Marcel Ruygvoorn appointed as Special Professor ("bijzonder hoogleraar") responsible for the Chair in National and international commercial contracting at Utrecht University


Marcel Ruygvoorn has been appointed as Special Professor (“bijzonder hoogleraar”) responbile for the Chair in "National and International Commercial Contracting" at Utrecht University’s Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance as of 1 February 2022. It is a part-time position which will be carried out in addition to his work as a lawyer and partner at Van Benthem & Keulen. Johan Koggink, Van Benthem & Keulen’s director, says: "We are proud to announce Marcel Ruygvoorn’s appointment as extraordinary professor. It is in line with our firm's ambitions to combine academic instruction with providing pragmatic, solution-oriented advice to our clients."

Marcel intends to use his position to focus on the manner and consequences of allocating risk in commercial contracts, paying special attention to the use of different forms of contracts as well as policy aspects within contracting organisations, at the same time taking a multidisciplinary approach to the theory. He explains: "Commercial contracting basically comes down to redistributing risks relative to the law. Although that might seem simple, the enormous number of lawsuits in this area paints a different picture."


The focus of Marcel’s research and teaching is commercial contracting. The ways in which commercial parties try to mitigate their risks using various forms of contracts, as well as the policy considerations and motives dictated by their own organisation that shape that process, and, in extension to this, the multidisciplinary (i.e. not strictly legal) knowledge and skills that lawyers (and prospective lawyers) need to have in the employment market, are of particular interest in this regard.

At the Faculty of Law, Marcel will be working closely with the lecturers and researchers of the Molengraaff Institute of Private Law.

Marcel Ruygvoorn’s appointment will enrich our research and teaching in the area of commercial contracting," says Mr. Dr. Willem Janssen, Senior Law Lecturer. “An inspired teacher, he gives high priority to developing legal skills. His intensive involvement with the Utrecht Law Clinic is testament to his commitment to students and the legal profession".

Marcel Ruygvoorn

Marcel Ruygvoorn (b. 1969) started his career as a corporate lawyer at the Royal Shell Group. In 1996, he joined Van Benthem & Keulen, where he was made a partner in 2004. Marcel heads the Commercial Contracting & Dispute Resolution practice groups, which includes construction law.

In 2009, he obtained his doctorate with a thesis on “Broken-off negotiations and the legal classification of caveats".

In addition to his work as a lawyer, Marcel was already an honorary university lecturer in private law at the Molengraaff Institute (Utrecht University). Among other subjects, Marcel teaches the capita selecta course “Broken-off Negotiations”. He also holds a number of guest lectureships and frequently teaches postgraduate courses (including at the Academie voor de Rechtspraktijk (Law Practice Academy), the SSR, the Stichting Beroepsopleiding Bedrijfsjuristen (Foundation for the Professional Training of Corporate Lawyers), the VU Law Academy and the Centre for Professional Legal Education). Marcel is a member of the Nederlandse Vereniging voor Procesrecht (Dutch Procedural Law Association) and serves on the editorial board of the journal Bedrijfsjuridische berichten (Corporate legal notices), where he is responsible for the core section on contract law. Van Benthem & Keulen and Utrecht University established the Utrecht Law Clinic in 2020. Marcel is a board member of the Utrecht Law Clinic Foundation, gives lectures and supervises students.