Rufus Abeln

Rufus Abeln

Rufus acts for clients in commercial litigation and arbitration cases. He has extensive experience in handling domestic and cross-border legal proceedings on a wide range of disputes. Rufus often advises and acts as counsel in matters regarding (international) commercial contracts, M&A- and joint venture-disputes, and in matters on director’s liability, shareholder claims, and class actions. He has represented clients from various industries, including logistics, distribution, healthcare/pharma, retail and technical services. Rufus worked in the commercial litigation and arbitration department of De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek for over 7 years, and in 2018 and 2019 he was based in Singapore acting for clients on international commercial disputes. He has broad experience in national and international arbitration proceedings (including WIPO, NAI, CEPANI).


Joint venture
Litigation against sellers / minority shareholders concerning claims under an SPA, followed by mediation that led to settlement

Post M&A
Arbitration for a private equity firm defending against claims on the basis of civil fraud and alleged breaches of warranties under an SPA

Assisting a multinational in bringing claims under an SPA and in related proceedings on governance, shareholder agreement breaches, and evidence gathering

Distribution – Retail
Arbitration for a European distributor against a US supplier on contracts for Europe and Africa, obtaining compensation for wrongful termination and goodwill

Advising a European pharmaceutical distributor in a dispute with a US supplier regarding breaches of contract and in subsequent settlement negotiations

Technical services
Representing a Dutch listed company in mass claim proceedings and related settlements

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

Representing a logistics supplier in the food and beverage industry in commencing arbitration, followed by successful settlement negotiations

Real estate – Investments
Arbitration for a major Dutch company in a dispute about real estate development


Since 2019
Ysquare | Attorney

2018 – 2019
De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Singapore | Attorney

2012 – 2019
De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, The Netherlands | Attorney


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

2009 – 2010
Queen Mary’s College, University of London | LL.B. Erasmus (first class)

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


Dutch, English, German