Regulators prevent non-lawyer from joining Nauta board

Regulators have barred Dutch giant Nauta Dutilh from hiring a non-lawyer to its management board.

The firm had been planning to appoint a general manager to the position but has been prevented from doing so by the Netherlands Bar Association, which has cited a conflict with its rules.

Nauta plans to get around this bureaucratic restriction by ensuring that whoever fills the position of general manager, while not having a position on the board, will be able to cast votes in the same way as if he was.

A Nauta spokesman said: “Formally he will be an employee, but materially a board member. The person will have as many votes as the other members.”

Thus is similar to Dutch firm De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek whose non-lawyer chief financial officer, Matthieu Eichholtz, has been barred from joining the firm’s management committee but still takes part in its managing committee meetings.

“He formally has no voting powers but in practice the management committee listens to him,” a De Brauw spokesman said.

One of Nauta’s four board members, Robert ten Have, has stepped down in order to return to full-time practice in the corporate department.