Lukas Witsenburg

Lukas Witsenburg started his legal career at De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek. After a few years he decided to go international and he built up a cross-border commercial practice as a lawyer at the legal firm HBN Law in Curacao.

On returning to the Netherlands, Lukas successfully completed the M&A specialisation course at the VU University Amsterdam Law Academy. In 2009, Lukas co-founded the legal firm Penrose with Frans Beishuizen.

Lukas concentrates entirely on his own specialisations: corporate law, mergers & acquisitions, and commercial contracting. He is involved in the organisation of enterprises, corporate governance and control structures, joint ventures, share transactions and asset transfers. Lukas also specialises in customised commercial contracts. Thanks to the large number of clients, start-ups and transactions in the IT-sector, Lukas has amassed a great deal of specific knowledge in that field.


The Netherlands Bar

Peter Hendrick

Peter Hendrick focuses on international patent litigation and leads the firm’s international patent litigation group.

The group is particularly active in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands, and co-ordinates litigation on behalf of clients with specialised law firms in other EU member states.

Peter is one of the most well known and respected patent litigators in Europe. He has a broad knowledge of patent litigation and acts on behalf of national and international clients in the Netherlands courts (including the Supreme Court) and in the European Patent Office, particularly in Opposition Division and Technical Board of Appeal cases.

Peter has also acted as lead counsel in a number of international patent litigation cases brought simultaneously in European and non-European jurisdictions.

In addition, he works for banks and investment institutes as their litigation and M&A strategist on patent portfolios. In all these matters he works with his own team of scientists in sectors including pharma/biotech, electronics/TMT and energy.

Peter speaks English, Dutch, German and French.

Law Firm Overview:

The world’s biggest international organisations rely on us to help them make the right decisions in a fast-changing world. We combine the knowledge, experience and energy of the whole firm to solve our clients’ most complex challenges, wherever and whenever they arise.

Edith Nordmann

Edith Nordmann has recently made managing partner at ACG International. Prior to that she has worked for fifteen years as an attorney for international clients. In this interview we meet her.

New as managing partner at ACG International. What is your specialization?

I practice employment law as well as commercial and corporate law and litigation. I have built up fifteen years of expertise in cross-border business transactions. People often think that cross border business transactions only apply to transactions with business partners far away from home, but any transaction involving parties that are not located in the same country is a “cross-border” transaction. Therefore also transactions with countries nearby, such as Belgium, Germany, France, Switzerland and the United Kingdom need utmost diligence and attention in order to avoid unexpected expensive mistakes.

I focus on long-term relationships with clients. Building and maintaining a relationship is important for best serving the interests of a client. In practice, I find that clients appreciate this and I feel very lucky to have been working for many of them for a long time. Particularly in Asian countries, earning the trust of your potential business partner comes before engaging in actual business.

It is important to realize that not only regulations are different in each country, there is often also a significant difference in mentality and expectations. For example, in France, everybody knows that a tenant can not be removed from his house between October and April. Not even if the tenant does not pay his rent. As of April tenants may be evicted, which means that in France April and May is generally a busy time with a lot of evictions. Here in the Netherlands we do not know this principle, but in France, every child knows this figuratively speaking. If you consider to invest in residential property in France, this is important to know. Another example: in the Netherlands we love conviviality and a joke, even during business transactions. The German business partner however, is very serious in his approach and sees the jokes of the Dutch as rude and as a sign of not being serious about the transaction at hand. If you are not aware of this, closing your deal will be at serious danger. I once witnessed this looming situation and could luckily intervene on both sides on time.

ACG International positions itself as a modern and cost-effective law firm. How does ACG differ from the competitors?

The ‘billable hour’ in law is outdated and does no longer fit the client’s needs and expectations. The entrepreneur wants to know where he stands, including the budget for his legal costs.

