Government liability

Public authorities may be held liable for damage resulting from its acts (and of late appear to be held liable increasingly readily in case of damage or harm). Such matters may include unlawful conduct, such as a permit wrongly denied or incorrect information provided by civil servants, but lawful conduct in itself is also capable of causing damage, for example damage suffered by owners of neighbouring premises, who see the value of their properties drop as a result of a change to a zoning plan. Those affected may for example claim loss of views or privacy due to the construction of a project. The change in the use of a property may result in a significant drop in the number of potential and actual customers. In such cases of lawful conduct on the part of the authorities an obligation to pay damages may nevertheless arise, by way of compensation for losses resulting from government planning decisions. Damage resulting from other unlawful government decisions is referred to as compensation for losses resulting from administrative acts.
Government liability is a complicated issue on the border line between administrative law and civil law. Our overlapping expertise enables us to assist not only the authorities but also those that are at the receiving end in matters concerning damages for both lawful and unlawful government conduct.

Contacts: Irma van den Berg, Leon Burgersdijk, Benno den Teuling