His experience has prepared Willem Wiggers well for the founding of Weagree.
Willem's interest for organisations was raised at secondary school, when he co-founded LAKS, the Dutch national representative organization for pupils. At the time, he was already fascinated by technology, which made him decide to enrol for a mechanical engineering study at the university, where he learnt the basics of computer programming.
After one year, Willem switched to study law at Utrecht University. At the end of his study he was invited to do a PhD on 'international joint ventures'. During this period at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, Willem did research at various top institutes worldwide. These included scholarships at the Swiss institute of comparative law at Lausanne, the Max Planck Institute in Hamburg, a Fulbright fellowship at UC Berkeley in California and visiting scholarships at the University of Bologna and at Unidroit in Rome. Willem's comparative research encompasses company law, contract law and private international law of Switzerland, France, Germany, The Netherlands, California, New York and Delaware. The research enlarged Willem's knowledge of the leading legal systems.
After his PhD research work, Willem was admitted to the Amsterdam bar as an attorney-at-law (advocaat) with Loeff Claeys Verbeke at Amsterdam (somewhat later merged with Allen & Overy). In this top tier law firm, he worked in the corporate (M&A) and litigation departments. During this period, Willem developed his contract drafting skills. He co-authored Allen & Overy's joint venture model contract and participated in the preparations of A&O's 'worldwide SPA precedent'. After five years, he resumed his PhD-research and subsequently worked as an interim in-house counsel for Royal DSM, Royal Philips Electronics, NXP, Linklaters and again for DSM. His work with these multinationals further contributed to his knowledge and experience of what is important in contracts and in business.
In connection with the launch of Weagree by ASML, a first tier technology company listed on Nasdaq and Euronext, Willem upgraded all the model technology contracts of ASML, as well as all the procurement and logistic model contracts. Willem provided similar contract upgrading services to the European branch of Q8 (Kuwait Petroleum), AkzoNobel and TNO (Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research). In 2007, Willem founded Weagree.
In March 2012, Willem became a consultant to the International Trade Centre ITC, a joint technical agency of the United Nations and WTO. In this context, Willem has developed a complete training programme on 'Cross-border contracting', including a book, training materials and exercises. The training programme is developed for the 50 least developed countries worldwide (LDC's) and will be implemented in cooperation with the ICC.
Willem is an active member of the Groupe de travail des contrats internationaux (‘GTCI'), a European working group of senior legal counsel, lawyers and professors discussing topics of contract drafting. He is also an enthusiastic contributor to a European working group of the Common Core of European Private Law (also known as the ‘Trento Project'), mapping out the similarities and differences between EU member state laws on ‘unexpected circumstances'.
Willem is also the editor of International Commercial Law - Source Materials.