The traditional lawyer sells time. A lawyer at a large law firm must make 1600 billable hours per year. These are hours to be paid by clients. Large offices employ dozens of lawyers who all have to make sure that they reach the amount of billable hours according to the firm’stargets. At ACG we keep the fixed core small for a purpose. We look at the current needs of the client and look for the appropriate solution. We add specialists to the team where they are needed. Entrepreneurs are well aware that the complexity of regulations in international transactions is increasing. That’s why they want a trusted legal advisor who helps them avoid pitfalls and shows them the legal challenges without slowing down their business. ACG provides their clients with those trusted legal advisors. ACG does not employ dozens of lawyers who all have to turn their sales. Instead we provide tailor made solutions to fit the needs of the client. This means that our clients can concentrate on their core business while being assured that ACG’s specialist cover their legal challenges and pitfalls. In addition, we not only focus on specialization but also on complexity and costs. In some cases a super specialist – or even multiple – is needed and sometimes a cheap simple solution is enough or even preferable. We discuss these options with our clients. As we don’t have to sell the hours of dozens of lawyers, ACG can adapt quickly to deliver the perfect fit to the differing needs of our clients. We know all the specialists that we engage personally and know how they work, both nationally and internationally.

Do you notice that clients appreciate this approach? And how do you notice this?

They appreciate that for several reasons: budgets are considered in advance, so the invoice is never a surprise. In addition, they appreciate that they get a specialist for their problem and not someone who happens to work with us. We do however always remain the direct contact point for the convenience of our clients.

Why do other offices not use the same approach? is this solely due to the earnings? Or is a culture change what is mostly necessary?

Both; All employees at a large law firm need to earn themselves back.

In addition, culture plays a major role. Until 2008 charging clients based on billable hours was normal in the legal profession. Because this was known to and accepted by most companies, there was no need for adjustment. However, nowadayscompanies are critically considering their expenses, including the costs of their lawyer. And they are absolutely right in doing so! In the past, companies sent anything that was somewhat legal to their lawyer. As of 2008, companies took care of their legal matters themselves as far as possible; due to the financial crisis it was important to take heed of costs. Since the financial crisis has lasted a considerable time, this changed approach has currently been adapted bymany companies. Clients want to know upfront how much the legal service is going to cost. At ACG we give that clarity.

Apart from the clarity of costs, how do I know if ACG International’s work brings added value to my company?

A good (personal) match between the client and his legal service provider is very important. Therefore I hereby gladly invite entrepreneurs locally and abroad to present their challenges to us by means of a short (telephone) conversation without any obligation. This allows them to assess whether ACG International can offer what they are looking for. We can be reached on +31 20 800 64 00 or


R.H.J. Koopmans

RHJ (Robert) Koopmans has over 35 years of banking and legal experience. He has worked in various positions at ABN AMRO Bank NV and the law firm Clifford Chance LLP. He is now also linked to the Rabobank organization, working in special asset management.

He is a member of the Amsterdam Bar and the Dutch Association of International Law. Mr. R.H.J. Koopmans is registered as a lawyer in the Netherlands with the Dutch Bar Association, Neuhuyskade 294 2596 XM The Hague, telephone 070-3353535,

The office is located in the Atlas Building Complex at Hoogoorddreef 9 in Amsterdam (building Africa). Visit there only after prior notification. You will then be given directions. Appointments can of course also be made elsewhere, if that is more convenient for you.

Law firm RHJ Koopmans BV has its registered office in Groenekan. The company is registered at the Chamber of Commerce under number 30201622.

At this time, only mr R.H.J. Koopmans is connected to the law firm as a lawyer. Mr. R.H.J. Koopmans advises, drafts and litigates. There are co-operation agreements with other lawfirms, so there is always sufficient backing.

Areas of expertise are:

·         Banking and finance;

·         Insolvency law;

·         International law;

·         Debt Collection;

·         Corporate law;

·         Law of torts;

·         Contract law;

·         Labour law;

·         Rent law;

·         Administrative law;

·         Property law

·         Law of civil procedure/ litigation.

Robert Koopmans is also connected to a legal first aid center. He is a member of the Royal Dutch Society for International Law. He is an honorary member and past chairman of a field hockey club. Furthermore he loves sailing and collecting flags.


Taco de Lange

Taco de Lange has practised as a civil-law notary in the real estate field for almost 20 years. Taco is a civil law notary (‘notaris’), but his work can be better described in terms as “legal navigator”, “trusted advisor” and “legal consultant”.

He is specialized in national and international real estate transactions, real estate financing, real estate M&A and project or area development. He also a special focus in logistic real estate and e-fulfillment centers. He also works with risk analysis and with a service he has developed, the so called “transparent legal services”, a form of transparent, neutral and cost-saving advice introduced as such in the Dutch market by Taco.

