Benelux: Netherlands

Overall, practitioners in the Netherlands seem excited about the opportunities presented by the transposition of the EU Trademarks Directive (2015/2436) into national law. The removal of the graphical representation requirement has opened doors for registering new, non-traditional marks – a prospect that is whetting the appetite of Dutch IP owners – while the ability to request the revocation of a trademark at the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property, as opposed to going through a court proceeding, should also prove a time-saving and cost-effective change. More generally, an increasing number of boutique outfits in the region are posing a greater challenge to some of the market’s bigger, full-service players – which is emphasised by the number of new firms entering the guide this year.

Firms

  • Brinkhof
  • De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek
  • HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER
  • Bird & Bird LLP
  • DLA Piper
  • Hofhuis Alkema Groen
  • Hoogenraad & Haak, Advertising + IP Advocaten
  • Leeway Advocaten
  • NautaDutilh
  • Simmons & Simmons LLP
  • AKD 
  • BarentsKrans
  • BINGH Advocaten
  • Boekx
  • Eversheds Sutherland (Netherlands) BV
  • Hogan Lovells
  • Kennedy Van der Laan
  • KLOS cs Attorneys at Law
  • Lawnch
  • Nysingh advocaten-notarissen NV
  • Ploum
  • Taylor Wessing
  • Van Kaam Advocaten
  • Visser Schaap & Kreijger
  • Vondst Advocaten NV

AKD 

Its sharpshooting litigators are putting AKD on the map, with the vehement Huib Berendschot, Peter Claassen and Roderick Chalmers Hoynck van Papendrecht proving themselves a force to be reckoned with. An IP veteran in the firm’s ranks, Berendschot leads the charge against counterfeiters and plays a strong hand in brand management. Retail and consumer products specialist Claassen is another seasoned professional and the archetype of the model litigator; drawing on his in-house experience, he is attuned to what businesses want when it comes to protecting their IP rights. Completing the tenacious triumvirate is academic and trade name law PhD student Chalmers Hoynck van Papendrecht. Easy to work with, he is measured in his approach and an excellent orator.

BarentsKrans

“BarentsKrans offers an excellent service, boasts impressive clients and is one of the top independent firms in the Netherlands with a resolute litigation capability.” With a strong industry focus, the growing team is in full flow and rightly enters the WTR 1000 ranking this year. At the helm is “first-class litigator Jaap Bremer, who is an excellent strategist and tactically astute, and never loses sight of the wider commercial picture”. Also deserving of the limelight is his right hand, Jos Klaus – “an IP lawyer in optima forma who stops at nothing to win”.  The defining moment of the group’s season came when the pair secured a landmark victory in the Netherlands against the infamous Michael Gleissner for telecoms and IT provider KPN.

BINGH Advocaten

Contentious game-changer BINGH Advocaten is most at home in high-profile, legislation-defining litigation. The firm maintains strong relations with all manner of clients, representing several cultural institutions and retail brands, in addition to its stronghold in the fashion industry. Bringing the heat in the courtroom is co-founder Lars Bakers – “a collegiate practitioner, who is always willing to open a dialogue with opponents but is not afraid to do what is necessary when the tough gets going”. Not only did he secure a full victory for coffee shop Bulldog in a mammoth trial against Red Bull before the Hague Court of Appeal, he is also the commercial brain behind SPAR International’s world-wide licensing policy and strategy.

Bird & Bird LLP

Contentious leader and innovation pioneer Bird & Bird combines the IP focus of a boutique with the backing of a full-service international powerhouse to deliver an A-to-Z of IP offerings. In line with the firm’s global capacities, Armand Killan is a go-to for international disputes. An essential partner to his clients, Killan also carries the fight against counterfeiters, having recently defended coating company PPG in its anti-counterfeiting endeavours. Not resting on its laurels, Bird & Bird has bolstered its prosecution practice substantially, led in no small part by Manon Rieger-Jansen. Heading up the firm’s Dutch retail and consumer Group, Rieger-Jansen is a quick-thinking global strategist whose astuteness has been epitomised through her recent work coordinating brand management services for Kraft Heinz Group across all the firm’s offices. Handling things at the top, electronics and life sciences sage Wouter Pors is heavily involved in lobbying for changes in trademark law and recently brought to a close a hefty battle against Red Bull, winning on behalf of Asolo in the EU General Court.

