COMPANY NAME - Leeman Verheijden Huntjens Advocaten
NAME - Madelon van Breemen
JOB TITLE - Advocaat/Solicitor COMPANY TYPE Law Firm
1. What is your core business and selling point? How can you characterise your firm the best?
My core business is helping English speaking SME clients with their legal issues in the Netherlands and Dutch SMEs with their operations in the UK. As I was brought up in the UK and I am Dutch by birth I know and understand the culture of the both countries. I am also qualified to practice law in both jurisdictions. My practice focuses on SMEs as I greatly enjoy working with them. Despite being smaller in size, substantial risks are still present for SMEs. Further, I have worked as an in-house legal counsel at several international companies and this experience allows me to appreciate how commercial targets interact with legal risk. Due to my extensive experience working with SMEs, I can apply this to knowledge within the context of their businesses.
2. What distinguishes you from your competitors?
I specialise exclusively in the SME market and know both sides of the North Sea well. As SMEs generally have limited budgets, I always agree a price upfront to ensure there are no surprises. My time as an inhouse counsel has also taught me how to accommodate all aspects of the business whilst providing legal advice, for instance, how finance, operations, and human resources may be affected. By considering the fine workings of SMEs and how their processes can be improved, I free up time for business owners to work on their companies and focus on their growth and development. Ultimately, they do not want to be disturbed by the nitty gritty, that is my job. They want to survive and thrive as a business.
3. For how long have you been involved in British-Dutch business? What kind of presence do you have in the Dutch-UK market?
I moved to the Netherlands in 1993 and subsequently requalified. I became interested in the SME market and realised my expertise as an inhouse legal counsel is very beneficial for SMEs. They need more general and practical advice although sometimes also specific advice such as on Brexit related issues. I like to be able to make a difference by addressing the internal processes of the SME from a general contractual perspective and leave the specialist issues such as Brexit to the specialists. I am very active in a number of networks especially in the SME market and I really enjoy working personally with SME owners in both countries and get to know the business and also the priorities of the decisionmakers.
4. Could you elaborate a bit more on what kind of COVID-19 themed projects you are currently running for clients?
A lot of companies need to re-align not only in complying with the requirements from their government, but also in analysing where turnover is originating from and where this can be increased. Many need to rescale their business and address this issue of which type of product and/or services the market needs during this time. The impacts of COVID-19 will be lasting. Whilst finance and operations are often considered in-depth during rescaling, the legal aspects are often neglected in favour of short-term goals. Preventative measures such as ensuring that legal processes are in alignment with the new financial and operational process is far less costly than waiting until things go wrong. These risks are often long-term in nature, but when they emerge the legal costs and/or damages far exceed the investment in sound legal advice upfront.
5. What is typical for your business when you work together with client teams?
I review the legal processes through which the company conducts business. For example, I will consider with the client aspects such as how is an offer sent, and what does is contain? How do you get from an initial offer to a final payment from a legal perspective? What risks does the client take by making an offer? Some deals have a high legal risk and this is generally covered by additional legal guarantees, apart from the higher margin of course, which I include by working collaboratively with the client.
6. How can your company help clients with rescaling for COVID-19?
By visiting their office, either in person or online, and going through the operational, and financial processes from a legal point of view and finding a way to identify and minimise the legal risks without substantially affecting the way the company does their business. Ultimately, cash is king and by identifying and minimising legal risk, my clients will hopefully need not spend additional cash due to risks. When there is a legal problem that needs to be addressed, the SME will not only be affected financially by way of the legal fees and/or damages etc, but it may affect their position in the market, which may affect their turnover, and it will definitely cause a big headache. Other side effects are that the business will need to spend time on assisting the legal work by collecting evidence etc and this takes the focus away from developing and growing the business.
To find out more about how Madelon van Breemen can help your SME or more about LVH Advocaten, please use the details below:
Telephone: +31 620600834