Wouter de Clerck is a specialist in complex, cross-border disputes, to be settled in arbitration or before the national courts. Most of his clients are active in the technology, energy or mining sector. The disputes in which Wouter assists his clients often involve commercial contracts, such as supply contracts for goods or energy (oil, natural gas), contracts for (construction) work, M&A agreements or joint venture agreements. Wouter has experience of arbitration before various institutions (NAI, ICC, PCA, LCIA and SIAC) as well as of ad hoc arbitration (UNCITRAL). Wouter furthermore regularly conducts proceedings before the national courts in matters related to arbitration such as international jurisdiction or recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards.
In Chambers Europe 2020 Wouter is recommended as Up and Coming in the Dispute Resolution category. Clients describe him as ‘pragmatic, knowledgeable and commercially aware‘ and as ‘(..) able to keep a complex matter running flawlessly and to relentlessly pursue the success of the case.‘ In Legal500 2020 Wouter is recommended for international arbitration: ‘(..) very nice guy to work with, smart, technically very gifted, sophisticated’.
Wouter started his career as a lawyer in 2006 with Houthoff, following which he worked in the international arbitration practice of DLA Piper from 2012 to 2019. In 2020 he joined Legaltree. Wouter regularly writes on subjects of arbitration law and of private international law and has been a guest lecturer at Leiden University and at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Below are some of the cases in which Wouter has been involved of late:
Dutch counsel for Gazprom in a dispute with Ukrainian state-owned energy company Naftogaz about recognition and enforcement in the Netherlands of a USD 3bn Swedish arbitral award;
ICC arbitration about a project for the construction of a port in West Africa; lead counsel for a Belgian multinational involving claims representing a value of
Lead counsel for American energy company in NAI arbitration about a
EUR 40m post M&A claim;
Lead counsel for an American private equity firm in a dispute with the State of the Netherlands over the sale of a nationalised real estate fund;
NAI arbitral preliminary relief proceedings; lead-counsel for Russian airline company in a dispute with Dutch airline company over turbine engines;
Dutch counsel for a Swiss trader in raw materials in a USD 225m cross-border dispute about oil supplies to a West African country.
Memberships and ancillary positions
Lecturer of arbitration law at Law Firm School (2014-today)
Guest lecturer of arbitration law at Erasmus University Rotterdam (2019)
Guest lecturer of arbitration law and private international law at Leiden University (2016-2018)
Dutch Arbitration Association:
chair corporate disputes committee;
chair organising committee Dutch Arbitration Day (2017)
Leiden University, 2004 (civil law, with honours)
Bond University Australia, 2005 (LL.M international dispute resolution)
Areas of law
Wouter has registered the following area of law in the register of jurisdictions of the Dutch Bar Association:
Civil procedural law (arbitration law, attachment and execution law, litigation)
This registration obliges Wouter to achieve 10 training credits per calendar year for the registered area of law in accordance with the standards of the Dutch Bar Association.
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