lawyers & mediators
We think in terms of solutions. It is our belief that the law is there to help you – so that you can make well-informed agreements, prevent problems and, if necessary, seek recourse to the courts. We’re lawyers. Specialized in employment matters.
Sharp. Involved. Professional.
We are experts; we have many years of experience and we provide customised services at the highest possible level. We believe in a personal approach: we know our clients and the branches of industry in which they work. We do not fight shy of litigating, but with our approach we generally are able to avoid it.
Sterc provides customised services for business owners, employers, self-employed persons, trade unions, works councils, non-profit organisations and employees.
We make clear agreements in advance with respect to costs, and alternative fee agreements, such as a fixed fee or success fee, are open to discussion.
Employment law has many aspects. The following are a number of areas of the law that we handle in our practice:
individual and collective dismissals;
drafting and reviewing individual employment contracts;
negotiating and drafting collective agreements (such as collective labour agreements, social plans and the establishment of a collective labour agreement dismissal committee);
drafting and reviewing management and freelance agreements and other types of commission contracts;
flexible employment relationships;
transaction-related work, such as due diligence investigations;
confidentiality, non-competition, business relations and non-poaching clauses;
privacy and the processing of personal data;
amendments (including unilateral amendments) to terms and conditions of employment;
incapacity for work and reintegration;
pay systems and the related regulations;
working conditions and equal treatment;
social insurance law;
employee co-determination (works councils);
transfers of undertaking;
insourcing, outsourcing, offshoring and nearshoring;
employers’ liability in the event of industrial accidents and other accidents at the workplace; and
expats and foreign employees.
mr. C.B.G. Derks
Lawyer | Partner
+31 20 509 1804 | +31 6 22 58 85 00
+31 20 509 1800
mr. Ratna Vromans
Sr. Legal Assistant
+31 20 509 1800
Cathelijn Derks graduated in 1998 after studying Dutch law in Groningen. Cathelijn started her legal profession in the Rotterdam, where she initially also focused on other areas of law. After a short time, she mainly focused on employment law. After 7 years, Cathelijn switched to the employment law section of a large international law firm in Amsterdam. In 2011 Cathelijn founded Sterc lawyers, together with Ralph Jan van der Ham, among others.
Cathelijn supervises (large) reorganizations, dismissal law (for both large and smaller employers and employees), has negotiated social plans and regularly draws up procedural documents and other documents for her clients. Cathelijn likes to write and has a pragmatic approach. The search for a solution without ending up in an endless process of exchanging views is what Cathelijn offers.
Cathelijn has successfully completed the Post Academic Course in Employment Law (PALA). In 2019 Cathelijn completed the mediation training at ADR. She is a member of the Employment Law Association (VVA), the Dutch Employment Lawyers Association (VAAN) and the Dutch Association for Mediator Lawyers (NVVMA). In addition, Cathelijn publishes on various employment law topics and she acts as a teacher in courses for HR managers and / or lawyers.
Ralph Jan studied Dutch law as well as Culture, Organization & Management at the ‘Vrije Universiteit’ (VU) in Amsterdam and completed this in 2001. He started at a renowned Amsterdam law firm that later developed into a large international firm. In 2011 Ralph Jan founded the niche employment law firm ‘Sterc advocaten’ with Cathelijn Derks, among others.
Ralph Jan is a ‘lover’ of employee participation law and complex procedures. He is described as a lawyer who pulls out all the stops to achieve the best result for his clients. Preferably in a practical manner in a negotiation, but if necessary also in procedures. Ralph Jan assists large (international) and smaller employers, works councils, trade unions and employees, among others, and has completed the Grotius specialization course in employment law summa cum laude.
He is an editor at the professional journal for employment law RAR and is a lecturer in practical training courses on reorganization and takeover, the social plan, the settlement agreement, employee participation law and flexible employment relationships. Ralph Jan is co-author of the book ‘Social Plan in Practice’, a handbook for responsible reorganization. Ralph Jan is a member of the Dutch Employment Lawyers Association (VAAN), the Corporate Litigation Association and the Health Law Association.
