Lovells pulls the plug on Dutch real estate outfit

The Dutch office of Lovells has discontinued its domestic real estate practice in favour of subcontracting the work to a local firm.

The move coincided with last year’s exit of the firm’s real estate team, headed by civil law notary Annerie Ploumen, who joined Dutch firm Van Doorne as a partner.

Ploumen’s entire team of four deputy civil law notaries also joined Van Doorne on 1 January. Her exit signalled the end of Lovells’ real estate ambitions in the Netherlands.

Lovells Dutch managing partner Mark Wallheimer said the firm had made a “strategic shift” away from domestic real estate in favour of an increased focus on corporate and finance in Amsterdam. The firm is now subcontracting its domestic property work to 10-year-old corporate and real estate boutique Lexence.

The failure of Lovells to capitalise on its legacy Dutch firm Ekelmans den Hollander’s former real estate strength highlights a lack of recent investment in the area and the weakness of the firm’s corporate team – a feeder for real estate – in the Netherlands.