Willem Calkoen specialises in mergers and acquisitions work – both public offers and private transactions – and in securities law and corporate governance.
He graduated from Utrecht University in 1970 and served as a naval reserve officer until 1972, when he joined NautaDutilh. He became a partner in 1980. He was chair of the Corporate M&A Committee of the Section on Business Law (SBL) of the International Bar Association from 1988 to 1992; an officer of the SBL from 1993 to 1998; and chair of the SBL from 1997 to 1998.
Mr Calkoen publishes regularly on topics such as joint ventures and corporate governance. He has been highly recommended in Pritchard’s European Legal 500 of 2004 and listed in Who’s Who Legal for the Netherlands under M&A and corporate governance. He is acknowledged by European Legal Experts 2005 as a corporate and commercial expert.
On 11 October 2011, Mr Calkoen defended his thesis, a comparative book on the corporate governance practices in the United Kingdom, the United States and the Netherlands.
Corporate governance is a vital and all-encompassing topic, and the modern corporation is one of the most ingenious concepts ever devised. Most corporations aim to add value to society, and they very often do; some, however, are exploiting, polluting, poisoning and impoverishing us, which can create a depressed reputation for business. A lot depends on the commitment, direction and aims of a corporation's founders, shareholders, boards, management and employees. Do they show commitment to all stakeholders and to long-term shareholders, or mainly to short-term shareholders? There are many variations on the structure of corporations and boards within each country and between countries.