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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Netherlands > Environment and planning > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Environment and planning
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

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Leading individuals

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A substantial team at AKD advises numerous municipalities, water boards and corporate clients including Aldi and Wacker Chemie on the full range of planning and environmental issues relating to infrastructure projects including those with cross-border aspects. Senior team members include Jos van der Velden, Gerrit van der Veen, Klaas Meersma and Henk Breeman. Hugo Doornhof is advising KFC on complex planning and public policy issues and Marjolein Dieperink has joined the team from Houthoff.

The De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek team is cited for its 'wealth of experience and lean staffing which provides excellent value for money'. It is also noted for 'the especially high quality of its associates compared to other firms'.  Nicolien  van den Biggelaar is lauded for applying her 'extensive industry knowledge of complex projects to excellent use'. Counsel Arjan Kleinhout is rated for his specialist public law expertise in planning and regulatory matters pertaining to large infrastructure and energy projects. The team routinely acts for AkzoNobel on all environmental, health and safety issues relating to its industrial sites.

Houthoff’s team works in tandem with the corporate department to assist corporations, government bodies and project developers with environmental, planning and zoning matters. Group head Jan Frans de Groot is advising the Municipality of Almere on experimental zoning plan, land-use policy and expropriations related to the planning of Floriade, a proposed international exhibition and garden festival and subsequently a new residential area. Counsel Marloes Brans is a key member of the team.

NautaDutilh’s public law group is headed by Anne-Marie Klijn who, together with senior associate Berend Haagen, assisted Triodos and OVG in their success regarding the development of a new circular office in the heavily protected Reehorst Estate which has significant ecological and sustainability qualities. Norbert De Munnik has retired from the firm and Jolize Lautenbach now heads the Rotterdam team and associate Pieter van der Woerd has joined from Stibbe.

The team at Norton Rose Fulbright provides much of its environmental regulatory and planning expertise on large energy and infrastructure projects. In recent work, it has advised on the permits and licences requirements in respect of the installation of a coal-fired power plant and on oil terminal facilities in addition to environmental regulations and liabilities. Daphne Broerse heads the team and senior associate Bart Vis is a core practitioner.

Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn NV¬†'offers a broad range of services combined with the best specialists who are able to offer in-depth knowledge and are not afraid of challenges'.¬†The 'inspiring and energetic' Liesbeth Schippers¬†is a first choice for complicated mandates and all the lawyers are described as 'civilised and pleasant to work with'. These include Hans Besselink, 'fine sparring partner' Dani√ęlle Roelands-Fransen¬†'who always senses what is needed' and Jelmer Procee. The team's clients include major government departments and municipalities.

Stibbe's 'uniqueness with respect to administrative law lies in its particularly thorough research resulting in sound strategic advice'. Aaldert ten Veen, Jan Reinier van Angeren¬†and Tom Barkhuysen¬†are some of the senior lawyers, the latter is 'a fantastic lawyer ‚Äď a very clear communicator, very energetic and an emphatic and out of the box thinker'. Anna Collignon¬†is known for her focus on the¬†energy and chemical sectors and Val√©rie van ‚Äôt Lam¬†is reported to be 'extremely knowledgeable in the field of administrative law, approachable and a very strategic, team player'. In typical work, the team advised Wind Farm Frysl√Ęn on all aspects of the construction of an onshore wind farm, work that included dealing with various government agencies, private parties and foundations with regard to zoning, permitting and environmental issues.

Van der Feltz Advocaten is recommended not only for its 'up-to-date knowledge' but also for its 'honest advice and friendly manner'. It offers an impressive range of expertise across permitting, environmental, zoning and health and safety issues in respect of constructions. Clients range from government departments and NGOs to international companies and a number of major firms consult the team. Willem Bosma heads the group with Willem van der Werf and 'outstanding lawyer' Jacques Sluysmans 'whose knowledge and skills put him at the top in his field'. The team advised the Municipality of Voorschoten regarding a redevelopment into a nature area and country and housing estate in a green buffer zone between highly urbanized areas, a matter that included litigation regarding zoning plans and the expropriations needed for the redevelopment.

The team at Allen & Overy LLP¬†'provides in-depth knowledge and advice on very complex areas'. It works closely with its corporate and project finance colleagues to provide regulatory and broader environmental expertise, especially in the areas of energy, renewables and infrastructure. Senior counsel Jochem Spaans¬†heads the environment group and works closely with Werner Runge¬†who leads the projects and real estate team.¬† In recent updates to the department, Henry van Geen has retired from the partnership but retains a connection and¬†Coen Thomas¬†joined from Shell. The group advised Landesbank Baden-W√ľrttemberg on the financing, environmental, permitting and planning aspects of the development and operation of a number of solar parks.

The ENVIR Advocaten team is appreciated for its 'highly qualified specialists who are very easy to work with' and provide 'truly high standards and more than value for money'. The key partners are Marieke Kaajan, Fleur Onrust and, having recently arrived from CMS, the 'knowledgeable and balanced' Iris Kieft 'who is very good at dealing with authorities'. The team covers all aspects of environmental, planning and zoning law including areas such as nature conservation. It serves a broad range of corporate, energy and government clients. In highlight work, Onrust is leading a team advising Chidda Vastgoed which owns a large plot of land at the Port of Amsterdam; covering both advisory and litigation, the matter involves permits and issues around soil contamination and protected species.

