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

Den Bosch Court of Appeal revives damages claims in Dutch prestressing steel litigation

In its ruling, the Court of Appeal confirms that the rules of the law applicable to Deutsche Bahn’s damages claims – here: German law – determine the relevant limitation periods as well as the interruption and the suspension thereof. Under German law, a ‘long-stop’ limitation period of ten years and a ‘short-stop’ period of three years apply. On appeal, the … Read more

Stibbe lawyers call on legislator to put civil procedure reforms on hold

In a publication in the Dutch Lawyers’ Journal (Nederlands Juristenblad) we call on the Dutch legislator to put on hold a series of recently proposed bills that would reform Dutch Civil Procedure. We believe that priority should instead be given to speeding up the turnaround time of cases and the introduction of digital communication with the courts (currently submissions are … Read more

Dutch court rules that investors suffer investment loss in the market where securities are listed and traded

On 29 January 2020, the Rotterdam District Court ruled on the question of which laws are applicable to the tort claims brought by (former) Petrobras investors against Petrobras (ECLI:NL:RBROT:2020:614). The Court applied the main rule of EU Regulation Rome II (the “Rome II Regulation”), which stipulates that the law applicable to claims in tort is the law of the country … Read more

The Dutch scheme – a summary of the upcoming new restructuring tool

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) – introducing a framework that allows debtors to restructure their debts outside formal insolvency proceedings (the “Dutch Scheme“). We expect this highly-anticipated bill to enter into force by this summer. The Dutch Scheme combines features … Read more

EU Council suggests fundamental changes to proposal for Directive on representative actions

The proposed text for a Directive on representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers has radically changed – again. In April 2018, the European Commission launched its New Deal for Consumers, aimed at strengthening the enforcement of consumer law throughout the European Union. Part of this legislative programme was a proposal for a Directive on representative … Read more

Court of Appeal applies competition notion of undertaking in civil damages claim

The Court of Appeal of Arnhem – Leeuwarden recently applied the competition law notion of an ‘undertaking’ in a civil damages suit between TenneT and an entity belonging to the Alstom group of companies. The Court of Appeal ruled that Cogelex formed a single undertaking with its 48% shareholder Alstom. Cogelex could therefore be held liable under civil law for the competition … Read more

Blockchain and the law – regulation for smart contracts on the way?

The Research and Documentation Centre of the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security (WODC) has recently published the report “Blockchain and the law”. The August 2019 report is fairly critical towards blockchain technology, and questions whether the potential benefits of blockchain (mainly efficiency gains) are proportional in relation to the potential disadvantages. The report also analyses the benefits and disadvantages … Read more