Rutger studied law at Leiden University after which he worked in private practice for 25 years at Dutch law firm De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek and UK firm Simmons & Simmons, mainly in the finance practice. As early as 2001, he became involved in climate change law and developed one of the first private sector practices in that new area of law.
In 2014 Rutger moved to the international public sector to become the first General Counsel at the newly established international finance institute, the Green Climate Fund based in South-Korea. He worked at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria as interim General Counsel for 1.5 years before joining The Ocean Cleanup.
The Ocean Cleanup was founded in 2013 by UN Champion of the Earth Boyan Slat. Its mission is to rid the world’s oceans from plastic pollution. Rutger is responsible for all legal matters as well as Government Affairs. Headquartered in Rotterdam, the activities of The Ocean Cleanup are spread all over the world, from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, to rivers on Java and the Dominican Republic.
Rutger is a regular speaker at conferences on climate change, emissions trading and development finance issues.