Carla Smeets is one of the most renowned Dutch family lawyers and mediators, specialising in complex national and international divorce and inheritance law cases. Carla primarily serves family offices and entrepreneurs. As a trusted advisor to her clients and as a specialist in collaborative divorce, Carla Smeets takes over the directing role and develops effective strategies that leave no stone unturned in reaching a mutually acceptable settlement.
Carla completed her studies at Leiden University in 1986. After graduating, Carla specialised in persons and family law. In addition, she worked for a long time at the Private Clients department of the renowned law firm NautaDutilh. Carla is a partner and founder of SmeetsGijbels.
Carla is a member and former board member of the Association of Family Lawyers and Divorce Mediators (vFAS), member of the International Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL), member of the Association of Collaborative Professionals (VvCP) and member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP). She has participated in various legislative committees. In addition, Carla has been a deputy councilor at the Court of Appeal in Den Bosch for many years.
Lawyer Tim de Greve, partner at Stibbe.
I regularly engage the IJI in cases where PIL aspects play a role. The institute has existed for over 100 years and can therefore boast a long history and experience. There are prominent people associated with it. Not least Mr Strikwerda. They support you from the outset, immediately understand the question you are faced with and suggest possible solutions. They have the right connections at home and abroad to answer questions within a reasonable timeframe. Apart from that, it is very pleasant to work with the people of the IJI.
Lawyer Channa Samkalden, Prakken d'Oliveira
We have received advice from the IJI on several cases. One example is a case brought by a number of Nigerian farmers against Shell concerning oil pollution in Nigeria. That case is about the application of Nigerian law by the Dutch court. The IJI looked into the framework of tort law in Nigeria for us. We used that advice in the proceedings and also submitted it to the court and it showed, for instance, that our plaintiffs were also entitled to claim against Shell under Nigerian law. The IJI is extremely useful in all such cases because you receive very sound advice on the basis of which you know whether you should have a number of things investigated further. It’s very useful advice at an early stage of your procedure.
Attorney Ria van Seventer, Meesters aan de Maas Advocaten
Our law firm is based in Rotterdam, a city of more than 170 nationalities, so we regularly have to ask the IJI for advice. For example, I had to deal with the recognition of a child by an Italian man, to which Italian law had to be applied. I don’t speak Italian so I could not do that myself. Nor did I have access to the sources which the IJI has.