as it sets up its own notary

Accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers legal services in The Netherlands is setting up its own notary law firm with ex-partners from Loeff Claeys Verbeke.

Aart Heering and Anton Voorneman are joining PricewaterhouseCoopers in order to set up notary law firm Voorneman.

And KPMG's law firm Steens Bisschop Meiburg is setting up a notary department with two more ex-Loeffs partners, Michel van Agt and Margot Dussel.

Notary firms are involved in the drawing up of agreements for flotations and other corporate transactions.

Founding partner of Steens, Bas Steens Bisschop, says: “The notary practice is different in The Netherlands. Large law firms have to have notary services as part of their legal services.

“At the outset we had prepared for the introduction of noted lawyers, but it happened a little sooner than we expected.”

With the recruitment of independent notary partner Jan Weijnborg, the law firm has grown from nothing to 10 partners since last year.

Allen & Overy's Netherland's merger has ripped apart top Benelux firm Loeff Claeys Verbeke, taking 36 Loeffs partners, including all of the Luxembourg arm Beghin Feider Loeff Claeys Verbekeare.

Another 30 partners are to merge with Dutch tax firm Loyens & Volkmaars.

One Loeffs partner who is going to Allen & Overy says: “A number of them [partners] have joined other firms. Some will be joining accountancy firms.”

Partners still in limbo due to the merger come from various practice areas including real estate and corporate.

A senior source at Loeffs says that while some of these partners were asked to come on board for the Allen & Overy merger, a number of them were put off by the low retirement age at the UK firm. He says they felt it was not worth working on setting up a new practice and then retiring soon after.

He adds: “Not all of them have made up their minds. They may decide to jump on the bandwagon.”