Houthoff mourns sudden loss of co-managing partner Gerhard Gispen
Dutch firm pays tribute to 'passionate and collegial' leader with a 'big heart and great ambitions'
Leading Dutch firm Houthoff is mourning the death of one of its co-managing partners, Gerhard Gispen.
In a joint statement, the firm’s other managing partners, Edward de Bock and Albert Knigge, said the leading insolvency lawyer, who was 60, had passed away unexpectedly yesterday (13 May). His death was not a result of Covid-19.
“We are saddened and shocked by this sudden loss of our beloved board member, partner, colleague and friend with whom we have worked with so much pleasure,” they said.
They added that he was “a passionate and collegial managing partner, with a determined spirit, a big heart and great ambitions for the entire firm” who had “contributed greatly to the growth of our firm in recent years”.
Gispen joined Houthoff in 2016 from Simmons & Simmons, where he headed its Dutch practice having spent nearly 30 years at the UK firm.
He subsequently joined Houthoff's board last year, taking up the role of co-managing partner.
He specialised in cross-border restructuring and insolvency work, advising and representing both creditors and domestic and foreign bankruptcy trustees.
He also advised clients on disputes that arose from crisis situations with a focus on the financial and energy sectors.
Gispen lectured and published on insolvency law and was a member of the board of INSOL International from 2011-2015 and the advisory committee of the Netherlands Bar Association from 1998-2017.
Beatriz Kanitz Meldrum, Europe general counsel at York Capital Management, is one of many people to have already posted tributes to Gispen on LinkedIn.
“We worked recently with him on a difficult case that went on for a couple of years and he was always an absolute pleasure to deal with and helped us keep some perspective and a sense of humour along the way,” she said.