English litigation at the Netherlands Commercial Court in Amsterdam

Alert, Jan. 7, 2019 by Maarten van Buuren

English litigation at the Netherlands Commercial Court in Amsterdam

On 1 January 2019, the Netherlands Commercial Court (“NCC”) was formed. The NCC is a specialized chamber to the Amsterdam District Court (Rechtbank Amsterdam) and the Amsterdam Court of Appeal (Gerechtshof Amsterdam).

  1. 1.    The Netherlands Commercial Court

The NCC includes a NCC District Court and a NCC Court in Summary Proceedings (“CSP”). The CSP is a chamber in the Amsterdam District Court, which will deal with certain matters requiring expedited procedures and decisions, such as preliminary relief injunctions or interim measures. Furthermore, the NCC provides also the NCC Court of Appeal, being a chamber in the Amsterdam Court of Appeal. NCC District Court and CSP judgments may be appealed to the NCC Court of Appeal. NCC Court of Appeal judgments may be appealed to the Supreme Court in The Netherlands.

2.         Scope of work

A matter may generally be submitted to the NCC, if the following requirements are met:

  1. the action is a civil or commercial matter within the autonomy of the parties and is not subject to the jurisdiction of the Subdistrict Court or the exclusive jurisdiction of any other Dutch chamber or court; 
  2. the matter concerns an international dispute;
  3. the parties to the proceedings have designated the Amsterdam District Court as the forum to hear their case or the Amsterdam District Court has jurisdiction to hear the action on other grounds; and
  4. the parties to the proceedings have expressly agreed in writing that court proceedings will be before the NCC in English.       

3.          Procedure

The court applies Dutch procedure, including in particular the Code of Civil Procedure (Wetboek van Burgerlijke Rechtsvordering). The applicable substantive law is determined by reference to the rules of Dutch private international law. However, proceedings before the NCC are governed by the NCC Rules of Procedure (the “Rules”). These Rules include information regarding the scope (section 1), language (section 2), mode of procedure and time limits (section 3), initiating and action (section 4), default and defense (section 5), motions and interim measures (section 6), hearing (section 7), evidence (section 8), judgement (section 9), costs (section 10), discontinuance, withdrawal and restart (section 12) and the final provisions (section 12). These Rules reflect certain relevant rules of Dutch civil procedure, but are without prejudice to the law’s meaning and effect.

Except where the law provides otherwise, a party may not act pro se, but must be represented by its lawyer who must be a member of the Dutch Bar (advocaat).

All communication with the NCC and submitting documents is only possible by means of the NCC web portal (“eNNC”). Original documents or objects that may be relied on as evidence but are not suitable for submission via eNCC may be deposited with the clerk. Any other mode of submission requires the advance permission of the court.

The court will set the date for giving judgment and notify the parties that have entered an appearance. In actions by application and in proceedings before the CSP, the court will generally give its judgment within two (2) weeks after the hearing. Decisions on motions will generally be given within a period of four (4) weeks. The time for giving judgment in the main action will be determined by the court based on the scope and complexity of the case. 

  1. 4.    Costs

NCC District Court

EUR 15,000 per party

Court in Summary Proceedings

EUR 7,500 per party

NCC Court in Appeal

EUR 20,000 per party

Court in Summary Proceedings (on appeal)

EUR 10,000 per party

 

 

The NCC will charge an upfront flat fee depending on where the action is initiated. The above mentioned fees are not related to the total amount of the claim. When a party fails to comply with the payment request, the court will, having heard the respective party’s view, impose a sanction, such as dismissal of the case.

The court fees are excluding all other costs related to a procedure such as lawyers’ fees, costs of service of the initiating document on the defendant, court reporters' fees, and fees or expenses for witnesses or experts. With respect to the lawyers’ fees, the unsuccessful party will bear the costs of the proceedings (both its own and the successful party’s) and other costs generally are borne by the party incurring them. The costs are further specified in section 10 of the Rules, and will in general not cover the actual costs.

QUESTIONS OR FURTHER INFORMATION

See also the Alert ‘English litigation at a new Commercial Court in Amsterdam’ dated August 23, 2017, on our website.

If you have any questions or appreciate receiving more information on this alert, please contact your regular contact at WLP-Law or any of the undersigned:

Maarten van Buuren at vanbuuren@wlp-law.com or at (31) 65244 1991

This alert is intended to highlight issues for general reference only. It is not comprehensive nor does it constitute legal, tax or financial advice. Any information contained herein is subject to change at our discretion. This information should not be relied upon in any specific factual or legal situation and does not cover all laws or regulations that may be applicable. You should seek professional advice before making use of any of the information. WLP-Law gives no warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. No liability whatsoever is accepted by WLP-Law in this respect. This alert relates to Netherlands law only.