de week van
Arjan van Elk, 17 januari 2019
- International disputes may now be settled by special Dutch Court
As per 1 January 2019 Dutch law allows for legal proceedings to be conducted in the English language before a specifically designated court: the Netherlands Commercial Court (NCC).
All legal documents will be in the English language and pleadings or hearings will also be conducted in the English language as well. The judges are fluent in English and have in depth knowledge in the relevant law.
The NCC allows international companies to conduct legal proceedings under Dutch law more easily without a need for translation of documents and/or court statements and still benefit from high quality governmental dispute resolution.
Van der Steenhoven Advocaten is fully qualified and equipped to conduct such proceedings before the NCC.
- What cases?
The NCC may rule on all international civil and commercial matters such as contractual disputes, claims in tort, property disputes, or intellectual property/technology/construction or corporate matters. There is no need for a Dutch company to be involved or Dutch law to apply. It just needs to be an international dispute (interpreted broadly). This is the case not only if one or more of the parties are non-Dutch companies, but also if the dispute involves a relevant cross-border interest, such as shareholders, employees or revenue located in or linked to a non-Dutch jurisdiction.
The NCC is based in Amsterdam. For the NCC to take a matter into consideration, the Amsterdam District Court should be the authorized dispute resolution entity and the parties should also have stipulated the case to be ruled by the NCC. This may have all been agreed upfront (contractual forum clause) or afterwards when a dispute has arisen. If you would like the NCC to apply, please include the following contractual clause:
All disputes arising out of or in connection with this agreement will be resolved by the Amsterdam District Court following proceedings in English before the Chamber for International Commercial Matters (Netherlands Commercial Court or NCC). An action for interim measures, including protective measures, available under Dutch law may be brought in the NCC's Court in Summary Proceedings in proceedings in English.
Dutch procedural law applies to the NCC proceedings, but the matter itself may be governed by non-Dutch law (for instance a contractual dispute where Columbian law governs the contract).
The NCC has introduced an electronic communication system: eNCC. This is a secured web portal, allowing Dutch counsel to initiate an action, check status, schedule next steps and submit and download court documents electronically. eNCC allows for effective and swift proceedings with easy access for those involved. Costs of the NCC procedure are low compared to international arbitration. There is no award against the losing party to pay actual costs of the other party.
- High ranked Court System
The Dutch courts are ranked top 5 in general in the World Justice Program. For civil law Dutch courts are even ranked number 1. It is widely recognized as one of the most reliable and effective in the world. In general a ruling can be obtained within 130 days. NCC proceedings allow international parties to benefit from such top ranked justice system at relatively low costs.
If you would like more information on this international dispute resolution mechanism, please contact me!
Arjan van Elk
+31 6 28 52 98 14