Jan Frans de Groot

Jan Frans de Groot

Advocaat | Partner




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Jan Frans specialises in public law and Supreme Court litigation. He is head of Houthoff's broad environmental law practice. His particular expertise is planning and zoning law, public-private partnerships, land policy and expropriation. Jan Frans advises on and litigates in relation to matters and projects with complex relationships between private and public interests and he acts for government bodies, developers, investors and large companies. His work focuses on large-scale area development projects, city centre redevelopment and public contracts. He litigates in fact-finding instances before the civil and administrative courts.

Jan Frans is also a Supreme Court lawyer. In Supreme Court cases he focuses mainly on disputes with public law aspects: contracts with the government, government liability, expropriation, real estate, procurement and state aid. Jan Frans is chair of the Dutch Association of Expropriation Law Lawyers, and a member of various associations, including the Dutch Association of Civil Cassation Litigators, the Dutch Association for Expropriation Law, the Dutch Administrative Law Association, the Dutch Construction Law Association, and the Dutch Construction Law Association. He frequently publishes on land policy and expropriation, and gives lectures at the Grotius Academy (Environmental Law) and at the Dutch Institute for Construction Law.

  • recommendation people shaking hands
    One client describes him as a "great person to work with," who is "solution-driven."
    Chambers Europe, Public Law: Planning and Environment (2018 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    Leading individual
    Legal 500, Environment & Planning (2017 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    Leading individual
    Legal 500, Environment & Planning (2016 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    "He is quick at responding, he always calls back at any time day or night, and he knows very quickly what my goals are and the issues that are important to me. He is also very good at negotiating with other companies on our behalf."
    Chambers Europe, Public Law: Planning and Environment (2017 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    "Jan Frans De Groot specialises in planning and zoning matters in relation to infrastructure, particularly urban and area development. He advises and litigates on land use policy, expropriation and procurement, and is also knowledgeable on public transport issues."
    Chambers Europe, Public Law: Planning and Environment (2016 Edition)

Qualifications & Experience

  • Notarial Law (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
  • Dutch Law (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
  • Tax Studies (Tilburg University)
  • Houthoff represented the shareholders of Makelaarsland B.V. and Above Holding B.V. in the sale and transfer of 90% of the shares in these companies to ING.

  • Together with Skadden Arps we advised ExxonMobil on matters of Suriname law in connection with an offshore oil and gas drilling project in Suriname.
  • Advising Commerz Real, the owner of the Amsterdam 'Twin Towers', the tenants of which are the Stibbe law firm and Akzo Nobel. Part of the estate is a large parking lot, partially built under Highway A10 ('the Zuidas'). The Dutch Government ("Rijkswaterstaat") needs to purchase this part of the building, in order to be able to proceed with a key project in national policy "Zuidasdok", an integrated project consisting of offices, a railway station, housing and (underground) infrastructure (railway and highway). Houthoff advises Commerz Real on the purchase agreement or expropriation. Houthoff has started litigation against the Zuidasdok zoning plan.
  • Advising a consortium of owners of the former NDSM-Wharf – VolkerWessels, Reggeborgh Group, Biesterbos Group – on planning and contracting issues regarding the redevelopment of this vast area in the Amsterdam-North Harbour.
  • Houthoff represents the public service provider in the mobility chain, RDW, in the zoning procedure relating to its 60 hectares test centre located next to Lelystad Airport, where it i.a. tests cars and tires for the Dutch market against strict international and national standards.
  • Advising a combination of the large Dutch development companies Ballast Nedam and AM (BAM Group) on the redevelopment of a former FrieslandCampina (milk factory) plant in the city of Arnhem.
  • Our team is drafting several manuals for project developers and government authorities on complex environmental aspects of onshore wind projects.
  • Advising and representing Unibail-Rodamco regarding the development of a large shopping mall Leidsenhage (municipality of Leidschendam-Voorburg) and the redevelopment of the Zoetermeer City Centre.
  • Advising the Ministry of Infrastructure & Environment on various key legislative initiatives, including the new Environment and Planning Act, innovative environmental and planning instruments and land readjustment law, experimenting with new legal instruments and striving for creative solutions in complex matters. As a member of various expert teams, Houthoff provides hands-on advice to the projects involved, which include large area developments, harbours and large infrastructural projects.
  • Houthoff is the lead counsel to the private owner of the vast Dutch polder Duchess Hedwige (adjacent to the Belgian border in the southern part of the Province of Zeeland). Houthoff advises the owner and litigates against the Dutch Government regarding the planned project of the Dutch Government to submerge the privately-owned polder (more than 300 hectares of cultivated land) and turn it into estuarine nature. This submerging plan of the polder Hedwige is currently a major international political issue between both the Dutch and Belgian governments and the European Commission. Litigation against the State Zoning Plan Duchess Hedwige before the Dutch Council of State, as well as against the decision of the Dutch Government to expropriate 300 hectares of privately-owned land. An expropriation of this scale is unique in the Netherlands.