The planning and environment department of Lexence¬†is noted for its work in the¬†housing and hotel development and industrial sectors. Team head Michael Klijnstra¬†has expertise spanning¬†zoning, building permits compliance and enforcement as well as issues of soil and air pollution, noise, fire safety and waste. The team is advising¬†Cementbouw on various permitting and zoning issues regarding its cement plants and includes¬†Kroonenberg Groep,¬†Slokker Vastgoed and¬†De Hoge Dennen among its clients. Pelin Ozt√ľrk¬†joined the firm from AKD.

Maayke Maas-Cooymans who counts both government bodies and corporates as clients and Stephan F.J. Sluiter, who counts Onyx and Dura Vermeer as clients, co-head the team at Ploum which is noted for its 'good industry contacts'. Maas-Cooymans and senior associate Brigitte Ebben, who both have a 'practical approach', are advising  Boskalis Nederland on a raft of planning and environmental matters in connection with the construction of an artificial archipelago of 13 islands for housing and other constructions. Of counsel Jaap Feenstra is noted for his expertise in EU environmental regulations.

At Six Advocaten, Irma van den Berg acts for well-known corporates and municipalities and other public bodies. The team is working on obtaining environmental permits in respect of large-scale commercial and residential constructions, and in other work is advising on zoning plans and The Nature Conservation Act. Partner Hanneke Ellerman is a key contact in the team.

Stijl Advocaten provides clients such as All-in Real Estate, Amvest and Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles with a rounded blend of real estate, planning and zoning expertise. The team is advising H. van den Boogaard Projecten with regard to the construction of a logistics warehouse and Taco Hovius is advising the client on all the environmental and zoning plan issues.

Straatman Koster Advocaten is a specialist real estate and construction firm with a substantial environment and planning team which is headed by Marinda de Smidt, Joost Hoekstra and Maaike de Wit. The team advises government and corporate clients on a wide range of issues including soil pollution, permit and enforcement issues, sustainable urban developments and nature conservation as well as zoning matters. It advised Green Park Gebiedsontwikkeling on matters such as zoning plans, building and environmental permits and The Soil Pollution Act. Paul Heijnsbroek and Anne Marie Ferwerda joined the team from Houthoff and HabrakenRutten respectively.

Team head Jan Jakob Peelen and managing counsel Valentijn Leijh are the key practitioners within Dentons Boekel’s dedicated group. The team advised RWE, the German multinational utility company on obtaining regulatory approvals and environmental permits for its energy projects in the Netherlands. It is also advising a client on a number of environmental law matters including on waste regulations and on issues relating to enforcement actions by the government.

DLA Piper's 'broad band of specialties' is highlighted as one of its strengths; the team works collaboratively with the real estate, corporate and project finance departments. The group is led by Léon Korsten and has been boosted with the arrival of 'proactive' legal director Arjen de Snoo from Houthoff who 'will always be recommended for environment and planning-related topics'. Acting with their colleagues in Belgium, the Amsterdam-based team advised the DEME Group on matters of planning and environment including flood risk and soil structures in relation to a construction.

At HabrakenRutten the focus is on the infrastructure and real estate sectors where it provides regulatory advice on large construction projects covering permitting and environmental assessments. Administrative law specialist Anne Marie Ferwerda provides advisory and litigation skills to clients on areas such as zoning plans. After arriving in October 2017, Henk Breeman has since left to join AKD.

'Quick, always accessible, fun to work with, intelligent and quality driven' is some of the praise garnered by boutique real estate, environment and planning firm Hemwood (previously known as Gijs Heutink Advocaten). 'True professional' Eefje van Bommel is highlighted for 'doing what it takes to reach her client's goals' and Gijs Heutink is valued for being 'proactive with a high knowledge level and sense of commercial negotiations'. Iskander Haverkate is also recommended. The team acted for Doniger Urban Developments on the zoning plan procedure, permission procedures and various contracts and agreements with the local municipality.

Loyens & Loeff provides a range of environmental and planning regulatory advice from its competition and regulatory practice group, working in conjunction with the corporate and real estate teams. Guido Koop, Max Oosterhuis and Tom van Helmond are the key contacts. The team is advising Van Nieuwpoort Group on the redevelopment of a former industrial site, involving assisting on negotiations with the municipality to establish a new zoning plan, the remediation of environmental contaminations and the timing of permit procedures.

The Van Doorne¬†team is especially noted for its zoning expertise ‚Äď working closely with the real estate practice. The team is acting for a client in respect of a large remediation matter and for another client regarding an enforcement decision made against it regarding breaches of an environmental permit.¬†Cees Kniestedt¬†and senior associate Annet Blokhuis¬†are the main contacts.¬†Tim Grundmeijer, formerly a senior associate in the team, left the firm.

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