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Expropriation law

Our Expropriation Law Team assists both public authorities and expropriators, supporting them during expropriation proceedings in court and throughout the process. With many years of experience in expropriation law, our specialist team has all the necessary legal know-how and has helped many clients with expropriation proceedings over the years.  

Land acquisition  

A government or a public entity may need to acquire land for the common good, for example to build a road, a housing estate or a nature reserve for example. In such cases, the acquisition will be subject to expropriation law. This has as its basic principle that, even if the land is acquired amicably, the expropriated owner will be able to claim compensation in full.  

Compensation in full means that, in addition to the value of the property, the compensation may include other income losses and associated damages. The amount of compensation is generally estimated based on an evaluation, after which an offer of full compensation is made to compensate for the loss of ownership, rental or lease rights. If this initial offer is not acceptable, further negotiations will take place. If an agreement cannot be reached, the Environment Act provides for the necessary acquisition to still be achieved in court proceedings. This involves administrative proceedings on the expropriation itself and compensation proceedings before a district court under Section 15.3.2 of the Environment Act, for which advice from an expropriation specialist lawyer is paramount. Please contact one of our expropriation law specialists for more information.  

Your specialist
Coen Verhaegh

Attorney at law

What we can do for you

When faced with an expropriation, it is wise to plan ahead, as expropriation is often a lengthy and highly complicated process, where important decisions need to be made from the very beginning. Sometimes it can take years before the actual transfer of ownership takes place, so it makes sense to contact us early (i.e. as soon as the intention to expropriate arises), to draw up an action plan together on how to achieve the desired result.

It would be useful for us to discuss the approach to be taken in the negotiations at an early stage in the process, to avoid adopting positions which may later turn out to be unfavourable.

If an amicable agreement cannot be reached, we will represent you in expropriation proceedings before either an administrative court, regarding the expropriation itself, or a civil court, regarding the compensation proceedings.  

Sections 15.46 and 15.47 of the Environment Act stipulate the rules for the compensation of costs payable to the expropriated owner. 

If the court proceedings relating to the compensation fail to produce the desired outcome, an appeal may be brought before the Supreme Court. Our Supreme Court Litigation specialist will advise you on the chances of success of such proceedings and can conduct these proceedings on your behalf.