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Clifford Chance

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  • Image of Netherlands

Netherlands

We established our office in Amsterdam in 1972. Today, our clients in the Dutch market come to us for complex work and innovative solutions, often in an international context.

We help clients navigate the technical and commercial aspects of large financings, M&A and private equity work, capital market and funds transactions, regulatory, risk and compliance issues, and litigation. Our full-service offering includes tax, employment, intellectual property, notarial and EU competition.

Everything we do is focused on helping our clients achieve their business goals and advising them how to manage the risks that are part of doing business. Recent client comments include:

“Clifford Chance always offers the help that is needed and thrives on cross border work,” says an in-house counsel working in the manufacturing sector. “The depth of experience and global nature of this outfit is impressive.”  IFLR 1000, 2017

Another point of focus is the strong commitment to our local community through our corporate responsibility and pro bono work. Our lawyers are encouraged to spend at least 50 hours per year on corporate responsibility projects, for instance by providing advice to young entrepreneurs and charities free of charge. We are passionate supporters of great initiatives such as TEDxAmsterdam, Holland Festival Young, Toneelgroep Amsterdam, SAIL, the Stedelijk Museum, De Regenboog Groep and many more.

Top-tier clients and a focus on cross-border work

We are a leading firm in the Dutch market with a track record of over 40 years and a can-do attitude. But what makes us stand out is that we are as well known for our domestic work as we are for our complex international transactions and the reach and resources of our international network.

We have a well-established sector focus and our team of over 130 lawyers and 24 partners includes specialists who advise on Dutch, UK and international law. Clifford Chance is considered to be one of the best firms in the Netherlands by clients and peers alike.

Working on front-page private equity and M&A deals

Our clients include Shell, KLM, Staples, DSM, PGGM, ABN AMRO, CVC and KKR and we are considered a Tier One firm for transactional work. Several of our partners have been nominated for Best M&A Lawyer in the Netherlands over the last few years.

Recent examples of our Amsterdam-led international work include advising Staples on the sale of a controlling interest in Staples’ European operations to a Cerberus affiliate; ABN AMRO on landmark first ever Formosa Tier 2 bond following rule change and Refresco Group’s three largest shareholders in the second post-IPO sell-down.

Extensive banking, finance and capital markets experience

Banks, financial institutions, corporates and private equity houses such as ABN AMRO, ING, Rabobank, Citi, BNP Paribas, LeasePlan, PON, CVC, Montagu and Gilde rely on our technical excellence, extensive experience, pragmatic advice and client-focused approach. Among other areas, our finance and capital markets group covers: secured lending, restructurings, asset finance, commodities finance, acquisition finance and project finance. Together with our clients we are at the forefront of thought-leading initiatives in, for example, alternative sources of financing and private placements.

The leading directories widely recognise our quality by ranking us Tier One.

Addressing the challenges and conflicts that clients face

The carefully tuned Dispute Resolution team handles an extensive range of corporate, commercial and financial disputes, including securities litigation for Bank of America Merrill Lynch (the Fortis case) and acting for investors in proceedings relating to the bankruptcy of Yukos Oil.

Our close-knit cross-practice Financial Regulatory and Compliance group guides both financial and corporate clients through the maze of legislative and regulatory changes they face. The Dutch State and regulatory authorities, including the Dutch Central Bank, come to us for our competence and skills. 

An innovative leader in the Dutch funds market

We have built a strong Funds group integrated with our TPE (Tax, Pensions and Employment) specialists to help clients get fast, effective answers to complex multi-jurisdictional questions. Working for leading organisations such as PGGM and AlpInvest, the group has earned a reputation for innovative work and market firsts, including the development of new pension vehicles.

