Welcome to ILN-terviews, a series of profiles of ILN member firm attorneys, designed to give a unique insight into the lawyers who make up our Network. For our latest interview, we chose another of our newest ILN members, Jan Leo de Hoop of our member firm,PlasBossinade Advocaten N.V. in the Netherlands! Many of our attorneys will be meeting Jan Leo for the first time in Chicago in May, so this is a good opportunity to learn a little more about him first!
In one sentence, how would you describe your practice?
We have a full service practice with some peculiar specialties, such as the shipbuilding sector, which is mainly regionally-based and at the same time has a substantial international focus, both for our regional clients and for foreign companies searching for legal aid in The Netherlands.
Who would be your typical client?
Larger companies (both with a domestic focus as well as with an international focus), government bodies and not-for-profit institutions (for example in health care) which are established in the northern part of The Netherlands.
What would you like clients and potential clients to know about you?
We provide reliable legal services of high quality. We have a client-focused winning mentality and focus on maintaining long term client relationships. We fully concentrate on the client and his branch and always search for solutions that are clear and effective in practice. Our services reach beyond the borders of The Netherlands. Many of our clients are involved in international business and we also provide legal services for foreign clients who are involved in legal matters in The Netherlands. For Chinese clients looking for legal assistance in The Netherlands, we work with a Dutch lawyer originating from China and speaking Mandarin.
What has been your most challenging case? Why?
All cases are challenging because we want the best result for the client. I think one of my most challenging cases is the one where we had to negotiate on an acquisition agreement in New York on behalf of a Dutch chemical company being part of a group of companies headquartered in the UK. The mix of legal systems and cultures, as well as the high stakes, formed a special challenge. I was glad that we could reach an agreement that was to the satisfaction of our client and that also that the acquisition proved to be successful.
What has been your proudest moment as a lawyer?
The outcome of proceedings which I conducted for a chemical corporation listed on the stock exchange in Amsterdam regarding the forming of prices under a long term contract. We won the proceedings with a positive outcome, which was even higher than what the client had hoped for and which even resulted in the opposite party terminating the engagement of its attorney.
On the other hand I also experienced great satisfaction in a very specific case where I was asked to draft various agreements on collaboration and licensing copyrights regarding a complete new translation of the Bible in Dutch (which was introduced in 2004), involving religious organizations (Catholic and Protestant) who hired writers/translators and owned copyrights, publishers, printers, etc.
What do you do when you’re not practicing law?
I like keeping myself fit with running and cycling and I enjoy spending time with my wife and two daughters. Also traveling to far countries gives us great pleasure.
What would surprise people most about you?
I am not a person who would quickly surprise people, since I think my main feature is to be thorough and focused at all times without being too noisy. This has proven the best basis for providing my clients what they want: advice and services regarding contracts and disputes which are focused on the benefit for their business and not on legal “tour de forces” for my own pleasure.
What has been your most memorable ILN experience?
We have recently joined the ILN and to our surprise have already been in contact with colleagues from 7 jurisdictions all over the world. We hope to have many memorable ILN experiences in the future.
What career would you have chosen if you weren’t a lawyer?
I really do not know. In school I did not have a clear picture of my future career. When visiting information meetings at the University I only liked one study, being the study of law, and ever since I started that study I thought of becoming a lawyer.
If a movie were made of your life, who would you want to play you?
In my opinion Dustin Hofmann and Anthony Hopkins are some of the best actors in the world, but they are much older and shorter than me. A more realistic movie could be made with a mixture of Johny Depp and Richard Gere (when they would be thoroughly trimmed by a hairdresser).
How would you like to be remembered?
For me, it is not very important to be remembered by many people. Every life is temporary and few will be remembered after their death. I hope my wife and my two daughters will remember me with warm thoughts. For the rest, I hope that in case I would be remembered at all, it will be as a straight yet fanatic fighter for my clients.