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Energy & Climate Change

Law Firm in the Netherlands specialised in Energy & Climate Change

We are the esteemed sparring partner of leading energy companies, regulators, public entities, project developers, large buyers, lenders and investors. Our expertise and experience comprise legal counselling on projects and transaction in all fields of energy – particularly renewable energy, varying from the development and financing of (renewable or conventional) solar and (onshore and offshore) wind farms, biomass and biofuel plants, electricity and gas storage projects to LNG terminals and interconnectors. We also have many years of experience in upstream oil & gas transactions.

CMS is at the forefront of the developments in the energy sector, having advised on a large number of ground-breaking deals over the past decade. CMS is deeply involved in the development of energy transition technologies, such as hydrogen, electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure and carbon capture and storage (CCS) and carbon capture and utilisation (CCU).

Our Energy & Climate Change areas of expertise

In the Netherlands, we have a large multidisciplinary Energy & Climate Change team with an in-depth understanding of the energy sector. The members of this team have extensive knowledge of the regulatory environment and vast experience in maintaining relations with the regulators and implementing new regulations. This enables us to offer one-stop-shop solutions regarding all legal aspects of energy projects or transactions, whether in relation to:

  • Energy transition
  • Climate change strategies
  • Project development
  • Construction and maintenance
  • Finance
  • Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A)
  • Regulatory
  • Commercial law
  • Permitting
  • Environmental law and permits
  • Tax matters
  • Litigation
  • Dispute resolution
  • Intellectual Property
  • IT
  • Employment
  • Public procurement
  • Competition law matters

Legal services in Energy & Climate Change

Energy - M&A, project development and finance: We have a strong track record in advising on transactions and projects in the field of energy and climate change. We assist clients in the acquisition of a project in its early development phase, then continue to advise on the further development and financing of the project, and finally on divestment after reaching Commercial Operation Date (COD).

Energy - Regulatory advise: Our specialists have broad experience in and knowledge of European and Dutch competition law, regulated markets and procurement law. We give advice on sector-specific regulations for the energy sector such as gas, electricity, heat, mining and CO2 reduction. We also act on behalf of parties in administrative and civil law disputes.

We also advise water boards, drinking water companies and water treatment companies, as well as other government bodies and companies on all aspects of water management. We assist with questions and legal proceedings on dike strengthening, land acquisition and management, the designation of water storage areas, groundwater and flooding damage, drinking water supplies and groundwater extraction.

Energy - Contracts & trade: We advise on commercial contracts with respect to  energy matters, such as supply contracts for (bio)gas, (renewable) electricity and (sustainable) heat, as well as tolling, connection and transport contracts, EPC and O&M contracts, contracts in relation to energy storage. We are well known for our special expertise with power purchase agreements (PPAs). We also provide advice on trading in gas, electricity, guarantees of origin and emission rights,  including on compliance with REMIT, EMIR and the Dutch Financial Supervision Act.

Energy & Climate litigation: The 2019 ruling in Urgenda Foundation vs. State of the Netherlands gave binding requirements for the Dutch State to address climate change. This has set a precedent of activist cases successfully being won in courts, including the recent Court ruling against Royal Shell to cut its emissions by 45% by the end of 2030, compared to 2019 levels. At CMS, we advise clients on energy transition and climate change strategies and litigation matters. We also offer Climate Risk Knowledge Sessions for clients.

"You always get feedback in time, which makes you feel like you’re in good hands."

The Legal 500 EMEA, 2024

"The team covers all legal areas that are relevant to solar projects at a high level. From project development to the construction of the solar park including corporate law, lease agreements, construction law, approval procedures, energy law, financing and grid connection contracts."

The Legal 500 EMEA, 2024

"The team covers a wide-array of knowledge bases and has a presence across multiple jurisdictions, which makes it easy to consolidate requests for advice."

The Legal 500 EMEA, 2024

"They answer quickly, are competent, reliable and courteous and very friendly – you get the feeling that they enjoy working even when they are under time pressure."

The Legal 500 EMEA, 2024

"The team is well-organised and keeps on top of several moving workstreams. The understand client needs and priorities and are able to move quickly when necessary."

The Legal 500 EMEA, 2024

"My experience with the team is very positive. I have experienced their substantive knowledge and the quick way they learned aspects of our case, which made our experience with the team pleasant and valuable."

The Legal 500 EMEA, 2024

"The partners at CMS have very strong sector knowledge and provide extensive practical advice to complement the legal analysis." (Projects & Energy client)

Chambers Global, 2024

"CMS has a strong multidisciplinary team of specialists which enables them to tackle complex problems." (Projects & Energy client)

Chambers Global, 2024

"The team have a great technical capacity and are very reliable." (Projects & Energy client)

Chambers Global, 2024

"CMS are super reliable, completely process-oriented; they will always be there for you and they also have good project management." (Projects & Energy client)

Chambers Global, 2024

"The level of technology and collaboration for complex projects is excellent."

The Legal 500 EMEA, 2023

"CMS has a good knowledge of the energy market and contractual standards. Easy and pleasant to work with. The availability is excellent, even at very short notice. The quality of the work is of a high standard and CMS understands the client’s position with little explanation."

