Energy

Energy & Industry

The Energy Agreement, the Paris climate agreement and developments in technology are dominating the energy sector. Houthoff’s experienced Energy & Industry Team identifies the commercial opportunities that these changes bring. Investments in wind and solar energy, biorefining and large-scale energy storage are all here to stay. CO2 emissions have to be reduced, which means that production processes need to be more efficient. This requires significant investment on the part of the industry. Houthoff is recognised nationally and internationally within the sector and helps energy companies, government bodies, manufacturers, investors and large energy consumers make smart and successful energy decisions. In that respect, our Energy & Industry Team is a market leader when it comes to sustainable energy.

  • “All required expertise is available at one firm.”
    Chambers Europe, Energy & Natural Resources: Regulatory & Transactional (2019 Edition)
  • “Clients are impressed by the team’s ability to ‘strike a good balance between commercial and legal issues.’”
    Chambers Europe, Energy & Natural Resources: Regulatory & Transactional (2019 Edition)
  • “The ‘pragmatic and client-focused’ team at Houthoff is considered to be ‘a great addition to any legal department.’”
    Legal 500, Energy: Transactional (2019 Edition)
  • First Tier firm
    Legal 500, Energy: Transactional (2019 Edition)
  • Recommended
    Legal 500, Energy: Regulatory (2019 Edition)
  • "The team's accessibility is highlighted as a strength, with interviewees reporting: 'They come up with practical solutions and listen to the client,' as well as being 'professional and friendly at the same time and always reachable'."
    Chambers Europe, Energy & Natural Resources: Regulatory & Transactional (2018 Edition)
  • "Additional clients admire the firm's direct approach, noting that it provides 'to-the-point advice'."
    Chambers Europe, Energy & Natural Resources: Regulatory & Transactional (2018 Edition)
  • Recommended
    Legal 500, Energy: Regulatory (2018 Edition)
  • "Houthoff’s team is ‘fully aware of the commercial implications of regulatory frameworks’."
    Legal 500, Energy: Transactional (2018 Edition)
  • First Tier firm
    Legal 500, Energy: Transactional (2018 Edition)
  • "A source compliments the team for being 'very efficient, quick and approachable,' adding: 'I think everybody in the firm made a very good impression on me'."
    Chambers Europe, Energy & Natural Resources (2017 Edition)
  • "Another client praises the team's 'great eye for detail, focus and speed, as well as depth of knowledge and experience,' adding that 'they have always delivered'."
    Chambers Europe, Energy & Natural Resources (2017 Edition)
  • First Tier firm
    Legal 500, Energy (2017 Edition)
  • "Highly experienced in various areas, including M&A, restructuring and insolvency, project finance and high-profile litigation, Houthoff Buruma’s department is active in oil and gas, conventional power, and renewable energy."
    Legal 500, Energy (2017 Edition)

Our expertise in the energy sector

M&A transactions in both the oil and gas industry and the sustainable energy sector often have complex structures. Houthoff advises multinationals, private equity firms, government bodies and other parties on transactions in the energy market. Businesses in the niche 'waste-to-energy' market benefit from in-depth, full-service knowledge of the regulatory framework – specialist knowledge that can be found within our Energy & Industry Team. The team also act as advisers for a wide range of matters within this niche. The Netherlands is creating more and more opportunities for innovative wind projects. Our energy specialists have gained a key position in this context, assisting both developers and financiers of large wind projects.

Energy sector regulation is hinged on a mix of public and private law. Therefore, our Energy & Industry Team includes specialists on energy law, planning and zoning law, economic administrative law, environmental law, M&A, procedural law (including cassation), procurement law, criminal law and competition law. Our unrivalled track record in the energy sector is a testament to our sector knowledge. We not only deliver the highest quality, but always look beyond the problem and offer our clients solutions that will stand them in good stead for the future.

