Based in Duisburg, where the Rhine and Ruhr rivers meet, the TEN member firm of NJP Grotstollen is one of Germany’s leading transportation law firms, although its team of seven lawyers also handle other kinds of cases.
The firm was established in 2000, as NJP, by three partners and, in 2009, changed its name to NJP Grotstollen, following the arrival of Dirk Grotstollen. He brought 15 years’ experience as a lawyer and notary, as well as membership of TEN, The European Network.
Today, NJP Grotstollen has three senior and four junior partners, who deal with a wide range of practice areas, especially transportation, insurance, administrative, and company law. The firm also acts on behalf of clients in property-related cases and, under Grotstollen’s lead, is expanding its inheritance business.
Born in Ruhrort, the port district which lies just north of the Ruhr, Grotstollen comes from a family that has long had links with the shipping industry. Duisburg is Europe’s and, by some measures, the world’s largest inland harbour, so, he recalls, it was only natural he gravitated to the sector after being admitted to the bar in 1995.
A historic university town, Duisburg became an important coal-mining and steel-making hub in the first half the last century, although the last mine closed in 2009 and the steel industry has declined in recent years. Now, it leverages its strategic location as the gateway to serve the European hinterland from the ports of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Antwerp (ARA) on the Netherlands’ and Belgium’s North Sea coasts.
Thanks to Grotstollen’s and his partners’ expertise, NJP Grotstollen provides specialised services for inland navigation, CMR freight, and all manner of transportation issues, whether in the air, rail, road, and on Europe’s waterways. He says that “our competence, good results and honest, open approach” allow the firm to offer “realistic advice that helps manage client expectations, even if that sometimes means saying ‘no’ to cases.”
Having come into contact with TEN at his previous firm, while working on cross-border cases involving the movement of goods from Duisburg to the ARA ports, Grotstollen joined the network in 2002. He feels that TEN is “good for clients, because we TEN lawyers know each other”, something that is particularly helpful with the debt collection and probate cases he has handled through the network in recent years.
Grotstollen insists that he “loves his job, both in terms of working with the law and with people.” When not busy with work commitments, he is an active member of the community, serving as a board member of both the Rotary Club Duisburg and the Duisburg lawyers’ association. He has also been the chairman of the Ruhrort civic association for the last two years, although he has been on the board for a decade.
A declared “anti-golfer”, Grotstollen is a keen tennis player, a sport he enjoys with both his wife and daughter. He also loves to get out into the countryside surrounding the city, which, he says, “is wonderfully green and full of lakes.” As the host of 2017’s TEN Annual Meeting, he is looking forward to showing colleagues around Duisburg and the Niederrhein region in June.