Sterc employment lawyers
Barbara Strozzilaan 101
1083 HN Amsterdam
(t) +31 20 509 1800
(f) +31 20 509 1809
General terms and conditions
Sterc lawyers is a private limited company that also does business as ‘Sterc employment lawyers’ (Sterc arbeidsrecht advocaten), to be referred to below as ‘Sterc’. Sterc’ object is to conduct a law practice, in the broadest sense of the term. Sterc has its registered office in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and is registered in the Trade Register of the Chamber of Commerce of Amsterdam under number 57870349. The names of the partners will be provided upon request in writing.
These General Terms and Conditions govern all assignments, including supplementary and/or follow-up assignments, that are given to Sterc, its partners or its employees. The applicability of any other general terms and conditions is explicitly excluded.
All assignments are deemed to be given to and accepted by Sterc, to the exclusion of the provisions contained in Articles 7:404 and 7:407(2) of the Dutch Civil Code (Burgerlijk Wetboek), even if an assignment is explicitly or tacitly given with the intention of having it carried out by a particular person.
The assignments that have been granted will be carried out exclusively for the benefit of the principal (i.e. the client). Third parties cannot derive any rights from the work performed or from its results.
Any liability on the part of Sterc is limited to the amount that is paid out in respect of the matter in question by Sterc’ professional liability insurance, plus the amount of the insurance excess that applies under the professional liability insurance policy. Information with respect to the policy conditions will be provided upon request in writing. If and insofar as no benefits are paid out under that insurance policy for any reason whatsoever, the liability will be limited to the fee charged in connection with carrying out the assignment in question, subject to a maximum of EUR 10,000. Any and all claims brought against Sterc by principals or by third parties will lapse after a term of one year has passed since the client or the third party became aware, or reasonably could have become aware, of the existence of the claims in question.
Sterc is entitled to engage third parties when carrying out an assignment; Sterc will exercise all due care when doing so. Sterc will consult with the client in advance to every extent reasonably possible regarding the engagement of such third parties. Any and all liability on the part of Sterc for any breach committed by third parties that have been engaged is excluded. Insofar as third parties limit their liability for professional errors Sterc will be entitled to accept such a limitation of liability, also on behalf of the client.
In addition to Sterc, any and all persons who are engaged in connection with carrying out any assignment will be entitled to invoke these General Terms and Conditions, regardless of whether they still work for Sterc.
The client indemnifies Sterc against any and all claims brought by third parties and will reimburse Sterc for any and all costs that are reasonably incurred in connection with putting forward a defence against such claims.
Sterc will be entitled to request the client to pay a retainer, in consultation with the client. The work to be performed for the principal will commence after the retainer has been received. The amount of the retainer will depend on the specific circumstances underlying the assignment and will be deducted from in the final fee statement.
Fee statements must be paid within the term indicated in the fee statement. If payment is not received within the term indicated the client will be in default without any further notice of default being required, and Sterc will be entitled to charge statutory interest.
The agreement governed by these General Terms and Conditions is governed exclusively by Dutch law. The District Court of Amsterdam has exclusive jurisdiction in respect of any and all disputes that ensue from such an agreement and these General Terms and Conditions.
For the treatment of complaints Sterc has a dispute resolution procedure. The procedure is available on www.sterc-advocaten.nl and will be sent upon request. Complaints which are not resolved after treatment in accordance with the dispute resolution procedure may be submitted to the Disputes Committee Advocacy (‘Geschillencommissie Advocatuur’).
These General Terms and Conditions have been filed with the Chamber of Commerce of Amsterdam and are available at www.sterc-advocaten.nl. A copy of these General Terms and Conditions will be sent upon request.
Dispute Resolution Rules
Sterc advocaten B.V.
