KEI pilot ends: reset of digital litigation at Dutch courts, and new procedural rules

On 1 October 2019, legislation will enter into force ending the KEI pilot scheme for digital litigation at the courts of Gelderland and Central Netherlands (Midden-Nederland). However, certain new procedural rules, which were part of the digitalisation pilot, will remain in force and will apply to all Dutch courts. End of digital litigation The pilot for digital litigation started on … Read more

Audit firms and accountant’s duty of care towards third parties

The Dutch Supreme Court recently decided (ECLI:NL:HR:2019:744) that the standard for audit firms’ and accountants’ duty of care towards third parties is in essence no different than the general duty of care under Dutch tort law, and ultimately depends on the circumstances of the case. However, the role of accountants in society, their responsibility to serve the general interest, and … Read more

EU reshaping the restructuring landscape? Directive on Restructuring and Insolvency approved by EU Council

1. Introduction The Council of the European Union adopted a proposal for a Directive on restructuring and insolvency (2016/0359 (COD) on 6 June 2019. The Directive will enter into force twenty days after it is published in the Official Journal of the European Union. From that date, Member States will have two years to implement the substantive parts of the … Read more

Dutch Supreme Court clarifies evidentiary rules concerning signatures and signed documents

In two recent decisions, the Dutch Supreme Court has clarified the evidentiary power of signed documents. If the signatory unambiguously denies that the signature on the document is his or hers or claims that another party has tampered with the signature (for instance, through forgery or copying a signature from one document and pasting it in another), it is up … Read more

Dutch court: insufficient substantiation? No follow-on cartel damages action

Dutch courts are forcing claimants (including claims vehicles) to be well-prepared before initiating follow-on actions. The Amsterdam District Court in the Dutch trucks cartel follow-on proceedings recently ruled that claimants – specifically CDC, STCC, Chapelton, K&D c.s. and STEF c.s. – had insufficiently substantiated their claims. These claimants now have until 18 September 2019 to provide sufficient facts regarding transactions that … Read more

TERMINATION OF AN AGREEMENT: COMPELLING GROUNDS?

When does a reason given for termination of an agreement qualify as a compelling ground? That was the central question in the Dutch Supreme Court’s decision of 29 March 2019 (ECLI:NL:HR:2019:446). Depending on the nature of the agreement and the circumstances of the case, termination may only take place under certain conditions, e.g. only on compelling grounds. The Dutch Civil … Read more

Arbitral award obligating Ecuador to prevent enforcement of USD 8.6 billion order does not violate public order

Introduction Due to environmental damage as a result of oil extraction in the Ecuadorian Amazon, oil company Chevron was ordered to pay USD 8.6 billion to Ecuadorian citizens. In order to claim release of liability, Chevron and Texaco initiated arbitration proceedings against Ecuador. Arbitral awards ordered Ecuador to prevent enforcement of the Ecuadorian judgment, leaving the Ecuadorian plaintiffs temporarily unable … Read more

The European Court of Justice recently confirmed that if the EU Damages Directive does not apply, it is up to national rules to enable claimants to effectively claim EU antitrust damages.

In this case, the Court considered that the Portuguese limitation rules (a short limitation period that may start before the victim knows who is liable and that cannot be suspended during the authority’s investigation) made it practically impossible or excessively difficult to obtain compensation, and should therefore be set aside. The Court of Justice clarified these issues when answering preliminary … Read more

Damage due to a defective driveway and the Dutch twenty year limitation period: When does limitation start in case of a continuous event that causes damage?

Introduction On 22 March 2019, the Dutch Supreme Court ruled (ECLI:NL:HR:2019:412) that the strict liability for buildings (opstalaansprakelijkheid) is not linked to a specific damaging act but to a damaging condition, as referred to in section 6:174 DCC. Therefore, there is no reason to regard a damaging act as an ‘event that caused damage’ as referred to in section 3:310 … Read more