Recent highlights

Awards and milestones

  • Nominated for Best ECM Lawyer at the Dutch M&A Awards 2016
  • Nominated for Best Banking & Finance Lawyer at the Dutch M&A Awards 2016
  • Nominated for Best Dutch M&A Law Firm at the Dutch M&A Awards 2016
  • Overall Deal of the Year for the Gemini offshore wind farm project at the IJ Global Awards 2015
  • Power Deal of the Year for the Gemini offshore wind farm project at the PFI Awards 2015

Recent assignments

Work handled in 2016 includes advising:

  • Staples on the sale of a controlling interest in Staples’ European operations to a Cerberus affiliate
  • ABN AMRO on landmark first ever Formosa Tier 2 bond following rule change
  • Refresco Gerber’s three largest shareholders in second post-IPO sell-down through an accelerated bookbuilding process
  • a consortium of Korean and French investors on acquisition of 'De Rotterdam' (largest single asset real estate transaction of recent times in the Netherlands)
  • Eneco and Mitsubishi Corporation as sponsors on the project financing of the 129 MW offshore wind project Luchterduinen
  • NLFI as selling shareholder in the IPO and listing on Euronext Amsterdam of ordinary shares in the capital of ASR
  • Banks (ABN AMRO, Deutsche Hypothekenbank and ING) in the refinancing of the Amvest Residential Core Fund
  • Rabobank on strategic partnership with Kepler Cheuvreux
  • FMO Investment Management B.V., FMO and Privium Fund Management B.V. on establishing FMO Privium Impact Fund

Directory listings and client comments

Chambers Europe: The Netherlands 2016

  • Tier One in Banking & Finance
  • Tier One in Capital Markets - Debt
  • Tier One in Private Equity
  • Tier One in Investment Funds
  • Tier Two in Transportation - Aviation
  • Tier Two in Corporate/M&A
  • Tier Two in Tax
  • Tier Two in Restructuring & Insolvency

IFLR 1000: The Netherlands 2017

  • Tier One in Banking
  • Tier One in Capital Markets – Debt
  • Tier One in Project Finance
  • Tier Two in Capital Markets – Equity
  • Tier Two in Capital Markets – Structured Finance
  • Tier Two in M&A
  • Tier Two in Restructuring & Insolvency

Legal 500 EMEA: The Netherlands 2016

  • Tier One in Banking & Finance
  • Tier One in Capital Markets
  • Tier One in Private Equity
  • Tier One in Asset Finance & Structured Finance
  • Tier One in Project Finance & PFI
  • Tier Two in Corporate/M&A
  • Tier Two in Energy
  • Tier Two in Restructuring & Insolvency

Client comments

  • "Clifford Chance is one of the strongest practices in the Netherlands, especially for banking and finance work."
    IFLR 1000: 2017
  • "Clifford Chance always offers the help that is needed and thrives on cross border work,” says an in-house counsel working in the manufacturing sector. “The depth of experience and global nature of this outfit is impressive.
    IFLR 1000: 2017
  • "They are very professional and always ready to work with tight timetables and at short notice on transactions."
    IFLR 1000: 2017
  • "A big team with lots of market coverage. It has a strong track record and has always been a leader in this market. It has clearly built up a very strong practice and covers the market very well."
    Chambers Europe: The Netherlands 2016 – Banking & Finance
  • "Highly regarded practice with a strong offering in debt, equity, securitisation and derivatives. The lawyers are very knowledgeable and very keen on getting the facts straight, letting us know exactly what's going on in the market. They're very up to date on legal developments too."
    Chambers Europe: The Netherlands 2016 – Capital Markets
  • "They are unbelievably dedicated. In restructuring you need to be there 24/7 and this firm does that for you."
    Chambers Europe: The Netherlands 2016 – Restructuring & Insolvency
  • "We have used Clifford Chance before and I think that it is one of the strongest, if not the best law firm. It's lawyers are good in negotiations and very responsive."
    Chambers Europe: The Netherlands 2016 – Corporate/M&A
  • "The firm did a phenomenal job in getting our deal across the line - the lawyers really persevered. It's a really good team."
    Chambers Europe: The Netherlands 2016 – Private Equity
  • "The team displays a good depth of understanding. It doesn't just understand the rules, it gets the market and our business too. It's also pragmatic and commercial."
    Chambers Europe: The Netherlands 2016 – Employment
  • "The firm is very good at covering all the issues and topics, and very good at responding. The advice is very practical, it's good at offering solutions, not just a broad range of options."
    Chambers Europe: The Netherlands 2016 – Tax