Employee Co-Governance

“To make a correct design of co-governance possible, it is very important to have good relations. ”

The Co-Governance team focuses on employee co-governance law within businesses and assists both employers/directors and Works Councils in the field of, inter alia:

Advisory Process

If the advice of a Works Council is sought, for example in the event of a projected reorganization of a company, it is of crucial importance that this advisory process is designed well, because it may affect the tenability of a decision. In principle, it is the primary responsibility of the employer/director that a careful advisory process is followed. The team has the in-depth legal knowledge to guide the director and the Works Council through this process smoothly. If the employer/director and the Works Council are unable to reach agreement, our team may, of course, also provide advice and assistance in legal proceedings before the Enterprise Section of the Court of Appeal of Amsterdam.

The Right to Consent

A right to consent exists if, for instance, a holiday scheme or remuneration scheme needs to be amended. If the Works Council withholds its consent, the employer/director will have to apply for substitute consent to the Subdistrict Court. In this process we naturally offer you advice and, if necessary, assistance in conducting legal proceedings.

Method of Operation

The method of operation of the Co-Governance team is characterized by a practical approach. Its expertise in these and other sectors allows the Competition team to give clients practical advice on how to limit competition-law risks and how to resolve disputes with competition authorities. The team does not shun legal proceedings, but always bears in mind that to make a correct design of co-governance possible in an enterprise, it is very important to have good relations. Sometimes, not sticking doggidly to a particular position but looking for a compromise to which all parties concerned can agree is the right way to go.

Chambers Europe 2017 – Employment – Band 3

What the team is known for Has a distinguished national reputation for its representation of clients in the area of employee participation on behalf of both employers and works councils. Other areas of strength include privacy and governance matters. Boasts particular sector expertise in the technology and healthcare sectors.

Strengths Clients praise the team’s coordination and expertise, stating: “They have good collaboration, are quick to respond and have an in-depth understanding.”

Interviewees also appreciate the firm’s supportive approach to client service: “The whole team is very flexible and eager to assist each other on matters which are not directly related to the expertise of the lawyer who is handling the case.”

Work highlights Represented Turien & Co in negotiations with the trade union and works council following a reorganisation impacting 150 employees.

Acted for UWV on its employment law work including advising on a number of dismissals and amendments to internal policies.

Significant clients Microsoft, Nike, Liberty Global, PepsiCo, Ziggo.

Notable practitioners

Eva Knipschild advances in the rankings following excellent feedback from sources. Peers remark that she is “very impressive” while clients highlight her keen “eye for timetable and political issues.” She recently assisted Martinair Holland with all of its employment and co-governance work, including dealings with works councils and trade unions, reorganisations and dismissals.

Clients describe Chris Nekeman as “quick to respond with good technical knowledge.” He is well known for assisting individuals, businesses and works councils with employment law litigation. A highlight was his representation of Rabobank in litigation regarding a number of dismissals.


Chambers Europe 2016 – Employment – Band 3

What the team is known for Experienced in employee participation issues, advising both employers and works councils. Also strong in matters relating to governance and flexible workforces. Notable for a strong sector focus in technology and healthcare, representing numerous hospitals.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

“I have a very good opinion of the firm. Its value for money is amazing, the lawyers are very responsive and their work is excellent because you get what you need, on time.”

“The lawyers maintain the young and bold energy the firm stands for. They are highly qualified and the partners are very distinguished lawyers.”

What’s new? Exact Software and Rabobank are new clients.

Work highlights Advised UWV on union and works council issues, internal policies and several dismissals.

Assisted IBM’s Central Works Council with employee participation issues and privacy matters.

Notable practitioners 

Eva Knipschild is an expert in flexible workforces, including matters related to freelance and on-call workers. Clients say she is “quick at responding, very on target with her support and advice and very strategic.” She acted for VLM on dismissals, internal policies and negotiations with unions and works councils.

Department head Chris Nekeman specialises in co-determination advising both employers and works councils. A client enthuses: “He is one of a kind and always delivers. He is a brilliant man and an outstanding organiser.” 

Significant clients Liberty Global, Microsoft, Nike, PepsiCo, Reed Business/Elsevier.


Legal 500 EMEA 2017 – Employment – Tier 2

Chris Nekeman leads Kennedy Van der Laan’s team, which is praised for its ‘international focus’; clients include Microsoft and Nike. The practice is particularly adept in trade union negotiations, employee participation matters and outsourcing. Eva Knipschild is ‘extremely reliable, responsive and client-focused’.


Legal 500 EMEA 2016 – Employment – Tier 3

Practice head Chris Nekeman of Kennedy Van der Laan represented UWV in various dismissal cases, as well as in dealing with labour unions and works councils. The department also advised Spaarne Gasthuis, VLM, Nike and Rochdale. Eva Knipschild is praised for her ‘strong international focus’ and ‘reliable, comprehensive advice’.

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Always Reverse an Instant Dismissal Within Six Months?

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Works Council Elections: The Freedom of the Works Council to Classify Electoral Group

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Notice Period for Employer Doubles

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Bill to Reinforce Position of Temporary Workers

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Chris Nekeman

Chris Nekeman

Attorney at law, Partner

  • Chris Nekeman https://kvdl.com/our-people/chris-nekeman/ Attorney at law, Partner +31 20 5506 676 chris.nekeman@kvdl.com
  • Ester Damen https://kvdl.com/our-people/ester-damen/ Attorney at law +31 20 5506 667 ester.damen@kvdl.com http://www.linkedin.com/pub/ester-damen/2a/a36/6b7
  • Eva Knipschild https://kvdl.com/our-people/eva-knipschild/ Attorney at law, Mediator, Partner +31 20 5506 840 eva.knipschild@kvdl.com http://nl.linkedin.com/in/evaknipschild