Boekx

The quality of the Boekx team is reflected in the broad range of A-list clients that it represents. From leading fashion and automotive brands to key names in the sports and agriculture industries, dynamic duo Hidde Koenraad and Diederik Stols know how to get the job done when it comes to their clients. Koenraad carves a niche for himself in plant breeders’ rights and manages the global trademark portfolio for Dümmen Orange Group, a market leader in vegetative breeding. “The solution-driven Hidde is responsive, straightforward and transparent about his clients’ positions and the viability of various options.” Meanwhile, Stols is a “well-connected IP practitioner and highly competent problem solver” who appreciates that litigation is not the only solution.

Brinkhof

“Brinkhof is an IP-heavy law firm, which represents international gold star clients and maintains market-leading IP litigation expertise.” The group’s ongoing representation of clients such as Nestlé and RatPac Entertainment in high-profile litigation cases is testament to this. Taking the reins in matters involving fashion icon adidas is Gregor Vos – “a legend in the trademark field” who “deserves all the accolades he receives”. “An excellent courtroom performer, Vos is a charismatic, strategic thinker who has a clear analytical mind and knows exactly which points to push.” Another stalwart of the profession comes in the shape of Kurt Stöpetie. “The combination of his ‘no stone left unturned’ approach and his crystal-clear vision on the business side of things sets him apart. He ably differentiates between which strategies are worth pursuing and which are devoid of practical use.” Accompanying both of them is “hands-on adviser, firm negotiator and sharp litigator” Rutger Stoop – a new entry to the WTR 1000 this year.

De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek

For multinationals seeking contentious expertise, there are few better than De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek’s iconic Tobias Cohen Jehoram and Koen Limperg. The leading Supreme Court litigator, Cohen Jehoram is “one of the smartest around and a real force in the trademark field”. “An absolute authority on IP law, he continues to handle a serious amount of cases and is an accessible, approachable and effective communicator.” Teammate Limperg is equally nimble and adept at keeping a cool head in heated disputes to find the best solutions for his clients.

DLA Piper

International heavyweight DLA Piper dominates in cross-border disputes and has expanded its illustrious client base with several new additions this year. The firm has a strong sector focus, particularly in food and beverages and consumer goods, having recently – under the guidance of soft IP leader Niels Mulder – assisted with the global trademark portfolio of prominent fast-food chain Five Guys. “One of the best strategists that a client can wish for, Mulder is a proactive and practical thinker who gives everything to ensure that his clients have the best possible outcomes.” Alongside him, legal director and rousing litigator Alexander Tsoutsanis is a smooth-talking, confident practitioner who knows how to get results. Working in tandem, the pair have been coordinating the EU-wide protection and enforcement of IP rights for Conair Corporation, BaByliss SARL and BaByliss Faco.

Eversheds Sutherland (Netherlands) BV

Global superstar Eversheds has made a concerted effort to bolster its IP offering in the Netherlands this year. The acquisition of leading strike force Benjamin van Kessel, Thera Adam van Straaten and Olaf van Haperen is sure to elevate the outfit to the next level. Top of the pyramid, van Kessel is an experienced head and “out-of-the-box thinker, who offers creative solutions in complex cases and really listens to his clients’ concerns. Not with template responses, he advises in a proactive manner that is easy for clients to understand”. Thorough litigator Adam van Straaten is key counsel to Sandoz and a determined practitioner who will not stop until she has a watertight solution for her clients. “Pragmatic and to the point, she is a down-to-earth lawyer who fully understands the business aims and objectives of her clients.”

