What is the Netherlands Commercial Court?

The Netherlands Commercial Court is a new commercial court set up to settle international trade disputes. 
This court is going to handle cases in Amsterdam most probably in the course of 2018.
The judges of the Netherlands Commercial Court are specialised in international trade law, and are experts in handling commercial disputes, such as contract disputes, pre-contractual issues, contract breaches, rescission claims, contractual damage claims et cetera.

The Netherlands Commercial Court will focus on international trade disputes in a broad sense. It will not judge cases or claims that fall within the exclusive competence of another court, such as the Patent Court.

Agreement to settle a dispute through the Netherlands Commercial Court

Litigation before the Netherlands Commercial Court shall only take place on a voluntary basis. Parties may agree to settle their dispute through the Netherlands Commercial Court either before or after the dispute has arisen.
There will be no minimum interest criterion.
This means that claims of an indefinite value and disputes between small businesses can also be judged by the Netherlands Commercial Court.

Language and procedural law of the Netherlands Commercial Court

The Netherlands Commercial Court will enable parties to conduct their Dutch legal proceedings in the English language, except when the Dutch language is preferred by all parties.
The Netherlands Commercial Court will apply Dutch civil procedural law.
Both foreign and Dutch companies shall be able to initiate proceedings before the Netherlands Commercial Court, provided that this has been agreed to by all parties.

Advantages of proceedings before the Netherlands Commercial Court

Proceedings before the Netherlands Commercial Court will have a number of clear advantages;

  • the court shall apply Dutch civil procedural law, which is practical and relatively efficient and cost effective
  • the language of the Netherlands Commercial Court proceedings shall be English, unless Dutch is chosen, allowing foreign English speaking lawyers to be actively involved in these proceedings, and decreasing the costs of translation of pleadings and other documents.

Appeal and cassation

All parties can lodge an appeal againt a Netherlands Commercial Court's judgment to the competent Dutch court of appeal and the Supreme Court.

Choosing between proceedings before the Netherlands Commercial Court and arbitration?

Are proceedings before the Netherlands Commercal Court a good alternative for international arbitration proceedings?
The advantage of arbitration in The Netherlands is that Dutch arbitration awards can be enforced in many countries of the world, whilst this does not apply to judgments of Netherlands Commercial Court.

More information on settlement of international commercial disputes in The Netherlands

For more information on the Netherlands Commercial Court and the resolution of international commercial disputes in The Netherlands, please feel free to contact:

LAW - associated firm

Together with a number of international law firms outside
The Netherlands, Blenheim is member of Lawyers Associated Worldwide.

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