Litigation and Arbitration

Pels Rijcken is the largest and the premier litigation law firm in the Netherlands. In all departments (Competition, Corporate, Dispute Resolution, Employment, Energy, Real Estate, Construction Law, et cetera) litigation is our core business.



Pels Rijcken’s Arbitration team has ample experience and an excellent track record with handling large scale arbitrations. It also provides strategic legal advice in the context of imminent or pending arbitrations. Their expertise covers all possible stages of an arbitration, from interim measures to setting aside proceedings up to the Supreme Court.



We act for various blue chip companies and banks. Other clients are the State of the Netherlands, provinces and municipalities, regulators and other authorities. Over the last decade we have been expanding our commercial practice significantly, with an increasing range and high profile matters.



Bert-Jan Houtzagers | Litigation and Arbitration | Partner

+31 70 5153 000 |

Bert-Jan has been with Pels Rijcken since 1985, initially as an attorney and since 1999 also as the State Advocate. At the beginning of his career Bert-Jan amassed a lot of practical experience in civil law, supreme court litigation and corporate law. However, since the 1990s he has focused more in particular on private law as it relates to the public sector. As the State Advocate he has handled many high-profile legal procedures where the Dutch State was accused of wrongful acts. He also deals with many legal issues in matters that are politically or administratively sensitive. In addition, he is also involved in arbitration on behalf of governmental authorities, companies and institutions. Bert-Jan has a ‘band 2-ranking’ in Dispute Resolution, Chambers Global en Chambers Europe 2016.


Hans van Wijk | Litigation and Arbitration, Supreme Court Litigation | Partner

+31 70 5153 727 | |

Hans has been with Pels Rijcken since 1990. He worked as an attorney for a number of years in Curaçao. The core of his practice has been in Litigation, at all levels: in the law courts, courts of appeal and before the Supreme Court. In recent years, Hans has specialised in civil cases before the court of cassation. The cases he deals with cover a wide spectrum, particularly in the area of private law in relation to the public sector, business law and liability law. Hans has a ‘band 1-ranking’ in Dispute Resolution: Supreme Court Litigation, Chambers Global en Chambers Europe 2016.

René Kiers

René Kiers | Litigation and Arbitration + Construction | Partner

+31 70 515 39 42 | |

René Kiers advises the State and other government bodies and represents these institutions in large-scale, complex arbitration cases on infrastructural and building projects and provides quick and fit for purpose advise in complex questions of public procurement. He is an experienced litigator and acts in numerous injunction proceedings concerning procurement disputes. Furthermore he is the trusted advisor of world’s premier shipbuilders of luxury mega yachts. René is a also a respected arbitrator of the Dutch Arbitration Institute). He regularly lectures and speaks at conferences.

René van de Klashorst

René van de Klashorst | Litigation and Arbitration | Partner

+31 70 515 37 77 | |

René is a very experienced lawyer and conducts a varied advisory and litigation practice in corporate law. He is highly regarded as a trusted advisor. Corporate governance, public-private partnerships, (corporate) litigation, the liability of financial institutions, and finance and restructuring are at the heart of René’s practice. His clients include corporations, government authorities and regulators in different sectors (energy, financial and transport). René leads several of Pels Rijcken’s legal teams in various multimillion lawsuits for corporate clients.

Willem Heemskerk

Willem Heemskerk | Litigation and Arbitration, Supreme Court Litigation | Partner

+31 70 515 38 39 | |

Willem Heemskerk is one of the most experienced litigators in the Netherlands. He handles complex civil disputes, which often concern issues of liability and compensation for damages. He also assists companies confronted with cartel damage claims (follow-on actions) in connection with decisions of the European Commission. Willem is considered a leading expert in procedural law. He is the editor of the standard guide to Dutch procedural law Hugenholtz/Heemskerk “Hoofdlijnen van Nederlands burgerlijk procesrecht” 2015 and author of a handbook on new procedural legislation.