Hofhuis Alkema Groen

Hofhuis Alkema Groen is a rising star in the Dutch trademark scene. The three leading partners “are very professional and provide an excellent quality of work for huge clients” while the “smaller firm enables a more personal approach”. Famous for protecting Louboutin’s red sole trademark, Jesse Hofhuis is “thorough and aggressive where necessary. He is a likeable character and does impressive IP work. He is the biggest talent in the Dutch IP scene right now”. Meanwhile, fellow co-founder and personable litigator Adonna Alkema is “a strong yet approachable opponent, who is extremely detailed in her work and provides quality advice”. Completing the trio is Arnout Groen – a copyright sage who makes himself known in high-stake contentious matters.

Hogan Lovells

Representing renowned global game-changers, Hogan Lovells is an international player with a fully integrated IP service, which ensures its quality of offerings is consistently high, irrespective of geographical location. From assisting Nintendo in its fight against new generation circumvention device infringers to battling oppositions for Deutsche Telekom, the team maintains a healthy groove. With a change in the guard scheduled for later in the year, the Dutch wing is entering a transitional period that will see trademark royalty Marc Wallheimer taking a more backseat role, as marquee signing and agile litigator Samantha Brinkhuis steps into the ring. Given Brinkhuis’ years of cross-sector experience, the future of the Hogan Lovells trademark team in the Netherlands is in more than capable hands.

Hoogenraad & Haak, Advertising + IP Advocaten

Leading the way in the field of advertising, Hoogenraad & Haak is “definitely a top player and a go-to for any trademark case”. “This team has a proven record of delivering top-notch work, often outperforming the bigger international players who are unable to offer the same level of quality, service and cost efficiency.”  Fashion, food and retail aficionado and head of the IP practice Maarten Haak is “a practical and strategic practitioner who gets to the heart of matters to finds creative solutions for clients”. Often lining up beside him, with years of contentious and anti-counterfeiting experience, Moïra Truijens is a “master tactician, perfect case manager and excellent team player”. Comparative advertising whizz Daniël Haije is also an “established attorney in his field”. “When it comes to trademarks in the context of advertising, he is broadly recognised as one of the very few true thought leaders.”

HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER

Representing a host of key names in the food and beverage industry, as well as leading fashion and luxury brands, HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER is a cross-border litigation forerunner. Luminary Willem Hoyng is “adept at compressing very complicated issues into comprehensible language” and an unrivalled force in the Dutch trademark sphere. In a male-dominated arena, “Laura Fresco is a visible practitioner who is not afraid to take center stage and make herself heard. A name to have on speed dial for customs work and more complex litigation, Fresco is a very skilled, responsive and a brilliant young lawyer”. Teaming up with her to handle soft IP matters for Phillips, head of department Joris van Manen is a pioneer of groundbreaking copyright work, “has perfect knowledge of Dutch law and is always easy and efficient to cooperate with”. Anti-piracy guru Frank Eijsvogels also works alongside Fresco in litigation matters for US food chain Wendy’s.

Kennedy Van der Laan

An exciting new entry into the WTR 1000 this year comes in the form of the innovative Kennedy Van der Laan. Renowned for its expertise in the media, technology and fashion industries, and boasting fresh clients, a slick new prosecution service and crucial case victories, this team is one to watch. Its pioneering Customised Alliance partnership creates a network of independent local firms that provides an integrated cross-border legal service, evidencing the group’s forward thinking and collaborative nature. At the heart of the partnership is brand protection and anti-counterfeiting wizard Maarten Schut, who gains plaudits for “his pragmatic advice and business-oriented approach”. Fellow co-head Alfred Meijboom seamlessly traverses the non-contentious/contentious divide and is an overall excellent IP practitioner.

KLOS cs Attorneys at Law

The professionals at KLOS cs are trademark law enthusiasts and truly passionate about what they do. “On the ground, these intellectual practitioners get stuck into the nitty gritty of the law and revel in finding the best solutions for their clients.” These straightforward, direct and easy-to-work-with litigators are led imperiously by “senior statesman” Sven Klos, who distinguishes himself in the sports industry and boasts an encyclopaedic knowledge of trademark legislation. Teammate Josine van den Berg is “a down-to-earth practitioner who is a real talent and has definitely been stepping up her game. Ever-present and relevant in the IP world, she is smart, intelligent and above all modest”.

