Government and Public Sector

A government has a unique position in society in comparison to other private individuals, businesses and institutions. On the one hand, a government is a party that unilaterally determines the legal positions of citizens and companies, on the other it is a legal entity under private law that, like any other (legal) person, may get involved in legal transactions. The manner of exercising public-law powers and private-law acts are often politically motivated.

A government always has to find the right balance between its social tasks, its goals, its own (economic) interests and the special rules that are applicable to governments. These various interests can, in certain circumstances, be in conflict with each other. Legal advice should therefore account for the powers, tasks, political objectives and rules applicable in a particular situation so that the competent body can carefully consider the route to be followed.

Governments may have to deal with:

  • General administrative law including, but not limited to, subsidy schemes, generally binding regulations, Wob decisions, public orders, complaint procedures and joint regulations;
  • Issues relating to the employment of civil servants;
  • The General Data Processing Regulation (GDPR);
  • Real estate law;
  • Construction law;
  • Environmental law;
  • Social domain;
  • Procurement law;
  • State aid;
  • Contract law.

You can contact us for any governmental issues. Our specialists in the field of administrative law, real estate law, construction law, environmental law, procurement law, general contract law and state aid work together to provide advice to governments. We are happy to represent your interests; we will handle your case expeditiously and take legal action with your interests in mind.

What else can we offer our clients?

In addition to the “traditional” services that law firms offer, we are also able to provide you with:

  • Quality improvement; ensure a high quality of your legal products, such as permits and exemptions, to prevent that they will be challenged in court. We analyse - in house or otherwise - the internal rules, for example the general local regulation, and policies that you apply as well as your current decision formats in order to come up with recommendations.
  • Knowledge transfer: if there is a broader need for more topic-related knowledge, we can set up customised training programmes for your employees. In-house training often offers a solution for smaller subjects. Furthermore, we structurally inform our clients free of charge by offering monthly academies (with open enrolment) on various current legal topics.
  • In-house consultation hours: we have an agreement with various clients that one of our experts will be able to answer any law related questions you or your employees might have. In doing so, we can answer many questions on the spot while guiding your employees back on the right track or we can make arrangements for a follow-up meeting if the question requires further research.
  • Helpdesk: Governments employ their own lawyers and other specialists, but like everyone else, those experts may feel the need to exchange views on a particular question or topic. With our helpdesk, they can do so with one of our lawyers who is an expert on the subject in question.
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Helpdesk: next to our general helpdesk, we offer the AVG (GDPR) helpdesk, which allows government officials to contact our specialists for any GDPR-related matters in an accessible way.
  • Temporary secondment: there are situations in which you are temporarily short of staff due to illness or the departure of employees. Our experts regularly help clients in-house by indenting as an in-house counsel for a few days a week.

Your first point of contact:

Elzelou Grit

In my practice I deal with all kinds of interests; the general interest of society, the interest of an entrepreneur with a plan, and often the interest of a counterparty. Administrative law has its own rules and specialised judges with their procedural law. That makes administrative law a chess game with its own rules. Whether I litigate or provide advice, I like to use all the 'chess pieces' on the board.

I am particularly interested in environmental law. It covers everything you encounter the moment you step outside. The nesting bird in the tree yet to be cut, the factory or stable next to a house, the establishment of retail on an industrial site. As well as the arrival of wind turbine parks, the construction of the southern ring motorway around Groningen, and even the establishment of large internet providers in the Eemshaven. As a lawyer I gained experience in the fields of government, business, and individuals. This allows me to anticipate what a counterparty or ally considers important and achievable. One situation may require a tough or formal approach, while another situation may need a softer, guiding approach . Together with the client, I determine our aim and the best course to achieve our goals.

Elzelou studied Dutch Law (cum laude) with a specialisation in Constitutional and Administrative Law at the University of Groningen. She worked at two large law firms in the Northern Netherlands and at an administrative research and consultancy agency for governments. In 2018, Elzelou specialized in Environmental Law (formerly spatial planning and environment) at the Grotius Academy in Nijmegen. She is a member of the Audit Committee of Midden-Drenthe. This committee checks the legality and efficiency of the administration conducted by the municipality. Lastly, she is a member/chairman of the Objection and Appeals Committee of the Province of Flevoland. This committee advises the Provincial Executive on the legality of decisions taken.