The safety and environmental rules and regulations are complex and regularly tightened, with companies being expected to comply at all times with the currently applicable rules and prevent incidents from arising. Companies subject to the Major Accident Hazards Decree (Brzo 2015) deal with high-levels of hazardous substances and must meet the highest standards or face sanctions for non-compliance. NautaDutilh's team helps companies identify and comply with the specific rules applicable in the area of safety, the environment and Brzo regulation and provides specialised support in the event of inspections and enforcement actions.
Supervision of compliance and enforcement are carried out by various authorities, each of which has its own area of expertise and focus, including the Inspectorate SZW, Environmental Services (Omgevingsdiensten) the DCMR, SodM, ILenT, ANVS and the Public Prosecution Service. Consequently, violations can result in multiple, concomitant administrative and criminal proceedings. In addition, there is an increasing focus on criminal liability on the part of directors and (HSE) managers in their capacity as "de facto managers" to alleged violations. Moreover, incidents form the object of a public inquiry conducted by the Dutch Safety Board (OVV). Finally, there is the risk of civil claims and negative publicity.
NautaDutilh has combined its years of knowledge and experience advising various companies (including BRZO companies) in a multidisciplinary team of lawyers covering administrative law, criminal law, and liability law. This consolidation will make it possible to determine a good strategy for each client and for each incident, one that covers all the bases.. If an accident or unusual incident occurs in your company, our team will stand ready to help you. Working from our offices in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Brussels and Luxembourg, the team can be on the spot quickly anywhere to assist you.
Legal and regulatory compliance and preparation for inspections
Our specialists can help your company comply with the applicable laws and regulations, by identifying with you potential risks of non-compliance (if necessary, together with technical experts), making recommendations on policy adjustments, providing training, overseeing improvements and, if necessary, advising on changes to the permit requirements. In addition, we can ensure adequate preparation for scheduled inspections.
In the event of possible non-compliance, it may be important to conduct your own investigation into the root causes thereof. At NautaDutilh we regularly perform investigations of this kind, working with technical and other experts where necessary (see also Corporate Investigations).
NautaDutilh's Corporate Crime and Public Law teams
Our Corporate Crime team comprises twenty criminal lawyers, who are known for their pragmatic and hands-on approach. We have twenty-five years of experience in financial and economic sanctions law and administrative law. The team works closely together with the Public Law team so as to provide an integrated approach.
Publications and blogs
- Marleen Velthuis on de facto management (criminal responsibility of managers) in environmental law in TvSO
- Identify and assess your risks in 2020; investigations and fines may be lurking
- Requirements for compliance based on Section 5 BRZO
- How the ne bis in idem-principle works in environmental law [link]
- Enforcement trends in environmental law 2018/2019 [link]
- Highlights from five years of environmental criminal case law (2013-2018) [link]
- NautaDutilh's BRZO seminar on 13 February 2020 'Safety Culture and Enforcement' ,
- Frequent and appreciated speakers at environmental and criminal law conferences and seminars
- Environmental criminal law conference 2020, 'Prosecuting legal entities and de facto managers in environmental criminal law'
- VMR Current Affairs Day 2020 and VMR Current Affairs Day 2019, 'Environmental law enforcement'
- Environmental criminal law conference 2018, 'Disgorgement of illegally obtained profits in environmental criminal law'
- Assisting chemical companies following serious incidents, including alleged violations of the Dutch Working Conditions Act, BRZO 2015 (Seveso Directive), Environmental Management Act, Economic Offences Act, and provisions from the Dutch Criminal Code (e.g. release of highly hazardous substances into the environment, death through fault);
- Assisting transport companies in discussions on compliance with the Dutch Hazardous Substances Act (including the ADR, IMDG, ADN, RID);
- Advising various waste collection, processing and transport companies on waste laws and regulations (including EURAL and EWSR);
- Assisting corporate clients who faced administrative fines or criminal prosecution following accidents in the workplace possibly due to violations of the Working Conditions Act and related regulations, and
- Arranging settlements or fines with the Public Prosecution Service following incidents, including the alleged late reporting of ‘unusual incidents’ and violations of the Soil Protection Act or Water Act.
Meet the team leadsSee the whole team
What others say
- "NautaDutilh provide a premier white-collar crime service. They have deep market knowledge and are instructed on a range of high profile cross-border matters. The team is collegiate and user friendly and adds tremendous value as part of an international consortium of law firms on cross-border matters." (Legal500 2020)
- "Constructive attitude, pragmatic thinking within the limits of the law, approachable and social." (Legal500 2020)
- "Top notch quality in various areas of economic crime. Strong international background, very well-connected with authorities." (Legal500 2020)