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The former managing partner of Dutch firm Houthoff Buruma has launched a new boutique firm with a former Trenité van Doorne partner
Arent van Wassenaer van Catwijck stood down from his position at Houthoffs in September 2001, after a disagreement over the pace and style with which he wanted to implement a reform strategy for the firm. Van Wassenaer had already handed over his practice to colleagues before taking up the role in January 2001 and formally left the firm in December. One aim of the strategy was to achieve an international merger in three years, but the firm has since voted in favour of remaining independent (The Lawyer, 22 October 2001). Van Wassenaer has launched the new boutique together with Edo Groenewald, a former Trenité partner who left his firm to complete a doctoral thesis. Groenewald specialises in corporate finance, finance and boardroom counselling, while Van Wassenaer's focus is on arbitration, public procurement, major projects and alternative dispute resolution. The new firm Groenewald/Van Wassenaer Advocaten is offering services in each of these areas. It will also provide management consultancy services to the professional services industry. The firm has an ambitious growth strategy, hoping to attract four or five other partners in its first year. "We'd like to see if this formula is attractive to a small group of people," said van Wassenaer. He plans to use links with other local and international law firms to enable the boutique firm to get involved in large instructions. "Our ambition is to become a main contractor," he said.