Willem Heemskerk, advocaat Pels Rijcken

Willem Heemskerk

Attorney-at-law • partner

Willem Heemskerk has been with Pels Rijcken since 1992 and is one of the most experienced litigators in the Netherlands. He handles complex civil law disputes for mainly large national and international companies. His areas of expertise include liability, damage & insurance, professional liability, attachment, collection and enforcement, and media law. Willem acts as counsel both in adjudication as well as arbitral proceedings. 

He is regarded as a leading expert in Dutch civil procedural law; he has many publications to his name, is the Vice President of the Dutch State Advisory Committee on procedural law, and regularly serves as expert in foreign proceedings. Willem is ranked in Band 1 for Dispute Resolution in the Chambers Global and the Chambers Europe Practice Guide. In late 2018, Willem was recognised as the “Best Litigator in the Netherlands” in an election organised by the VIA.


  • "An excellent lawyer who has a sharp and bright mind." [...]. A client lauds him as an "excellent advocate who is very strong strategically.", Chambers Global 2021
  • "According to clients, Willem Heemskerk is a valuable sparring partner who is able to translate complex issues into practical and workable solutions.[…]. Other sources add that Heemskerk has a flexible mind and is always able to think outside the box and come up with a solution.", Chambers Global and Chambers Europe 2020
  • "An excellent lawyer with the ability to really think a case through, who then adds the right solution.", Legal 500 2019
  • "Clients highlight his great international experiences and extensive knowledge of jurisprudence, while adding that he is very pleasant to work with and makes you feel at ease. Others regard him as an excellent lawyer whose strategic skills are second to none.", Chambers Global and Chambers Europe 2019
  • "Sources tout him as a very experienced litigator who has a broad view and in-depth knowledge of the way the law is applied.", Chambers Global 2018
  • "It is jointly led by real litigator Willem Heemskerk, who is committed to his clients and always able to think outside the box, and the sharp Hans van Wijk, who is a specialist in Supreme Court matters and very thorough in his approach.", Legal 500 2018
  • "He is a real litigator: resolute and committed to his clients. With a flexible mind, he is able to think outside the box and come up with solutions, no matter how complicated the question he's dealing with.", Chambers Global and Chambers Europe 2017
  • "Well-respected firm Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn NV is ahead of the curve; its team comprises experienced, smart and very responsive litigators, including the down-to-earth Willem Heemskerk, [...].", Legal 500 2017
  • “Willem Heemskerk is appreciated by clients: He is really experienced, pleasant to work with and no-nonsense.", Chambers Global and Chambers Europe 2016
  • "Willem Heemskerk is always able to think outside the box.", Legal 500 2016
  • "He is an outstanding lawyer. He deals with complicated cases in a timely manner.", Chambers Global and Chambers Europe 2015
  • "The pleasant and hardworking Willem Heemskerk has very good negotiation skills.", Legal 500 2015
  • "He is very fast and thorough, and good at addressing all the sides of complicated matters.", Chambers Global and Chambers Europe 2014
  • "Within five minutes he can find a way to tackle any problem. He’s good at his work and also good to work with.", Chambers Global and Chambers Europe 2013