NautaDutilh has a renowned practice advising professional service providers such as auditors, law firms, financial advisors, and trust offices. Professional services providers operate in a complex environment: long-standing professional rules are more and more supplemented by increased regulatory legislation – all of which can be leveraged in civil proceedings in case parties claim to have incurred damages. Given this interconnected framework, we regard advising professional service providers as a multi-disciplinary specialism that requires an integrated approach.
NautaDutilh has top-tier expertise for each of the legal areas involved, as well as recent hand-on expertise managing all aspects of complicated matters involving alleged breaches of professional rules or applicable regulations, and relating cross-border civil litigation. Depending on the matter and the organisation of our clients, we are capable to integrate all of these areas in a smooth and efficient team, ready to navigate our clients through what are often difficult waters.
In our view, regulatory law is essential to advising professional service providers. Active reporting obligations often prompt relatively quick investigations by governmental supervisors, and the results of governmental investigations may heavily impact the further course of other aspects of the matter too. NautaDutilh is highly experienced in interacting with governmental supervisors under such circumstances. We always look to minimise the burden of external investigations, and seek to structure investigations in a way that ensures that the views and findings of our clients are taken into account to the maximum extent possible. Our key contacts are Marike Bakker and Saskia Nuyten.
Civil liability and litigation experts
NautaDutilh has the largest litigation practice of all law firms in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, and we have, as our rankings testify, nationally and internationally recognised specialists in all areas of law, including professional liability. The head of our Dispute Resolution Group, Sjoerd Meijer has extensive experience representing clients in ordinary civil actions, and in class actions as well. This experience is vital when handling for instance shareholder claims. This makes NautaDutilh perfectly equipped to handle claims for an alleged breach of professional rules.
NautaDutilh has a team dedicated to conducting complex, cross-border internal investigations. In case of a breach of professional rules, such investigations may often be part of the governmental response, a tool to remediate any potential irregularities, and it may also be necessary to support the defence in civil or disciplinary proceedings. NautaDutilh has state-of-the-art expertise in advising on structuring e-discovery, conducting interviews, and reporting – and of course all legal aspects of conducting such investigations. Marike Bakker and Vincent de Bruijn have assisted multiple clients on complicated investigations like these.
We have in-depth expertise on litigating in numerous disciplinary courts, most notably auditors and lawyers. We do not regard disciplinary proceedings as merely a stepping stone to civil proceedings. We understand the great impact on the professionals involved, and take great care protecting their interests to the best of our abilities. Given our deep understanding of the professional environments, disciplinary proceedings are in capable hands at our firm. Sjoerd Meijer leads this practice.
Allegations of a breach of professional rules sometimes coincide with criminal investigations. The function of professional service providers as 'gatekeepers' of the financial system is sometimes used as angle to involve them in pending investigations. NautaDutilh is one of the select few large law firms with a Corporate Crime practice group with in-depth experience handling all faces of criminal proceedings: from information requests, witness statements, to litigation from District Court to Supreme Court. Marike Bakker, Francien Rense, and Vincent de Bruijn are key contacts here.
In complex, cross-border matters, questions of insurance coverage always arise. We have years of experience with respect to business liability including professional, and corporate liability. We assist our clients with knowledge and insights that are deeply rooted in the market. If necessary, Sjoerd Meijer of course brings in his experience as part of our approach. Stijn Franken is another well-known expert in this field.