Lawnch

Commercial law expert Lawnch is a fresh face in the Dutch IP arena. Known for its fashion, design and food expertise, the firm has two offices in Eindhoven, making it well placed between the region’s technological and cultural hubs. Running the IP show, dispute resolution maestro Gino van Roeyen does things differently. Keeping the practice small, he offers a truly personal service and ensures that clients are fully involved in the process. His strong presence and creative storytelling offer an unrivalled experience in cross-border disputes.

Leeway Advocaten

The outstanding lawyers at Leeway Advocaten offer a complete trademark service that is focused on building long-term client relationships. “Leeway’s level of service is tremendous. The team is always responsive, professional, conscientious and fully committed to tailoring its advice to its clients’ needs. Leeway is one of the top IP boutiques in the region.” Donning the captain’s armband, retail specialist Michiel Odink “combines big law firm expertise with a boutique approach and is a sharp and solution-driven adviser who is always willing to provide clear-cut business answers”. Equally proficient in retail and consumer goods, Remco van Leeuwen is an “experienced trademark connoisseur who possesses a sharp business mind, which results in big-picture and insightful, strategic advice”. “There is so much good that I can tell you about Marga Verwoert,” enthuses one satisfied client. “She is my favourite litigator and IP expert in the Netherlands because of her never-quit mentality. Providing high-quality, excellent work and good service, she is a first choice for game-changing proceedings in the Benelux.”

NautaDutilh

With one of the biggest Benelux IP teams around, NautaDutilh’s experienced Dutch wing provides a full-service offering with an impressive line-up of top-drawer practitioners at its disposal. Heading up the practice, Anne Marie Verschuur is “extremely knowledgeable and an academic litigator who is always tough to be against. With a thorough approach, Verschuur goes through matters with a fine-tooth comb to find the best solutions for clients”. Fleur Folmer is the brains behind much of the firm’s transactional work and knows how to get the best value out of her clients’ IP rights. Folmer handles licensing, pledging and advisory in all areas of corporate transactions with distinction. Charles Gielen and Richard van Oerle are hugely respected doyens of the Dutch IP market. Luminary and part-time professor Gielen is a trusted adviser and a go-to litigator, while van Oerle’s knowledge of domain names is second to none. “He is still very sharp and has a photographic memory of trademark cases.”

Nysingh advocaten-notarissen NV

The growing team at Nysingh flexes its muscles in cross-border work, while membership of the international TAGLaw network makes it a go-to side for multinationals. Boasting a strong sector focus, Nysingh comes to the fore in the design, fashion and innovation spheres. At the wheel, Tjibbe Fokkens is “a highly skilled trademark litigator with an exemplary grasp of the core issues in any dispute. A great IP lawyer and person, he knows how to quickly translate his thoughts into practical solutions”. Focused on the commercial aims and objectives of his clients, few have come across a better practitioner.

Ploum

Rotterdam-based giant Ploum continues to go from strength to strength, with the introduction of a new customs and trade team to bolster its anti-counterfeiting practice serving as testament to this. The group is “proactive and responsive, and provides business-oriented advice”. Department head and European law specialist Willem Leppink is “a dedicated lawyer who is an excellent negotiator and strategic thinker. Not just pushing forward his own agenda, he looks at the wider picture and will convince clients to settle if need be”. “An excellent IP lawyer with a strategic approach,” Sabin Tigu shines both in the legal courts and on the tennis court. A rising star in the firm’s ranks, Tigu is a grand slam player in EU enforcement and a pioneer in the Rotterdam start-up scene. The prosecution practice has also expanded, with Jaspriena Hünteler-Van Bemmel – whose recent work includes trademark portfolio management for Nomad and Western Digital – running the show.

Simmons & Simmons LLP

International powerhouse Simmons & Simmons has reinforced its steadfast position in the Amsterdam market with two members joining the IP team and a host of new top-drawer clients. A coup for the firm was its acquisition and representation of Spirits Group in a high-stakes, politically charged landmark case against FKP regarding the ownership of the Stolichnaya brands. Instrumental in this matter was talismanic leader and recently promoted partner Paul Tjiam. “Relied on for his accurate estimations, decision making and straightforward advice, he consistently demonstrates outstanding knowledge of the trademark world and an incredible eagerness to provide tailored and relevant services. At the peak of his powers, Paul is without a doubt an incredible talent in his field.”

