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Rufus Abeln

Rufus acts for clients in corporate and commercial disputes, both in (international) arbitration and litigation before civil courts.

He often acts as counsel in M&A disputes and joint venture disputes, Enterprise Chamber proceedings, and matters on corporate fraud, director’s liability, shareholder claims and class actions. Rufus also has extensive experience in national and international arbitration proceedings regarding commercial contracts and investments, as well as in courts proceedings related to arbitration.

Rufus has represented clients that are active in various industries and include (multinational) corporates, private equity firms, shareholders, as well as executive and non-executive directors.

Before joining Ysquare in 2019, Rufus was part of the corporate and commercial litigation and arbitration departments of De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek for over 7 years, and in 2018 and 2019 he was based in Singapore acting for clients on international disputes.

Recent work

  • International arbitration proceedings for a pan-European private equity firm relating to a EUR 2 billion M&A dispute over claims of fraud and breach of warranty
  • Representing Steinhoff Recovery Foundation in relation to the Steinhoff mass claim settlement of investor claims representing approximately EUR 3.2 billion in value
  • Acting in Enterprise Chamber proceedings about a joint venture dispute relating to MAD Atelier International B.V., obtaining the first ever full cost indemnification awarded by the Enterprise Chamber
  • International arbitration for a European retail distributor against US fashion major Under Armour relating to contracts for Europe and Africa, successfully claiming compensation for wrongful termination and goodwill
  • Representing Imtech N.V. in class action proceedings about investor losses, and related settlements with multiple class action firms, representative organizations and investors
  • Assisting a multinational company in bringing various claims for breaches under an SPA, and in related proceedings on governance, shareholders’ agreement breaches, and evidence gathering in multiple jurisdictions
  • Arbitration for a major Dutch company in relation to a claim of hundreds of millions of euros in value about real estate development around Amsterdam
  • Litigation for a UK private equity firm against sellers / minority shareholders concerning corporate fraud and warranty breaches under an SPA, followed by mediation that led to settlement
  • Representing a Dutch listed company in a dispute relating to earn-out arrangements under an SPA
  • Summary proceedings for a shareholder/investor in retail chain Marqt about a drag-along right under a shareholders’ agreement
  • Litigation for a US logistics supplier in multi-jurisdictional proceedings against an international organization relating to the setting up and pricing of a supply chain in a war zone
  • Representing a supplier in the food and beverage industry in commencing international arbitration against an intergovernmental organization, and in subsequent settlement negotiations
  • Advising a European pharmaceutical distributor in a dispute with a US supplier regarding breach of contract and in subsequent settlement negotiations


Professional background

  • Since 2019

    Ysquare | Attorney-at-law

  • 2018 - 2019

    De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Singapore | Attorney-at-law

  • 2009

    De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, The Netherlands | Attorney-at-law


  • 2011

    Utrecht University School of Law | LL.M. (cum laude)

  • 2009 - 2010

    Queen Mary’s College, University of London | LL.B. Erasmus (first class)

  • 2009

    Utrecht University School of Law | LL.B. (cum laude)


  • Contracts vs. Regulators: Who wins?, published as paper to the conference LNG 2019, Shanghai
  • The Future of the European Insolvency Regulation, European Review of Private Law 19(5), pp. 697-706
  • Report on the Conference on the Future of the European Insolvency Regulation, International Insolvency Law Review 2011(3), pp. 351-362
Rufus Abeln image


  • Dutch
  • English
  • German
Rufus Abeln image


  • Dutch
  • English
  • German