Slaughters ally De Brauw reopens in Brussels

De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek has reopened in Brussels almost 10 years after the Dutch independent closed its former base in the Belgian capital.

The office, which opened yesterday (15 June), will focus on international competition and European law issues and will be headed by competition and regulation partner Douwe Groenevelt.

It will work closely with the firm’s Amsterdam base, with plans to gradually grow the office through partner relocations and lateral hires.

De Brauw had an office in Brussels from 1973 to 2002, which it closed when merger talks with its then alliance partner Linklaters fell through.

The firm will share office space in Brussels with best friends firms Slaughter and May, Bonelli Erede Pappalardo, Bredin Prat, Hengeler Mueller and Uria Menendez.

Managing partner Martijn Snoep commented: “Our clients’ focus is more and more international. We increasingly assist our clients in their activities outside the Netherlands and this has led to more dealings with the European Commission. These involve merger control as well as cartels and abuse of dominant position. A presence in Brussels is therefore crucial to safeguard the quality of our services to clients.”

De Brauw’s most recent office launch was Beijing in March 2010. The firm also has an office in London, which opened in 1990, and was the first Dutch firm to have a presence in New York, where it opened in 1973. The firm is currently planning to strengthen its focus on India, Brazil and Turkey.

The news comes after De Brauw corporate partner Jan Willem de Boer left the firm’s Amsterdam base earlier this year to join Linklaters as of 1 May.