Taylor Wessing

Representing clients in a plethora of industries gives full-service Taylor Wessing a unique dexterity in the Dutch market. Increasing the number of trademarks that it manages year on year, the “professionals there are fast, creative and skilled, and deliver high-quality advice”. Working closely with a new office in Belgium ensures a cutting-edge Benelux offering. Instrumental to the firm’s growth is seasoned trademark practitioner Maarten Rijks, who “always responds quickly and provides insightful and practical advice”. “Possessing strong analytical skills, he gets to grip with the intricacies of legal matters. Rijks and his team have a way of drafting complex legal information in a simple manner that is easily accessible to clients.”

Van Kaam Advocaten

The litigation tigers at Van Kaam Advocaten have earned their stripes in high-stakes contentious matters. The firm’s successful representation of the Dutch Filmers Academy against the Netherlands Film Academy was a landmark victory that ensured the client’s efforts in building its image had not been in vain. Key to this win was Remco Kloters. Hard on the case, but soft on the person, Kloters is “a street fighter in a gentleman’s suit”. Keeping a cool head in heated situations, he has the strategic nous of a chess player and can manage the expectations of multiple stakeholders in IP transactions. “He is a versatile attorney, a great tactician and excellent litigator” lauds one interviewee. Founder Bertil Hajm van Kaam is a big name in the entertainment industry. With over 25 years’ experience, he reiterated his ability to coordinate international matters recently when handling a series of collective global agreements for the Dutch Association of Cinemas and Movie Theatres.

Visser Schaap & Kreijger

The growing team at Visser Schaap & Kreijger is known for its prowess in copyright and design matters, as well as contentious issues. Led by the tag team of Dirk Visser and Jacqueline Schaap, the pair “are extremely competent practitioners who have an enviable client roster and stand out in the cases where the chips are down”. Copyright doyen Visser is “a leading light and a prominent professor of law. He is a driving force in both practice and academia”. Helping to run the show, Schaap is a media sector guru who plays a prominent role in educating rights holders through workshops and seminars.

Vondst Advocaten NV

With a razor-sharp focus on litigation, Vondst Advocaten has had a series of significant client wins this year. Keeping its finger on the pulse, the firm has strengthened its offering in the fields of online marketing and data protection, creating an added dimension to its practice. Plant variety rights expert and “measured IP litigator” Tjeerd Overdijk “is a true professional who can quickly solve any problem asked of him”. Meanwhile, colleague Herwin Roerdink “is an excellent business lawyer. Clients love his hands-on nature, vast IP knowledge and technical insights”. Having recently assisted the University of Amsterdam in a rare case concerning merchandised products, Roerdink successfully argued that the AMSTERDAM UNIVERSITY trademark was valid before the Court of Appeal.

Other recommended experts

“A nimble and audacious practitioner,” Timme Geerlof, partner at Windt Le Grand Leeuwenburg, “is a prominent figure in international IP disputes”. Heading up the Dutch IP practice at Allen & Overy, seasoned litigator Frits Gerritzen gains plaudits for “the quality of his work and his hardworking nature, which ensures that he goes above and beyond the call of duty for his clients”. A go-to name in the automotive and retail sectors, Leonie Kroon of Dillinger Law is “a very bright, talented lawyer with a problem-solving attitude”. “An absolute expert when it comes to trademark enforcement and online infringements,” Carja Mastenbroek’s “case knowledge, outside--the-box approach and pragmatism set her apart. She is a solid lawyer who practises nothing but the best customer service methods” and can be found plying her trade at Good Law BV. Dentons welcomed Alexander Odle into the fold in September 2019; the former Nineyards Law professional brings outstanding media, advertising and cross-border enforcement expertise with him. Clairfort Advocaten’s founding partner Evert van Gelderen “is an innovative, hands-on and experienced litigator who has a magnetic personality and is pro-active in finding the best solutions”. Co-founder of the media and technology sector team at Van Doorne, Kriek Wille is “an excellent IP lawyer, who never loses sight of her clients’ overall aims and objectives”.