  • Houthoff advised Petrobras Global Trading B.V. on a USD 2,500,000,000 revolving loan and letter of credit facility agreement between Petrobras Global Trading B.V. as borrower, Petro;leo Brasileiro S.A.; Petrobras as guarantor, Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank as the administrative agent and The Bank of Nova Scotia, Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. and Mizuho Bank, Ltd as joint bookrunners and joint lead arrangers.
  • Houthoff assisted Royal IHC in the sale of its subsidiary Vremac Cylinders to Vydraulics. Vremac Cylinders is a modern designer and manufacturer of hydraulic cylinders, swivels and piston accumulators. Its products are designed to operate in harsh conditions in the dredging, offshore, civil engineering (bridges and lock gates) and heavy machinery markets.

  • Advised Vivo Energy on a transaction with Engen which adds operations in eight new countries and 230 Engen-branded service stations to Vivo Energy's network.

  • Advised Vitol on its agreement with IFM Investors to acquire Buckeye Partners' 50% equity interest in VTTI, the leading global independent provider of energy storage. After completion, VTTI will be owned 50% by IFM Investors and 50% by Vitol.
  • Houthoff has assisted Twence, a waste processing company that produces energy, in the acquisition of Empyro. The Empyro plant produces pyrolysis oil, green steam and electricity from biomass by polygeneration.

  • Houthoff advised Nuclear Research Group (NRG) on the sale of its dosimetry services division to Mirion Technologies.

  • Houthoff represented Simadan in the sale of its businesses to Parcom Capital and John Swire & Sons. Parcom Capital will acquire the businesses Noba and Rotie. John Swire & Sons will acquire Biodiesel Amsterdam, Tankstorage Amsterdam and Cleaning & Services Amsterdam, a cleaning terminal for (bulk) trucks. The transactions are subject to Dutch and UK antitrust clearance.
  • Together with Skadden Arps we advised ExxonMobil on matters of Suriname law in connection with an offshore oil and gas drilling project in Suriname.
  • Houthoff represented Varo Energy in the acquisition of United Fuel Groep BV, which resulted in the expansion of Varo Energy's retail network with 22 retail service stations in the Eastern Netherlands and wholesale and lubricants business activities.
  • Advised Attero in a dispute with RWE regarding a long-term landfill gas contract and in drafting new long-term gas sales agreements.
  • Water control board “Aa en Maas” is building a new biogas plant. For the operation the water control board will take residual heat from the municipal waste product centre. Moreover, the water control board will supply generated biogas to the nearby Heineken brewery. Houthoff is drafting and negotiating the agreements (including the PPA) and giving regulatory advice.
  • Advised Huntsman on the amendment of several major site energy and utilities contracts with Eurogen/Air Liquide.
  • Representing an energy company in an arbitration under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules
  • Acting as Petrobras Dutch counsel in connection with Claim Foundations claiming compensation on behalf of investors for the fraud issues at the parent company in Brazil.
  • Successfully represented the Republic of Colombia and the former state-owned energy company Ecopetrol against Llanos Oil in a Supreme Court litigation. Llanos Oil claimed that they have been wrongly deprived of their exploration license for oil and gas. The core of the legal battle was whether a Dutch court has jurisdiction in this case that seems to be purely Colombian. The Supreme Court has decided that a Dutch court has no jurisdiction in this matter.
  • The Unbundling Act requires that the integrated energy companies unbundle their network companies, and forbids privatization thereof. Three large energy companies argued that the act infringes on the right to free movement of capital and therefore does not bind them. The Dutch Supreme Court found that the Unbundling Act is in line with the right to free movement of capital. The Supreme Court reasons that the objectives of the Unbundling Act are ‘important reasons in the public interest’ and that the entailing restrictions.

     

    Click here for the judgement of the Supreme Court. 

Kirsten Berger

Key Contact

Amsterdam
Advocaat | Partner
+31 20 605 61 73
+31 6 1296 7383
Willem de Nijs Bik

Key Contact

Amsterdam
Advocaat | Partner
+31 20 605 61 66
+31 6 5356 6533
Jacques Kröner

Key Contact

Rotterdam
Advocaat | Partner
+31 10 217 25 44
+31 6 5144 5782
Marc van Beuge

Key Contact

Amsterdam
Advocaat | Senior Associate
+31 20 605 65 82
+31 6 2298 7889