New court established in Amsterdam
A new English-language court to resolve complex international business disputes has been established in Amsterdam. The Netherlands Commercial Court (NCC District Court and NCC Court of Appeal) is a chamber in the Amsterdam District Court and the Amsterdam Court of Appeal, respectively. It will primarily deal with complex international commercial disputes, ranging from claims focused on corporate law and tort to contractual issues. All proceedings and judgements will be conducted and delivered in English, though Dutch may be used if desired by all involved parties. The court, which is located at the Palace of Justice near to Amsterdam Central Station, was established on 1 January 2019 after the Dutch Senate approved legislation for its creation last year. Dutch courts are already often chosen in international business disputes because of their reliability and efficient and transparent procedures. The addition of an English-language court to provide dispute resolution in a civil law jurisdiction is a boon for both Dutch and international companies who want to litigate in English in a Dutch court, especially as these companies often need to resolve disputes between parties from different countries where communications and contracts are written in English.
An international focus
Except for small claims, there will be no minimum value criterion for submitting a case to the NCC, and though it must have an international aspect, this requirement is not difficult to prove. Typically, the costs will include charges for lawyers, court reporters and expenses related to experts and witnesses. The NCC also charges an upfront, flat fee, which is unrelated to the case or how much financial compensation is claimed. When a decision is made, the unsuccessful party is responsible for the proceedings’ costs. The parties can make an agreement concerning these costs, but if none is made, the court will decide.
Working with Dutch law
The court is intended to function in accordance with the Netherlands’ existing international framework. Additionally, it will offer a Court in Summary Proceedings to deal with issues requiring a swift resolution, like interim measures. Cases are heard by a panel of three independent and experienced judges. The court’s rules also provide transparent and dependable guidance on procedural matters.
Like all other Dutch court judgements, NCC judgments will be enforceable throughout Switzerland and the EU under the Lugano Convention and the Brussels 1 Regulation. In future, The Hague Choice of Court Convention, which is ratified by the EU, may be used to expand enforcement to other countries, including Denmark, Mexico, Montenegro, Singapore and China.