Magic circle quartet split off to launch Dutch boutique

A group of four former Allen & Overy (A&O) and Linklaters lawyers have teamed up to launch the latest in a string of Dutch boutiques.

Orange Clover Law was launched on 1 March by Machiel Galjaart, Alex Gonzalez, Reijnoud Homveld and Thédoor Melchers.

Galjaart and Gonzalez were both most recently counsel and co-heads of investment funds at Linklaters in Amsterdam and Melchers was a senior associate in A&O’s Amsterdam corporate team. Homveld is also a former A&O lawyer, but spent the last three years running legal document technology company Quire Law.

Orange Clover will focus primarily on corporate, financial institutions, investment management and energy work.

Melchers said increasing and continued pressure from clients had led the quartet to take the plunge into running their own firm.

“The reason why we’re doing this is that we saw an opportunity,” he said. “If you speak to clients in the Dutch market there’s a lot of pressure on pricing, especially in financial institutions, and we think we can meet these demands better by setting up a boutique law firm.”

Gonzalez added that the founding partners wanted to be able to focus on practising law without the overheads which come in an international firm.

Orange Clover is currently looking to add two more partners to its team, notably in financing, and is likely to recruit a small number of associates in due course. However Melchers said the firm wanted to keep its leverage low, as clients wanted advice from senior lawyers.

The firm is the latest in a steady stream of new boutiques to hit the Dutch market in recent years. In 2012 the former managing partner of DLA Piper’s Amsterdam office and a Houthoff Buruma corporate crime specialist set up white collar crime firm Ivy Advocaten (11 January 2012) and a team from Baker & McKenzie established Van Campen Liem (5 January 2012). Last year, a group of partners from DLA Piper, Houthoff Buruma and Stibbe launched corporate boutique Rutgers & Posch (8 February 2013).