The Netherlands British Chamber of Commerce interviewed our Senior Disputes Lawyer, Reina Maria Van Pallandt for its recent edition of their Spotlight Tuesday feature. Read the full interview below.
NBCC were pleased to interview Reina Maria Van Pallandt of Prospect Law, a UK regulated law firm with specialist expertise advising on renewable and nuclear energy sectors.
Can you tell us about Prospect Law?
Prospect Law is a multi-disciplinary UK law firm, with a leading reputation in the renewable and nuclear energy sectors. The team is made up of recognized specialists in their fields who bring many years of international project advisory experience to client work.
What is special about the company? Why might a client want to come to you for help?
The firm provides a practical combination of interrelated services which includes our key areas of specialist legal advice, as well as a range of technical, financial and risk management advice, including ESG, which is designed to provide additional support for our clients. This, I would say, is very unique and enables the firm to provide some real efficiencies to our clients. The firm also retains advisors in areas which complement the specialist renewable and nuclear energy practice such as agribusiness, life sciences, maritime and international trade, which is where I fit in.
In response to the increasing reputational concern of ESG to clients, Prospect Law has developed a very comprehensive, market leading ESG Audit for organisations looking to benchmark their ESG credentials. Through data and independent analysis, clients can demonstrate to their investors, employees and the public that they are taking actionable steps to align with the three pillars of ESG.
The firm also has an education and training service which brings together our multidisciplinary team of lawyers, surveyors, insurance and technical advisors to provide critical knowledge and insight across our specialist areas through in-house and bespoke training programmes. This offering is designed to support client organisations looking to give their employees the necessary understanding, often in areas directly affected by policy and regulation, to improve their own business practices.
You are based in the UK but how big is the NL market to you?
I have actually been permanently based in the Netherlands since leaving London for personal reasons in 2010. Prior to becoming a Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England & Wales, I qualified as a lawyer in the Netherlands. Dually qualified and working out of the City of London, I serviced clients both in the UK and NL. At that time, the NL percentage of my practice outweighed my UK practice considerably. For Dutch business especially in the marine and transport industry, English law was the preferred governing law in most international contracts.
Since relocating, I travel to London to visit Prospect, clients and contacts most months and whenever the need arises. Currently, the market for me is more or less evenly balanced between the UK and the Netherlands. Since I am primarily a litigation lawyer, the balance may shift from year to year depending on the nature of the instructions I receive. I cannot place a percentage figure on the spread but I hope to expand my marine and insurance practice, currently mostly focused on decarbonisation in the shipping industry from a UK perspective, further into the Netherlands.
What are some of the market challenges Prospect Law is currently facing and how are you overcoming these?
We are seeing considerable growth in client interest in ESG. We have responded to this by developing The Prospect Law ESG Audit. Clients can secure an objective analysis of their ESG credentials from acknowledged experts. Apart from an Audit score and rating, and Prospect Law’s ESG annual Audit certification, clients are provided with a summary including recommended action points on how to improve their ESG credentials. Clients also have access to Prospect’s advisory and training services to help further company progress.
Why did you join the NBCC?
We are going back a few years here. In the 1990s I regularly attended the ‘Dutch City Lunches’ in the Dutch Church in Austin Friars in the City of London. NBCC senior executives were always present at these events. They advised me that being dually qualified, fluent in both languages and familiar with a plethora of industries both in the UK and in the Netherlands, the NBCC could provide me with even better access to businesses in both countries. A very agreeable by-product of this introduction was that I could refer UK and international clients of mine wishing to invest in the Netherlands as to where to seek practical guidance.
On a completely different note, during the Pandemic the NBCC provided a very regular and diverse series of seminars via Zoom which were most informative and kept us members in the loop on a number of issues of Anglo-Dutch importance. Fortunately, we can now meet in person once more. However, to anyone wondering whether to join the NBCC I would point out that the great educational benefits of the seminars alone is worth joining the NBCC for.
What are your plans for future growth that you can share with NBCC members?
Growth from Prospect’s perspective means more than just a quantitative increase in the number of lawyers and experts attached to the firm. It means that Prospect aspires to be the go-to firm in the area of renewable, hydrogen and nuclear energy, combining expert legal advice as well as the advice of its interrelated services. We have very few competitors in the legal market, but Prospect will become the leader in the field. The Internationally recognised Legal 500 and Chambers Awards in which Prospect Law ranks highly on a yearly basis are but a forerunner of this position. With the opening of the maritime and international transport and insurance section Prospect can provide an unique service combining an in-depth knowledge of the conventional shipping industry with its expertise on renewable energy as well as on marine decarbonisation and wind-driven marine propulsion systems.
Prospect sees a very exciting future ahead in these fields with both the UK and the Netherlands at the very forefront of technological developments. With the support of the NBCC, Prospect would be exceptionally suited to function as the bridge between the two countries – both legally as well as practically.
For more information on the NBCC and how to join click here
Reina Maria van Pallandt
Reina Maria van Pallandt is a senior disputes resolution lawyer with dual British and Dutch nationality. After obtaining an LLB Honors degree in Dutch Law and Public International Law at the University of Amsterdam (UvA), Reina Maria studied International Law of the Sea at London School of Economics (LSE).