Michiel is a dedicated technology lawyer with a focus on digital transformation and commercial contracting. He supports his clients through major IT and business process outsourcing projects, procuring and implementing SaaS and cloud solutions, managing software and data licensing, and developing bespoke IT solutions, among other things. Also experienced in the regulatory and compliance side of the field, he handles data protection and cybersecurity projects for household name clients.
Technology’s potential for improving our lives has always fascinated Michiel. It doesn’t just make things easier, he believes, but also allows us to connect and makes us more creative, more curious and smarter. But before it can do this, new technologies must be properly implemented. And this requires the ability to listen to people, understand their goals and anticipate problems before they arise.
Understanding the technology itself is vitally important, Michiel says. And no one works harder to grasp their clients’ needs. But that, in itself, is not enough. You must also know how to negotiate contracts that address parties’ interests – their hopes and concerns. Michiel appreciates that successful projects are not born from contracts, but from relationships based on collaboration and trust. This might mean asking difficult questions, airing inconvenient truths and managing expectations – ‘soft skills’ that enable Michiel to add value just as surely as his technical and legal knowledge.
These skills have served Michiel well in a number of challenging IT projects. For example he was brought in to support a Dutch public body that had failed multiple times to tender for a cloud solution, successfully rewriting the tender to obtain a number of strong bids. Other career highlights have seen him run a multinational BPO for a world-leading FMCG company and handle an outsourcing and cloud service integration project, spanning 40+ jurisdictions, for a leading bank.
Having started his career at Hogan Lovells, Michiel spent a number of years in house, working at a telecoms start-up and such prestigious companies as Capgemini, Philips, T-Mobile, Tommy Hilfiger, Canon and ASML, before co-founding Grasp, a boutique technology law firm.