at Boekel De Nerée
in Amsterdam and
driven by unpleasant discussions.
Thirdly, don’t overestimate the
other side’s capability in the
English language, particularly in
The most important thing is not
to be influenced by deal pressure.
Companies in the Netherlands take
a very direct – some international
clients might say rude – approach
to negotiations. This can create
undue pressure and lead the client
into over-paying in a deal.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT THAT A US-INVESTOR INSTRUCT A
FULL-SERVICE DUTCH FIRM LIKE BOEKEL DE NERÉE IN
RELATION TO THEIR NETHERLANDS INVESTMENTS?
You need a firm with international experience and a
firm that is relevant in the local market. We are a
leading Netherlands firm and we can provide clients
with local advice framed from an international business
perspective. Dutch law firms maintain a very strong
position in the market.
ARE THERE ANY INDUSTRY SECTORS WHERE THE BUSINESS
RISKS ARE PARTICULARLY PROMINENT?
I think the technology sector is an area where you have
to be more cautious. It is a very competitive sector,
over 60% of Fortune 500 companies have a Dutch
holding and this is especially obvious in technology.
COMPLIANCE HAS LEAPT UP TO THE TOP OF THE
CORPORATE AGENDA OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF YEARS,
IS THAT TREND EVIDENT IN THE NETHERLANDS?
Compliance is an area that has become increasingly
important in recent years. Regulatory law is a specialism
of ours; it is in our DNA. We act for Dutch regulators so
we have excellent knowledge of the key trends driving
that area. There is a continual battle to retain a balance
between maintaining robust regulatory standards and
over-regulating to the extent that it can endanger the
commercial momentum of your business.
Our regulatory specialists field vast experience
across the full range of compliance issues including
corporate control structures, liability exposure,
legislation compliance and securities regulation. We
regularly assist clients in developing corporate
compliance programmes, corporate protocols
concerning the delegation of authority and corporate
governance policies. We have also established a
Reporting Compliance Programme, which enables us to
identify and address accounting law breaches
concerning group liability, filing requirements and
consolidation requirements. This is a tool that we
provide to numerous foreign and Dutch-listed
companies for the purpose of securing compliance with
recent legislation such as SOX and the Tabaksblat Code.
IF A BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP DOES TURN SOUR, HOW
STRAIGHTFORWARD IS IT FOR AN INTERNATIONAL CLIENT
TO INITIATE LITIGATION IN THE NETHERLANDS?
We have a very large litigation team with strong
experience in alternative dispute resolution practices;
Boekel handles global arbitration cases on a regular
basis. We exclusively act for corporates and Boekel has
a particularly strong defence practice. Our contentious
coverage is broad and comprises commercial litigation
and antitrust and is always provided with strong
TO WHAT EXTENT DO THE BENEFITS OF CONDUCTING
BUSINESS IN THE NETHERLANDS FAR OUTWEIGH THE RISKS?
There is no doubt that US clients view the Netherlands
as one of the most attractive jurisdictions for their
investments; indeed 60% of Fortune 500 companies
have a Dutch holding so it clearly is a primary market.
Many clients see the Netherlands as an entry point into
the continent and while there are distinct differences in
business culture, I think that the Netherlands’ success in
attracting US foreign direct investment illustrates that
American companies recognise that strong similarities
exist too; the US and the Netherlands share historically
close relationship after all.
It is also important to note that the Netherlands is
the third largest investor into the US and it remains a
very easy country to invest in. Indeed, its success at
attracting FDI and establishing strong geopolitical
relationships ensures that it is regularly included in the
G20 summits, despite its geographic size. ■
Ferdinand Mason, head of Boekel’s M&A/
Capital Markets Team
T + 44 207 337 25 07
M + 44 778 983 85 78
Boekel De Nerée
Gustav Mahlerplein 2
1082 MA Amsterdam
PO Box 75510
1070 AM Amsterdam
T + 31 20 795 31 93
F + 31 20 795 39 00
36-38 Cornhill, 6th Floor
London EC3V 3ND