Your partner in British Dutch Business



Lawyers, passionate about our North Sea neighbour

NBCC were pleased to recently interview Aram van Bunge, partner of Ten Holter Noordam lawyers, a multi-service law office in Rotterdam which specialises in the building industry, maritime industry, government, and healthcare market sectors.

What is Ten Holter Noordam lawyers?

We are a midsize/large law firm in Rotterdam with around 45 lawyers, full service. We provide services to companies, government institutions and non-profit organisations. The big plus of our firm is that we have three international networks we work with. As a result, we are connected to specialised law-firms in 220 countries. So, whenever companies in the world want to do business in Holland, we have contacts there, and vice versa. If Dutch companies want to do business,  wherever, we have a direct connection there. We are not just a Dutch law firm; we are a truly internationally active law firm. 

Is this then your USP?

Yes, I believe so. With 220 countries connected, I think we are one of the best-connected law firms in the Netherlands. The best part for me personally is that I am one of the account managers of those networks. So I have the opportunity to get connected with all these contacts and I get to travel around. And because Britain is so much intertwined with the Dutch economy, we have a considerable number of British clients. Especially as a result of Brexit, we received more legal work because we needed to address several legal issues around Brexit. After all, we are located in Rotterdam, and Rotterdam is the logistic centre of The Netherlands, most British trade comes in Rotterdam and then spreads out. 

How has the COVID-19 Pandemic impacted your business?

Funnily enough, financially, it has not. We simply continued business, however the way we work has changed considerably. I am working from home, and everybody is basically still working from home. You must know, that the restrictions are firmer than in the United Kingdom. I understand that Boris Johnson just lifted all Covid measures, whereas in Holland, this guideline still says: if possible, work from home. So as a law firm, we really try to work from home. You must know that we were quite an old-fashioned law firm. Before Covid everybody in principle one was supposed to work in the office. We thought it would not be possible to work from home, but simply due to the circumstances, we were forced to do so. As it turned out it was possible! So much of our work now just takes place from home through a screen, and funnily enough, our business has not dropped. On the contrary, in fact, it's strange. I mean, Covid is a disaster, but luckily, financially we have not been hurt whatsoever. Probably that is because of the kind of clients we work for. 

And Brexit? 

Well, I don't believe Brexit is a positive thing, but it created extra work for us as a law firm.  So, when Brexit got about, we received numerous questions, but now it seems to level again. Due to Brexit, several companies have gone to the continent, especially financial companies. I understand there has been this investigation by the British think tank New Financial. They were saying that at least 400 financial companies moved from the City to the continent. Especially Frankfurt was the winner for that part. But this is hardly mentioned in the British press. Of course there is no such thing as the British press, but some newspapers seem to be very much in favour of Brexit and do not want to see the downsides.  

How big is the UK market to you?  

The UK market is considerable. To be more specific, especially the English market. Unfortunately not so much Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland, whereas you could consider me not so much an Anglophile, but if it's a word, I would say I am a United Kingdom-ophile. I'm a massive fan of those other countries, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. I visited those countries many times. Many people seem to focus on England. But for me, personally the UK is much more than just England. Sadly, the economy is not as considerable in those countries.

Why did you join NBCC?

Because of the international connections we have in the firm and -personally - because I am this United Kingdom – ophile. The membership with the NBCC is an excellent opportunity to connect with companies with questions we can answer. In addition, it is inspiring to be connected with other specialists. In fact, I attended all the NBCC meetings concerning Brexit because I was very interested. We received many questions from our clients, and I simply needed to gather information. The NBCC was one of those institutions that gave the information, and I was very happy with that. I look forward to the next NBCC events on this topic, such as the new UKCA Mark on 10 March and the Future of the UK-EU relationship on 9 May. Obviously, there were not many offline meetings due to COVID, so I would love to attend a live meeting again. 

What are your plans for future growth that you are able to share with NBCC members?

We just shared this initiative Doing Business in the Netherlands which is on our website. If companies want to set up their business in the Netherlands, we make it very easy for them by answering the most frequently asked legal questions. 

So it sounds like Ten Holter Noordam lawyers is the contact you need. If you would like to organise a meeting with them on doing business in the Netherlands, contact them This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.! To know more about them, then visit their website!

We will each week publish our “NBCCSpotlightTuesday” series to introduce and spotlight our members to our members. Do you have a good story to tell? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!