Individuals

  • Tobias Cohen Jehoram - De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek
  • Jesse Hofhuis - Hofhuis Alkema Groen
  • Sven Klos - KLOS cs Attorneys at Law 
  • Willem Leppink - Ploum 
  • Kurt Stöpetie - Brinkhof
  • Remco van Leeuwen - Leeway Advocaten
  • Joris van Manen - HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER
  • Gregor Vos - Brinkhof
  • Adonna Alkema - Hofhuis Alkema Groen
  • Huib Berendschot - AKD
  • Jaap Bremer - BarentsKrans
  • Tjibbe Fokkens - Nysingh advocaten-notarissen NV
  • Laura Fresco - HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER
  • Arnout Groen - Hofhuis Alkema Groen
  • Maarten Haak - Hoogenraad & Haak, Advertising + IP Advocaten
  • Remco Kloters - Van Kaam Advocaten
  • Hidde J Koenraad - Boekx
  • Niels Mulder - DLA Piper
  • Michiel Odink - Leeway Advocaten
  • Manon Rieger-Jansen - Bird & Bird LLP
  • Maarten Rijks - Taylor Wessing
  • Paul Tjiam - Simmons & Simmons LLP
  • Moïra Truijens - Hoogenraad & Haak, Advertising + IP Advocaten
  • Josine van den Berg - KLOS cs Attorneys at Law
  • Evert van Gelderen - Clairfort Advocaten BV 
  • Benjamin van Kessel - Eversheds Sutherland (Netherlands) BV
  • Anne Marie Verschuur - NautaDutilh
  • Marga Verwoert - Leeway Advocaten
  • Dirk JG Visser - Visser Schaap & Kreijger
  • Thera Yvonne Adam - Eversheds Sutherland (Netherlands) BV
  • Lars Bakers - BINGH Advocaten
  • Roderick Chalmers Hoynck van Papendrecht - AKD
  • Peter Claassen - AKD
  • Fleur C Folmer - NautaDutilh
  • Timme Geerlof - Windt Le Grand Leeuwenburgh 
  • Frits Gerritzen - Allen & Overy LLP
  • Daniël Haije - Hoogenraad & Haak, Advertising + IP Advocaten
  • Armand Killan - Bird & Bird LLP
  • Leonie Kroon - Dillinger Law
  • Alfred P Meijboom - Kennedy Van der Laan
  • Alexander RT Odle - Dentons Boekel
  • Tjeerd Overdijk - Vondst Advocaten NV
  • Wouter E Pors - Bird & Bird LLP
  • Herwin Roerdink - Vondst Advocaten NV
  • Jacqueline A Schaap - Visser Schaap & Kreijger
  • Maarten Schut - Kennedy Van der Laan
  • Diederik Stols - Boekx
  • Rutger Stoop - Brinkhof
  • Sabin Tigu - Ploum
  • Alexander Tsoutsanis - DLA Piper
  • Jaspriena H Van Bemmel - Ploum
  • Bertil Hajm Van Kaam - Van Kaam Advocaten
  • Richard van Oerle - NautaDutilh
  • Gino Van Roeyen - Lawnch
  • Marc Wallheimer - Hogan Lovells
  • Kriek Wille - Van Doorne

Individuals: anti-counterfeiting

  • Huib Berendschot - AKD
  • Frank Eijsvogels - HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER
  • Armand Killan - Bird & Bird LLP
  • Leonie Kroon - Dillinger Law
  • Willem Leppink - Ploum 
  • Carja Mastenbroek - Good Law BV
  • Niels Mulder - DLA Piper
  • Manon Rieger-Jansen - Bird & Bird LLP
  • Moïra Truijens - Hoogenraad & Haak, Advertising + IP Advocaten
  • Benjamin van Kessel - Eversheds Sutherland (Netherlands) BV
  • Joris van Manen - HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER

Luminaries

  • Charles Gielen - NautaDutilh
  • Willem A Hoyng - HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER
  • Koen Limperg - De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek