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

Liability of audit firms and accountants towards clients for non-performance of the assignment

The Dutch Supreme Court recently ruled on a case concerning liability of an audit firm towards its client for non-performance of an assignment to provide what is termed a ‘contribution statement’ (ECLI:NL:HR:2019:1447). The outcome was determined by the specific circumstances of the case, and the Supreme Court did not see cause to answer legal questions in view of the uniformity … Read more

Dutch national police service liable for unlawful granting of firearms permit

In a recent decision (ECLI:NL:HR:2019:1409), the Supreme Court has decided that the Dutch national police force is liable for damage suffered by victims of a shooting which took place in a shopping centre in 2011; an event that shocked the Netherlands. The Supreme Court held that the police had unlawfully granted a permit for the firearms used in the shooting. … Read more

Calculating future damages from the past, Science Fiction or law?

Introduction Imagine having been blocked from expanding your business in 1975, litigating a claim for lost opportunities for all those years, winning that proceedings on the merits, and then having to start separate legal proceedings to determine the amount of damages to be awarded (schadestaat procedure). How does one value, in 2019, a business opportunity lost in 1975? Background to … Read more

Restructuring: introduction of Dutch Scheme one step closer

On 5 July 2019 the Minister of Justice submitted a bill to parliament that will add a new powerful tool to the Dutch restructuring toolbox. The bill on the “Act on the Confirmation of a Private Restructuring Plan” is expected to introduce a serious competitor to the UK’s Scheme of Arrangement and the USA’s Chapter 11. The introduction of the … Read more

The Hague Judgments Convention: an instrument for the distant future?

Introduction  On 2 July 2019, the Hague Conference of Private International Law (HCCH) adopted the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil or Commercial Matters (Judgments Convention; see full text of the convention here). The Judgments Convention aims to provide an efficient system for the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments in civil or commercial matters. … Read more

Big Data and collective redress in the Netherlands – changes to Dutch law necessary?

The rise of big data poses all kinds of legal challenges for society. The Dutch government and Parliament are currently exploring whether or not the Dutch collective redress mechanism suffices for claiming damages following violations of data protection law. Recent reports commissioned by the Dutch government have proposed changes to this collective redress mechanism; in this blog, we set out … Read more

ECJ answers preliminary questions on jurisdiction in cartel damage case

On 29 July 2019, the ECJ handed down a preliminary ruling concerning jurisdiction in follow-on damages proceedings in what is termed the trucks cartel. The court clarified that Article 7(2) Brussels I Regulation should be interpreted in such a way as to allow an indirect purchaser to sue an alleged infringer of Article 101 TFEU before the courts of the … Read more

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