Van Doorne


Approximately €43m (£29.41m)
Managing partner: Onno Boerstra
Number of lawyers: 140
Number of partners: 35
Main practice areas: Banking and finance, corporate, employment, litigation, insurance
Clients: Apollo, Aon Nederland, Getronics, Ministry of Finance, Yamaha Motor Europe
Number of offices: Four
Locations: Amsterdam, Aruba, Curaçao, London

Dutch independent Van Doorne is ramping up its growth strategy under the guidence of new managing partner Onno Boerstra.

Boerstra took over as managing partner on 1 January from Johan Boeren, who had held the post since 1 January 2004. A key part of Boerstra’s goal is to, as he puts it, “put some flesh on the bones” in several areas of the practice.

Like most of the Netherlands’ leading firms, Van Doorne offers a full service to its corporate clients. But unlike some of its larger rivals in the traditionally lawyer-heavy Dutch market, it houses relatively few lawyers.

It was not always this way. Van Doorne is the product of one of the Netherlands’ former largest firms, Trenité van Doorne, which split in 2000. Both sides of the division went on to establish separate identities. The Rotterdam office became Nolst Trenité before securing a merger with Simmons & Simmons in 2001.

The Amsterdam office became Van Doorne and successfully positioned itself as an independent player in the market. It subsequently merged with Landwell’s Dutch operation on 1 January 2004. The deal with the former tied law firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers added around 50 lawyers. Landwell closed its offices in Rotterdam and Utrecht and relocated to Van Doorne’s office in Amsterdam.

Now Boerstra and his partners have decided that the time is right for further significant growth.

“Our corporate and banking practices are growing rapidly, with a number of high-profile cases, and we see opportunities to further expand these practice areas,” says Boerstra. “The same applies to our commercial real estate practice, for which we’re attracting a new commercial real estate partner. In general you could say that we’ll continue to grow our business as a whole like we did over the last three years, it’s just that we’re stepping up the pace.”

The firm has already been on the recruitment trail for some time, with a string of high-profile lawyers coming on board.

On 1 January 2006 the former head of Lovells’ real estate team in the Netherlands, civil law notary Annerie Ploumen, joined Van Doorne as a partner, bringing her entire team of four deputy civil law notaries with her.

The firm also hired corporate litigation partner Guus Kemperink from Lovells and picked up Dirk Blaisse, a partner in the London banking and financing practice at NautaDutilh, in July 2005.

More recently Ewout van Asbeck moved from NautaDutilh to Van Doorne’s finance group on 1 September 2006.