Home Expertise Planning and Environmental Law

Planning and Environmental Law

When governments or large companies are involved in the design of the physical living environment, choices must continuously be made. Major and conflicting interests are often at stake. Planning and environmental law offers a framework for sound assessment of the issues involved. Pels Rijcken is the only Dutch law firm with a team of about 20 attorneys specialised in planning and environmental law.

Planning and Environmental Law attorneys

Our planning and environmental law attorneys focus day in, day out on the legal consequences of planning and environmental choices. They are masters in all elements of planning and environmental law down to the smallest nuances, for instance in relation to area development, energy and climate and environmental enforcement. The specific knowledge and experience of our attorneys always guarantee 'to the point' legal analyses and practical, fast solutions.

Would you like to know more about our team? Watch the video.

Areas of expertise

Pels Rijcken’s planning and environmental law attorneys put their specialised expertise to use in legal project management, conducting proceedings before the (administrative) courts, and providing advice and second opinions. They also act as a sounding board, sometimes concerning specific aspects of a case, in areas including the following:

Legal project management

In the preparation phase of large, complex spatial projects (e.g. the amendment of a zoning plan), our attorneys regularly form part of the client's project team. Their role within the team is to take care of the legal project management, with the aim of legally securing and recording the reasons for strategic choices and considerations in the project preparation. This results in well-substantiated and comprehensible project choices that will stand up in court.

Have your project checked from a legal perspective

Pels Rijcken's team have developed workshops and checks to help project teams make the decisions and associated investigations 'Council of State-proof'. Examples include:

  • The workshop Sound Project Planning: a workshop to help you make well-substantiated and comprehensible project choices that will stand up in court.
  • The Crash Test: a legal assessment of the decision and other planning products (EIA reports, etc.) before they are adopted (in draft form).

Our clients in the area of planning and environmental law

Pels Rijcken's public law clients include the Dutch State, provinces, municipalities, water boards and water authorities. A few examples include the provinces of Noord-Holland and Gelderland, the municipalities of The Hague, Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Haarlem, the Vallei and Veluwe Water Board and the Veluwe and the Stichtse Rijnlanden Water Authority. We also work for a number of large companies including Jumbo, KPN and TenneT. The team has built up an extensive track record in large or complex projects, decision-making processes and procedures.


  • "Pels Rijcken's team has a great deal of experience in every aspect of environmental and zoning law." - Chambers Europe, 2023
  • "Pels Rijcken has advised excellently on highly complex legal issues related to environmental law. Its team will take a multidisciplinary approach to come to excellent legal solutions. Their advice is clear, accurate and convincing, and they have great expertise." - Chambers Europe, 2023
  • "Pels Rijcken has a large team of specialised lawyers in spatial planning law and environmental law. Within the team all relevant expertise is represented and readily available." - Chambers Europe, 2023
  • "The team has excellent knowledge of the full spectrum of environmental law. They think proactively and strategically with solutions to complex legal issues that arise, including those of large infrastructural projects. The legal quality of the advice and the representation in court is excellent." - The Legal 500, 2023
  • "High level of knowledge, practical experience, and sense of creativity." - The Legal 500, 2023
  • "Their knowledge of constitutional and administrative law is excellent. Besides they have a keen eye on the political aspects of the cases the government has to deal with." - The Legal 500, 2023
  • "Very professional and very good at matters relating to constitutional and public law." - Chambers Europe, 2022
  • "Pels Rijcken handles the most complex cases on administrative law." - Chambers Europe, 2022
  • "All-round and in-depth expertise paired with an outstanding reputation in the governmental arena.", "Very client-friendly, with fast responses on requests.", "The team distinguishes itself with a very high level of knowledge and experience.", "We particularly appreciate their pragmatic and fast advice on various aspects of environmental law.", "We chose this firm because it offers expertise in all aspects of planning law.", "The knowledge and diversity within the team is good and they offer great performances in the court room." - The Legal 500, 2022