Bill to simplify Dutch law of evidence: concerns remain

The Minister for Legal Protection recently submitted a legislative bill with the aim of simplifying Dutch law of evidence. The bill is intended to enhance truth finding and promote efficiency and effectiveness in civil proceedings. However, we doubt that the bill will contribute to these objectives. The bill contains language that appears to extend the court’s competence to investigate facts … Read more

Dutch State breached duty of care in providing information to victims and surviving relatives of plane crash

Earlier this year, the District Court in The Hague ruled that the Dutch State is liable vis-à-vis the victims and surviving relatives of a 1992 plane crash in Faro, Portugal. The State was found liable because it is responsible for the information provided by the Dutch Aviation Safety Board (a government agency) to the victims and surviving relatives. This information, … Read more

Limitation in case of a deliberately hidden claim

Dutch law provides for an extension of the limitation period in relation to claims that were “deliberately hidden” from the creditor (article 3:321 (f) Dutch Civil Code). The extension also applies if the debtor deliberately hid the fact that the claim had become due and payable (upon fulfilment of a certain condition, for example). It is, however, unclear what kind … Read more

‘Dutch scheme’ adopted by the Dutch Parliament’s House of Representatives

On 26 May 2020, the Dutch Parliament’s House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer) adopted the Act on confirmation of private restructuring plans (Wet homologatie onderhands akkoord (“WHOA”)). The next step will see the WHOA put to vote in the Senate. The WHOA will introduce a framework allowing debtors to restructure their debts outside formal insolvency proceedings (the “Dutch Scheme“). Following the … Read more

Accountants advising in real estate transactions: be aware of penalties in mortgage deeds

The Court of Appeal of Arnhem-Leeuwarden ruled on 3 March 2020 that an accountant did not properly advise her client with respect to a sale of real estate (ECLI:NL:GHARL:2020:1875). In her research concerning the consequences of the sale, the accountant had failed to properly review the contracts between the seller and the financier of the real estate. The accountant had … Read more

Auditor liable for not including a provision for a third party claim?

In a recent case, the Court of Appeal of Arnhem-Leeuwarden dismissed a claim of the bankruptcy trustee of Welsec against an audit firm for failing to ensure that the audited company, Welsec, included a provision in its annual accounts for a third party claim (ECLI:NL:GHARL:2020:2492). Although in fact several of Welsec’s annual accounts had not provided the insight requested by … Read more

Claims assigned to a litigation vehicle: who needs to prove what?

Two recent decisions from the Amsterdam Court of Appeal have confirmed that litigation vehicles cannot come empty-handed to the court, and should provide documentation regarding the assignments of claims they submit. The Dutch legal system allows companies and individuals to assign their claims to a “litigation vehicle” or “claims vehicle” that bundles those claims into a single action. In its … Read more

The impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus) on commercial contracts: force majeure?

Recent measures taken by the Dutch government to contain the outbreak and spread of COVID-19 (a novel Coronavirus) have led to an increase in questions regarding the consequences for commercial contracts. These measures influence society as whole, and have a serious impact on a wide range of specific sectors and industries. These measures have put the performance of commercial contracts, … Read more

The Dutch scheme – when can it be used, and by whom?

As mentioned in our earlier blog, the Dutch legislator has prepared a bill – the Act on confirmation of private restructuring plans (Wet homologatie onderhands akkoord) – which introduces a framework allowing debtors to restructure their debts outside formal insolvency proceedings (the “Dutch Scheme“). In our previous blog, we summarised the Dutch Scheme and explained that either (i) the debtor … Read more

CDC/Kemira: Amsterdam Court of appeal applies European principle of effectiveness to limitation periods

On 4 February 2020 the Amsterdam Court of Appel rendered judgment in a cartel damages action filed by claim vehicle CDC against Kemira Chemicals Oy (Kemira), a producer of sodium chlorate. The Court of Appeal disagrees with the Amsterdam District Court’s judgment of 10 May 2017 on issues of statutory limitation (see our June 2016 newsletter) and considers that CDC’s … Read more