Corporate Litigation

Corporate Litigation

Houthoff is a well-established key player in litigation in the Netherlands and has an excellent track record in both national and cross-border dispute resolution.

Our Corporate Litigation team advises managing boards, joint ventures and shareholders on shareholder’s disputes, corporate and director's liability, and corporate governance matters. In addition, Houthoff represents targets, bidders, white knights, investment banks, major shareholders and other participants in takeover situations and other contested corporate matters.

  • “One client says: ‘The team is excellent and the quality of work is outstanding,’ and adds that the lawyers are ‘very technical, objective and clear and deliver high-quality services.’”  
    Chambers Europe, Dispute Resolution (2019 Edition)
  • “Sparring partners who have a lot of trial experience and the ability to assess risks.”
    Chambers Europe, Dispute Resolution (2019 Edition)
  • “The ‘consistently excellent, very responsive’ team at Houthoff is, according to one client, ‘in a class of its own’ and its lawyers are ‘tactically astute, intellectually great, and very commercial in their approach.’”    
    Legal 500, Dispute Resolution: Commercial litigation (2019 Edition)
  • “Houthoff’s ‘exceptional’ group has 'considerable experience in ICC arbitrations’ and stands out for the ‘accuracy and clarity of its legal advice’; it is also a key name for large-scale investment arbitration.” 
    Legal 500, Dispute Resolution: Arbitration (2019 Edition)
  • First Tier firm
    Legal 500, Dispute Resolution: Commercial litigation (2019 Edition)
  • First Tier firm
    Legal 500, Dispute Resolution: Mediation (2019 Edition)
  • Recommended
    Legal 500, Dispute Resolution: Mediation (2019 Edition)
  • First Tier firm
    Chambers Global, Dispute Resolution (2019 Edition)
  • First Tier firm
    Chambers Global & Europe, Dispute Resolution (2018 Edition)
  • "Sources praise the 'excellent lawyers' for being 'a pleasure to work with, resourceful and prompt,' and say: 'They always provide very reliable advice about Dutch law'."
    Chambers Europe, Dispute Resolution (2018 Edition)
  • "Interviewees especially admire the team's meticulous approach to a case: 'The lawyers are very good in dispute resolution, really hard-working, and they go into all details of the case'."
    Chambers Europe, Dispute Resolution (2018 Edition)
  • First Tier firm
    Legal 500, Dispute Resolution: Commercial litigation (2018 Edition)
  • "The ‘very good’ team at Houthoff handles a broad range of contentious matters, including restructuring and corporate litigation."
    Legal 500, Dispute Resolution: Commercial litigation (2018 Edition)
  • "Houthoff has considerable expertise handling national and international mediation procedures." 
    Legal 500, Dispute Resolution: mediation (2018 Edition)
  • First Tier firm
    Legal 500, Dispute Resolution: Mediation (2018 Edition)
  • First Tier firm
    Chambers Global & Europe, Dispute Resolution (2017 Edition)
  • "An excellent law firm, and very thorough. Its lawyers stand out for their profound knowledge, experience and winner's attitude."
    Chambers Europe, Dispute Resolution (2017 Edition)
  • "The team is "very efficient, forward-looking and client-friendly'."
    Chambers Europe, Dispute Resolution (2017 Edition)
  • "The firm is amongst the top five firms in the Netherlands and competes effectively with the international firms that have a presence in the jurisdiction."
    Chambers Europe, Dispute Resolution (2017 Edition)
  • First Tier firm
    Legal 500, Dispute resolution: commercial litigation (2017 Edition)

The Corporate Litigation team is highly experienced in litigating before the Enterprise Chamber (Ondernemingskamer) of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal and regularly acts as counsel in preliminary relief proceedings. The team effectively manages risks and disputes through in-depth knowledge as well as strategic anticipation, and provides solutions both inside and outside the courtroom.

Houthoff is recognised as one of the leading firms handling corporate litigation matters at the Dutch Supreme Court level. We are one of the few firms with a Chambers Global Tier 1 listing for litigation in the Netherlands, and Houthoff has been involved in virtually all high-profile contested takeover and corporate governance matters in recent years.
  • Advised OSX Brasil S.A. and its Dutch subsidiaries. on the restructuring of their consolidated debt of over US$ 2.5 billion, including representing the OSX companies in various litigation matters in the Netherlands as well as coordinating litigation abroad. The team worked also on the debt restructuring of OSX 3, the USD 450 million bond structure and the syndicated debt of USD 850 million.
  • Represented Swiss/Spanish Teka Group in inquiry proceedings before the Enterprise Chamber in Amsterdam. Teka is in dispute with a cluster of minority shareholders. In the action before the Enterprise Chamber of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal, they alleged that Teka has been mismanaged on a number of issues. The court of appeal denied all claims against Teka.
  • Represented Danube Logistics in a significant litigation matter in the Netherlands against several Dutch and Moldovan parties regarding Danube's acquisition of the Giurgiulesti International Free Port in Moldova, including its oil and cargo/container terminals. In this massive international litigation, on behalf of the Danube Logistics group of companies, Houthoff successfully lodged a claim in 2015 before the Amsterdam Court. Opposite parties launched an appeal.
  • Assisting Elliott in inquiry proceedings at the Enterprise Chamber against the paints and chemical group AkzoNobel. Elliott is one of AkzoNobel’s largest shareholders, with an interest in AkzoNobel of more than 5%.
  • V&D was a landmark brand of high street located department stores (63 stores) in the Netherlands and was founded in 1887. Houthoff advised the company in a wide array of matters, including the restructuring of its debt, and representing the company in several high profile litigation matters related to real estate and labour law.
  • Houthoff advised Ballast Nedam on an appeal case against Max Bögl, a former joint venture partner. Ballast Nedam wins court of appeal case against Max Bögl. The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal in cassation, lodged by Max Bögl. For Ballast Nedam this ruling means an elimination of a risk of over 9 million euros, without further financial impact. Ballast Nedam brought action in 2003 against Max Bögl for breach of contract in the tendering stage of three underground stations on the North-South Line.
  • Advised Aurelius, through its investment vehicle Capricorn, in lodging several claims in the Netherlands, relating to, among others, (a) the voidance of several intercompany transactions of the Oi Group which have been to the detriment of the group's creditors and (b) to prevent the ailing Brazilian parent company from borrowing any more money from one its Dutch subsidiaries.
  • Advised Vi Holding, the largest shareholder of aluminum multinational Vimetco N.V. on several proceedings in the Netherlands and the UK relating to a transaction with regard to a significant minority stake in Vimetco. Disputes arose with respect to certain obligations under this transaction, and also a third party initiated proceedings in both the UK and the Netherlands following it.

Publications

Jan Willem de Groot

Key Contact

Amsterdam
Advocaat | Partner
+31 20 605 69 62
+31 6 1851 6628
Gerhard Gispen

Key Contact

Rotterdam
Advocaat | Managing Partner
+31 10 217 21 06
+31 6 5314 0193
Alexander van der Voort Maarschalk

Key Contact

Amsterdam
Advocaat | Partner
+31 20 605 61 12
+31 6 5140 5058