Education and Career

Rob studied Dutch and European law at the University of Amsterdam and started his career in 1974 as a lawyer with the then firm Blackstone, Rueb & Van Boeschoten. (now De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek). After an interlude as executive secretary at an electrical engineering company, he continued his career in 1980 as an in-house lawyer at Shell International in London and The Hague. In this position he was responsible for the legal aspects of all European oil, gas and chemical activities of the Royal Shell Group with regard to competition law and European laws and regulations. From 1992 to 2005 Rob was a lawyer/ partner at Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuyn, the firm of the Landsadvocaat. He then spent 6 years as of counsel at the English/American DLA Piper in Amsterdam, working in the European and competition law advisory and litigation practice. Rob then ran his own practice within MBF Advocaten in Rijswijk. Rob was also a lawyer for the Netherlands Competition Authority (the current Authority Consumer and Market) from 1998 to 2005. In that capacity he was involved, among other things, in all principle legal proceedings in which the NMa was a party.

Rob's Daily Practice

“I am a specialist in the field of European law in the broad sense, which – in numerous areas and often unexpectedly – has a direct impact on the Dutch legal order. For example, I am involved in competition disputes between companies (the Competition Act is a corollary of earlier European legislation) about exclusivity agreements, non-competition arrangements, abuse of dominant economic positions and anti-competitive state aid. I litigate in that context – also as counsel for other law firms – for example against financial institutions, but also assist biodynamic farmers in their dispute with the State and the RVO about the implementation of the European Phosphate Directive. In addition, I am regularly involved in disputes concerning the exercise of intellectual property rights: what can and cannot you do with your exclusive right as an IP right holder? An issue that has fascinated me since I graduated and about which I publish with some regularity.”