Dian Brouwer is described as “an experienced and proactive lawyer who is great to work with” by interviewees who add that he is “an intelligent and academic professional”.
Dian Brouwer advises companies, institutions and individuals involved as defendants, witnesses and victims in white-collar cases. His experience covers high-profile fraud cases, national and international corruption cases, health and safety investigations, and insider trading. He advises companies and institutions on conducting internal investigations into fraud; corruption concerns; and bribery and corruption compliance issues. Dian is a member of the Dutch Association of Criminal Defence Attorney, the European Criminal Bar Association, and the advisory committee of the Association of Supreme Court Advocates in Criminal Cases.
What inspired you to pursue a legal career?
I was tempted by the logic of the legal system. That led me to a start in academia. But after finishing my thesis, I felt the law can really only be known and understood when you see it in action. Criminal law was always my preference because of the immense coercive powers the government has in that field. These need counterbalancing from a defence perspective.
What has been your most interesting case to date and why?
It’s difficult to choose just one. The Ahold case was the first international accountancy case in the Dutch courts – and those that followed were settled – so it was very interesting to have been at the heart of that one. Other interesting cases concerned alleged corruptive payments to foreign princes, and TV producers and broadcasters that got prosecuted by the government for TV shows that constituted illegal gambling. Another fascinating case can only be described as runaway criminal litigation based on a shabby valuation of a piece of leisure-sector real estate that had seen better days. And there was a Dutch investment scheme in American life settlements that went awry, losing a quarter of a billion euros of investors’ money. The list of interesting cases is actually quite extensive.
How does JahaeRaymakers distinguish itself from competition in the market?
Several other Dutch boutiques also offer great quality of work, but I believe we stand out in our expertise in the field of European and international criminal law and, in our asset recovery practice, in international civil law. In this respect, with this international perspective, we offer a unique proposition and network.
To what extent is remote working as a result of covid-19 highlighting the importance of face-to-face interaction in regulatory investigations?
Personally, I was surprised about all the things that could be done and achieved through video conferencing. And yet, there are interactions between people that need the extra layer of communication that is only present when individuals are in the same room together. Key forensic interviews or clinch meetings do not work online.
In your opinion, what problems do the increase in out-of-court settlements and finings present?
Settlements are both a boon and a bane. It can help targeted clients to wind up lengthy proceedings, but the lack of scrutiny from the courts can embolden a prosecutor to try to overcharge. Settlement negotiations remain a subtle art.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
That was – strangely enough – about the most important requirement in baking a wedding cake. Of course ingredients, appearance and taste are all of great importance, but getting it delivered on time tops all of these. Translated to our practice this means, of course, the quality of your work must be top-notch – that goes without saying – but most importantly, your product must be delivered to the client in a timely manner, and in such a way that it best suits his or her purposes and goals. Timeliness, practicality and usability are of the essence.