Adaptive thinking to reshape the industry. Active in, and contributing to the development of the energy sector in the Benelux since the 1960s.

With extensive industry expertise and a strong local and international reputation, our Energy & Natural Resources team serves national and international clients across the full spectrum of the transitioning energy sector. Whether clients seek guidance in corporate and finance transactions, project development, dispute settlement, and regulatory frameworks, we are uniquely positioned to help you achieve your business and strategic objectives.

Our firm distinguishes itself by having a fully integrated sector team consisting of specialists in all relevant areas of law, including corporate M&A, public & regulatory, finance, litigation, competition, and real estate. The team is led by core members from our Corporate M&A practice group who spend 100% of their time working on matters in the energy sector. This enables us to combine highly specialized legal expertise with profound experience in the energy sector. We speak the language of our clients, build strong personal relationships within the sector and understand the challenges of operating in the energy transition.

We are pragmatic and get things done. We know what works and what does not. This enables us to advise our clients in a thorough and practical manner. Our lawyers are trained to think adaptively and act flexibly. Above all, all team members have outstanding personal track records in their field of expertise.

  • What we do

    Our corporate energy lawyers form the most active deal team for M&A and joint ventures in the Dutch and Belgian energy sectors. We have an unrivalled track record for successfully completing sale and buy mandates in the energy sector under the most challenging circumstances and deadlines. We work for major energy companies, the government and infrastructure funds that focus on energy transition.

    Apart from our sector-specific deal experience, our team has an outstanding reputation and track record for advising clients on the fast-changing energy regulatory landscape and has specific expertise with structuring land rights for large projects, drafting and negotiating bespoke energy contracts (long-term supply of power, gas, heat, hydrogen or biomass, tolling agreements, trading agreements, connection agreements and cross-over arrangements) and ensuring the contracts are bankable to allow for customary (project) financing arrangements in the energy sector. In the area of contentious work, we have a team of litigators (public, civil and arbitration) that handles large and impactful disputes with an impressive track record of winning important cases for our clients.

    The team's multidisciplinary skills, experience, network and (sector specific) knowledge is also valued by clients who seek project counsel for large infrastructure related investments in the energy sector, such as energy networks, solar-, wind- and battery projects and contracts, hydrogen projects and contracts, renewable heat, (tank) terminal projects or for traditional oil & gas ventures. The evolvement of the sector and the role governments play in the transition, also increasingly requires our lawyers not only to be business but also politically savvy.

  • Focus on the energy transition

    Our practice originally rooted from the oil and gas practice but has evolved into a fully-fledged energy transition focused practice, especially the last few years. Our lawyers are, in addition to being the core of our energy practice, also core members of other sub-teams within our firm focusing on related matters, such as ESG, hydrogen and climate change. These sub-teams, in combination with the energy (transition) practice are rapidly becoming a key focus of the firm as a whole.

    We operate at the heart of the energy transition with mandates such as our advice to the Dutch State on the unprecedented framework agreement with the whole sector of regional grid operators, but also less overarching mandates like specific investments in renewable energy, varying from smaller scale solar parks to extreme large wind parks. All such mandates are of a similar value to us, these are all prestigious for the mere fact of being a building block to a low carbon economy, something the team contributes to from a business viewpoint, but primarily because the team has a strong intrinsic motivation to do so.

    We seek change and we do so in the work we do for clients like the Dutch State and government owned companies like PZEM, EBN, TenneT and Alliander but also for large corporates such as Shell, Total and Engie. The fact that most of the mandates are won in a competitive process shows that the market recognizes our top tier position.

