Ruben Groeneveld

Employee portrait

'Without risk management, we wouldn’t survive'

Ruben Groeneveld is an in-house lawyer at Witteveen+Bos. An important task for Ruben and his colleagues is risk management. After all, being able to take on engineering work is dependent on solid contract preparation.

Complex legislation

‘I chose to study law because I found criminal law interesting and exciting. At that stage, my ambition was to become a practising lawyer. During my studies, however, after completing an internship at a law firm, it became clear to me that this didn’t appeal to me as much as I first thought. I wanted to orient myself more broadly. Then I came across a job ad from Witteveen+Bos. As an in-house lawyer, I’m involved in a variety of areas, including contract and procurement law. On top of this, increasingly complex legislation is making our work even more challenging.’

Huge stakes

‘Tender procedures are at the centre of everything nowadays. Almost all major engineering and consultancy contracts in the Netherlands are put out to tender. It’s up to me and my colleagues to negotiate with the tendering party during the formal rounds of question-asking – the ‘nota’s van inlichtingen’. Risk management is one of our main focuses. The stakes in building a new dyke, bridge or quay are huge, both financially and socially. If we don’t limit our liability, one miscalculation could jeopardise the survival of the company, and engineering firms are vital to society.’

Even more diverse

‘Through Witteveen+Bos I completed a vocational training course for in-house lawyers. It was a useful supplement to my theory-based law degree. During the course, I revisited various aspects of law, but this time from the perspective of an in-house lawyer. I didn’t study competition law at university, for example, which involves questions like: If you want to collaborate with a competitor, how do you assess whether that’s allowed? Partly due to this course, as well as my contributions on a variety of projects in the Netherlands, I’m well and truly settled in. I’m now also involved on international projects. Private versus common law, differences in business cultures, commercial versus public projects – my work is now even more diverse.’

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