DLA’s Dutch suitor loses five partners

Five partners from Dutch firm SchutGrosheide are launching their own practice after disagreeing with the firm’s decision to merge with DLA.

SchutGrosheide has been a member of the DLA Group for three years and last week agreed a deal for the two firms to merge as of 1 January 2004. However, a five-partner team decided not to be part of the merger, believing its practice would be better served as an independent firm.

The five partners and two associates will set up an independent practice called De Koning & Mulder Advocaten, which was the name that the partners practised under before merging with SchutGrosheide five years ago. De Koning will specialise in international trade, transport and insurance.

It is thought that the De Koning team decided against merger because it felt DLA lacked a specialist transport and insurance capability in London.

The team is led by partner Hinno Postma, who will take on the role of managing partner at the boutique. He commented: “SchutGrosheide wants to continue to grow as an international full-service firm. My partners and I believe more, however, in a specialised firm in order to be able to respond quickly and expertly to any situation and to the needs of our clients.”

The team acts for a number of heavyweight clients such as Akzo Nobel, Aon, Marsh, sea carrier Maersk and Royal & SunAlliance.

Meanwhile, the merged DLA-SchutGrosheide will continue to practise in these areas, despite a depleted team. Marc Padberg will head up the group.