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How to find us prof. mr. dr. L.C.A. (Leon) Verstappen

prof. mr. dr. L.C.A. Verstappen

Professor of Private Law, in particular Notarial law
prof. mr. dr. L.C.A. Verstappen
+31 50 36 35762 (+31503635762)

Curriculum Vitae Prof. Dr L.C.A. (Leon) Verstappen

1. Career, qualifications and fields of expertise

Professor Verstappen (1965) has been working since 1990 as (assistant and later full) professor at two universities: Radboud University (1990-1998) and University of Groningen (1998-up till now), developing courses, new curricula, and learning methods, giving lectures on different legal subjects, developing and conducting research, and supervising (PhD-)students. He is leading expert in developing university programmes and professional training for notaries (Radboud University of Nijmegen, University of Groningen, Foundation Grotius Academy, Foundation for professional training of notaries). In the past, he was Dean of the Faculty of Law (2006-2010) and twice Head of the Department of Private and Notarial Law (2001-2004 and 2016-2020), both at the University of Groningen.

Professor Verstappen has been working in notary legal practice since 1989, and since his appointment as full professor of private law in 1998, as support lawyer drafting formats for notarial deeds and advising clients of Hekkelman advocates and notaries in Arnhem/Nijmegen. He has been appointed as deputy judge at the Court of Appeal in Leeuwarden/Arnhem (2003-2014) and at the Court of Appeal in The Hague (2014 up till now), and he advises legal professionals.

Professor Verstappen is an expert in private and notarial law (family law and property law in particular). He holds positions as editor in chief of book series (NILG book series ‘Familie & Recht’ and ‘Vastgoed, omgeving en recht’) and law journals (‘Weekblad Privaatrecht Noariaat en Registratie’, ‘Familie & Recht’). He developed legal knowledge systems such as practical manuals for notaries series consisting of four comprehensive books, written for and by notaries, to which approximately 70 authors contribute and which is digitally distributed among notary offices in the Netherlands (

He has initiated/(co-)founded a number of (inter)national initiatives and networks, such as: Groningen Centre for Law and Governance, Netherlands Institute for Law and Governance (, International Alliance on Land Tenure and Administration (IALTA), Foundation The Land Portal (, Expropriation Expert Group (, Dutch-Belgium Research Community on Family & Law ( and

His international activities concern land rights issues, especially expropriation. In the context of this topic, he founded in 2014 and chaired up until 2020 Foundation ‘The Land Portal’, a Dutch legal entity that hosts the website, which is the world leading resource for information, data and knowledge-exchange on land governance issues.

2. Educational record

  • Secondary education: Gymnasium-B, St. Thomascollege in Venlo (1977-1983).
  • University: Radboud University Nijmegen (former Catholic University Nijmegen), Law faculty (1983-1989); Dutch Law and Dutch notary Law. February 29th 1996 PhD (doctor in law) on the thesis ‘Universal succession in title’ (‘Rechtsopvolging onder algemene titel’)

3. Employment record


  • From January 1990 to 1998: part-time assistant professor section Notary Law at the former Catholic University Nijmegen, now Radboud University Nijmegen (0,6fte).
  • 1 December 1998 up till now: professor of private law, especially notarial law at the Department for Private and Notarial Law of the Faculty of Law University of Groningen (0,8 fte).
    • From 1 September 2001 to 1 January 2004: head of the Department of Private Law and Notary Law (0,8fte). 
    • From 1 September 2006 to 1 September 2010: Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Groningen (0,8fte).
    • From 1 September 2010 to 1 September 2014: Academic Director Groningen Centre for Law and Governance (0,8fte).
    • From 1 September 2016 to 1 February 2020: head of the Department of Private Law and Notary Law (0,8fte). 

Practical experience

  • From 1 August 1989 to 1 October 1991: associate at Dijkstra-de Graaff, notaries in Apeldoorn.
  • From 1 October 1991 up till now: associate and advisor at Hekkelman, advocates and notaries in Arnhem and Nijmegen.

