Public Law: Planning & Environment

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Our reputation precedes us

... in litigation and in regulation - we play a significant role in all major public law developments, and in energy and environment matters.

We are the go-to firm for both leading corporates and state-owned entities when it comes to general public law matters, including freedom-of-information requests, large subsidies, public enforcement (under both criminal and administrative law) and privatisations. The vast array of infrastructure projects and complex public law matters that we regularly advise on, means that the Dutch government frequently consult us as the leading experts, to help improve and adapt, or consider the implications of, new or existing legislation.

Our team has proven its ability to spearhead complex energy infrastructure projects, environmental litigation and other public law matters. We combine outstanding legal expertise with practical hands-on work and the ability to liaise with technical experts to build strong cases that withstand judicial review by third parties.

It is the multidisciplinary nature and ability to create an integrated team tailored to match the client's requirements – at the highest level – which makes our team unique.

Recent Matters

6 October 2021

Westermeerwind Wind Farm successful in subsidy proceedings

De Brauw successfully represented Westermeerwind Wind Farm - the largest Dutch near-shore wind farm, located in the Noordoostpolder and generating an amount of energy comparable to what 160,000 households consume - in objection and in appeal proceedings before the Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal (CBB) against the Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. The case centred on the government's intention to recover tens of millions of euro in wind farm subsidies based on alleged non-compliance with state aid rules. On 26 April 2021, the CBB ordered a recalculation of the subsidy reduction in favour of the Westermeerwind wind farm.
14 October 2019

Parcom reaches agreement to acquire Outdoor Life Group

20 September 2019

Vopak acquires 49% share in FSRU-based LNG import terminal in Colombia

De Brauw acted as lead counsel to Vopak on its acquisition of a 49% share in Sociedad Portuaria el Cayao (“SPEC”) in Cartagena, Colombia. SPEC is the only LNG import facility in Colombia and has been in operation since 2016. The LNG import facility consists of an LNG jetty, onshore infrastructure and a 9.2 km gas pipeline which connects SPEC to the national gas grid. A chartered FSRU is receiving the LNG and sending the gas on shore. SPEC holds long term contracts with three local gas-fired power plants. The shareholders in SPEC are Promigas (51%) and Royal Vopak (49%). De Brauw engaged Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría for local Colombian law advice. To discuss this matter further, please contact Anja Mutsaers at anja.mutsaers@debrauw.comPhoto: Vopak

A guaranteed combination of high legal quality, due care and focus on solutions... easy to talk to and pleasant to work with, they know the case inside and out... The team really knows what we do and thinks with us on a strategic level - they are really at the top end of the environmental law firms.

Chambers, 2021

Managing Health, Safety and Environment incidents is crucial

An adequate response to incidents is vital during the early stages of a Health, Safety and Environment incident and when supervising and investigating authorities visit the site.

Our interactive PDF combines practical information with relevant legal guidance - a step-by-step guide setting out how to adequately respond to HSE incidents.

Download our HSE incident response guide


16 March 2021

Consultation launched on new legal entity for social entrepreneurs

In July 2020, the Dutch government announced its plans to introduce the BVm (maatschappelijke BV) in Dutch corporate law – see our previous In Context article. The BVm is a new type of private limited liability company for social entrepreneurs active in addressing societal issues. The new type of legal entity will make it easier to identify companies with a positive impact on society. This will in turn help social enterprises and stakeholders connect and do business with each other.
12 November 2020

De Brauw launches HSE Incident Response Guide

Managing Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) incidents is crucial. An adequate response to incidents is vital during the early stages of an incident and when supervising and investigating authorities visit the site. As it is difficult to find easily accessible and coherent information on the key do's and don'ts, De Brauw has created a step-by-step guide setting out how to adequately respond to HSE incidents. This interactive PDF combines practical information with relevant legal guidance, such as which authorities to notify about an incident and whether you have a duty to cooperate or a right to remain silent. Our guide helps you to oversee your company's interests and those of your employees, and at the same time prepares you for a potential enforcement process. The guide is available on our website and downloadable.
23 October 2020

Privilege of foreign in-house counsel: English court sets standard, Dutch to follow?

A recent high court judgment in England provides a clear-cut rationale for attributing legal advice privilege to foreign in-house counsel. The High Court concluded that it is the "function" of the relationship and not the "status" of the lawyer that is relevant in the case of foreign in-house counsel. It is not necessary to assess whether certain formalities are applied, as that would undermine the basic rationale for legal privilege. Interestingly, this English ruling stands in contrast with the reasoning in a 2019 ruling by a Dutch district court, which focused on national formalities and ruled that certain foreign in-house counsel did not enjoy legal privilege because these formalities, in particular the signing of a professional charter as required by the Netherlands Bar, had not been met.