Our people

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Mark Jan Arends 


"My desire to contribute to impactful business transactions and navigate evolving legal landscapes has always been aligned with my career aspirations. "

Give a brief overview of your role at the firm now, when you joined and your background before joining.

I am a partner with Clifford Chance LLP in Amsterdam. I spearhead the corporate practice. For almost 20 years, I have been specialising in corporate law, corporate finance, and related notarial law. I read Law from Leiden Law School in 2004.

Why did you become a lawyer – what prompted and sustained your pursuit?

I became a corporate lawyer because of the interplay between law and business dynamics, which resonated with my innate problem-solving skills and intellectual curiosity. My desire to contribute to impactful business transactions and navigate evolving legal landscapes has always been aligned with my career aspirations. Inspirational mentors, my commitment to continuous improvement in legal tech, and my vision of creating the best team around my practice have consistently fuelled my pursuit of excellence in the field of global businesses.

What motivates you in your role?

Navigating through legal complexities within the business realm engages my skills. Collaborating with my team and building client relationships further fuels my motivation, reminding me of the tangible impact of my work. This, combined with mentorship and my pursuit of self-improvement, sustains my passion for excelling in corporate law's ever-evolving landscape.


What was your biggest assumption before becoming a lawyer?

I thought being a lawyer mostly revolved around arguing and intense debates. However, as I entered the legal profession, I quickly realized that there is a much broader spectrum of legal practice, including transactional work, negotiations, research, and advisory roles.

How would you describe the culture and atmosphere at Clifford Chance?

Clarity and forward-looking culture.

What are the key skills you have developed here which have been invaluable to your career?

The most invaluable skill I have developed in my career is people management. This skill involves effective leadership, conflict resolution, clear communication, and fostering empathy. I've learned to guide teams, resolve conflicts, and provide constructive feedback.

What do you like most about your job?

You never know what the day will look like, but I look forward to the challenges coming my way.

What do you value most about the people and the firm?

The culture of freedom and self-expression fascinates me. Clearly, it is a no-nonsense culture.

What is your key advice for anyone considering a career at Clifford Chance?

My key advice for anyone considering a career at Clifford Chance is to embrace a proactive learning mindset. The legal landscape is dynamic and staying updated on the latest developments is essential.  

What's the best piece of advice you've received since joining ?

"Read your emails twice, before sending out". This simple guidance emphasizes the importance of thoroughness and attention to detail. When I take the view of a client, I recognize that every communication holds significance, and overlooking even a minor detail could have far-reaching consequences. By taking the time to carefully review my emails, I ensure accuracy and clarity in my correspondence, fostering stronger client relationships and upholding the professionalism that defines our firm.

What is the most exciting deal/matter/project you have worked on recently?

The spectacular IPO of Adyen marked a significant milestone in the financial and tech industries. Adyen, a Dutch payment processing company, captivated the market with its initial public offering (IPO) in 2018. The IPO was remarkable for several reasons. It showcased Adyen's impressive growth trajectory and innovative approach to online payment solutions. The company's shares surged on its first day of trading, reflecting the strong investor interest and confidence in its business model. Adyen's IPO not only raised substantial capital but also positioned it as a major player in the global fintech landscape. This event highlighted the potential of disruptive technology companies to reshape traditional financial sectors and redefine market expectations.

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