This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2014
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FIRM OF THE YEAR – THE NETHERLANDS
2013 was a successful year for leading law firm De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek. With several partner promotions and a string of high-profile cases, the firm achieves the title of Netherlands Law Firm of the Year for the ninth consecutive time.
|DE BRAUW BLACKSTONE WESTBROEK|
|Capital Markets - D&E||1||M&A||6|
|Construction||1||Product Liability Defence||1|
|Corporate Governance||3||Project Finance||1|
|Corporate Tax||2||Public Procurement||2|
In addition to its international offices in London, New York, Beijing and Singapore, clients are able to draw on the firm’s European network of law firms.
|Total Listings in WWL||41||Established||1871|
|Home jurisdiction||Netherlands||Total size of firm||over 300|
|Number of partners||65||Number of offices||6|
PEOPLE AND PRACTICES
The firm’s strongest practice in our research emerges as M&A and De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek’s work in this field includes recently assisting Omnicom Group in its agreement with Publicis to merge into a new Dutch holding company.
Head of the corporate/M&A practice Ton Schutte possesses a “wealth of knowledge” in the sector, having previously led De Brauw teams on deals for AkzoNobel, Wolters Kluwer, PostNL, Ten Cate, FrieslandCampina, IDT and Cabot Corporation. Martin Van Olffen is an “expert dealmaker with an impressive track record”. Known for assisting in defence strategies and settlement agreements, he acts as adviser to some of the leading retail, banking and industrial companies in the Netherlands. Corporate law specialist Paul Cronheim is “widely recognised” for his experience in cross-border public takeovers, private acquisitions and joint ventures. He is also listed for his commercial litigation expertise. Arne Grimme is rated “first class” and is a “leader” in public and private transactions, leveraged buyouts and complex cross-border transactions. The “incredible” Pierre Nijnens is noted for his work in M&A and international joint ventures. His recent projects include advising Royal DSM on the acquisition of the cultures and enzymes business of Cargill. Bernard Roelvink is “very well regarded” for his expertise in national and international public takeovers, joint ventures and more recently contested public takeovers.
The firm’s competition department also ranks highly in our research. Managing partner Martijn Snoep is a “very prominent figure” in Dutch and EU competition law. The former president of the Dutch Association for Competition Law, Snoep regularly defends companies against allegations of infringements of competition law or in civil damage claims. Jolling de Pree is “outstanding” and has a “deep understanding of complex issues”. He represents companies in international cartel investigations, cartel damages litigation and in merger cases. Erik Pijnacker Hordijk is also recognised for his experience in EU and Dutch competition law and European Union law.
The investigations team are “exceptionally talented” according to peers and clients. Roan Lamp is known for his work in financial market regulation and corporate criminal law. He also regularly conducts internal investigations and has experience handling anti-money laundering and anti-bribery regulation. Patrick Ploeger provides “top-quality” counsel to corporates, financial institutions and professional services firms on a range of criminal and regulatory investigations issues. Marnix Somsen is “extremely skilled” and a “pleasure to work with”. He represents corporations subject to investigation and enforcement proceedings.
Litigation is another key area of focus for the firm. Ruud Hermans, who heads De Brauw’s corporate litigation practice, has over 25 years of experience in complex multiparty and cross-border disputes. A “respected leader in the field” Hermans regularly represents multinational companies in inquiry proceedings before the Enterprise Chamber of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal.
He is joined by Marnix Leijten: a “big name in the field”. Leijten specialises in complex commercial litigation and national and international arbitration, particularly in the energy, technology, transport, investment and construction fields.
De Brauw lawyers are described as committed to a “sense of justice” and to that end, the firm regularly supports several non-profit organisations that pursue a good cause. Each year, the firm provides 10 organisations with approximately 100 hours of pro bono legal advice. It also acts as counsel in 10 proceedings of significant societal interest before the Dutch Supreme Court, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg or the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. In 2013, the firm advised the Media Legal Defence Initiative, which operates globally to help journalists and independent media outlets defend their rights.
De Brauw is one of the 187 companies to have signed the Talent to the Top Charter – a public agreement made to preserve a continuous flow of talent and cultivate gender diversity in senior management and at board level. The firm actively encourages the promotion of female employees to partnership.
With its strategy intrinsically entwined with its clients’ needs, De Brauw is due to open its sixth office in Shanghai this year.
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