About

Stephan acts as counsel before international arbitral tribunals in both commercial and investment disputes, inter alia in the construction, financial, information technology, telecommunications, energy and tourism sectors. Stephan also serves as arbitrator in international commercial arbitration proceedings.

In addition, Stephan has broad experience as counsel in court proceedings before local courts. He has represented private and institutional clients in cross-border commercial and corporate disputes involving inter alia share purchase agreements, commercial contracts, shareholders relations, directors’ liability and corporate governance issues, as well as in bankruptcy proceedings.

Finally, Stephan regularly advises corporate entities on a wide variety of legal matters arising in the context of international commercial transactions, including issues in the fields of commercial law, competition law, intellectual property, antitrust, data protection and privacy, and corporate governance. He negotiates and drafts complex commercial contracts, in particular distribution, license, agency and global service agreements.

Before founding AZHA, Stephan practiced in top-ranking law firms in Rotterdam and Amsterdam as well as in Paris. In addition, he has experience as in-house counsel of the world’s largest Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) company.

Stephan is a member of the Legal Committee of the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI), a non-profit organization which defines globally applicable sustainability standards and administers an independent third-party certification program for the complete aluminium value chain. He advises the Board of ASI on a range of legal topics arising from and related to the environmental, social and governance impacts of global aluminium production, use and recycling.

Stephan holds an LL.M. in Corporate Law (cum laude) and an LL.B. with a minor in Business Studies, both from Leiden University Law School.


Experience (non-exhaustive list)

  • Sole arbitrator in proceedings governed by the Swiss Rules of International Arbitration
  • Counsel for an Asian entity in ICC arbitration proceedings related to a dispute regarding the construction of power transmission lines
  • Counsel for a European financial institution in ICC arbitration proceedings related to a post-acquisition dispute
  • Counsel for a European energy company in ICC arbitration proceedings related to a dispute in the construction sector
  • Counsel for a European entity in LCIA arbitration proceedings related to a dispute concerning loan facility arrangements
  • Counsel for the former directors of an oil and gas company in court proceedings in the Netherlands related to a cross-border dispute in the energy sector
  • Counsel in investment arbitration proceedings against a West Asian state
  • Counsel for a European investor against an Eastern European state in ICSID arbitration proceedings related to an investment dispute in the touristic real estate sector
  • Counsel for an African state in ICSID arbitration proceedings related to an investment dispute in the telecommunications sector
  • Legal advice to a European entity in relation to class action proceedings initiated in a Middle Eastern state
  • Legal advice to a European entity in relation to court proceedings in Switzerland pertaining to the recovery of debts
  • Legal advice to a European entity in relation to court proceedings in North America regarding an intellectual property dispute
  • Legal advice to a European entity in respect of a dispute related to the purchase of raw materials, negotiation and drafting of a settlement agreement on behalf of the purchaser
  • Legal advice to a major European Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) company on a wide variety of commercial transactions as well as on corporate governance, intellectual property, antitrust- and data privacy-related matters; structuring, negotiating and drafting complex commercial contracts, including international distribution, license and global service and manufacturing agreements
  • Legal advice to a European consortium on the structuring, funding and development of a wind power project in Africa
  • Legal advice to a European carmaker on the structuring of and investment in a start-up developing autonomous driving technology

Bar Admissions

  • Rotterdam, the Netherlands, 2009
  • Geneva, Switzerland (Registre des avocats UE/AELE), 2019

Education

  • LL.M., Corporate Law (cum laude), Leiden University Law School, Leiden, the Netherlands, 2009
  • LL.B. with a minor in Business Studies, Leiden University Law School, Leiden, the Netherlands, 2007

Languages

  • Dutch
  • English
  • French
  • German

Memberships

  • Association suisse de l’arbitrage (ASA), Switzerland, since 2019
  • Dutch Arbitration Association (DAA), the Netherlands, since 2019
  • ICC Young Arbitrators Forum, since 2015
  • LCIA Young International Arbitration Group, since 2015

Recent Speaking Engagements (non-exhaustive list)

  • ICDR Young & International, Swiss Chalet Debate, April 2021, Summary Dispositions and Document Production
  • Annual Conference International Distribution Institute, Como, Italy, June 2019, Active and Passive Sales in Exclusive Distribution