Jurisdiction under Dutch law

Jurisdiction in The Netherlands over commercial cases

International commercial relationships are often extensive and complex. The complexity of these relationships requires suitably qualified courts and judges.

In keeping with the characteristics of commercial parties and to fulfil their needs, the Netherlands Commercial Court will open its doors in the near future.

This court will be a Dutch national court with jurisdiction over commercial matters. With the introduction of this court the Netherlands will offer (international) parties a forum with subject matter jurisdiction over commercial disputes including contract, tort, property law and company/corporate law disputes. Every case will be heard by three judges specialised in dealing with international commercial disputes.

Judges will be selected on the basis of (i) their knowledge of private law, in particular specialist knowledge of corporate law, insurance law, banking and financial law, transportation law, intellectual property law or any other relevant specialisations, as well as Dutch procedural law, (ii) their active and passive knowledge of legal English, (iii) their experience with large, complex (international) trade disputes, (iv) their knowledge of American and English procedural law; and (v) their familiarity with the international commercial world and commercial legal practice.

Requirements for the court’s subject matter jurisdiction

The cases settled by the Netherlands Commercial Court will generally have an international element, for example one or both of the parties being established outside the Netherlands, non- Dutch law being applicable or the relevant events having taken place abroad, however this is not a requirement. The only substantive requirement for the court’s subject matter jurisdiction is that the case is a “commercial” matter.

The Netherlands Commercial Court’s Jurisdiction based on consent

The Netherlands Commercial Court’s personal jurisdiction will be based on consent. Parties must choose to subject their disputes to the competence of this court. There is no nationality requirement. As a result, the court will be able to hear disputes solely between Dutch parties, disputes between Dutch and foreign parties and even cases between foreign parties where there is no link to the Netherlands or Dutch law. This will make the Netherlands Commercial Court an attractive option for foreign parties looking for a neutral forum for the resolution of a commercial dispute.

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