My name is Victor Vandersmissen and in 2019 I joined Scheepsrecht Advocaten in Loosdrecht. I help companies and individuals, for example with questions about non-compliance with agreements and liability. Or in case of hidden defects in the purchase of boats and ships.
It runs in the family
That my work is about water sports is no surprise. I practically grew up on ‘Pride ofthe Fleet’,my parents’ sailboat, and the subject was poured into me by them. My father regularly wrote books and articles about everything that had to do with boating and the sea. The enthusiasm has been passed on from father to son. At 16, I even became embroiled in a maritime lawsuit.
After studying shipbuilding in Delft for a year without much success I started studying law in 2009. When the academic year had just begun my father died unexpectedly. Because I missed two lectures as a result, my educational institution took away my exam opportunity. Together with my father’s best friend, who was a lawyer, I then fought for an extra exam. We won. From that moment on, I wanted to be a lawyer.
Also during the rest of my study I met the law regularly in practice. Now I made life difficult for slumlords.
Between ship and shore
My whole life I have been with one leg ashore and with the other at sea. As a student in Leiden I even lived for a few months on ‘Pride of the Fleet’,which was now mine. It earned me the title ‘Sailing Boy’ throughout my studies. When the icicles were hanging from my boat in December, I decided to find a real room. Through an advertisement in the university magazine ‘Mare’ I found one on the Herengracht.
After a few years of studying, I sailed around the Atlantic for six months aboard the Wylde Swan. That was an unforgettable experience. When I went ashore after that trip to finish my studies in Utrecht, it became clear that I had not lost the dream of becoming a sailor. For nights I read books about boats and gave legal advise to the owner of a sailing ship.
After graduation I started the restoration of ‘ Pride ofthe Fleet‘ and I attended theoretical training at the Enkhuizer Nautical School to become an officer of the watch. In 2018 I was able to sail on my second large sailing ship, the Clipper Stad Amsterdam.
From adventure to legal profession
In the end, the job of sailor was not for me. At least not in the role of ordinary seaman. The rest of the crew could not agree more, by the way. I’m critical and I can’t stand authority. As someone once wrote about me, “Victor Vandersmissen may be fit for the top but is unfit to get there.”
Those may be worthless qualities for a sailor, but they are excellent qualities for a lawyer and together they often provide creative solutions.
On the same wavelength
In the spring of 2020,‘Pride of the Fleet’ was relaunched. I like to sail on the Wadden Sea and the North Sea in my spare time. My experiences on large ships have taught me that working ashore and playing at sea with my own boat is the ideal combination for me.
Because of the these experiences I am on the same wavelength with boaters and water sports entrepreneurs. You can always call me with a problem and the solution doesn’t have to cost much at all. In fact, the first call is always free.