs were created. This transformation required delicate and intense legal guidance in the fields of real estate law, labour law, project contracting and tax law.

    What will be the main focus for the company in the next 12 months and how do you intend to assist with this?

    L’Oréal wishes to stay close to its clients, many of whom are heavily expanding their e-commerce business, which almost doubled during the pandemic. Augmented reality (AR) enables you to experience online virtual make-up and hair-colour ‘try on’ for our products. L’Oréal has already launched an artificial intelligence (AI) driven skin care assessment with online beauty consultancy on FaceTime. L’Oréal acquired ModiFace in 2018, which is the first beauty tech company and historical leader in beauty AR and AI business. We really believe that AR, AI, and voice-powered technologies are the future of the beauty experience.

    What do you feel are the pros and cons of an in-house legal role compared to a private practice one?

    Working in-house means you are employed by your sole client which is different from the dynamics in a law firm where legal expertise is the pivotal product. We know our business through and through and it is often about counselling in the field of ethics and fair business practices. Even though in-house lawyers should have certain independence, we work with the legal team to overcome challenges together. In contrast, in private practice, professionals are often more specialised in a certain field, which can be rewarding too. The fun about our in-house practice is that we work in a fast-moving environment on diverse topics ranging from competition law, intellectual property law, data privacy, consumer law, (selective) distribution, labour law, advertising law, corporate law, contracting and litigation.