Amsterdam to join London, Delaware, Singapore and others

The Netherlands Commercial Court (NCC), a new court for settling international trade conflicts, is being established in Amsterdam. The Netherlands Council for the Judiciary, the umbrella organisation for the Dutch courts, recently announced its plans (Dutch link) to open the NCC by 1 January, 2017.

This type of court is new to the Netherlands, despite the country’s wide range of courts and arbitration options. The NCC will help promote the role of the Netherlands as a place where international trade disputes can be settled. Such disputes are currently handled in the Netherlands’ normal court system; however, international companies are increasingly opting for commercial courts abroad. Commercial courts such as the NCC already exist in London, Delaware, Dublin, Singapore, and Dubai.

Amsterdam is where the companies are based

The NCC will be based in Amsterdam due to its already-present talent pool. According to Frits Bakker (Dutch link), who is the chairman of the Council for the Judiciary, “The large companies are generally based in Amsterdam, as are the legal professionals who already specialise in disputes between companies.”  

Baker said that the NCC is important to Dutch companies that now have to turn to commercial courts elsewhere. Litigating in a city like London is much more expensive than in the Netherlands, and the Dutch justice system is already known for its pragmatism, which is attractive to businesses.

An English-language commercial court in Amsterdam

The NCC will support itself financially by charging higher than average fees. The judges, who will have specialised knowledge of trade conflicts, will come to Amsterdam from the various courts and tribunals in the Netherlands, They will also need to speak impeccable English, as it will be the working language of the NCC.