BDO awaits permission for legal spin-off

The Dutch member of international accountants and tax consultancy BDO is awaiting approval from the bar association to spin off its legal department to form an independent firm.

If approved, the firm will be headed by Frank Dijkstra and Harry Voermans under the name Dijkstra Voermans with an initial staff of 30 lawyers.
In order to meet Dutch bar rules, the firm is likely to have a strategic alliance with the accountancy firm, but will not be allowed to share profits. Dijkstra and Voermans are due to discuss their plans with the bar in August.
Earlier this month, the European courts issued a landmark guidance saying that it is up to national courts to decide whether or not restrictions preventing multidisciplinary partnerships (MDPs) are necessary.
Responding to a list of questions raised by PricewaterhouseCoopers law firm Landwell and Andersen's firm Andersen Legal, advocate general Philippe Leger said that the Dutch bar restrictions on MDPs were anti-competitive.
A judgment will follow in six months to a year.