NautaDutilh appoints new managing partners, creates inclusion partner role

Changing of guard comes after firm opted to stick with same management team through worst of pandemic

Lieke van der Velden, Chris Warner and Sjoerd Meijer

NautaDutilh – one of the Benelux region’s largest law firms – has shaken up its leadership for the first time in five years having opted to delay any changes during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Under the changes, corporate M&A head Lieke van der Velden and disputes head Sjoerd Meijer will take up co-managing partner roles alongside incumbent Chris Warner, who is staying as one of the firm’s three co-heads.

Stepping down are Jaap Jan Trommel and Petra Zijp, who will return to their M&A and capital markets practices respectively.

Trommel and Zijp had led the firm alongside Warner since 2017, when it settled on the current management structure thereby allowing all three to continue practising law. 

The firm, which does not have a chairperson and ‘operates as a collective body’, re-elected the trio in March 2020 for a further two years in a bid to maintain ‘continuity, stability and a long-term focus’ as its clients began to grapple with the impacts of Covid-19. 

Van der Velden has been at NautaDutilh since 1995 while Meijer, who focuses on class action insurance litigation and professional liability law, joined the firm in 2008 and became a partner in 2014.

Meanwhile, in addition to her role as capital markets head, Zijp is set to become the firm’s first inclusion partner alongside corporate partner Geert Raaijmakers. 

“Furthering inclusion and diversity within our firm and the legal sector has long been a key priority of mine, not only during my time as a managing partner but throughout my career, and I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to continue to contribute to our efforts in this field,” Zijp said. 

NautaDutilh employs more than 400 lawyers, civil law notaries and tax advisers across its offices in Amsterdam, Brussels, London, Luxembourg, New York and Rotterdam.

Last year, it hired a four-lawyer IP and technology law team from DLA Piper in Amsterdam in recognition of the sector’s ‘enormous potential for growth’. The team included DLA Piper’s Dutch head of IP, Joris Willems, who became the head of NautaDutilh’s Amsterdam IP practice after the move. 

Email your news and story ideas to: [email protected]