Two Dutch lawyers have joined forces to open a new boutique firm for trade law in the Netherlands.

BenninkAmar, which began operations on January 1, specialises in economic sanctions, export controls and other trade law matters for Dutch and global clients.

The firm currently has two partners, Yvo Amar and Sebastiaan Bennink (pictured). Amar has extensive experience in the field of sanctions laws and export control and advises Dutch and foreign companies and financial institutions on the subject of UN, EU and US sanctions laws and export controls as well as on anti-money laundering and anti-bribery regulation. Bennink specialises in enforcement matters, both regulatory and criminal. He conducts internal investigations and represents corporations and financial institutions in administrative and criminal enforcement proceedings.

Amar and Bennink join the firm from Wladimiroff Advocaten, where they spent two years as partners. Prior to this, the two had a boutique law firm, B&A Law, which assisted clients in defining and executing procedures relating to international sanctions regimes and international export and import compliance regimes, consistent with the EU, the US and other international regimes. Bennink tells GTR that BenninkAmar is a “reinvention” of B&A Law.

“We wanted to focus again fully on sanctions and export controls as a law firm. That is what we have started to do again with BenninkAmar,” says Bennink.

Amar and Bennink also spent seven and four years respectively at De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, where Bennink says they dealt with “almost 95% of trade law related cases that came into that firm”.

In addition, BenninkAmar has established a strategic alliance with US law firm Jacobson Burton Kelley, which specialises in international trade, export controls, US office of foreign assets control (OFAC) sanctions, customs, the US foreign corrupt practices act, and trade remedies.

The firm intends to expand in the coming months, with a paralegal associate set to join in May this year, while it is actively seeking new trade law practising lawyers to join as partners.