Nauta hits back at UK invaders with A&O hire

Allen & Overy‘s Amsterdam office is losing a corporate partner to leading Dutch firm Nauta Dutilh.`Erik Hammerstein was among the group of 32 Loeff Claeys Verbecke partners to join Allen & Overy when their firm went through a dramatic split in January 2000.`His move goes against the trend which has seen dozens of Dutch lawyers join invading UK firms. Nauta Dutilh was one of the firms that was raided by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer when it set up its office in 1999.`It is understood that Hammerstein approached Nauta Dutilh. A date for his departure from Allen & Overy has yet to be agreed.`Nauta Dutilh resident UK partner Gijs Gerretsen said: “We’re not actively looking for partners but if there are good partners looking to move we are always willing to consider them.`”We have very good potential for young partners within the firm. There are no voids to fill. It’s just a case of expanding our practice. Ideally we’ll do that from within our own ranks, but we do make exceptions. Erik Hammerstein is the perfect example of that.”`Hammerstein will work with corporate finance specialists Hein Hooghoudt, Robert ten Have and Jan Paul Franx, in Nauta Dutilh’s corporate department.`”He will primarily be working on M&A transactions and stock exchange-related work,” said Gerretsen. “That’s what he’s done with great success at Allen & Overy and before that at Loeff Claeys. That’s what we hope he’ll do for us.”`Nauta Dutilh is committed to remaining independent from Anglo-Saxon firms. It has offices in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Brussels, London, Madrid and Paris, and also has best-friend relationships with a number of UK firms, including Slaughter and May and Herbert Smith.`Gerretsen said: “We’ve always received a lot of work through referrals, but that’s increased since a number of UK firms have come to Holland. Previously, that work might have been referred to Loeff Claeys Verbecke or De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek.”`Later this year, Gerretsen will be joined in London by structured finance partner Joanne Kellermann from Nauta Dutilh’s Amsterdam office.