  • Highlighted work
    • Negotiating on behalf of the Dutch State (Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Economic Affairs) on 'Project Nachtwacht', a (multi-billion Euro) landmark case in the heart of the energy transition regarding the conclusion between the State and the regional energy grid operators Alliander, Enexis and Stedin and their respective public shareholders of a sector-wide framework agreement. In this landmark case with all national grid operators and their shareholders on the other side, meaning that we competed with counterparties that were six other (top) law firms simultaneously. Because our team comprises several top tier specialists (energy regulatory, transactional, corporate governance, State aid expertise, notarial, real estate expertise around underground network registrations, finance specialists), not many firms have a lawyer base deep enough to handle such mandates properly.
    • Acting as joint project counsel to Shell and Eneco for their two consecutive successful offshore wind tenders in the Netherlands (the HKN and HKW tenders), which required us to translate innovative tender elements (technical and commercial) into legal contractual frameworks and draw upon more than solid market expertise in various areas of law to help our clients win the tenders.
    • Representing TenneT in legal proceedings regarding TenneT’s project Zuid-West 380 kV Oost. This is the largest onshore project TenneT is currently developing, entailing the realization of 68 kilometres of new high-voltage grid. The preparation of this project started more than 10 years ago. It is currently in the appeal phase with the Dutch Council of State. More than 70 appeals have been filed.
    • Advising PZEM, the last Dutch energy company, publicly owned and owner of the only Dutch nuclear power plant, in their divestment of their wholesale portfolio (including the Sloe power plant and ZB(L) pipeline) to EPH, which not only required sector expertise, but given the volatile and ever changing market conditions and political climate, adaptive thinking on a daily basis, as circumstances literally changed by the hour in the midst of this deal.
    • Counseling Bionerga both on the development of a heat net and on the (public and private) transactions with its heat customers aiming to settle to reinvigorate the regional economy.
    • Representing DIF in the acquisition of the largest solar developer in the Netherlands.
    • Assisting sand extraction company Sibelco in the negotiations with the Flemish government (agencies) with respect to the Blue Deal climate lakes project.
    • Assisted Technip Energies in the negotiations with John Cockerill in respect of the creation of a new joint venture that offers integrated end-to-end hydrogen solutions for industrial and utility scale projects.
    • Advising ENGIE on the capacity remuneration mechanism (CRM) which aims to ensure security of energy supply in Belgium.
    • Assistance to ENGIE Electrabel in connection with the setting-up of project financing structures for the development of on-shore wind parks in the Flemish Region and the Walloon Region. Transactions include Wind4Flanders Projects 1, Wind4Flanders Projects 2, Wind4Flanders Projects 5, Wind4Flanders Projects Alpha, Wind4Wallonia Projects 2 and Greensky.
    • Acted as transactional counsel for the consolidation of the renewable energy activities of Colruyt and Korys in a new company, Virya Energy.
    • Assisting ENGIE in exploring its strategic position with respect to an ongoing geothermic permit process in the framework of the Geo@Turnhout project.
    • Assisting two international law firms to analyse the legal requirements for LNG/Gas activities by large energy players at the Zeebrugge LNG regasification terminal.
    • Assistance of Parkwind with its strategic partnership with the Japanese industrial group Sumitomo.
    • Assisting FEBEG, the Belgian Federation of Electricity and Gas suppliers, in two procedures before the Constitutional Court, in which the Flemish Decree transposing the Fourth Electricity Directive is undergoing constitutional review.

    We embrace the art of adaptive thinking and have an impressive track record for helping clients to complete groundbreaking projects, transactions and litigation in the energy sector:

    • First successful climate litigation against the Dutch State (Urgenda)
    • First private underground high voltage power cable connection (Intergen)
    • First project financed IPP power plant in Western Europe (Intergen)
    • First European real-time decentralized energy marketplace, supported by blockchain and AI technologies (S&P Global Platts)
    • First commercial battery storage in mainland Europe (AES)
    • First gas trading exchange in mainland Europe (APX – now ICE)
    • First NL underground gas storage in salt caverns (Zuidwending)
    • First project financed commercial LNG regas facility in NL (EIB)
    • First commercial contract automation project in NL downstream energy sector (Total)
    • First large-scale Carbon Capture and Storgae (CCS) demonstration project in Europe (project counsel to the ROAD JV between ENGIE and UNIPER) and advising one of the launching customers of the Porthos CCS project.
  • Hydrogen

