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Jones Day is launching an office in Amsterdam and hiring a Dutch law team for its London office with the appointment of Boekel de Nerée’s City managing partner Ferdinand Mason.
The US firm is relocating Brussels managing partner Luc Houben and fellow Brussels partner Yvan Desmedt to Amsterdam for the launch, and is also understood to be in discussion with Dutch lawyers to strengthen the team.
Meanwhile, Mason joins the firm in London along with senior associate Baastian Kout. The corporate specialist founded Boekel’s City office two years ago (30 September 2010).
Mason said his transactions were becoming increasingly global and Dutch structures formed part of a significant number of US companies.
“Dutch law is an export product,” he told The Lawyer. “In order to be able to market that I need to ensure that I have a very good global firm to back me up.”
He added that most strategic transactions involving Dutch law were actually managed from London or New York, but having an office in Amsterdam was a key part of the picture.
Jones Day’s Netherlands operation will initially focus on M&A, capital markets, private equity, competition and litigation with tax added in the longer term.
In return, Boekel is strengthening its London office with the relocation of three partners. Corporate partner Kris Ruijters, banking and finance specialist Angelique Thiele and employment partner Eugenie Nunes will all be based in London as of today. They will be joined initially by two associates.
Thiele, who will take over as managing partner, told The Lawyer that Boekel had always planned to review the status of the London office two years after setting it up. She said it had proven to be successful despite the recession, with work coming in across a number of practice areas, particularly those covered by the trio now moving to London.
Ruijters added that the firm had initially expected the bulk of the work to be in corporate, but had seen significant interest from clients in finance and employment as well.
Mason’s departure was on “amicable terms”, added Thiele.
Thiele’s practice focuses on property and secured finance transactions. Ruijters practises M&A law across a range of sectors, while Nunes advises on a range of employment issues including those related to M&A transactions.