Interview with: Martijn van Broeckhuijsen and Maarten Vestering, Co-heads

Shearwaters | View firm profile

Shearwaters talks to the Legal 500

What do you see as the main points that differentiate Shearwaters from your competitors?

Two things:

1) Our international focus (based on our international background/education/upbringing/global mindset) resulting in us only acting for international clients;

2) Our track record of acting at international board level.

Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?

Corporate employment law, e.g. international restructurings.

Main drivers: economical developments across the globe; likely implications of Brexit and COVID-19.

What’s the main change you’ve made in the firm that will benefit clients?

Without it being a change as such: maintaining and strengthening our international focus and reach, e.g. by visiting with our network abroad and by continuosly working on international mandates arising from those contacts.

Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?

We are very much up to speed with our technology and can easily meet any client’s needs in that respect.

Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?

With our help, a major US private equity firm has ensured that one of it its Dutch portfolio companies has stepped up and is now ready for the challenges that lie ahead, after having implemented an important restructuring. We advised the firm and the board of said company. This was done in a very cost efficient manner. It was a complex and time consuming project, yet substantial savings were made (e.g. on costs for severance payments/legal fees).

Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three years’ time?

We intend to become the “go-to” law firm for clients operating in the international business environment (including international law firms without a presence in the Netherlands).

This means that we will continue to do three things in the three years ahead:

1) Build our already strong track record;

2) Climb in the relevant global legal directories;

3) Grow our international client base and our bench of practitioners in line with clients’ demand.