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Willem Stevens
mr Willem F.C. Stevens mr Willem F.C. Stevens
 
 

Biography

Willem Stevens trained as a tax inspector at the State Tax Academy simultaneously studied law at the University of Leyden and earned a Master of laws degree at Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Mass. USA.

Following a short tenure as an assistant tax inspector he choose for a career in business and tax law, Stevens joined Caron as a partner under the name Caron & Stevens attorneys at law and introduced in the Netherlands the first integrated practice of lawyers (members of the bar) and tax advisors in one firm. Until that time, tax practice was the exclusive domain of accountants and specialized tax consultants. Since then all major Dutch law firms in the country have developed tax practices in their respective offices.

Caron & Stevens were the first Dutch lawfirm to introduce the international law practice in the Netherlands by entering "avant la lettre" into an international partnership with foreign lawyers by associating with Baker & McKenzie a U.S.-based international law firm with offices around the world. Stevens served as a member of Baker & McKenzie’s global executive committee and as a member of its global policy committee. He was Chairman of the European regional council. Stevens stepped back as senior partner of the firm in 2002. From 2002 to 2006 he served as senior counsel to Baker & McKenzie Amsterdam N.V., with over 300 professionals and staff. Baker & Mckenzie is one of the largest international law firms in the world with 77 offices in 47 countries.

Willem Stevens is also known for his involvement with tax reform in the Netherlands. He was a member of the Oort IncomeTax Reform Commission and chairman of the National Commission for Tax Reform.(Stevens Commission). For 12 years (from 1991 to 2003) he was a member of the Senate for the Christian Democratic Party (CDA). During his tenure he served as chairman of the Finance Committee and as spokesman on tax legislation for the Christian Democrats. He is still actively involved in tax reform as chairman of the CDA's tax commission.

Willem Stevens is a member of the Amsterdam bar. He is active as independent counsel in the legal, tax and corporate governance field. He also acts as (fiscal) mediator. He is a member of the supervisory board of AZL NV. He is chairman of the board of the VEROZ Foundation, a platform for entrepreneurship in healthcare. He is a member of the Advisory Board of MC Group, Boelens & de Gruyter Real Estate Development, Legal People, Ivy Circle Netherlands (chairman), and Foundation ArtZuid.

He is a guest lecturer corporate governance for executive management programs at Erasmus University, Rotterdam.

During his practice as a senior partner of Caron & Stevens/Baker & McKenzie and thereafter he served on boards in the profit and non-profit sector. He was national chairman of the Netherlands Association for Industry and Trade (Nederlandsche Maatschappij voor Nijverheid en Handel). He was chairman of the World Trade Center Association Amsterdam and vice-chairman of the Board of the American Chamber of Commerce. He was chairman of the Supervisory Council of Amsterdam City Hospital (Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis).He was the first Executive Committee chairman of Amsterdam Partners, a public-private partnership to promote the Amsterdam area (that launched the motto “I Amsterdam”).

He is also active in other areas of society. He is a member of The Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences (Koninklijke Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen). He was chairman of the supervisory council of the Diabetes Research Netherlands Foundation. He was chairman of the Foundation Genootschap Amsterdam Historisch Museum and vice-chairman of The Concertgebouw Foundation.

He was a founder of the Harvard Law School Association of Europe (HSLAE), an association of Law School alumns resident in Europe. He is a member of the Board of Governors of HLSAE and a member of the Council of Harvard Law School Association (HLSA global), Cambridge, Mass., USA.

Willem Stevens has published in legal and tax periodicals as well as in the national financial press. Het is a co-author of reports of governmental commissions. He is a speaker on seminars and other fora about tax reform and corporate governance.

In 1994 Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands appointed Mr. Stevens a knight in the Order of the Dutch Lion (Ridder in de Orde van de Nederlandse Leeuw) and in 2003 an officer in the Order of Oranje Nassau (Officier in de Orde van Oranje Nassau).



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