Head of the Dutch Dispute Resolution practice, qualified Supreme Court litigator with a 'knack for tech' and a specialist in managing complicated disputes, including all claims and insurance matters

With my team I aim to be the best disputes adviser, from the initial piece of advice via the negotiation table to - if need be - to court, all the way up to the Supreme Court. I am Co-Head of Bird & Bird's international Dispute Resolution group and I am Head of our International Insurance group.

My team and I are passionate about providing a tailor-made approach. We don't work with standardised solutions, as every client and every case is unique. It's all about strategic pre-trial advice, negotiation skills and knowledge about which formal and informal buttons to push in legal proceedings. As one of few qualified Supreme Court litigators in the Netherlands, I have the required granular knowledge about the law on civil procedures, cross-border litigation and enforcement. As a Supreme Court litigator I know very well how 'lower' judges work, to which extent they are restricted by formalities and what their methods are on, for example, interpretational issues. This insight helps as from the very first stages of any dispute and litigation advice.

Our cases are often defined by the fact that they require extensive act-finding and insight in the relevant technology. They way in which we work has no boundaries in sectors, but we have a partical knack for Insurance, Tech & Comms, Construction & Infrastructure, Energy, Life Sciences and Industry. Insurance and claims work, whether based on contract or on tort, and whether about an infrastructural project or about a violation of sector-specific regulation, requires ample experience in cases with complex causation and damage assessment issues. I have that type of experience.

Dispute resolution is, more often than not, in fact dispute management - balancing all the issues at stake, at the right time. Teamwork with the client is essential, and it's the part of the work I enjoy most: the clients are the true specialists on the subject matter. I have managed large internal compliance investigations and in other projects requiring legal crisis management skills. As I combine a busy law practice with quite a number of managerial tasks within the firm, including management of a group of 45, I bring people skills and pragmatism to the (board room) table as well.

I am the co-founder and co-head of our Dutch knowledge portal, BirdBuzz (birdbuzz.nl). I enjoy to publish and speak frequently about the latest developments in my fields of expertise.

Alongside my career as a lawyer, I still give concerts and recitals as a professional violinist (to the extent work so permits, of course!) I am convinced that this also boosts a creative and collaborative side which I use in my work as a lawyer.

  • • I am the lead lawyer in a cross-border team representing major construction companies in various legal and technical disputes with commissioning parties and subcontractors in relation to civil construction and infrastructure projects. In these and many other cases, my team focuses on all aspects of liability and insurance.
  • • I am the lead lawyer in major internal investigations for a global player in one of our core sectors. Our work includes advising the client on compliance matters and acting on their behalf in parallel investigations initiated by the relevant European authority.
  • • My team and a team of Bird & Bird London are involved in insurance claims pertaining to earthquakes in the Netherlands as a result of gas winning in the Groningen area, with a maximum potential risk of more than 150 million euros.
  • • I have acted as the lead civil lawyer in numerous private enforcement claims, acting on behalf of both claimants and defendants, with a total value of more than one billion euros, making use of sophisticated collaboration agreements and special purpose foundations.
  • • I have acted as a Supreme Court lawyer for biopharmaceutical company Ablynx in proceedings against Unilever, concerning a number of patents regarding 'Nanobody'-technology, and the demarcation line of the license agreements given to Ablynx and Unilever with regard to the use of this technology. I worked in close cooperation with IP partner Wouter Pors, who represented Ablynx in the proceedings in the first instance and in the subsequent proceedings at the Court of Appeal. The Supreme Court ruled in favour of Ablynx.
Education
  • Law of the Netherlands, University of Tilburg, 2001
  • Classical violin/performing artist: Conservatory of Tilburg, the Netherlands, 2001
Admissions
  • Bar of Rotterdam, The Netherlands in 2001
  • Bar of The Hague, The Netherlands in 2004
  • Unconditionally admitted as member of the Supreme Court Civil Litigator's Bar of the Supreme Court of the Netherlands (having been admitted as from the start of this Bar in 2012, I have passed all exams and tests since. I have acted as a Supreme Court litigator from 2004 onwards).