Jan Maarten Gerretsen (1965) graduated from the University of Groningen in 1989 (specialising in Private Law and in Social Economic and Corporate Law). Afterwards he successfully completed the LL.M.-programme at Duke University School of Law.
He was admitted to the Dutch bar in 1990 working for Loeff Claeys Verbeke, where he made partner in 1999. In 2000, part of his firm merged with the tax consultancy firm Loyens & Volkmaars. As a result of this merger, Loyens & Loeff became the first law firm in the Netherlands offering on a large scale services in which tax advice and notarial services were fully integrated. After resigning from Loyens & Loeff in 2014, he worked for several years as a partner at the medium sized law firm Lexence.
After working in the corporate law practice for several years, Jan Maarten started specializing in real estate: construction law, project development, transactions and joint ventures. Both advisory and contentious matters. For many years, he was a lecturer in real estate law at several institutions, among which the Amsterdam School of Real Estate, the Dutch Association for Construction Lawyers (de Vereniging voor Bouwrecht-Advocaten) and the Grotius Academy. Jan Maarten is familiar with the principles of negotiation according to the Harvard method (Fisher and Ury, Getting to Yes) and Frits Philips jr.
Jan Maarten has registered the following principal (and secondary) legal practice areas in the Netherlands Bar’s register of legal practice areas (rechtsgebiedenregister):
- General practice (civil law)
- Real estate law (construction law)
Based on this registration, he is required to obtain ten training credits per calendar year in each registered principal legal practice area in accordance with the standards set by the Netherlands Bar.
In a world in which entrepreneurs are confronted with the challenges of social entrepreneurship (People, Planet, Profit, Purpose) Jan Maarten likes to deploy his expertise to meet these challenges, for example with sustainable real estate developments.
With Gerretsen Advocatuur Jan Maarten has chosen to focus on matters in which he can use his personal knowledge and experience to make a material and meaningful contribution. Below are a few examples of such cases:
Complex dispute regarding the completion of a large project
There are extensive discussions about additional work and the causes of the delay in completion. The employer refuses to accept the project and continues to make new demands and wishes. The file consists of dozens of binders and the parties are tens of millions apart. After structured discussions that lasted for more than a year, the parties reached agreement on a settlement. Thus, lengthy and costly legal proceedings could be avoided. Jan Maarten advised the developer on his position and structured the discussions.
Alternative form of contracting between the employer and the contractor for the renovation of a shopping mall
No UAC or UAC-ic , but a version of management contracting. This form of contracting is much more common in the UK than it is here in The Netherlands. The contractor acts as the main contractor, but the employer bears many more risks than usual. This can be necessary to keep the costs of the renovation affordable. Of course the employer must have certain tools to manage these risks as far as possible. Jan Maarten advised the employer and translated the parties’ wishes into workable contract documentation.
Redevelopment of an industrial site
The developer has agreements with several land owners, including the municipality, and expects to get their cooperation on a rezoning for the purpose of building student housing facilities. For the foreign investor contemplating a turnkey purchase of the project there are quite a few snakes in the grass, not only from private law and public law perspectives, but also from a tax perspective. Jan Maarten advised the investor on these aspects and together with the tax advisor he developed a suitable transaction structure which he then translated into contract documentation.
Structuring a cooperation for the development of or investment in real estate is complex by definition. On a regular basis Jan Maarten advises on the rights and obligations that the partners in such a cooperation have vis-à-vis each other.
In order to enable the expansion of an infrastruture terminal a carrier needs to be moved. The expansion is in the interest of both the carrier and the operator of the terminal, but the amount of the compensation keeps them divided. They have two months to reach agreement, failing which the expansion project will be cancelled. By carefully distinguishing between the main issues and minor details and making a true translation of what has been discussed in various project groups into a first draft settlement agreement, the parties manage to reach agreement on the basis of this draft in five weeks. Acting as counsel to the infrastructure operator, Jan Maarten drafted the doumentation and led the discussions on these drafts.
From time to time clients ask Jan Maarten to look over the shoulder of a colleague. In many cases with as outcome a single advice, if possible offering some suggestions for the improvement of the client’s position. In some cases it leads to a more enduring cooperation with the relevant colleague, whereby Jan Maarten continues to give specific input for the court memoranda prepared by his colleague.
Jan Maarten also counsels clients on real estate projects that are situated abroad. Although he is not qualified to advise on the law governing foreign real estate his clients value his common sense approach in analyzing their risks. If needed, the client can be introduced to a foreign lawyer through his extensive network.
Jan Maarten is married to Marianne. They live with their son and two daughters in the centre of Amsterdam.