Focus on international IT developments

Rotterdam Maritime Services Community – In the limelight

Klaassen Advocaten - Rotterdam Maritime Services Community - RMSCAs the founding father of law firm Klaassen Advocaten, Roelant Klaassen has strong ties with the port of Rotterdam. His clients, both national and international, are mainly active in the shipping and transport industry. Klaassen is the newest member of the Rotterdam Maritime Services Community. “I truly believe that Rotterdam has the potential to become one of the world’s biggest cargo focus points. Transport is in our genes and as an IT hub, Rotterdam can ‘ship’ cargo all over the world.”

“My father used to be a captain at Shell Tankers. Therefore, it’s not a surprise that since my childhood I have always felt strongly connected to the Rotterdam shipping industry. In 2001, I founded Klaassen Advocaten and the majority of our clients in shipping, transport and cargo have been with us ever since. We advise them on all sort of matters: not only claim and contract related, but also on employment law and real estate. Furthermore, we have strong ties with law firms abroad in order to assist their clients when trade problems in The Netherlands may occur.”

“The business of maritime law is not a massively growing business. There are fewer lawyers working in this type of business compared to when I started twenty-odd years ago. The digitalisation of the industry is one of the main reasons. Communication is much easier nowadays and a lot of potential problems are internally solved. Therefore, lawyers aren’t always needed. Another reason may be that the container business has taken over a lot of cargo that used to be problematic. Furthermore, the Dutch law system isn’t the most popular law system in the international shipping world. That doesn’t imply we have less work to do, but the cases we do get are more specialised. Not a simple cargo damage, but less mainstream and problematic questions. As an example: I am currently working on a case where parts of a factory have been shipped from Holland to China in containers. The goods have already arrived in China, but for some reason are not released. That’s why we now try to solve this challenge from our office in Rotterdam, while we have contact with several parties in Hong Kong.”

“One of the things that distinguishes Rotterdam from other ports, is the big river flowing through the heart of the city. It literally makes us an open city and creates a good living space. Not only young people from abroad, but also all kinds of international companies are attracted by everything Rotterdam has to offer. We are close to sea, but also have our own airport and world-wide connections in all types of businesses. In my opinion, Rotterdam should focus on young entrepreneurs as well as on international IT developments. I sincerely hope we will develop into a real IT hub. We have the potential to bring parties like insurances and international shipping companies to Rotterdam and therewith become one of the biggest cargo focus points in the world.”