Netherlands Commercial Court
A practioner's guide to commercial litigation in the Netherlands

The Netherlands Commercial Court

Commercial litigation in the Netherlands

Amsterdam has joined the likes of London, Dubai and Singapore when the new Netherlands Commercial Court opens its doors.

This court shall be specialised in hearing complex (international) commercial cases.

The Netherlands Commercial Court will offer parties to business and trade disputes a forum where they can litigate in English before neutral, specialist commercial judges, right in the heart of Europe.

Legal proceedings in English

English is indisputably the language of international business. Commercial contracts are frequently drafted in English, and parties from countries with different languages communicate with each other in English. But when it comes to litigation, parties to cross-border disputes can be forced to conduct court proceedings in a language which they do not understand.

The Dutch judiciary has decided to embrace English as the leading commercial language, establishing an English speaking court, the Netherlands Commercial Court here in Amsterdam.

The court provides an alternative to parties who want to litigate in English, but wish to avoid expensive forums such as London or the United States.

The Netherlands Commercial Court is also an alternative for those parties who do not want to submit to arbitration, where proceedings are costly and outcomes may not be as predictable as before national courts.

Procedural law in The Netherlands

Dutch procedural law is recognised for being efficient, pragmatic and cost-effective. An example of the advantages of litigating in The Netherlands is the conservatory arrest (Dutch freezing/Mareva injunctions). These orders can be attained with relative ease to prevent assets located in the Netherlands from being removed from the jurisdiction or otherwise disposed of pending the completion of proceedings.
While such injunctions can be quite difficult to secure in English speaking common law jurisdictions, the Dutch courts award these arrest orders quite readily, giving plaintiffs in Dutch proceedings a high degree of security and certainty regarding their ability to execute a judgment if it is handed down in their favour.

This makes The Netherlands a particularly attractive forum for claimants with a cause of action against a Dutch defendant. The Netherlands are also an ideal forum for litigation in which the defendant or its assets are not located in the Netherlands. It is little known that Dutch court judgments are amongst the most widely enforceable judgments worldwide.
Thanks to instruments such as the Brussels Regulation, the Lugano Convention and the Hague Convention on the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments in civil and commercial matters, Dutch court judgments are easily enforceable in over 30 other jurisdictions, including 5 outside the European Union. In addition to this, Dutch decisions are generally also enforceable in the United States (most states), Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand. This makes a Dutch judgment enforceable and valuable well beyond the borders of The Netherlands.

Why the Netherlands Commercial Court?
Netherlands Commercial Court - NCC
litigation in The Netherlands
Launch of the Netherlands Commercial Court

The court's launch date has been on the 1st of January, 2019.

On the 11th December 2018 the Dutch Senate approved the bill for the new international trade chamber of the Amsterdam District Court, known as the Netherlands Commercial Court, and the Netherlands Commercial Court of Appeal.

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