The Legal 500 EMEA, 2023

"The ability of CMS NL and CMS UK to work together with a strong team and close collaboration is the key value from CMS. The firm uses expertise in the energy sector across the UK and NL to give the best advice both from a legal perspective but also from a practical and commercial perspective."

The Legal 500 EMEA, 2023

"The team is formed by specialists from different disciplines, with deep knowledge and experience of the industry."

The Legal 500 EMEA, 2022

"At CMS you can be confident that you will receive high-quality work and expert service, at a fair price."

The Legal 500 EMEA, 2022

"Highly capable, with a wide range of knowledge on regulatory practice."

The Legal 500 EMEA, 2021

"CMS has one of strongest teams for renewable energy/energy related topics. From regulatory and tax to finance and transactional topics, CMS provides a high quality of services. They are unique in having done some of the premier deals in the Dutch market to date."

The Legal 500 EMEA, 2020

"Well versed in the renewable energy sector, including wind and solar energy, as well as non-renewable power."

Chambers Europe, 2020

"Delivers what is needed on time and in a manner that always brings the deal forward, and not in a deadlock."

Chambers Europe, 2020

"The firm's "network in Europe is one of its strengths."

Chambers Global, 2020

"The team at CMS is especially active on renewable energy mandates."

The Legal 500 EMEA, 2019

"The lawyers give us an excellent understanding of local regulations and consequently facilitate our critical decision-making process within the project."

Chambers Global, 2019

"They are able to meet deadlines even in cases where they have been provided with little time."

Chambers Global, 2019

"The firm has the right type of people and processes in place to serve major international clients on mega projects with national and international significance."

Chambers Europe, 2019

Choose an area

Electric vehicles (EVs)
CMS has market-leading experience in relation to EVs and e-Mobility, advising OEMs, charging point providers, investors, landlords and other relevant
Energy storage
As the energy landscape evolves, efficient energy storage solutions have become paramount for businesses seeking sustainability and resilience. Our de
Heating & cooling
Since the 1960s, the generation of heating and cooling for buildings in the Netherlands has largely been realised with gas. The transition from fossil
Hydrogen & CSS
The important role that low-carbon hydrogen will play in decarbonising our energy usage is becoming increasingly widely recognised. Its versatility an
Oil & gas
As the world seeks to balance energy security and affordability with the broadly agreed imperative to address carbon emissions, the oil and gas indust
Solar energy
Although solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants currently represent a small part of global power generation, Solar PV is becoming an increasingly import
Wind energy
CMS leads the legal market in wind energy advice. Our lawyers have advised the leading companies in the sector on all elements of the planning, consen
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CMS European Energy Sector M&A and Investment Outlook 2024
As the world economy increasingly embraces the push towards decarbonisation, Europe has actively sought to place itself at the vanguard of the discussion on energy trans­ition. Op­por­tun­it­ies to deploy capital abound as power sources switch further towards offshore and onshore wind, solar, heat, hydrogen, battery storage, new networks, carbon capture, and industrial decarbonisation. The latter brings an interface with other sectors such as technology companies (with power hungry data centres a particular focus), real estate, low carbon transport and decarbonisation of industrial processes such as cement, glass and steel production. As much as it is difficult, complex and highly political, the energy transition is also a huge business opportunity. To reach net zero by 2050, the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that global investment in clean energy alone will need to increase from the USD390bn in the first half of 2023, to USD 1.3tn in 2030. Many commentators worried that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would put back the transition and shift Europe back towards fossil fuels. While it appears to have resulted in a renewed political focus on energy security it has also laid bare the financial and political consequences of relying on oil & gas imports, giving further impetus to renewables as a secure form of energy. Europe has also sought to be a leading light on the concept of “reaching net zero”, with the European Union (EU) having set out its ambition, back in 2019, to become the world’s first major economic bloc to be climate-neutral by 2050. This has added momentum to energy investment and M&A over recent years – 2021 and 2022 saw the second and third highest annual aggregate values of Western European M&A in the sector on record, at USD 59.8bn and USD 53.7bn, respectively, bested only by the anomalously high total of USD 89.4bn logged in 2018. Energy M&A in the region has been more subdued in 2023, but our survey demonstrates that energy executives are gearing up for a more active dealmaking period, with most expecting more opportunities and anticipating increased levels of investment in the year ahead. Capital looks set to continue to flow primarily to renewable energy projects and related assets, with solar and batteries topping the list of attractive subsectors among our respondents. Consistent with this, South West Europe takes pole position as the most promising region for investment opportunities. But there are thorns among the roses. Our respondents are cognizant of the challenges in the energy market, with supply-chain volatility and commodity price increases emerging as a prominent concern. This is unsurprising after a period of dislocation following the pandemic and amid a time of rising global demand for renewable products and commodities. Persistent inflation and elevated interest rates, combined with an uncertain macroeconomic outlook, are raising investors’ concerns, with financing risk (including the increased cost of financing) also coming to the fore for respondents. Overall, while some sense a recent softening of the market due to these fundamentals, our survey paints a picture of steadily improving investor sentiment in Europe’s energy sector, laying the foundations for a busier period ahead for M&A activity.


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