Herbies Dutch ally Stibbe elects new chief

Herbert Smith Dutch alliance firm Stibbe has elected a new managing partner for its Amsterdam office in the shape of corporate partner Heleen Kersten.

Kersten, who takes up the role on 1 January, will replace Joost van Lanschot, who has headed the office for the past four years.

Van Lanschot said: “I have been in the role for four years – we have two-year terms that are usually extended once. I will now go back to my M&A practice full time. I have already started going back to that.”

Kersten, who currently heads the firm’s corporate practice, specialises in M&A, capital markets, corporate law and corporate governance. Prior to joining Stibbe she worked for Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York.

She said that, while she will devote the bulk of her time to management duties, she will also continue doing a small amount of client work. In the past year Kersten’s high-profile client work has included acting for private equity house JC Flowers & Co on the Û3bn (£2.14bn) acquisition of NIBC by Kaupthing Bank and representing TomTom on its public bid for Tele Atlas.

Kersten will also join Herbert Smith senior partner David Gold, Stibbe Brussels managing partner Olivier Clevenbergh and Gleiss Lutz managing partner Rainer Loges on the committee responsible for driving the alliance relationship between the three firms.

As reported in The Lawyer (3 December) the trio have resolved to definitively rule out merger plans, deciding instead to remain independent but tied firms.