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‘A hub for the firm’s key sectors’ – Fieldfisher realises Dutch ambitions with five-partner Amsterdam office

Fieldfisher has continued its expansive start to 2017 by opening a five-partner office in Amsterdam. The new office, which will focus on corporate and finance, will open on 1 May.

Marcel Willems will lead the Dutch operation, spearheading a small group of partners who all join from local TMT specialists Kennedy Van der Laan. Willems is joined by Jan Schouten, Marinus de Waal, Frans-Josef Crousen and Louis Bouchez.

Willems, Schouten, Crousen and Bouchez all have over 20 years’ experience in corporate law with de Waal also boasting a strong corporate background as a senior associate.

The Amsterdam opening follows the launch of Fieldfisher’s new four-partner Shanghai office earlier this month, headed by corporate partner Liang Xing. In June 2016, managing partner Michael Chissick highlighted the Netherlands as a potential area for international development.

Chissick said: ‘We’ve been looking at setting up an office in the Netherlands for a while. We’ve had a footprint in the Benelux region for years and it was a natural step to have a Dutch presence as well. We send more work to this jurisdiction than any others where we don’t have an office.

‘Amsterdam in particular, is a hub for the firm’s key sectors including TMT, energy, life sciences and tech.’

Willems added: ‘The Dutch legal market for corporate is really mature. That’s where the current team comes from. But of course you can’t do business anywhere nowadays without having a strong TMT team as well. That’s something we’ll focus on primarily as of now.’ He added that the office is looking to recruit talent swiftly, without ‘cannibalising’ his former firm. ‘We’re looking around and we’re going to find some very fine people.’

Chissick told Legal Business that Fieldfisher is looking to expand further into Europe in 2018, with a view to establishing a new office in Barcelona or Madrid. ‘We want to make sure that Fieldfisher is represented in each of the main capital cities of Europe.’

In a busy beginning to 2017, Fieldfisher also secured a lateral hire in January by appointing Thomas Lenné from Baker & McKenzie to its Brussels office. It also added Luther partner Sven Labudda to the Hamburg office at the start of this month.