Law Firm Quality Rankings: Chambers Global Dutch Caribbean 2016

Every spring legal publishers present their view on the global market for legal services. In their so called “legal directories”, they provide information for potential buyers of legal services, ranking law firms and their individual attorneys according to their credentials and experience.
 
International publisher Chambers & Partners published its global ranking of law firms Chambers Global for 2016 today.
 
In this ranking Dutch Caribbean law firms Spigt Dutch Caribbean and VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne have the desired Band 1 firms status, like last year. 
HBN Law holds the Band 2 status, like last year.
Band 3 consists of law firms SMS Attorneys-at-Law, Soliana Bonapart & Aardenburg and STvB.
 
 
 
Ranked firms 
 
In alphfabetical order within each band, these are the ranked firms in the category of General Business Law: Dutch Caribbean:
 
 
Band 1
Spigt Dutch Caribbean
VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne
 
Band 2
HBN Law
 
Band 3
SMS Attorneys-at-Law
Soliana Bonapart & Aardenburg
STvB 
 
 
On Spigt Dutch Caribbean Chambers says "This firm retains an excellent reputation at the forefront of the Curaçao market and acts for clients including insurance providers, governmental bodies, banking institutions and trust companies. It offers expert advice in litigation as well as commercial, tax and finance matters. The firm has substantial experience in the banking and insurance fields as well as in major corporate acquisitions. It represents a number of international clients and is a popular choice for multi-jurisdictional mandates."
 
VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne is described as "a highly regarded firm that provides a full range of legal services across the Dutch Caribbean with noteworthy standing in Aruba and Curaçao. The commercial and litigation team has experience in complex, high-profile matters, with particular strengths in maritime mandates. Other areas of expertise include corporate law and banking, and extend also to IP and insurance. Clients of the firm include the country of Curaçao, Refineria di Korsou and Royal Bank of Canada."
 
Four out of the thirteen recommended individual lawyers are partners of VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne.
HBN Law has two out of the thirteen ranked individual lawyers, now that Chris de Bres is ranked for the first time this year.
 
The reviews regarding the Band 2 and 3 firms are as follows:
 
HBN Law: "This firm is well regarded for its strong contentious capabilities in civil law and administrative matters. The sizeable team is also active in M&A and advisory work in the infrastructure and energy fields. The firm provides services to a range of local and international clients. The team has substantial experience in public law matters and frequently advises governments on mandates concerning Dutch Caribbean jurisdictions. It has a strong regional presence with offices in Curaçao, Aruba, Bonaire and Sint Maarten, with the latter also serving the islands of Saba and Sint Eustatius."
 
SMS Attorneys at Law: "This team is well versed in corporate law and frequently advises on company takeovers and shareholder disputes. Other areas of expertise include construction, labour law and banking and finance. The firm often assists clients from the local market but its expertise is international in scope and the team is involved in a number of multi-jurisdictional matters."
 
Soliana Bonapart & Aardenburg: "This firm maintains a strong reputation for covering a range of corporate and commercial matters with particular experience in litigation and financing. It also handles matters relating to construction, shipping and estate planning. It assists clients in a range of industries, such as telecommunications, as well as governments. The firm offers wide coverage of the Dutch Caribbean with offices in Curaçao, Sint Maarten and Bonaire." 
 
STvB: "This specialist firm is highly regarded in the market for corporate advisory work and finance transactions. The team has significant experience in regulatory compliance as well as securities and M&A. Clients of the firm include Fortune 500 corporations, investment funds and banks as well as private clients. Its strong international law practice benefits from offices in New York and Amsterdam."
 
 
 
 
Ranked Lawyers
 
Chambers & Partners also annually ranks individuals. This year thirteen lawyers receive this honorable praise. Five of this elite group of lawyers come from Band 1 firms VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne and Spigt Dutch Caribbean, with the first having four recommendations and the latter one.
HBN Law has two ranked lawyers and all other firms have one named lawyer.
New in the ranking this year are Chris de Bres of HBN Law and Patrick Brown of Brown Advocaten. With these additions, both Aruba and Bonaire have their first ranked lawyer.
 
