WINNER: Houthoff Buruma

The past two years have seen a number of key developments for Benelux firm Houthoff Buruma, which launched in New York in June 2012 and kickstarted its in-house business school for young lawyers. The HB Incubator Programme invites applications from start-up businesses, which will be advised by the firm’s most talented young associates. The idea is that while the start-up gets affordable advice, the lawyers gain hands-on experience and potentially develop long-term relationships with clients.

The initiatives come on the back of consistent revenue and profit growth over the past few years. Since the start of the financial crisis, Houthoff has produced average annual turnover growth of 6 per cent, although 2012 proved a more difficult year with a decline in revenue. Nevertheless, judges praised the firm’s “clear and focused strategy”.

Work that has helped contribute to the compound growth includes the firm’s advice as trustees for Lehman Brothers Treasury (LBT), the Dutch subsidiary of the collapsed US bank. The process completed in March 2013 when the Amsterdam District Court confirmed a composition plan, enabling a distribution to creditors. Crucially, there has been no litigation throughout the process and LBT is now in liquidation.


  • Boekel De Nerée
  • De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek
  • NautaDutilh