Any written notification of dissatisfaction from or on behalf of a client in respect of the lawyer or persons working under the lawyer’s responsibility with regard to the conclusion and the performance of a commission contract, the quality of the services provided or the amount of the fee statement, other than a complaint within the meaning of section 4 of the Dutch Counsel Act (Advocatenwet).
The client or his or her representative who gives notice of a complaint.
The lawyer who is charged with handling the complaint.
2. Scope of application
These Dispute Resolution Rules govern every commission contract between Sterc and the client. Every lawyer at Sterc is responsible for handling complaints in accordance with the Dispute Resolution Rules.
These Dispute Resolution Rules are intended to: a. lay down a procedure in order to handle any clients’ complaints within a reasonable term and in a constructive manner; b. lay down a procedure to determine the cause of any clients’ complaints; c. maintain and improve existing relations by handling complaints properly; d. train employees to respond to complaints in a manner that focuses on the client; and e. improve the quality of the services provided with the help of complaint handling and complaint analysis.
4. Information when the provision of services commences
These Dispute Resolution Rules have been made public. Before the commission contract is entered into, the lawyer will refer the client to the applicable general terms and conditions, including the Dispute Resolution Rules that Sterc applies and the applicability of those rules in respect of the services provided.
5. Complaints handling procedure
a. In the event that a client contacts the firm with a complaint, the complaint will be forwarded to the complaints officer whom Sterc has designated at that time.
b. The complaints officer will inform the person about whom the complaint has been submitted about the submission of the complaint and will give both the complainant and the person with respect to whom the complaint has been submitted an opportunity to provide an explanation with respect to the complaint.
c. The person about whom the complaint has been submitted will attempt to come to a solution with the client, if necessary with the intermediation of the complaints officer.
d. The complaints officer will handle the complaint within four weeks after the complaint was received or will inform the complainant of any derogation from that term, stating the reasons for the delay and the term within which a decision will be rendered with respect to the complaint.
e. The complaints officer will notify the complainant and the person about whom the complaint has been submitted in writing of the determination whether or not the complaint is well-founded, possibly together with recommendations.
f. In the event that the complaint is settled satisfactorily, the complainant, the complaints officer and the person about whom the complaint has been submitted will sign the determination with respect to whether the complaint is well-founded.
g. Complaints that have not been resolved after they have been handled in the foregoing manner will be submitted to the Dutch Disputes Committee for the Legal Profession (Geschillencommissie Advocatuur), with due observance of the rules and regulations that that committee applies.
6. Confidentiality and handling of complaints free of charge
The complaints officer and the person about whom the complaint has been submitted will maintain confidentiality with respect to the handling of the complaint. The complainant will not owe any costs for the handling of the complaint.
The complaints officer is responsible for settling the complaint in a timely manner. The person about whom the complaint has been submitted will keep the complaints officer informed about any contacts and a solution, if one is reached. The complaints officer will keep the person about whom the complaint has been submitted informed about the handling of the complaint. The complaints officer will maintain the complaint file.
8. Registration of complaints
The complaints officer will register the complaint, including the subject matter of the complaint. A complaint may be classified under different subject matters. The complaints officer will report periodically with respect to the settling of the complaints and will make recommendations regarding how to prevent any new complaints in the future. The reports and the recommendations will be discussed within the firm and proposed decisions will be made at least once a year.
The information on this website is intended for general use only and does not in any way constitute (legal) advice. Although Sterc employment lawyers makes every effort to display such a complete and correct website as possible, the website may contain inaccuracies. Sterc employment law advocaten is not liable or cannot be held liable for any inaccuracies.
Sterc employment law advocaten respects the privacy of all visitors to this website. Personal data that may be left via this website will only be used to fulfill your request. These data are not used for other purposes.
An e-mail message with any attachments from Sterc employment lawyers is exclusively intended for the addressee (s) and contains (s) possible confidential information. If you are not the addressee of the e-mail in question, we ask you to inform the sender of the e-mail immediately, not to take note of the content, not to disclose it to third parties or to disclose this e-mail and delete the e-mail from your systems.