Fashion and Retail

“We strive for control over the brand, while meeting all (complex) effective manufacturing, marketing, distribution and compliance requirements.”

In the Fashion & Retail world clients need attorneys with experience in the sector. It is key to recognize the importance of trends, and rapidly changing product offerings, futures orders systems, and the short seasonal selling cycles.

Franchising and other specific distribution strategies such as selective or exclusive distribution play an important role and bring about challenging legal complexities. Efficient and quality sourcing of components and ingredients is essential, whether it be technology products, or fabrics, coatings, materials and packaging in fashion, food and pharmaceuticals. The same applies for the innovative (digital) marketing strategies that drive today’s consumer experience and sales. In developing successful on line platforms and stores, your business requires state-of-the-art advice on e-commerce, data protection, consumer laws and (digital) media law. If these relationships are cross-border, in addition to the legal assessment, cultural, language and other additional aspects should be considered.

The termination of relationships with partners is sometimes inevitable in this context and in Europe should be approached with care to avoid liability. We have extensive experience and a clear view to manage termination domestically, as well as cross borders in Europe, Middle East and Africa. This becomes particularly relevant if a large group of distributors, retailers or franchisees will have to be terminated at the same time. We have the strategic view and processes and tools to manage this across jurisdictions.

We handle international and domestic transport, storage and import/export contracts and disputes, consumer law compliance and complaints and product safety and product recalls. We have developed key knowledge in competition law compliance in the retail sectors, in particular in cross border selective and exclusive distribution, (genuine) commercial agency, franchising and exclusive or joint (on line and off line B2B platforms for) purchasing and joint ventures.

A strong trademark portfolio is of crucial importance in this respect. We assist various fashion and retail businesses, including multinationals and Dutch companies in the construction and guarding of their trademarks and we act against infringing parties. Many franchisors and manufacturers also have a strong real estate portfolio and they may lease properties as part of the relationship. We have a team  specialized in the contracts and issues.

Our Fashion & Retail team regularly handles the following topics in the consumer goods sector:

  • Strategy and selection of (international) distribution channels, e.g. sales, distribution, franchising and agency
  • Termination of distributors, franchisees, agents, suppliers and other forms of cooperation such as joint ventures
  • Competition law, in particular vertical restraints
  • Selective and exclusive distribution: criteria, implementation, negotiation, termination of non compliant customers
  • (Digital) marketing strategies, e-commerce, media law, data protection and privacy
  • Sales contracts, general terms and conditions of sale
  • Complex and international contract drafting and negotiations
  • Manufacturing, sourcing and procurement
  • Logistics, warehousing, transportation
  • Product compliance and safety, product recall, labelling and customs
  • Consumer law compliance and complaints
  • Brand protection & brand strategy
  • Advertising
  • Employment
  • Real estate

Intensive collaborations

We collaborate intensively with the Corporate team, the Building and Property Development Team, the Competition Law team, and our specialists in the field of Employment, Works Council and Data Protection related consequences of vertical agreements and outsourcing. Our clients include manufacturers, suppliers (and to a lesser extent) distributors, e-commerce (pure) players and resellers of, inter alia, fashion, shoes, handbags, sportswear, baby clothing and toys, food products, drinks, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, health care services, mobile phones and telephony products and services, software, computer games and computer hardware.

Who’s Who Legal 2017 – Franchise

Martine de Koning is recommended as expert and thought leader.

Kennedy Van der Laan is home to the ‘outstanding’ Martine de Koning, an exceptionally knowledgeable authority on strategic competition law relating to franchising. She represents domestic franchisors in their international expansions plans and also assists foreign clients with establishing a presence in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.


Chambers Europe 2017 – Intellectual Property

What the team is known for Noted for its sector expertise in the technology, life sciences, media, fashion and luxury consumer goods fields. Handles a wide range of both contentious and non-contentious issues concerning trade marks, licensing, trade secrets and copyrights. Gained new clients recently with several new wins in the media, internet and software sectors.

Strengths Multiple clients praise the speed and flexibility of the team’s service, with one reporting: “They are flexible, fast and have a really practical attitude.”

Another client reports that “they put a lot of effort into getting to know our business and got great results for us on trade mark and brand infringement matters.” 

Work highlights Represented Hermès in its appeal of a decision on a trade mark and design right litigation against Van Roon Living.

Represented Converse and Nike in litigation against Van Caem and Goeiemode concerning counterfeits of Converse footwear.

Significant clients Syngenta, Reed Business, C&A, Viacom, Orange.

Notable practitioners 

Maarten Schut remains a respected IP practitioner due to his high-profile caseload of trade mark litigation and issues in the sports and fashion sector as well as the technology industry. Clients list many qualities Schut contributes to matters, with one saying: “He is experienced, really knowledgeable and a true expert. He is very solution-focused, practical and creative. He also communicates really well.”