Alongside his consulting and transaction practice, he also teaches at the Amsterdam School of Real Estate and is a regular contributor to the journal Vastgoed Fiscaal en Civiel (‘Tax and Civil-Law Aspects of Real Estate’).

Taco heads the Logistics Team and is a member of the Real Estate Transactions & Finance Team of AKD N.V. a top Benelux firm.

In 2002 Taco de Lange joined Lexence, where he was a partner for the last 11 years. He was previously affiliated to Pels Rijcken Drooglever Fortuijn and De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek. Taco practises in AKD’s Amsterdam office, which is housed in The Edge, the world’s most sustainable office building. Taco teaches subjects including leasehold and building rights at the Amsterdam School of Real Estate and is a regular contributor to the journal Vastgoed Fiscaal en Civiel (‘Tax and Civil-Law Aspects of Real Estate’). Taco has the honour of representing national and international institutional investors, financiers, housing associations, public authorities, area/property developers, sovereign wealth funds and family businesses.

Taco is also very highly ranked in various leading national and international listings. He is recommended in renowned listings such as the Legal500 and Chambers. In fact, he was awarded the highest possible classification in the Legal 500 (‘Tier 1′). His write-up in Chambers included the following: “Clients identify Taco de Lange as a standout notary.”; “’He’s our legal conscience, I wouldn’t do anything without him knowing’, said one.” and: “Notary Taco de Lange has expertise in real estate investment and portfolio transactions, often with an international character”. Chambers Europe 2016 noted: “Taco de Lange has extensive experience as a notary in handling real estate financing, joint venture transactions and infrastructure projects. Sources say: “He knows his stuff. I have a pleasant relationship with him, and he’s good at what he does.”. The Legal 500 wrote: “Taco de Lange demonstrates excellent negotiating skills” and: “technically and commercially strong”.

Taco was also voted as one of the top 500 lawyers in the world by ICFM as well as one of the top lawyers in the world in the real estate field by the Who is Who Legal. An honour only achieved by two other civil-law notaries and six lawyers in the Netherlands.

AKD Lawyers and tax advisors:

AKD is one of the largest law and tax firms in the Benelux. The history of AKD dates back to 1896. With a team of 440 professionals, including 240 committed lawyers, civil-law notaries and tax lawyers, AKD delivers high quality legal services and tax matters in nearly all legal fields, based on a full-service approach. Our client base varies from very large multinational companies to stock-listed Dutch entities, from large corporates to family owned businesses, from financial institutions to municipalities and hospitals.

AKD has offices in main cities in the Benelux, so in The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.  The Lawyer granted AKD NV the award for Benelux Law firm of the year 2016. In 2016 AKD was chosen as the second most popular law firm among law students and as nuber 6 for all types of companies.

Pragmatic approach and no-nonsense culture

AKD has a pragmatic approach to business issues and provides tailored solutions for a variety of client needs by taking current legal, economic and political reality into account. Recognized for its ability to solve complex legal and tax challenges creatively and successfully and driven by the ambition to consistently seek proactive ways to add value to our legal and tax services, AKD prides itself on professional excellence and dedication to its clients. AKD has an open, no-nonsense culture and seeks to create a transparent and inclusive environment.


AKD is a place where people of all backgrounds, races and cultures work together and thrive. In order to meet the needs of the variety of clients we serve from different backgrounds, our legal team consists of people who speak the same language as our clients and are sensitive to cultural differences in outlook or work processes. AKD for example has an Asia desk, a Turkish desk, Israeli dek, a German desk and an US desk.


AKD has an international outlook. To meet the needs of our clients, AKD relies on its network of highly reputable partner law firms in order to form fully integrated, experienced and multidisciplinary teams assisting our clients in doing business around the globe.


Berth Brouwer

Berth Brouwer (bar admittance 1996) is partner and in charge of FORT’s corporate & commercial litigation practice. His focus is on advising on and settling (potential) disputes within and related to public and private companies, joint ventures and limited and general partnerships, such as disputes between shareholders/investors and/or managing directors, or disputes on changing or termination of cooperation between partners.

Berth has conducted several high profile class actions, His practice also handles acquisition disputes, the (de)merger of partnerships, proceedings before the Enterprise Chamber, and D&O liability. Berth is also involved in the settlement of commercial disputes, e.g. related to the supply of products or provision of services. Berth has broad experience in the property sector (including corporations and PPPs), the food industry, financial industry, the clothing industry and the services industry, and other areas.

