Simmons launches second Dutch office

Simmons & Simmons is leveraging off its financial markets practice to open an Amsterdam office, its second in the Netherlands.

The office will initially just have a financial markets capability, with the Rotterdam office offering other practice areas. In March 2006, the firm voted to initiate a dual-office strategy in the Netherlands, as first revealed by The Lawyer, 13 March 2006.

The firm has been in Rotterdam since 2002, when it merged with Nolst Trenité. Simmons will be moving the whole of its Dutch five-partner financial markets practice to Amsterdam from its current Rotterdam home.

The Amsterdam office will open with 13 lawyers, plus notaries and tax advisers, and will be headed by Dutch managing partner Alexander Steensma, who will also retain responsibility for Rotterdam.

No lateral hires are being brought in for the launch, but Simmons planned to have 40 lawyers in Amsterdam by the end of 2007, said a spokesperson.

The firm said that the move was motivated by demand in the Dutch financial market place. “Simmons & Simmons has identified the area as a key market for growth, and plans to develop its presence and capacity as legal advisers to Dutch financial institutions, “ it said in a statement.

The move is an indication that the firm is serious about its strategy of aligning itself with key clients in particular sectors.

But the firm has also copied Dutch giants De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek and Nauta Dutilh in downsizing their Rotterdam operations to the benefit of Amsterdam.

The growth of Simmons’ footprint in the Netherlands comes at a time when firm managing partner Mark Dawkins is looking to double headcount in both Germany and Spain.