Kneppelhout & Korthals and DFDL agree to cooperate in developing their Asian practices

Rotterdam, September 14th, 2016 - Rotterdam based Dutch law firm Kneppelhout & Korthals and the South East Asia based emerging markets firm, DFDL, have formalized their cooperation which will enable both firms to service European clients in the entire ASEAN region plus Bangladesh and Asian clients in the Netherlands.

DFDL is one of the leading regional law firms specialising in providing legal and tax services in most ASEAN countries plus Bangladesh. Kneppelhout & Korthals is a Dutch firm with 60 lawyers and based in Rotterdam, one of the largest ports in the world and a major gateway to Europe. Joost Vrancken Peeters, managing partner at Kneppelhout & Korthals: ‘Our Asia practice has been growing for years, and we operate in countries such as China and Vietnam. This cooperation will enable us to increase our strength in Asia. As the cultural differences are significant and developments are very rapid, local specialists are definitely the way for businesses to get a foothold and maintain it.’

Marcus Collins, a Dutch lawyer and partner at DFDL, will work from the Rotterdam office of Kneppelhout & Korthals when in Europe. An Indonesian associate of DFDL, Anindya Pratidina, will be seconded to the same office. As he puts it, ‘EU countries and in particular the Benelux countries, Germany and France have traditionally been the biggest investors in most ASEAN countries. However, more EU-based businesses – in particular small and medium-sized ones - are expected to do business there in light of the development of ASEAN as a new common market. For DFDL, the partnership with Kneppelhout & Korthals as well as the city of Rotterdam – both of which have a clear Asia-oriented vision, constitute the ideal basis for further growth.

More than legal issues alone

The cooperation will enable both parties to give advice on more than only legal issues as Vrancken Peeters explains. ‘We also help our clients with ideas at strategic level, for example where it concerns innovation or expansion issues. The ASEAN region is a market with over 600 million people, which has huge potential for Dutch businesses. For example, it is the most important trading region outside Europe for the Dutch maritime industry, and it also offers opportunities for Dutch businesses active in logistic challenges and in agriculture (In the ASEAN region, agriculture is one of the most productive industries). The size of this market is rapidly expanding since trade among the ASEAN countries becomes easier. Thanks to the know-how and experience that we and DFDL already have of this region, we can also inform clients about the local trends and developments in the relevant economies. For example, we can now see the same development in Vietnam that China went through earlier; imagine that a company would have started in China ten years ago with the knowledge we have now! With our help, investors can enter early and establish businesses in the countries in this expanding economic region’

About Kneppelhout & Korthals

Kneppelhout & Korthals is a full-service law firm for major and medium-sized domestic and international businesses, employing some 60 lawyers. The firm specialises in industries such as Food & Health, Maritime & Offshore and the Manufacturing Industry. For more information, please go to www.kneppelhout.nl, or follow Kneppelhout on Twitter @Kneppelhout.

About DFDL

DFDL has a unique footprint in Asia with 13 offices in 9 countries, including almost all ASEAN member states. DFDL employs more than 140 legal and tax advisors. It is a full-service firm with experience in supporting and advising investors in countries previously and presently considered as emerging markets in legal and tax matters. Often, major law firms operating internationally see DFDL as the ‘go-to’ local counsel if they need local advice for their clients but expect the quality standard they are used to in their home countries. Apart from DFDL’s expertise in the field of foreign direct investment in these countries, DFDL has an excellent reputation in the fields of infrastructure and specifically energy, including renewable energy. For more information please go to www.dfdl.com.