“If you end up in the tombola of litigation, you have already done something wrong when drafting the contract.”
Contracts and negotiations
As far as I am concerned, collaboration demands expertise, insight and vision, due care and respect for the collaboration partner. Drafting proper contracts requires legal edge, linguistic sharpness, knowledge of the business sector, and creativity.
Good contracts do not only provide a comfortable position in a dispute situation, but - even better - will make sure that parties understand and do what has been agreed. This is how you avoid disputes and legal proceedings with an uncertain outcome.
During negotiations, whether it is about the early phase of a project or if a dispute is imminent, I do not only think logically, but also laterally. There are not many lawyers who master this skill. This is how solutions sometimes come from a totally unexpected angle. And whenever possible, I also throw in a little twist and a joke, as this can build a pleasant atmosphere. Humour can also be a formidable weapon against an overly rigid attitude of the other party.
TRANSFERRING AND SHARING EXPERTISE
I also find it inspiring to transfer and share my expertise. For instance, I teach about my area of expertise at the Amsterdam School of Real Estate (ASRE) and at the NEPROM (Vereniging van Nederlandse Projectontwikkeling Maatschappijen). Occasionally I give guest lectures at the RUG (University of Groningen) at the Faculty of Spatial Sciences, Department of Spatial Planning and Environment.
A few examples