EU

EU

EU law has a huge impact on almost all sectors and businesses. In many sectors, fair competition in the internal EU market is ensured through highly detailed and complex regulations relating to market access, production processes and products and services offered on the market.

Houthoff’s EU Team has considerable experience with regulations in a wide range of areas, including REACH, regulations relating to food, biocides, and automotives, and regulated sectors such as rail travel. The team also has a thorough knowledge of substantive and institutional EU law and the fundamental freedoms of movement for goods, services, persons and capital. They advise different international manufacturers on highly specific EU regulatory aspects.

  • “Clients value the ‘tailor-made solutions’ provided, alongside the team’s ‘holistic approach’ and ‘commercial understanding.’”      
    Chambers Europe, Competition/European Law (2019 Edition)
  • “They are really good at immediately identifying the problems and coming up with practical solutions.”
    Chambers Europe, Competition/European Law (2019 Edition)
  • “Praised for its ‘sound industry knowledge and professionalism’ Houthoff’s team further stands out for its ‘specific industry knowledge and high-quality associates.’”
    Legal 500, EU and Competition (2019 Edition)
  • "Clients hail the team as experts on competition law,' and commend the firm's 'strong network in the healthcare sector'."
    Chambers Europe, Competition/European Law (2018 Edition)
  • "The lawyers draw praise for their 'intellectual drive, quick adaptation to new circumstances in the case and huge client commitment,' as well as their 'excellent communication skills'."
    Chambers Europe, Competition/European Law (2018 Edition)
  • "The lawyers are very knowledgeable and quick to respond to queries with a detailed and well-explained analysis."
    Chambers Europe, Competition/European Law (2018 Edition)
  • "Houthoff’s department is ‘very responsive’ and ‘really knows the industry’, with particular expertise in enforcement and technology-related competition issues."
    Legal 500, EU and Competition (2018 Edition)
  • "I think they have very broad expertise; there is always someone in the firm who can help you with a question. They're quick to respond."
    Chambers Europe, Competition/European Law (2017 Edition)
  • "Houthoff Buruma has the size and experience to handle the full range of competition law matters."
    Legal 500, EU and Competition (2017 Edition)
Our EU Team combines its thorough knowledge of EU law with extensive experience in representing clients before the European Commission and litigating in the EU courts (European Court of Justice and the General Court of the European Union). As such, the team's members regularly advise on presenting EU law arguments in national proceedings. The EU Team was, for example, involved in the national test case by Nationale Nederlanden that resulted in a preliminary ruling procedure before the ECJ.

Clients engage our EU Team when they discover unfair competition resulting from the incorrect application or interpretation of EU law or national protective measures. These could include discriminatory taxes or other obstacles to the free movement of goods, such as branded products or medications.

Our EU Team can be relied on for effective involvement in the decision-making processes of the EU institutions, and the effective exercise of rights arising under EU law in national or EU legal proceedings.
  • Houthoff assisted the AMC and VUmc hospitals in obtaining the required approval from the Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) for an administrative merger. The approval enables the two Amsterdam-based university medical centres to cooperate on patient care, research, education and training without limitation. This will create the biggest university medical centre in the Netherlands.
  • Houthoff is representing the association of realtors, VBO Makelaar, in ongoing civil proceedings before the court of Amsterdam against Funda. Funda is the largest online real estate portal in the Netherlands and a subsidiary of the largest association of realtors in the Netherlands, NVM. The case is one of the few Dutch cases based on abuse of dominance. The case revolves around discriminatory practices by Funda to the detriment of VBO Makelaar's members.
  • Advising public bodies and renowned companies on the state aid rules applicable to the roll-out of broadband, environmental taxes, sustainable energy, major regional investment projects and agriculture.
  • Advising university medical centres in public tender procedures for IT and electronic medical files.
  • Advising both public bodies and large construction companies on state aid rules in relation to contracts for the realisation of various prestigious projects. In many cases, the financial impact of the application of the state aid rules in the concerned multimillion projects can be considerable.
  • Represented of the municipality of Eindhoven in the formal investigation of the European Commission on presumed state aid to footballclub PSV.
  • Representing Nationale-Nederlanden, a major insurance company in a preliminary procedure (case C-51/13) before the EU Court. The case concerns questions from the Rotterdam court on the interpretation of EU directives on the life insurance sector and more specifically the pre-contractual information requirements imposed on insurers. The EU Court has ruled in favour of Nationale-Nederlanden.
  • Representing Total in a follow-on damage claim.
  • Advising on the establishment of internet pharmacies including various regulatory and competition aspects of internet sales of pharmaceutical products.
  • Advising pharmaceutical wholesale companies on various regulatory aspects of the distribution of pharmaceuticals and medical devices including the notification, packaging/labelling requirements and CE-marking.
  • Advising H2 Equity partners on the sale of its majority stake in its portfolio company Dümmen Orange to BC Partners. Dümmen Orange is a leading breeder of cut flowers and potted plants with production in Europe, Central America and East Africa. The transaction is a subject to regulatory approvals and it is expected to be closed in the coming months.
Weyer VerLoren van Themaat

Key Contact

Amsterdam
Advocaat | Partner
+31 20 605 61 83
+31 6 5365 5833
Gerrit Oosterhuis

Key Contact

Brussels
Advocaat | Partner
+32 2 507 98 13
+32 4 7394 8686
Greetje van Heezik

Key Contact

Brussels
Advocaat | Counsel
+32 2 507 98 10
+32 4 7586 8593