Five-partner team snubs DLA Dutch merger

Five partners of 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 their 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 – the name that the partners practised under before merging with SchutGrosheide five years ago. It will specialise in international trade, transport and insurance.

It is thought that the De Koning team decided against merger because they felt DLA lacked 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 including Marsh, Aon, Akzo Nobel, Royal Sun Alliance, and sea carrier Maersk.

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

De Koning will be established on 1 January 2004.