Benelux multidisciplinary practice Loyens & Loeff has hired a leading civil law notary from the Rotterdam office of Linklaters' Dutch ally De Brauw Blackstone & Westbroek.
The departure of real estate specialist Hamith Breedveld comes after merger negotiations between De Brauw and Linklaters were restarted late last year (The Lawyer, 5 December 2001). It also follows a vote by the Dutch firm to consolidate in Amsterdam and scale back in Rotterdam, where Breedveld is based. The hire is not the first time Loyens has benefitted from the fallout caused by Linklaters' European strategy. Last year, Linklaters' Belgian ally De Bandt Van Hecke Lagae & Loesch suffered a dramatic six-partner defection to Loyens, ahead of a vote to merge with the magic circle firm. Loyens managing partner Bert Westendorp said that Breedveld's move was prompted by the general direction in which De Brauw is moving, particularly its growing emphasis on M&A and capital markets, rather than its decision to scale back in Rotterdam. He said: "His assessment was that within De Brauw the tax capability is very weak. He foresees that De Brauw's emphasis in the future will be more in areas which are not in his ball park." He added that Breedveld had nevertheless supported De Brauw's decision to restart merger talks with Linklaters, as well as its decision to consolidate in Amsterdam. Breedveld specialises in large-scale infrastructure projects and advising government bodies, project developers and investors. His clients include Rotterdam City Council.