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Message from the chair of the Advisory Board

As announced in the previous newsletter, on 1 May last a completely new Executive Board took office. The former Executive Board had at the time almost reached the maximum statutory term of 2x4 years. The somewhat early resignation goes together with the – also announced in the previous newsletter – retirement of the current Managing Director Fredy von Hombracht-Brinkman, LL.M. as of 1 April 2019. It seemed sensible to leave the recruitment and selection process for her successor to a new Executive Board; in the end, the new Managing Director will also have to function under the leadership of the new Executive Board.


The NAI and all of those involved with the NAI owe thanks to the (now former) members of the Executive Board Willem van Baren, LL.M. (chair), Bommel van der Bend, LL.M. (secretary/treasurer), Prof Filip de Ly and Suzanne Drion, LL.M. for the good work they did for the NAI for the past almost eight years. In this regard, one especially thinks of the significant changes to the NAI Arbitration Rules as of 1 January 2015. The NAI's move in the middle of 2017 to the "Delftse Poort", a beautiful, practical and dynamic office environment where the NAI can function well, also deserves mention. For that matter, commendations go out to the Managing Director and the secretariat for the way they handled this major operation.


It can already be observed that the new members of the Executive Board got to work expeditiously, enthusiastically and intensively. For example, there are already plans being prepared to update the procedure for the appointment of arbitrators, for both party appointment and appointment on the basis of the list procedure (also in light of developments at foreign arbitration institutions). There is also already working being done on modernisation of the ICT and the operational processes at the NAI; a special portfolio holder on the Executive Board has been appointed for that purpose. Further information regarding this and regarding other plans will certainly follow from the Executive Board once the time is right. The Advisory Board fully trusts the new Executive Board, both as people and in the performance of their duties. The expectation is fair that the NAI will further grow and blossom under this Executive Board, both nationally and internationally. The Advisory Board wishes the new Executive Board much success and enjoyment at the NAI!


The appointment of the new members of the Executive Board was based on a unanimous decision of the Advisory Board, which in turn was based on a unanimous advice from the appointment advice committee of that Board. With due pride, the new members of the Executive Board will be briefly introduced below.

  • Prof Gerard Meijer (chair) is attorney-at-law/partner at NautaDutilh and professor of Arbitration law at Erasmus School of Law; until 1 May last, he was a member of the NAI's Advisory Board.
  • Prof Carla Klaassen (vice-chair) is professor of Civil law and Civil procedure at Radboud University.
  • Bregje Korthals Altes-van Dijk, LL.M. (secretary) is attorney-at-law/partner at De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek.
  • Erik Jan Reuver (treasurer), RA RV is director of "Stichting Garantiefonds Reisgelden" (the Dutch guarantee fund for prepaid travel money), certified public accountant and registered valuator.
  • Eric Dorrestijn, LL.M. (portfolio holder ICT/operations) is general counsel at KPN.

I would also like to take the opportunity to present another change in the NAI's structure. In the amendment to its articles of association in 2010, the Governing Board (consisting of 25 members maximum) was changed into an Advisory and Supervisory Board (again, consisting of 25 members maximum) an Executive Board (consisting of 5 members maximum). It was agreed that this new structure would be evaluated within a number of years. That has happened. The conclusion was that, all things considered, the NAI was too heavy with a Managing Director, an Executive Board and an Advisory and Supervisory Board. The Advisory and Supervisory Board was thus recently transformed into an Advisory Board by means of a new amendment to the articles of association, whereby the task of supervision was removed, although the competence to appoint the members of the Executive Board was retained; the amended articles of association require, "as compensation", that the Executive Board consist of 5 people (instead of 5 people maximum).


Probably even more important is that with this amendment of the articles of association, in light of the removal of the supervisory task of the large board, the reticence to maximise the size of this board disappeared and the desire arose to indeed expand the Advisory Board to (almost) 25 people. This possibility is being and will be gladly utilised. In the course of this year the Advisory Board will indeed reach that number. This also includes replacement of members that will resign because the statutory limit of their tenure has been reached. By the end of 2018, the Advisory Board will then mainly consist of members that have been or will be appointed this year.


We especially looked for new members who can give feedback and advice based on their experience with the NAI and who can also serve as ambassadors for the NAI. The quality and basis of the NAI are thus further stimulated. The selection of new members throughout this year (upon recommendation of the appointment advice committee) is also based on this vision. Not only attorneys-at-law will be represented, but especially also corporate counsels. In the selection of attorneys-at-law we made sure of diversity as regards nature (large/medium office, national/international, within/without the "Randstad"). In the selection of corporate counsels, we made sure that different sectors were covered. Moreover, we made sure to have experts in specific areas (arbitration procedure, mediation, ICT/legal tech and finance), as well as a representative of the judiciary, on the Advisory Board. Maybe it is good to add to this all that there were no "in his/her capacity as such" appointments; in later appointment rounds there can be members from other lawyers' offices/firms, companies and organisations.


Ultimately – as the appointment advice committee already concluded – an NAI must be on the map that, with a broad and diverse base, is even more preponderantly present as the institution for private dispute resolution in the Netherlands.


Kind regards,


Henk Snijders
Chair of the Advisory Board

In this issue 

Message from the chair of the AB
Summary annual report

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