3 April 2019

Costs of Legal Proceedings in the Netherlands

Dutch Court proceedings involve costs. Dutch Attorney fees, court fees, and cost of proceedings the Court may order one of the parties to pay and other costs may be involved depending on the action taken by your Dutch lawyer. What are the costs attached to legal proceedings? The types of costs of proceedings can be simplified into the following three categories:

  1. Lawyer’s fees
  2. Legal costs as court fees.
  3. Miscellaneous costs.
  4. If the Dutch court decides its verdict in your favor, one can recover part of the lawyer’s fees. The remaining costs are in principle paid for by party that has lost the proceedings. However, there are exceptions to this general rule under Dutch law, that I will mention below.

Lawyer’s fees in the Netherlands

If eligible for reimbursement, one does not recover all of the lawyer’s fees. The costs of a lawyer in the Netherlands is agreed to amongst the party and their lawyer, typically by the use of a hourly rate. In the event you win the legal proceedings, one may seek reimbursement in accordance with the liquidation point system. Here are two rules by which the liquidation point system functions:

  1. A single liquidation point has a fixed value dependent upon the financial interest of the represented party.
  2. One or half a liquidation point is earned for every procedural act a lawyer performs; this includes, attending a hearing or drawing up and submitting a court document.
  3. Thus, the higher the fixed value of a liquidation point and the more liquidation points, the higher the reimbursement and vice versa. Please contact Mark van Weeren if you wish to receive a quote on lawyer’s fees for a particular case.

Court fees in the Netherlands

The Court fees are the costs incurred by starting and filing for a legal procedure in the Netherlands. This mainly consists of administration costs. The amount of the court fees in the Netherlandsis dependent on two factors:

  1. The type of case
  2. And the value of the case.
  3. The costs range between 83 euros to 4.200 euros for a claim of more than 100,000 euros, and are suject to annual indexation. In the Netherlands, these court fees will be eligible for full reimbursement in the event of an order for costs by the Dutch Court.

Other costs in Dutch Proceedings

In some case you may wish to appoint an expert who will report on an certain issue that is relevant in the proceedings. For example on technical issues which may not be familiar to the Dutch Court your lawyer may advised you to obtain expert evidence. On technical issues the Dutch Court may be inclined to follow the Dutch expert’s opinion. Also cost of pre-trial discovery and disclosure may be involved.

In case your Dutch lawyer had seized assets or in case of a freezing order or garnishment extra costs are involved. Conservatory arrest may be effected through Pre-Judgment Attachment. In case the Dutch Court grants your claim then the attachment costs will have to be paid van the opposing party.

Reimbursement of costs in Dutch proceedings

One is eligible for reimbursement if you have won the (civil) case before the Dutch Court. Therefore, if you win the case:

  1. The court fees specified in the judgment will have to be paid for by the opposing party
  2. The lawyer fees are paid for in accordance with the liquidation point system (and usually this daoe snot cover your lawyer’s fees)
  3. Other legal costs such as bailiff’s costs and costs of witnesses or experts’ will have to be paid for by the opposing party as well.
  4. Of course, if one loses the Dutch proceedings, it is the losing party who bears these costs. However, there is one exception to this general rule.

Bearing your own legal costs in the Netherlands

Sometimes the Dutch court sees a reason to set off the legal costs between the parties. In other words, each party could bear its own legal costs. This often happens in family law where the opposing parties share the same legal responsibilities. In its evaluation, the court does not take into consideration which party’s interest was defended in its verdict.

In addition, it is worth mentioning that in Dutch proceedings concerning intellectual property, one may sometimes be able to recover the full actual costs. Similarly, in the exceptional circumstance that a party has abused procedural law, knowing that the proceedings would be ineffective, this party will also bear all the actual costs.

Advice on Dutch procedure costs: ask your Amsterdam lawyer

It is important to take the procedural costs in consideration when you consider to take legal action in the Netherlands. But most important is to assess the probability of success with the help of a lawyer. Feel free to contact attorney Mark van Weeren and find out how we can offer the tailored assistance you need.