Coastal and dyke reinforcements

Making water barriers future-proof

The Netherlands is inextricably connected with water. A large part of our country in fact lies below sea level. Dykes, dunes and embankments provide protection against high water and water authorities play a crucial role in this as well as in respect of their management and maintenance.

This is no easy task, especially in view of the fact that the High Water Protection Programme (HWPP) requires a large number of dyke reinforcement measures to be taken. Water authorities will be faced in the coming years with the immense task of making water barriers future-proof.

Complex dyke enhancement projects also provide opportunities
The number of new technical possibilities keeps rising. These make the realisation of dyke enhancements simpler. On other fronts though, these kinds of projects are becoming increasingly more complex. For example, dyke enhancements are being combined with other desired spatial developments more frequently, and local residents, companies and other interested parties are keeping a watchful, critical eye on these. The neighbourhood wants certainty and the parties carrying out the work want flexibility. New standards, limited budgets and strict planning make the playing field for water authorities ever more complex. Nevertheless, in addition to the necessary risks, this also creates opportunities for the future.

Legal impact of different scenarios
Making the water barriers future-proof in this complex playing field requires innovation and creative thinking. Solution-oriented and pragmatic sparring partners with a broad outlook who understand what is important are also needed. Decisions that are made in the one phase often work directly through into the next phase. Choices that are made in phase one can therefore have a large influence on phase two. Also in legal terms. A collaborative partner who is familiar with the working method within these kinds of extensive projects, who is used to playing different roles simultaneously with the right amount of sensitivity, who has an overview and can maintain an overview, and who knows the legal impact of the different scenarios, is then very welcome.

We are involved in these kinds of large and complex projects on a daily basis and consequently function as the 'external legal conscience' of the project. Or as one of our clients so aptly put it recently: "I simply want to know at certain moments whether I can carry on and whether the choice is legally tenable."

Prevent unnecessary stumbling blocks
Are you about to explore a plan or start a tendering procedure? Or are you on the point of resolving an important issue in a project that is already underway? And do you want to be certain that your project will not be tripped up unnecessarily by a legal obstacle? We would be happy to help you assess your planning tools, tender documentation and contracts, and would like to think along with you at a strategic level. Would you like to exchange ideas with us about (a part of) your project? Please do not hesitate to contact us.

We have worked on the coastal and dyke reinforcement projects listed below:

  • Reinforcement Markermeerdijken
  • Reinforcement Waddenzeedijken Texel
  • Zwakke Schakels Noord-Holland
  • Dyke relocation Lent
  • High water channel Veessen-Wapenveld
  • High water channel and area development IJsseldelta-Zuid
  • Dyke relocation Cortenoever-Voorsterklei
  • Groyne reduction and longitudinal dams Waal
  • Flood plain excavation Munnikenland
  • Dyke enhancement Steurgat / Land van Altena
  • Depoldering Noordwaard
  • Water storage Volkerak-Zoommeer´╗┐


  • "They communicate in a very effective way and are fast, accurate, concise, accessible and easy to get along with. They can provide a high-end legal solution on complex issues at very short notice.", Chambers Europe 2018
  • "They have the ability to see things from the perspective of the client, in order to provide realistic and practical advice.", Chambers Europe 2018
  • "It is very customer-focused and has proved to us that it has extensive knowledge. A lot of attention is paid to fostering a good working relationship with the client.", Chambers Europe 2016
  • "It is accessible, it has deep knowledge of public law and it practises law in a way that adds significant value to the client's business.", Chambers Europe 2016 
  • "The team's sector knowledge is 'up to date and thorough'.", Legal 500 2016

Chambers Europe 2018 - Leading Firm   Legal 500 2018


Coastal and dyke reinforcements

  • Liesbeth SchippersAttorney-at-law, partner
  • Mark BirnageAttorney-at-law, partner