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Thought Leaders

Thought Leaders

Lisa van der Wal

Lisa van der Wal

De Roos & PenKeizersgracht 332AmsterdamNetherlands1016 EZ

Thought Leader

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

Lisa van der Wal is “an excellent lawyer” who draws high praise from clients for “her ability to keep an eye on the big picture, provide critical feedback and work constructively with other specialists”.

Questions & Answers

Lisa has extensive experience in providing legal assistance in large and complex (international) fraud cases. The fraud cases in which she acts as a defence lawyer relate to money laundering, confiscation of proceeds of crime, forgery of documents, fiscal fraud, corruption and financial fraud. Lisa also advises on criminal liability with regard to these topics. She represents companies, directors, shareholders and employees, as well as financial institutions and trust offices (and their employees), accountants and tax advisers.

WHAT FIRST ATTRACTED YOU TO A CAREER IN BUSINESS CRIME DEFENCE?

The complexity of the cases, and the intellectual and strategic challenges that come with representing and defending corporations and individuals in the high-stress situation of a criminal investigation. After assessing the case, you have to build a strategy to achieve the best possible result for your clients as their freedom, reputation and future may be at stake. You have to be creative and keep an open mind; if the specific circumstances require, it is key to adapt your strategy, and you have to be persistent and convincing towards the authorities and the court.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT WORKING IN THE FIELD?

Representing diverse clients who work in various businesses is one of the interesting factors of working in the white-collar crime area. White-collar crime clients tend to be astute and actively involved in the defence. In combination with the complexity of the cases, this creates a demanding environment that requires specific skills in representing these clients. Getting to know and understand the client’s business is not only key for providing the best possible representation, but is also very interesting as you come across business fields you were previously not familiar with. Furthermore, I enjoy working constructively with other specialists, such civil lawyers and fiscal and financial experts.

YOU REPRESENT BOTH CORPORATE ENTITIES AND INDIVIDUALS. IN WHAT WAY DOES YOUR APPROACH DIFFER TO BOTH TYPES OF MATTERS?

Whether I represent a corporation or an individual, the assessment of the merits of the case is not dissimilar. However, the consequences of the criminal investigation or prosecution may be different, as a corporate cannot go to prison whereas an individual can.

The “personal” circumstances are different for both categories of clients and that requires a different approach. As a result of the criminal investigation alone an individual may potentially lose everything: his or her job, relationship and social network. In addition to the criminal investigations, parallel civil and labour law procedures may be pending. For corporations their reputation and their future may be at stake. In representing both corporations and individuals, it is important to keep an eye on the big picture, to oversee all the relevant concerns, and to work together with other specialists to address these concerns.

WHAT IS THE GREATEST CHALLENGE CURRENTLY FACING LAWYERS IN THE AREA?

White-collar crime enforcement has become global. Regulators and prosecuting authorities in various countries are working together more and more and efficiently. It makes our work more complex and challenging. As attorneys we have to cooperate and coordinate with attorneys and other experts in other jurisdictions on all steps of defence and assess the consequences for each jurisdiction involved.

HOW HAVE THE NEEDS AND EXPECTATIONS OF CLIENTS CHANGED SINCE YOU BEGAN YOUR CAREER?

Clients are more and more in need of a trusted legal adviser who is hands-on and grasps their aims and priorities. It is not sufficient any more to only provide thorough advice in legal language. There is a need for practical translation and guidance on how to implement the advice. Therefore it is necessary to have in-depth knowledge and an interest in the client’s business, and to efficiently cooperate with in-house counsel and the client’s other advisers. 

WHAT IMPACT IS THE CHANGE IN SOCIETAL VIEWS ON BRIBERY, CORRUPTION AND TAX EVASION HAVING ON THE TYPE OF WORK YOU ARE SEEING AT THE MOMENT?

The (moral) attitude in society towards bribery, corruption and tax evasion has changed immensely.

Activity perceived as customary or at least accepted business practice 20 years ago is now being investigated and prosecuted, which makes it necessary for companies to have compliance programmes in place in order to show that they have done everything possible to avoid criminal conduct. On the other hand, companies who are doing business in certain countries have to deal with the reality in those countries and that may imply that (facilitation) payments are “necessary” to proceed with its business. Given the multiple investigations worldwide into alleged corruption and bribery cases, the business is still up to a major challenge. 

