Gerrit-Jan Zwenne, advocaat Pels Rijcken

Gerrit-Jan Zwenne

Attorney-at-law • partner

Gerrit-Jan Zwenne specialises in privacy and data protection law, with extensive experience in internet and telecom law and legal issues concerning blockchain, cloud, and sensor data. He uses his knowledge and experience to advise trade associations, multinationals, start-ups, regulatory authorities and many governments on digitisation. He is Full Professor of Privacy and Data Protection Law at Leiden University. Gerrit-Jan has written a number of academic papers about digitisation and digitalisation, including for the Dutch Lawyers Association, the Association for Health Law, and the Association for Education Law.

He chairs the Netherlands Association for IT and Law (NVvIR) and the Association of Privacy Lawyers (VPR-A) and is a member of the Board of the Privacy Law Association (VPR). He is also a member of the Constitutionality Advisory Committee of the Netherlands Bar Association, the Advisory Board of the National Archives, and lecturer and examiner in both the VIRA-Grotius programme for ICT lawyers and the VPR-A Data Protection Education for Professionals. He is editor (and author) of the most authoritative standard works on Dutch Privacy and Telecoms Law (Wolters Kluwer 2018), Concise European Data Protection, E-Commerce and IT Law (Wolters Kluwer 2018), the Journal of Internet Law and Sdu Monographs ICT law. Moreover, he is chair of the supervisory committee on facial recognition technology of the WODC (Scientific Research and Documentation Centre) of the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security.

Gerrit-Jan represents many household names in privacy disputes and is consistently ranked in Legal 500 and Chambers since 2007. 


  • Consistently mentioned in Legal 500 (leading individual) and Chambers & Partners (Band 1) since 2007.
  • "Gerrit-Jan Zwenne is a recent addition to the firm's data protection team. One commentator presents him as an authority on data privacy, going on to explain: He's very knowledgeable and able to give concise and useful advice.", Chambers Europe 2019


  • Dutch Law, Leiden University, 1992
  • PhD Leiden Law School, Leiden University, 1998
  • VIRA Grotius Informaticarecht, 2001

Track Record

Represented many clients in over 50 litigation on privacy and telecoms matters, often high-profile, inter alia:

  • Rb Nrd NLD 23 May 2019, ECLI:NL:RBNHO:2019:4283 (Dutch State)
  • ABRvS 20 September 2017, ECLI:NL:RVS:2017:2555 (Dutch Railways)
  • CBb 27 May 2013, ECLI:NL:CBB:2013:CA3174 (Tele2)