 
See below for a full overview of recommended individuals, in alphabetical order within each band:
 
 
Band 1
Eric de Vries (HBN Law)
Karel Frielink (BZSE Attorneys at Law)
Frank B M Kunneman (VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne)
Randolph van Eps (VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne)
Martijn Welten (Spigt Dutch Caribbean)
 
Band 2
Michiel Gorsira (VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne)
Focco W Lunsingh Scheurleer (VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne)
 
Band 3
Thomas Aardenburg (Soliana Bonapart & Aardenburg)
Chris de Bres (HBN Law)
Patrick Brown (Brown advocaten)
Quincy Carrega (Asjes & Carrega)
Mirto Murray (SMS Attorneys-at-Law)
Willem Van Bokhorst (STvB (formerly Smeets Thesseling van Bokhorst))
 
 
All reviews on recommended individuals:
 
Eric de Vries (HBN Law) "has a significant practice in infrastructure, energy and telecommunications projects. Market commentators say: "He's a strong litigator, a very experienced negotiator, very knowledgeable and a very pleasant guy to deal with.""
 
Karel Frielink (BZSE Attorneys at Law Curacao) is head of the firm's Curaçao office and was identified by one source as "the authority on the island" for corporate law and corporate governance matters. "He is particularly expert in complex international fraud cases and became a member of the FraudNet legal network in 2015. He represents clients from a range of industries including banking, hospitality and finance."
 
Frank Kunneman (VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne) heads the firm's corporate and banking department and "is recognised as an "excellent attorney" for litigation as well as projects. He provides expert corporate law and corporate governance advice to private corporations and governmental bodies across the Dutch Caribbean." 
 
Randolph van Eps (VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne) "continues to be well regarded for his expertise in shareholder disputes and is described as a "very good negotiator." He also heads the firm's Suriname desk."
 
Martijn Welten (Spigt Dutch Caribbean) is "praised as "one of the best litigators on the island" and is an expert in a range of corporate matters as well as banking and finance. Clients appreciate his "helicopter view" of cases, in addition to his skilful written and oral presentation."
 
Michiel Gorsira is based in Sint Maarten and is described by commentators as "a very strong litigator." Sources praise him for his expert knowledge of local law and his practical advice.
 
Focco Lunsingh Scheurleer (VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne) is "an acclaimed "market leader in M&A and finance." His work highlights include advising Royal Bank of Canada on a USD59 million loan to Setar, an Aruban telecoms company."
 
Thomas Aardenburg (Soliana Bonapart & Aardenburg) is "known for corporate law, litigation and project development. He advises both local and international clients." Sources say: "He works hard for his clients and understands the market here."
 
Patrick Brown (Brown Advocaten) "stands out as a go-to lawyer in Aruba for corporate transactions and represents clients including financial institutions and resorts. He frequently works alongside practitioners from other jurisdictions and is recognised by market commentators as a "very intelligent lawyer." "
 
Quincy Carrega (Asjes & Carrega) "is known for his expertise in contentious matters, and represents local clients including governmental bodies and banks. Sources say: "He is a very good litigator. He is very convincing and will go to extremes for you." "
 
Chris de Bres (HBN Law) enters the rankings for "his strength in corporate litigation. Sources say: "He knows a lot about local corporate law; new procedures have been introduced and he's been involved in every case that has been in the court on that subject." "
 
Mirto F. Murray (SMS Attorneys at Law) is "known in the market for his litigation practice and breadth of experience. His areas of activity include corporate law, banking and finance as well as criminal matters." Peers say: "I would not hesitate to refer a client to him."
 
Willem Van Bokhorst (STvB) is "recognised in the market for "very specialist corporate law advice," and has substantial experience in international transactions."
 
 
 
 
Background
 
For twenty five years this large and reputable legal publishing house has been publishing the leading directories of the legal profession. In their process they select firms based on three steps: submissions put forward by law firms upon request of the publisher; client interviews seeking feedback and lawyer interviews providing peer reviews, both administered by seasoned and objective researchers; and, finally, database research.
 
The qualities on which rankings are assessed include technical legal ability, professional conduct, client service, commercial astuteness, diligence, commitment, and other qualities most valued by the client. 
 
Individual lawyers are ranked (in their practice-area(s)) on the basis of their legal knowledge and experience, their ability, their effectiveness, and their client-service. 
 
Law firms and individual lawyers are ranked in bands from 1-6, with 1 being the best. 
 
 
For last year’s publication, please click here.
 
17 March 2015 
Dutch Caribbean Legal Portal
 

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