Leading Dutch firm De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek has restructured its management function to bring it in line with common practice in the UK and US.
A new position of chief operating officer (COO) has been created, which will be filled by corporate litigation partner Barbara van Duren-Kloppert. The review has also seen the election of a new litigation head, as well as the reorganisation of the firm’s corporate and finance groups.
“We want to further professionalise the internal organisation of the firm [through the COO post]. The UK and the US are ahead of the Netherlands in this case,” explained Jaap de Keijzer, who has been re-elected as De Brauw’s managing partner.
De Keijzer will remain as managing partner for a further two years, having just completed four years in the position. He and Duren-Kloppert will work alongside De Brauw’s longstanding chief financial officer Matthieu Eichholtz at the top of the firm.
In another move intended to increase efficiency, the firm has also separated its finance department from its corporate arm. Until the elections they worked together, albeit in separate departments, one comprising the firm’s ‘advocaten’ lawyers, headed by Bernard Roelvink, and the other its civil law notaries and tax lawyers, headed by Rene Clumpkens.
Roelvink has been elected as the new head of corporate and Berend Crans has joined the firm’s managing committee in charge of the new finance team. Clumpkens has returned to fee-earning in De Brauw’s corporate department.
The partnership voted in Mark Biesheuvel as head of litigation, a position formerly held by Ruud Hermans.