Employment Pensions

Employment & Pensions

The Employment & Pensions practice group advises a wide variety of Dutch and foreign clients. The practice assists clients in connection with the full spectrum of employment issues that confront today’s corporates, with a special focus on strategic issues and boardroom counselling. The team provides expertise in connection with labour aspects of mergers and acquisitions, compliance with domestic and foreign statutes and represents clients in high-profile litigation cases.

We offer extensive experience on handling management agreements, D&O remuneration, employee share options, outsourcing matters, reorganisations, dismissals and other strategic employment law matters. The Employment & Pensions Team offers full legal services for employee benefits and pension related matters which include tax and supervisory issues.

  • “There is consistency in the team, so we have developed a long-term relationship with the various team members,’ notes another interviewee, adding: ‘They react fast and effectively to our requests.’”
    Chambers Europe, Employment (2019 Edition)
  • “The firm leverages its resources and demonstrates broad experience in different areas of law.”
    Chambers Europe, Employment (2019 Edition)
  • “Houthoff is ‘top of the bill and better able to understand the needs of the customer compared to its peers.’”
    Legal 500, Employment (2019 Edition)
  • First Tier firm
    Legal 500, Employment (2019 Edition)
  • "Clients appreciate the team's 'knowledge and experience in employment law' alongside the lawyers' 'sharp thinking and logical and consistent approach'."
    Chambers Europe, Employment (2018 Edition)
  • "They are always fast responding and easy to reach and the advice we receive is effective, understandable, and to the point."
    Chambers Europe, Employment (2018 Edition)
  • First Tier firm
    Legal 500, Employment (2018 Edition)
  • "‘Fast, sharp and to-the-point’, the ‘proactive’, ‘accessible and well-coordinated’ team of ‘critical thinkers’ at Houthoff."
    Legal 500, Employment (2018 Edition)
  • "My experience with the Houthoff Buruma team has been excellent: besides the in-depth knowledge you expect, they proved to be both legal professionals and also a business partner on all levels."
    Chambers Europe, Employment (2017 Edition)
  • First Tier firm
    Legal 500, Employment (2017 Edition)
  • Houthoff advised Poiesz Supermarkten B.V., a chain of supermarkets in the Northern Netherlands, on the acquisition of Zorggroep Friesland B.V., sole shareholder of  Van Smaak B.V.. Van Smaak B.V. delivers meals to healthcare institutions and individual customers and has the whole relating process (including the purchase of the raw materials, processing and logistics) in house.

  • Houthoff represented Sligro Food Group in the strategic, long-term partnership with Heineken Netherlands for beer and cider logistics in the Netherlands, and the sale of other parts of the Heineken beverages wholesaler to Sligro Food Group. The partnership makes Heineken Sligro’s number one partner for beer and cider.

  • Houthoff assisted PO Söderberg & Partners Aktiebolag with the acquisition of a 31% stake in the pension advisor Montae Groep B.V. Through this collaboration, Montae will be able to link its in-depth knowledge of the Dutch collective pension market with the financial technology of Söderberg. Together they will enable employers, pension funds and participants to make a well-informed pension decision. Taking an interest in the Dutch Montae is in line with Söderberg's strategy to further expand its position on the Dutch market.

    PO Söderberg & Partners Aktiebolag is one of the leading financial advisors and provider of insurance and financial products in Scandinavia. It provides various products and services including insurance advice, securities and asset management and financial technology.

  • Houthoff advised BGI Genomics Co., Ltd. on all Dutch-law aspects in connection with its successful IPO at the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. BGI is a leading gene sequencing firm, offering a wide portfolio of genetic testing products across major diseases, enabling medical providers and patients worldwide to realise the promise of genomics-based diagnostics and personalised healthcare.
  • Advising Dichterbij, a country-wide Dutch health care institution, on its reorganisation and related employment matters. The reorganisation has been a consequence of significant changes in health care legislation that stipulates a transfer of extramural health care from government to municipalities. These changes also translates in a significant decrease of the budget (possibly up to 20%) for extramural health care which inevitably leads to restructuring of the business, including a reduction of number of employees. The above mentioned changes in the health care legislation are one of the most visible milestones that have been implemented in this sector in the recent years.
  • 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.
  • Acted on behalf of Royal IHC in a major reorganisation of 800 employees.
  • Acted on behalf of several CEO’s of listed companies pertaining to their dismissal and acted on behalf of various listed and non listed companies with regard to high profile dismissal cases of boardmembers
  • Advised Huntsman, a global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated chemicals, in a procedure against Unions FNV, CNV and De Unie (the Trade Unions). The Trade Unions representing a group of operators employed by AkzoNobel (and represented by the Unions), threatened to go on strike leading to a reduction of the production of chlorine by 85%. Huntsman and Shin Etsu, the two largest chlorine customers of AkzoNobel, started summary proceedings against the Unions and argued that the announced strike would mean an increased risk to health, safety and environment, because both Huntsman and Shin Etsu would be forced to close down their plants because of an insufficient supply of chlorine. AkzoNobel joined the procedure. The court has ruled in favour of Huntsman c.s. and decided that AkzoNobel should keep its production of chlorine at a level of at least 40% (according to the claims of Huntsman c.s.) on order to avoid any health, safety and environment risk.
  • Houthoff is representing a Dutch pension fund in a more than € 1 billion claim against their former asset manager for inadequate covering of the interest risk of the pension fund.
  • Advised the sellers, including Lion Capital and Avedon Capital Partners, on the sale of Van Geloven, a Netherlands-based frozen food producer with leading positions in the Netherlands and Belgium, to TowerBrook Capital Partners and the management of Van Geloven.
  • Houthoff advised Stichting Pensioenfonds Campina, a Dutch pension fund managing assets of approximately EUR 1.4 billion, on the renewal of its contractual relationship with Deutsche Investment Management Americas Inc., RREEF America L.L.C. (both subsidiaries of Deutsche Bank AG) and Goldman Sachs Asset Management International. This work included the preparation and negotiation of a complex Dutch law asset management agreement based on the pension fund's own template.
  • Houthoff advised Stichting Bedrijfspensioenfonds voor het Bakkersbedrijf (Bpf Bakkers), a Dutch pension fund managing assets of approximately EUR 3.5 billion, on the appointment of NN Investment Partners as their new integrated fiduciary asset manager. This transaction involved the preparation and negotiations of a fiduciary management agreement under Dutch law based on Bpf Bakker's own template.
  • Advised Xiamen Airlines on the setting up of its Amsterdam office. It is an important milestone for its international development as the Xiamen - Amsterdam route is the first intercontinental route for Xiamen Airlines.
  • Advising and assisting a large international employment agency in reaching a settlement regarding the termination of their relationship with a global logistics company.


Rixt de Vries

Key Contact

Advocaat | Partner
+31 20 605 69 00
+31 6 2248 0662

Key Contact

Advocaat | Managing Partner
+31 20 605 61 86
+31 6 5373 9632

Key Contact

Advocaat | Counsel
+31 20 605 65 53
+31 6 5122 0783