11 February 2015

Representation by a Dutch Attorney

Dutch attorney explains how attorneys in The Netherlands are organized

A Dutch Attorney (called an “advocaat” in Dutch) is authorized to act in Dutch Courts. The Dutch attorney must have a law degree in Dutch law and be admitted to the Dutch Bar Association (Orde van Advocaten). In every Court District in the Netherlands the Bar Association is present. The Bar Association has supervison on all registered members. So in Amsterdam all attorneys are member of the Amsterdam Bar Association. The Dutch Attorney is amongst others bound to the Code of Conduct of the Dutch Bar Association and several rules and regulations of the Bar Association.

The competence of a Dutch lawyer (advocaat)

During the first three years the Dutch attorney has a preliminary registration with the Dutch Bar Association. In these training years the young Dutch Attorney works under supervision of a an experienced Attorney, a patron (a “patroon”), and has obligatory training, mandatory courses, litigation experience, et cetera. Upon completion of the training period of the junior attorney the registration of the “advocaat” becomes permanent. The legal profession in the Netherlands does not have the distinction between a Solicitor and a Barrister as in the UK. The “advocaat” is a Solicitor as well as a Barrister. A Dutch Attorney is not allowed to convey real estate or to register mortgages. That is the privilege of a Dutch Notary who also takes care of the transfer of shares of a Dutch Company with Limited liablility, the B.V. (besloten Vennootschap) and the N.V. (Naamloze Vennootschap). An attorney in the Netherlands has not he power to execute Court decision or ruling himself; that is done by a bailiff (deurwaarder).

Representation in Netherlands Court by a Dutch Attorney

The “advocaat” is allowed to act in all kind of Court cases in The Netherlands as soon as he has become a member of the Dutch Bar Association. In all Dutch Courts, except the Cantonal Court and Administrative Courts , representation by a Dutch Attorney admitted to the Dutch Bar Association is necessary. The Cantonal Court deals with claims up to € 25,000, employment law matters and all claims regarding rent and agency. Attorneys in The Netherlands tend to specialize like attorneys in other countries. Our firm Blenheim focusses mainly on business law and corporate affair and litigation. Speaking for myself I have a vast experience is business litigation in the Netherlands Courts as a business lawyer. I offer my clients al lot of experience and knowledge of construction law, corporate law, an litigation including arbitration, general contract law and zoning law. More information that may be interesting for you: on Dutch legal princples and business contracts and Dutch business contract review.