Max van Leyenhorst


Max van Leyenhorst specialises in conducting civil proceedings both before arbitral tribunals and national courts. He acts for large and medium-sized companies, for Dutch governmental entities and for foreign states. The disputes handled by Max are often substantial and typically revolve around international contract law and/or business law. Max regularly sits as arbitrator in commercial disputes.


Max has experience in that capacity with the arbitration rules of inter alia the ICC, the Netherlands Arbitration Institute, UNUM (transport), the German Arbitration Institute (DIS) and UNCITRAL. In addition, Max has extensive experience of conducting legal proceedings on recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards. Furthermore, he acts as counsel in disputes based on bilateral investment treaties (BITs). Max has a special interest in the subject of immunity from enforcement for states and sovereign entities.

In addition to conducting proceedings, Max advises on prevention and alternative resolution of disputes. Courtesy of his extensive litigation experience in complex disputes, he regularly advises parties how to prepare, at an early stage, for potential litigation or arbitration. A timely and thorough pre-litigation preparation may well have a decisive influence on the outcome of a dispute.

Clients appreciate Max’ professional expertise and his meticulous knowledge of the case file, which is combined with a dynamic work ethic.

Work experience

Max practiced at NautaDutilh from 1999 to 2009. In the period from 2007 to 2020, he was a lecturer on Arbitration Law, on International Dispute Resolution and on International Commercial Arbitration & Litigation at Leiden University. Max joined Legaltree in 2009.

Below are some of the cases in which Max has been involved of late:

  • Acting for African State in UNUM arbitral proceedings, amount in dispute >EUR 90m
  • Acting for Dutch investors against Eastern-European State in BIT-arbitration (PCA)
  • Acting for Liechtenstein investor in high profile enforcement proceedings in the Netherlands, amount at stake >USD 400m
  • Acting for Asian State in enforcement proceedings of an ICSID award
  • Acting for various clients in several enforcement proceedings in cases involving states in Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa
  • Advising UK third party funder on investment opportunity regarding claim under Dutch law
  • Acting for foreign investor in corporate dispute about management and ownership of Dutch investment
  • Acting for Southeast Asia investors in contract dispute in respect of international investments

Memberships & ancillary positions

  • Member of the Editorial Board, Dutch Journal Arbitration (2018-present)
  • Dutch Arbitration Association (co-founder and Board Member, 2013-2017)
  • Registered NMI mediator (2009-2011)
  • Lecturer at the Law Firm School (arbitration law, 2008-2015)
  • Editing secretary of the Dutch Journal on Arbitration (2006-2011)
  • NAI Young Orange (co-founder and Board Member, 2004-2010)


  • Utrecht University (civil law)
  • Leiden University (tax law – bachelor)
  • Wayne State University (U.S.A.) (corporate law and philosophy of law)


‘Both Max Van Leyenhorst and Wouter de Clerck provide exceptional advice and action in respect of arbitration and cross-border litigation matters. They are go-to partners for such matters and get the client to the right result in an efficient and cost-effective manner.’

Legal500 2024

International arbitration

Wouter de Clerck and Max van Leijenhorst are very knowledgable in the field of international arbitration


International arbitration

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