Rozemond Advocaten: the oldest construction law firm in the Netherlands

We have gathered a select team of lawyers all with a personal commitment to our specialised practice. We focus on construction and procurement law and on long-term relationships which are founded on trust. Our clients include architects, consulting engineers, contractors, developers, housing corporations, installation engineers, and firms specialised in managing construction projects. One of the outcomes of a recent client survey was that people said they felt supported and helped during periods which are often very stressful. Many expressed their satisfaction with our focus on the project and solutions. They indicated we respond quickly, effectively and with confidence and we are not hindered bureaucracy.

We have never merged and we do not intend to. This means we can concentrate on our core values. We have been at our current location on the Herengracht in Amsterdam since 1974.

As the oldest boutique law firm in the Netherlands, we have been part of Dutch civil construction law from its inception. Our story dates back to 1926, when meester Phlip van Vliet Sr started his law practice at Sarphatistraat 14 Amsterdam. His office was located next door to the Dutch Contractors and Patrons Association (NAPB) [Nederlandse Aannemers- en Patroonsbond (NAPB)] so, we was soon dealing with cases for contractors.

Phlip van Vliet Sr was closely involved in drafting the first administrative terms and conditions for construction, the Uniform Administrative Terms and Conditions for the Execution of Works 1968, which was known as the UAV 1968. In 1953 Koos Rozemond joined the firm, then Phlip van Vliet Jr and Bart van Ramshorst in the early 1970s.

Bart was an outstanding no-nonsense construction law lawyer: concise and always to the point. Discussions with Bart were short and businesslike, regardless of whether the client was from far-away Groningen or nearby in Amsterdam. It was not uncommon for clients to quickly drink their first cup of coffee on their way out. Bart litigated widely and his cases often caused controversy in the journals. Bart’s well-known cases included: Rotterdam Central Station, Haagse Hogeschool, the construction to connect the banks of the Westerschelde in Zeeland, De Harmonie in Leeuwarden, the theatre tower in Hoorn, the Amsterdam theatre, the threatened collapse of the new theatre building site in Middelburg, and many more. His approach – short & concise – is still our golden standard.

Bart van Ramshorst

We should not forget the invaluable contribution from Koos Rozemond, whose name our firm still uses today. After he joined in 1953, the construction law profile became firmly imprinted on the firm. From then on, the whole firm was almost exclusively working on civil construction law cases. In those days this was an exceptional specialisation.

Through his academic contributions, Koos was instrumental in the evolution of construction law. His articles were published in many journals, such as the Netherlands Law Journal (NJB), Ars Aequi, RM Themis, the Netherlands Journal for Arbitration, and of course, the Netherlands Journal for Construction Law, which was first published in 1964. In addition, in 1976 he wrote the preliminary report for the Construction Law Association, he was involved in drafting the successor to the UAV 1968 (UAV 1989) and the standard for integrated contracts, the Uniform Administrative Terms and Conditions for Integrated Contracts (UAV-GC 2000 and 2005). When he retired from the firm, a liber amicorum Gegund werk was published which included a seven-page bibliography of (just) the titles of his publications. This, in addition to his considerable annotations to various decisions and rulings, mainly those issued by the Arbitration Board for the Building Industry for which was also an arbitrator. Even after retiring Koos Rozemond continued to publish.

Koos Rozemond

The tradition of wanting to and actually contributing to the further development of Dutch construction law is therefore firmly anchored our firm’s DNA. We are more than happy to share this knowledge and experience with others.

In recent years, we have published dozens of articles in the Netherlands Journal for construction law [Tijdschrift voor Bouwrecht (TBR)], Legal precedents in procurement law [Jurisprudentie Aanbestedingsrecht (JAAN)], Text & commentary on procurement law [Tekst & Commentaar Aanbestedingrecht (Kluwer)], Models for legal practice [Modellen voor de rechtspraktijk], and many more. You can find many of our publications, in Dutch, on our site.

Our books about construction law and procurement law also include relevant topics such as Losses due to delays in construction [Vertragingsschade in de bouw]  (Arno Jacobs, second edition now available), UAV-GC – about problems arising when working with integrated contracts [Over problemen bij het werken met geïntegreerde contracten] (Rob Bleeker, Bert van der Zijpp and Pim Herber) and the preliminary report for the Construction Law Association entitled Circular Construction [Circulair Bouwen] (Daan Versteeg), all published by the Netherlands Institute for Construction Law. Arno Jacobs also co-authored a preliminary opinion published by the Construction Law Association (2022) entitled ‘Legal aspects of concurrent causes of delay and Inefficiency in Construction’. For Kluwer, the global provider of professional information, we provide construction and procurement law models for legal practice and we contribute to the Terms and Conditions for Procurement Law.

We also facilitate workshops for clients, as well as lectures and courses for the Netherlands Institute for Construction Law. These are all given in Dutch. For more information, please refer to the events page.

In addition, our firm, and Rob Bleeker in particular, is involved in the intensive process to revise the UAV-GC 2005. Rob also has a major role in the fundamental rethinking of legal and administrative terms and conditions for the construction industry. He is involved in drafting the new two-phase contract.

What our clients say

According to our clients, we understand how the construction industry works. Even the technical aspects. They feel supported and helped and consider us to be the specialist in civil construction law.

‘I often have to explain details to other lawyers, but I never have to do that at Rozemond. Sometime I think: find a loophole! With other firms, I often have to make suggestions, at Rozemond, they always come up with good solutions. Arno makes legal matters sound exciting.’

Martin de Jong
Vestigingsdirecteur Van Wijnen Dordrecht

‘He’s a good guy, he understands and responds quickly. He can resolve small issues expertly and win big cases. He understands how things work in construction and knows exactly how to put this in legal terms so it goes the right way and follows the strategy. Construction can be full of legal jargon, but Michiel knows how to explain it in layman’s terms.’

Gijs Hermelink
Contractmanager at Koopmans

‘So far, we’ve won every case.’ ‘Their added value is worth every penny.’ ‘Rozemond is my first choice for cases I know will be tough.’

Peter van Gelder
Algemeen directeur Bouwers van Braam-Minnesma B.V.