Environment & Planning

Environment & Planning

In a place as densely populated as the Netherlands, it is common to see small areas of land with many different functions and uses. Environmental law regulates the complex distribution of available space. This area of law is constantly changing due to new national and European laws and regulations, new building techniques and societal developments. This requires legal expertise and sector knowledge. Our specialists in the Environmental & Planning Team are experts in the areas of spatial planning and environmental law. They give advice to government bodies, project developers and large companies in the Netherlands and abroad. Our specialists are involved in complex and extremely sensitive - sometimes precedent setting - cases and contribute to the creation of new legislation, such as the Dutch Environment and Planning Act. Our Environmental & Planning Team's leading position in the market is confirmed by its rankings in legal guides such as Chambers Europe and the Legal 500.

  • "A client states: ‘Every step in the line of reasoning has been thought through, all possible side-tracks have been finished and understood. A lot of time and work is put into it, and it shows’."
    Legal 500, Environment & Planning (2024 edition)
  • First Tier firm
    Legal 500, Environment & planning (2023 Edition)
  • "One client said: ‘The team has very strong capabilities, consisting of niche experts who are among the most experienced and knowledgeable in their field.’"
    Legal 500, Environment & planning (2023 Edition)
  • “Clients enthuse that the lawyers are ‘quick to respond and understand our business,’ adding that they have ‘great knowledge of current legal matters.’”
    Chambers Europe, Public Law: Planning and Environment (2020 Edition)
  • “Another client states ‘I find the culture very client-driven and friendly.’”
    Chambers Europe, Public Law: Planning and Environment (2020 Edition)

Our expertise on the environmental sector

Our experts in spatial planning give advice and litigate in matters such as area development (including zoning plans, land development and expropriation) and public-private partnerships. As one of the few law firms in the Netherlands specialised in this area, Houthoff has an extensive cassation practice and is involved in the most ground-breaking cases before the Dutch Supreme Court such as the proceedings on the expropriation of the 300-hectare Hedwigepolder.

Our Environmental & Planning Team's environmental law work includes advice on environmental issues as part of large national and cross-border M&A and real estate transactions. Our specialists are known for their litigation expertise and experience. They assist large companies and government bodies in licence and enforcement procedures.

Our Environment & Planning Team works closely with our specialists in areas such as M&A, real estate, criminal law, procedural law and procurement law. Together with a sector-specific approach (including real estate, energy, healthcare, governance and the financial sector) this multi-disciplinary approach leads to well-considered advice and pragmatic solutions. We provide solutions for today and for the future. In cross-border issues we work together with the best lawyers from all over the world through Lex Mundi, the most prestigious law firm network, and we always push boundaries for our clients. 

  • 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.
  • Advising and representing Tata Steel, one of Europe's largest steel plants, on their most important environmental permits and enforcement procedures.

Key Contact

Advocaat | Partner