Berth favours a proactive approach, identifying risks at the earliest possible stage and addressing and reducing them beforehand if possible. Conflicts are solved in consultation and negotiation if possible; if necessary by means of court, arbitration or binding advice proceedings, in which he has no qualms about taking a firm approach. Commercially sound objectives are set beforehand in consultation with the client.

Berth graduated from the VU University of Amsterdam (cum laude) in 1996 and has since worked as a lawyer in the Corporate Law, Corporate Litigation and Corporate Real Estate practice groups of Allen & Overy and Boekel De Nerée. He joined FORT in February 2010.

Berth has experience as a university lecturer (VU University of Amsterdam) and as a lecturer in postgraduate courses for lawyers (Law Firm School, Juridische Academie). He also publishes on a regular basis.

Berth is a member of the Board of Representatives of the Netherlands Bar Association.

Postgraduate course(s):

Specialist course in Corporate and Business Law at Grotius Academy (cum laude)


Corporate Litigation Association and Procedural Law Association


Robert van Galen

Robert van Galen specialises in insolvency law, in particular international insolvency law and international restructurings. He is admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of the Netherlands.

He has been involved in most recent international restructurings and bankruptcies in the Netherlands, such as Kroymans, Schoeller Arca Systems, Amtel-Vredestein, Fokker, Global Telesystems Europe, UPC, KPNQwest, Yukos and Lehman. He is an active and creative litigator, involved in many proceedings in all courts of the Netherlands, including the Supreme Court. Robert is president of the Dutch association of insolvency lawyers, Insolad. He is president of INSOL Europe. Robert is one of the editors of one of the leading Dutch legal magazines (Ondernemingsrecht) and the president of Amsterdam’s oldest lawyers society (the Praktizijnssociëteit). Robert is a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy.

Robert graduated from Amsterdam University in 1984. He joined NautaDutilh in 1985 and became partner in 1994. Robert is chairman of the Restructuring & Insolvency Team.



Meeting the legal challenges of our clients and contributing to the success of their business is our primary purpose. We do this by not only providing top legal advice and excellent services, but by focussing on their specific needs, communicating openly and being approachable.

For our clients, we continuously keep our knowledge of their markets and sectors up-to-date. We are therefore able to oversee new developments and their legal impact rapidly. Our multidisciplinary teams combine sector knowledge with the highest level of legal expertise. Because our portfolio of services is unsurpassed in its breadth and depth, we offer business solutions to every legal challenge. We value the partnerships we have with our clients, some of which have existed for more than 100 years.

We are one of the largest, independent and international law firms in Europe and firmly rooted in the jurisdictions of Belgium, Luxembourg and The Netherlands. Thanks to our close and long-standing relationships with other leading law firms around the globe, we always have the most qualified lawyers at hand.


Insolvency Law Practice:

NautaDutilh has leading teams in the fields of Banking & Finance, Insolvency and Litigation. A combination that has made NautaDutilh unique as an adviser in restructuring and insolvency situations.

NautaDutilh assists large national and international financial institutions and their executive management, board directors, official receivers, private equity companies, as well as investment institutions and various other private and public institutions.

International cases and a specialised network
With home bases in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, we are in a more favourable position than most to do international business. We supervise proceedings for all forms of regulation and all competent judicial bodies. We have done so for decades, working with a select network of the best specialists in independent law firms throughout the world.

Our team of 27 Benelux insolvency specialists is led by Robert van Galen. He is a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy, president of INSOL Europe, chairman of INSOLAD (the Dutch Association of Insolvency Practitioners) and a highly experienced litigator who also represents clients in the Dutch Supreme Court. His team is highly regarded in the profession for the pioneering court cases resulting from the bankruptcy of Yukos and the Dutch branch of Lehman Brothers, and the restructuring of Kroymans and Endemol.


Tobias Cohen Jehoram

Tobias is a leading expert in the field of intellectual property law, and especially trademark, trade dress, design, copyright and database protection. He regularly advises multinationals and foreign counsel on IP issues in the Netherlands, in the EU and on (international) litigation strategies. Next to this Tobias advises and litigates in the field of know how protection, media & entertainment, product claims and advertising. Tobias is also a renowned litigator, appearing before all national courts, as well as OHIM and the EU Court of Justice. Tobias is admitted to the Supreme Court bar.