4. Secondary positions

  • Editorial positions
    • Editor in chief Practical Manuals for Notaries
    • Editor in chief Tekst en Commentaar Erfrecht (non-remunerated)
    • Editor in chief Book series Netherlands Institute for Law and Governance (NILG) (non-remunerated)
    • Editor NILG-Books sub-series on Real estate, environment and law (non-remunerated)
    • Editor NILG-Books subseries on Family & Law (non-remunerated)
    • Editor 'Family & Law' (online open access forum) (non-remunerated)
    • Editor Formats for Legal Practice
    • Editor Weekly for Priate Law, notaries and Registration (WPNR)
    • Annotator Dutch Jurisprudence (NJ)
  • Other secondary positions
    • Deputy judge Court of Appeal The Hague
    • Legal advisor Hekkelman Lawyers and Notaries (Arnhem and Nijmegen)
    • Legal advisor
    • Member Board of Supervisors Foundation for the advancement of Notarial Science (non-remunerated)
    • Boardmember Foundation Person, Familie and Juvenile Law (non-remunerated)
    • Boardmember Foundation Grotius Academie (non-remunerated)
    • Boardmember Foundation for Professional Training of Notaries (non-remunerated)
    • Board member Foundation for Product History (non-remunerated)
    • Board member Foundation Gewin Storm de Grave trust
    • Boardmember Dutch Association for Comparative Law (non-remunerated)
    • Boardmember Trust Foundation Copyright Practical Manuals Notaries (non-remunerated)Member Scientific Advisory Board Association of Notary Specialists on Real Estate (non-remunerated)
    • Member Scientific Advisory Board Association of Notary Specialists on Real Estate (non-remunerated)
    • Member Board of Advice Young Property Lawyers Forum (YPLF) (non-remunerated)
    • Member RETHINKIN_, a scientific research network of the Research Foundation Flanders (non-remunerated)
    • Fellow European Law Institute (non-remunerated)

5. PhD projects


Realised PhD projects



1. Wilbert Kolkman

Debts of the inheritance (2006)

2. Gert van Rijssen

Transfer of contracts (2006)

3. Hisashi Owada

Doctor honoris causa (2010)

4. Birgit Snijder-Kuipers

Transition of legal entities (2010)

5. Yongjun Zhao

China’s rural development challenges: land tenure reform and local institutional experimentation (2010)

6. Dolf Plaggemars

Competition between notaries (2011)

7. Noortje Vegter

Association of home owners (2012)

8. Hans ter Haar

Asset management of minors (2013)

9. Fokke Jan Vonck

Leasehold (2013)

10. Irene Visser

Foreclosure (2013)

11. Ronald Brinkman

Fideicommis in notary practice (2014)

12. Lan Huong Nguyen 

Land tenure security for agricultural growth and rural poverty reduction in China and Vietnam (2014)

13. Linlin Li

Transformation of the law on farmland transfer in China (2016)

14. Martijn Albers

Taxation on real rights (2017)

15. Peter Ng’ang’a Mburu

Modernisation of Land registration in Kenya (2017

16. Björn Hoops

Legitimate Justification of expropriation (2017)

17. Nicholas Tagliarino

Comparative study on expropriation  (2018)

 Ongoing projects

1. Leon van den Broeke

The law on funerals and religion


2. Arie Mes

3-D property


3. Jan Hein Lieber

Division of property


4. Tiddo Bos

Risks of transactions and the role of the notary


5. Joe van Anken 

Fixation principle and insolvency of an estate 


6. Mark Beuker

Restriction of testamentary freedom in modern-day society: from fixed to discretionary provisions


7. Rik de Jonge

Forbidden last wills


8. Thom Geertsema

The gatekeeper role of the notary


9. Annette de Gruiter

Declaration of succession


10. Yassine Hasnaoui

Making apartment complexes more sustainable


6. Languages

  • Dutch: fluent, native speaker
  • English: proficient in speaking, reading and writing
  • German: proficient in speaking, reading and writing
  • Spanish: basic

7. Awards

In 2009 elected by peers as the best notarial lawyer of the Netherlands.

In 1998 appointed as honorary member of Nota Bene, the notary students’ association in Nijmegen.

In 2022 appointed as honorary member of Vevonos, the notary students’ association in Groningen.

Last modified:20 May 2022 12.39 a.m.

Contact information

Oude Kijk in 't Jatstraat 26
9712 EK Groningen
The Netherlands

Harmonie building

Working hours:
Absent at Monday
+31 50 36 35762 (+31503635762)