(Photo Courtesy of NautaDutilh)

Dutch firm NautaDutilh is mourning the loss of John Allen, a well-regarded intellectual property attorney who was among the 298 victims killed aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was struck down by a missile over war-torn Ukraine last week.

Allen, 44, died with his wife and three sons, who were also on the flight. In his memory, NautaDutilh changed the homepage of its website to include an image of its beloved attorney, who had worked at the firm for 18 years.

“We were shocked to learn that our much-loved colleague John Allen, his wife Sandra and their sons Christopher, Julian and Ian were on board the Malaysia Airlines flight on route to Kuala Lumpur that crashed in the Ukraine on July 17,” the firm said in a statement on its site. “ Our thoughts are with John’s family and his friends in and outside the office.”

The firm described Allen as “a kind, down-to-earth and humorous man” and “a person with many talents” who generously shared his musical and athletic abilities along with his professional contributions.

A firm spokesman declined to comment on Allen’s death “out of respect with the family and in accordance with their wishes.”

Allen joined NautaDutilh in 1996 and became a partner in 2007. His bio, which remains on the firm’s website, described him as playing a key role in building its intellectual property practice group. His main area of expertise was in European patent litigation with a focus on technology.

Allen was featured in Who’s Who Legal for patent law as well as in the Intellectual Asset Management Patent 1000: The World’s Leading Patent Practitioners. He was a regular speaker at intellectual property conferences, and an active member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association and its European counterpart, the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property.

Among his best-known cases was Monsanto v. Cefetra, which Allen argued in front the Court of Justice of the European Union on behalf of several commodity importers in a legal battle over DNA patents.

Back in their home of Hilversum in northern Holland, the Allen family was described by neighbors as “beautiful people.” Allen moved to Holland nearly 16 years ago and married his Dutch wife Sandra Martens, a primary school teacher. Candlelight vigils have been organized outside the family’s home in the secluded suburb.