He has also been involved in most of the landmark IP decisions of the Netherlands Supreme Court in the past five years.

Recent landmark cases include cross border injunctions in case of copyright infringement, cross border injunction in comparative advertising case, harmonised copyright protection for industrial design, copyright protection for smells, trademark protection for sounds and liability of online platforms. Tobias is the primary author of the handbook European Trademark Law and is professor of intellectual property law at Erasmus University in Rotterdam.

De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek:

Our clients, people and drive for quality are the energisers of our firm. They are the basis from which we deliver a powerful corporate practice, a centre of excellence in litigation, and an unparalleled team of regulatory experts.

We are at our best when matters are multidisciplinary in scope, with cross-border ramifications and when reputations are at risk. This is why we encourage our lawyers to combine in-depth legal expertise with the ability to collaborate with other experts across all relevant legal and non-legal disciplines.

We see our clients’ challenges with clarity and in their full legal and commercial context, wherever they operate. We advise them worldwide from our offices in Amsterdam, Brussels, London, New York, Shanghai and Singapore on all matters important to them. Based on our expertise and experience we do this ourselves or together with local counsel if local specialist advice is required.


Willem van Baren

Willem’s practice covers a wide range of corporate and commercial litigation and arbitration, with a particular emphasis on international arbitration in, among others, joint venture, M&A, financial services, investment, projects, energy, oil and gas, marine, aviation and insurance disputes. Willem is a CEDR accredited mediator and also sits as an arbitrator. He is the acting President of the Netherlands Arbitration Institute.

The latest editions of Legal 500 and Chambers rank Willem as a market leading individual for both Arbitration and Commercial Litigation and quote clients as saying that he is “the one to go to when deep or detailed knowledge of the underlying issues is required” and mention him as “a top arbitrator! He is knowledgeable, hardworking; not arrogant but friendly and a pleasure to work with“.

Professional qualifications

  • Exempt european lawyer, England and Wales, 2000
  • Admitted as advocaat, Netherlands, 1988


Allen & Overy:

We’ll do that by staying one step ahead and by constantly challenging ourselves to bring new and original ways of thinking to the most complex legal challenges our clients face.

Over the past year we have worked with some of the world’s most sophisticated businesses on market-leading transactions that have changed their industries. This includes, advising on the largest oil refinery project in Vietnam (Nghi Son) and the joint venture between H.C. Starck and Vietnam’s largest private sector company, Masan Group; the ground-breaking creation of Abu Dhabi’s first Financial Free Zone, the Abu Dhabi Global Market; and representing Novartis in its successful patent battle with MedImmune over Novartis’s blockbuster drug Lucentis – to name just a few achievements.

We are able to build on the foundations of our long heritage to attract the most talented people and develop the high-performance culture necessary to innovate and change the face of business.

Our commitment to help our clients deliver their global strategies has seen us build a truly global network now spanning 46 offices in 32 countries. We have also developed strong ties with relationship law firms in more than 100 countries where we do not have a presence.

This network has allowed us to become one of the largest and most connected law firms in our peer group with a global reach and local depth that is simply unrivalled.

So when we talk about global coverage, we’re not just talking about having offices in some important cities around the world. We mean being able to combine our international resources and sector expertise to work on cross-border transactions directly in the markets and regions important to our clients.

James Bresslaw

James is head of our banking practice in London and has over 25 years experience as a finance lawyer at Simmons & Simmons. He advises on a wide variety of financial transactions including capital markets, loan and securitisation transactions and restructurings of such transactions.

Banking Law Practice:

Our international banking team operates as a global fully-integrated practice acting for banks, government agencies and corporates on some of the most complex and innovative transactions worldwide. Our expertise includes acquisition and bid finance, structured finance, syndicated lending, secured lending, project finance, trade finance, asset finance and workouts and restructurings.

Our team works to ensure that banking transactions proceed quickly and effectively, with the minimum of fuss. Our position as a world class law firm, with a finance practice covering all facets of debt, structured lending and securities issues, enables us to put any transaction into the right context and provide the services which are appropriate to it.

The team has 127 staff, including 37 partners. Our lawyers advise on global banking issues, operating from the following locations: Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Brussels, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Hong Kong and Tokyo.