La Gro Geelkerken acts on behalf of around twenty government bodies. We have broad expertise in all areas relevant to governments, always taking political-administrative relationships into consideration. Governments face various challenges, including in the areas of spatial planning, the environment, supervision and enforcement, expropriation and government liability. The development of spatial projects often involves a complex interplay between private and public parties. To create a new residential area, business park or sports park, for example, developers and authorities have to work together. Our team acts on behalf of governments in processes such as tenders, zoning plans, operating plans, environmental permits, land transactions, expropriations and land policy. Legal issues related to state support may also arise in the above-mentioned cases. Tackling subversion is another challenge for governments. This has been a priority for many municipalities in recent years. Our specialists advise on the application of Article 13b of the Opium Act, the Public Administration Probity Screening Act (BIBOB Act), the imposition of area bans and the drafting of emergency orders and emergency ordinances. Collecting and sharing information is very important when tackling subversion. Our privacy specialists advise on this matter. There is also an increasing need for government transparency. The Government Information (Public Access) Act (WOB) will soon be replaced by the Open Government Act (WOO). Our team has extensive experience with advising and litigating in matters of public access and imposing confidentiality under the Municipalities Act. In addition, our team advises on access requests under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Approach of the Government Team
We invest in a long-term and sustainable partnership with the authorities that we work with. Within our Government Team, we have specific knowledge of and experience with the government and a feeling for political-administrative relationships. We are able to think outside the box and come up with practical solutions. Due to the various subspecialties within our team, we can advise you quickly and properly, and provide you with adequate assistance in legal proceedings or negotiations.
We attach great value to actively sharing our knowledge. For example, we publish a periodic newsletter for governments. In addition, we provide courses through a special Academy (the LGGA Academy) on a variety of subjects: from a current affairs course in environmental law to contracting as a government. The courses can be taught online or in-house. Would you like us to teach a course within your organisation and/or are you interested in our range of courses? If so, please contact us.
Here’s what we can do for you
Is a certain development allowed in this location? Can the rules in a zoning plan be deviated from? What requirements can be set for open standards in an environmental plan? How is this regulated under the Environment Act?
We have a multidisciplinary team that specialises in the broad field of environmental law. Our specialists are happy to share their knowledge, act as a sparring partner and assist you with the transition to the new Environment Act.
Can the mayor impose an area ban? When can a mayor close a business due to the presence of drugs? Can a football match or other event designated as a security risk be banned? Such considerations affect the public order and safety of a city or region, are often socially sensitive and have legal complications.
Our lawyers have extensive experience with and extensive knowledge of the rules and powers in the field of enforcement and safety. We advise governments on the most appropriate strategy and offer support in legal proceedings.
If a citizen or company does not comply with the administrative rules, the competent authority usually has to take enforcement action. The rules and powers may be stipulated in various laws and regulations. This can make an enforcement procedure complex.
Our lawyers can help you to understand and correctly implement the dynamic and fragmented regulation of enforcement, and advise you on the imposition of a cease and desist order or administrative coercion and on how to proceed with collection.
Since the adoption of the Normalisation of the Legal Status of Civil Servants Act (WNRA), the legal position of civil servants has increasingly been aligned with employees in the private sector. Nevertheless, specific laws and regulations apply to the decisions made by government agencies, such as decisions related to hiring, dismissal, reassignment, salaries and disciplinary actions.
Our Government section has been providing legal assistance to municipalities and other authorities for decades. They know better than anyone how government bodies operate and can provide you with specific advice about the legal position of civil servants.