Marnix Leijten, managing partner of Netherlands-based law firm De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, is stepping down from the position after just over two years.
Leijten was appointed as managing partner in October 2019, and his term began in January 2020. He will take a sabbatical over the summer, before returning to the firm’s litigation and arbitration practice.
In a LinkedIn post, Leijten wrote: “As for me, I need a break after many intense years of high engagement and will hand over my role to one of my partners who will continue putting positive high energy into our firm.”
The firm is part of a European network of ‘best friend’ law firms that include Slaughter and May, France’s Bredin Prat, Italian firm BonelliErede, German powerhouse Hengeler Mueller, and Spain’s Uría Menéndez.
In his post, Leijten described his tenure as managing partner as “an exciting rollercoaster, intense and rewarding as well as tough and challenging”.
In a Q&A with Law.com International last year, Leijten identified talent management and retention as the biggest challenges facing the firm.
He said: “As an independent, full lockstep, firm, we are all about fostering a collective culture. While boosting that collectivism at first, over time this pandemic really tarnished the fabric of our firm, so to say. Especially our young colleagues, or people who joined the firm during the pandemic, had a very difficult time.”