Legal 500 EMEA 2017 – Retail

Commercial and competition specialist Martine de Koning leads Kennedy Van der Laan’s practice; she is particularly strong in cross-border franchising, distribution, procurement and commercial contracts. Recent work includes representing Albert Heijn in proceedings against Pollemans regarding the latter’s desired implementation of an age-verification system. The department advised Nike Europe on various contentious and non-contentious matters.


Chambers Europe 2016 – Intellectual Property

What the team is known for Noted for its sector expertise in the technology, life sciences, media, fashion and luxury consumer goods fields. Handles a wide range of both contentious and non-contentious issues concerning trade marks, licensing, trade secrets and copyrights.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

“The firm has a strong ability to organise and implement complex and pan-European projects. The work is efficient, smart and cordial.”

Work highlights Represented HERE in a dispute with Nav4all concerning a global licence agreement relating to navigation data.

Assisted Hermès with an appeal following a trade mark and design rights infringement dispute with Van Roon Living. 

Notable practitioners 

Alfred Meijboom is particularly recognised for his expertise in relation to the IT industry, especially regarding trade mark, licensing and domain name issues. He recently represented Cofra Holding in a domain name claim dispute.

Maarten Schut has particularly strong knowledge of brand protection and counterfeit matters in the retail sector, and also works on technology and life science trade mark issues. Clients “very much appreciate his skill and legal approach.”

Significant clients Nike, Microsoft, Reed Business, Henkel, Fujifilm.


Chambers Global 2016 – Intellectual Property

Alfred Meijboom is particularly recognised for his expertise in relation to the IT industry, especially regarding trade mark, licensing and domain name issues. He recently represented Cofra Holding in a domain name claim dispute.

Maarten Schut has particularly strong knowledge of brand protection and counterfeit matters in the retail sector, and also works on technology and life science trade mark issues. Clients “very much appreciate his skill and legal approach.”


Legal 500 EMEA 2016 – Intellectual Property

Kennedy Van der Laan’s team is headed by the ‘highly experienced’Alfred Meijboom, with support from the ‘smart, pragmatic’ Maarten Schut and ‘brilliant’ senior associate Reindert van der Zaal. Its clients include Hermès, Converse and the Dutch Premier League football clubs.


Legal 500 EMEA 2015 – Intellectual Property

Within Intellectual property, Kennedy Van der Laan is a third tier firm, Kennedy Van der Laan’s ‘very professional’ team has extensive experience in the fashion and technology sectors. Department head Alfred Meijboom, represented Nike in proceedings before the Amsterdam Appellate Court.


Testimonial Nike

“Establishing a Nike Alliance, under the leadership of our Dutch partner Kennedy Van der Laan, means being able to retain the firms that most fit Nike’s needs in each jurisdiction; plus gain efficiencies, drive convergence and increase spend predictability. In addition, the Nike Alliance is a powerful catalyst for developing talent on our European legal team. Besides, we now have much better insight into our legal expenses, and the work is done more efficiently.”

Fabrizio Mecozzi, Vice President and General Counsel for Nike for Europe


Testimonial Pandora

“Soo-ja assisted us in acquisition and reorganization processes and provided intensive guidance from the moment of strategy planning up to and including the implementation. She also advised on various other employment law issues and litigated on our behalf in dismissal proceedings. Soo-ja is very service and client-oriented. She engages proactively and I value her pragmatic attitude and clear and concise advice.”

Niels Moller, President Central-Western Europe, Pandora A/S

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The Legal 500 Rankings 2017

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The Works Council's Right to Advise During Bankruptcy

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Kennedy Van der Laan Only Non-British Firm Nominated for The Lawyer Business Leadership Awards 2016

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27 june 2016 

Kennedy Van der Laan Strengthens its Employment and Commercial Teams

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23 february 2016 

Chambers 2015: Kennedy Van der Laan number 1 in IT and Media

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Kennedy Van der Laan Is Nominated for "Netherlands Law Firm of the Year Award 2015"

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Delivery of Digital Content: the Same as Consumer Sale of Goods?

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Social Agreement: Dismissal Rules Changed Again?

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More Possibilities for Division of Powers of Shareholders

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BOIP Refuses to Register ‘Allah’ as a Trademark

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New Rules for Tacit Extension and Termination of Consumer Contracts

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New Rules for Tacit Extension and Termination of Subscriptions and Other (Consumer) Contracts

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01 february 2008 
Martine de Koning

Martine de Koning

Attorney at law, Partner

  • Martine de Koning Attorney at law, Partner +31 20 5506 639
  • Maarten Schut Attorney at law, Partner +31 20 5506 644
  • Alfred Meijboom Attorney at law, Partner +31 20 5506 633
  • Eva Knipschild Attorney at law, Mediator, Partner +31 20 5506 840