The Dutch Public Prosecution Office (PPO) has increased its enforcement capacity to investigate and prosecute white-collar crime cases. We also see an increased attention to the so-called “gatekeepers” such as accountants, lawyers and notaries. Another consequence from the change in societal views is that sentences in white-collar crime case have become more severe. Individuals convicted of fraud are facing prison sentences, whereas 20 years ago a conviction mostly led to community service.

WHAT DO YOU THINK THE FUTURE HOLDS FOR PRACTITIONERS IN THE FIELD?

In the Netherlands, we see a tendency to introduce concepts from the US judicial practice. One example that most people will know about are the huge settlements in recent years between the PPO and various (international) companies. Another interesting development is the introduction of monitorship as a condition for a settlement. Dutch lawyers will have to build experience on how to advise their clients on this topic and there is a lot to learn from the US practice. Another example is an experiment from the Dutch Fiscal Intelligence and Investigating Agency (FIOD) regarding the cooperation with the lawyers of the company that is under investigation. In this experiment the lawyers of the company will conduct the investigation, the scope of which is agreed upon by FIOD and the PPO.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A YOUNG LAWYER LOOKING TO PURSUE A CAREER IN BUSINESS CRIME DEFENCE?

Enjoy what you are doing, become an expert in your field, work hard to get the best result for your client – and stay true to yourself, because that will keep you going.

Global Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Lisa van der Wal is a seasoned adviser on fraud cases relating to fiscal fraud, money laundering and proceeds of crime. Impressed sources say she is "pragmatic" and "always on the ball”.

Biography

In 2013 Lisa van der Wal joined De Roos & Pen, a criminal law boutique firm specialised in financial economic and criminal tax law recognised both internationally and within the Netherlands as an authority in this field. Lisa has been a criminal defence lawyer since 1998; before joining De Roos & Pen she worked at Allen & Overy and Spigt Litigators. 

Lisa has extensive experience in providing legal aid in large and complex (international) fraud cases. The fraud cases in which she acts as a defence lawyer relate to money laundering, confiscation of proceeds of crime, forgery of documents, fiscal fraud, corruption and financial fraud. Lisa also advises on criminal liability in relation to these topics. She represents companies, directors, shareholders and employees, as well as (employees of) financial institutions and trust offices, accountants and tax advisers. In addition, Lisa also assists companies and financial institutions who have been victims of fraud, and aids them in the filing of a criminal complaint with the public prosecution office and represents their interests during the trials. For these matters she often collaborates with forensic accountants.

Lisa is a member of the Dutch Association of Defence Counsel, the European Criminal Bar Association, the International Bar Association and the American Bar Association. Lisa is also a member of the advisory committee on criminal law of the Netherlands Bar Association, which comments on all legislative proposals concerning criminal law. She is a member of the editorial board of the journal Sanction Law & Companies. In 2017 she launched the Netherlands branch of the Women’s White-Collar Defence Association.

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Lisa van der Wal is hailed for her deep and varied knowledge on complex international fraud matters and is highly sought after by shareholders, directors and tax advisers.

Biography

In 2013 Lisa van der Wal joined De Roos & Pen, a criminal law boutique firm specialised in financial economic and criminal tax law recognised both internationally and within the Netherlands as an authority in this field. Lisa has been a criminal defence lawyer since 1998; before joining De Roos & Pen she worked at Allen & Overy and Spigt Litigators. 

Lisa has extensive experience in providing legal aid in large and complex (international) fraud cases. The fraud cases in which she acts as a defence lawyer relate to money laundering, confiscation of proceeds of crime, forgery of documents, fiscal fraud, corruption and financial fraud. Lisa also advises on criminal liability in relation to these topics. She represents companies, directors, shareholders and employees, as well as (employees of) financial institutions and trust offices, accountants and tax advisers. In addition, Lisa also assists companies and financial institutions who have been victims of fraud, and aids them in the filing of a criminal complaint with the public prosecution office and represents their interests during the trials. For these matters she often collaborates with forensic accountants.

Lisa is a member of the Dutch Association of Defence Counsel, the European Criminal Bar Association, the International Bar Association and the American Bar Association. Lisa is also a member of the advisory committee on criminal law of the Netherlands Bar Association, which comments on all legislative proposals concerning criminal law. She is a member of the editorial board of the journal Sanction Law & Companies. In 2017 she launched the Netherlands branch of the Women’s White-Collar Defence Association.

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