We have a particular specialism in Anglo-Dutch work and operate a desk dedicated to Dutch businesses in the UK.

Birketts has a long history of working together with Dutch law firms and on Dutch transactions (and multi-jurisdictional transactions with a Dutch element) and has long standing relationships with a number of Dutch institutions such as the Netherlands British Chamber of Commerce, the British and Dutch embassies and UKTI, as well as NFIA and EVD.

Our Anglo-Dutch desk is headed by Alex Schaafsma, who worked in the Netherlands for over six years and who has over 15 years’ experience in advising on international legal matters. Recent matters that Birketts have advised on include:

  • advising a US company on the acquisition of a Dutch company
  • advising a UK company in relation to creating security over assets based in the Netherlands
  • acting together with a Dutch law firm on a $5m dispute under a hull insurance policy which was subject to Dutch jurisdiction but English law
  • advising a Dutch company which had insolvency claims worth $2m against a Singaporean company which was in administration
  • advising a large UK importer of flowers in relation to their property arrangements in the UK and the Netherlands
  • advising on employment rights and contracts for both companies and individuals who are putting in place employment contracts cross border
  • advising various UK and Dutch companies on the acquisition of businesses in the Netherlands and the UK respectively.

Although our lawyers are not qualified to practice Dutch law itself, we have close links with a number of Dutch law firms, and can assist in finding the appropriate legal advice for English companies and individuals who are looking for advice as to matters of Dutch law. And through these connections we are perfectly placed to work on cross border transactions involving businesses with interests in both the Netherlands and the UK.

Our close proximity to the Netherlands, with regular daily flights from Norwich International Airport to Amsterdam Schiphol, London Eurostar, London Stansted, Harwich International and other ports means we are well placed to serve our Dutch clients. And our relationships with Dutch contacts and experience of team members of working in the Netherlands mean that we have a very good grasp of the culture and cultural differences of doing business in the Netherlands. It is this sort of insight that can make the difference in doing business in the Netherlands – making a transaction smoothly and efficiently.

Members of our Shipping team are also regular visitors to the Netherlands sharing strong connections with both charterers and insurers and also have a wide range of clients and connections in the Netherlands who, through the port of Rotterdam (amongst other things), act in the global arena.


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