    Hydrogen and fuel cell technologies have significant potential to enable the transition to a clean, low-carbon energy system. Our Benelux Hydrogen team helps you to unlock the opportunities that arise in a constantly evolving landscape. In the shift towards the electrification of Europe's economy, our multidisciplinary team oversees the entire spectrum. Our experts advise and litigate on all relevant areas of law, including:

    1) Regulatory (e.g. ETS, health & safety and environment)

    2) Advisory (e.g. subsidies, tax, ESG contracting and permitting)

    3) Transactions (e.g. real estate, corporate - and project finance and M&A)

    From the 'engineer, build and operate phase' of new infrastructure, to designing new trade and certification models, to evaluating existing hydrogen supply chains and strategies, we are there to help you navigate the constant change.

    Our team members regularly share their insights and expertise, for instance during client round table sessions, webinars, in blogs and by participating in public legislative consultations.

    Our latest Hydrogen team factsheet

  • What others say
    • 'The team provides not only excellent legal advice, but also adds value from a strategic and economic perspective.'
      The Legal 500, 2024
    • 'The team is highly competent – as would be expected of any firm of this standing – and also very personable. Working with them is a pleasure, not just work, which is something that stands out in the sterile M&A environment. In addition, they possess a substantial amount of rare and industry-specific knowledge.’
      The Legal 500, 2023
    • ‘Lisa Schoenmakers and Harm Kerstholt form an excellent team. They really operate as a team and manage to stand in for each other at any time. Both have supported us for many years now and always at the same high standards. Professional and dedicated.’
      The Legal 500, 2023
    • ‘Harm Kerstholt is obviously very knowledgeable about the power industry. Lisa Schoenmakers led the transaction from beginning to end and worked relentlessly all the way through. The quality of her work and her dedication are greatly appreciated.’
      The Legal 500, 2023
    • ‘Experts in their field, with a flexible attitude.’
      The Legal 500, 2023
    • 'I consider the NautaDutilh team in Belgium to be my first port of call for Belgian law advice. They are highly knowledgeable, give practical advice and very responsive to client requests – all key points when managing a deal across numerous jurisdictions.'
      The Legal 500, 2023
    • ‘It is a real pleasure working with this team. Particular mentions for Jens Mosselmans, who is very responsive and to the point, and Stef Feyen, with his in-depth knowledge.’
      The Legal 500, 2023
    • ‘Strong project management skills, high levels of engagement, good communication.’
      The Legal 500, 2023
    • 'Iris Kieft has a good reputation in the planning and environment space'.
      Chambers Europe, 2023
    • ‘Jens Mosselmans is easily reachable and works with the client with a view to rendering hands-on and practical advice.’
      The Legal 500, 2023
    • ‘The energy team at NautaDutilh has ‘a very broad skillset’ which it utilises to handle high-profile energy transactions in a fast-changing energy environment.’
      The Legal 500, 2022
    • ‘Harm's strategic, commercial and legal support in various projects. It has always been a great comfort to have him on board, not only because of his broad experience and legal expertise, but by the way in which he breaks down complexity, and his highly effective negotiating skills.’
      Chambers Europe, 2022
    • ‘Her hard work is evident as she is capable of delivering under pressure.’
      Chambers Europe, 2022
    • ‘Lisa is very pleasant and commercially astute.’
      Chambers Europe, 2022
    • About Iris Kieft: ‘A very bright lawyer, she's down to earth and friendly, but at the same time very effective and focused on results"
      Legal 500 EMEA, 2021

See related articles

Cookie notification

This functionality uses third-party cookies. Change your cookie preferences to view this content or view more information.
These cookies ensure that the website works properly. These cookies cannot be disabled.
These cookies can be placed by third parties, such as YouTube or Vimeo.
By deactivating categories, it is possible that related functionalities within the website may no longer work properly. It is always possible to change your preferences at a later time. View more information.