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

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

A redundancy payment scheme for a bank manager and court’s obligation to apply statutory provisions ex officio

What if an agreement between parties is in violation of a statutory provision, but the parties do not raise this point in proceedings? Should the court ascertain this violation ex officio and determine whether the contract is void or valid nonetheless (which may be the case under Dutch contract law)? This question was recently submitted to the Dutch Supreme Court … Read more

Stibbe Litigators participate in consultation draft bill to modernise the law of evidence

Members of Stibbe’s Commercial Litigation practice group have participated in the public consultation of a draft bill to modernise and simplify the law of evidence in civil procedure. An overview of the draft proposal was provided previously on this blog by Petra Vos and Daan Barbiers. The main goal of the draft bill is to enhance truth seeking in civil … Read more

Relativiteit, de correctie-Widdershoven en het keurslijf van het gelijkheidsbeginsel (NTB 2018/19)

Na de introductie van het bestuursrechtelijk relativiteitsvereiste bleef één vraag boven de markt hangen. Dit was de vraag of dit relativiteitsvereiste ook zou moeten worden uitgerust met een correctie-Langemeijer-achtige correctie. Inmiddels heeft de Afdeling al weer enige tijd zo’n correctie aanvaard, op voorspraak van Staatsraad Advocaat-Generaal Widdershoven. In de zogenoemde slijterijzaken heeft de Afdeling deze correctie-Widdershoven voor het eerst laten … Read more

Termination clauses in agreements and Dutch standards of reasonableness and fairness

How can a party terminate an agreement? With the exception of certain specific agreements (i.e. employment or rent), the Dutch Civil Code (DCC) does not provide rules on termination as such. Whether and under what conditions a party is entitled to terminate an agreement is determined by the agreement itself and the general standards of reasonableness and fairness (“redelijkheid en … Read more

Witness examination and the withdrawal of a judge

In its decision of 24 November 2017 (ECLI:NL:HR:2017:3016), the Dutch Supreme Court confirmed that a judge is allowed to critically interrogate a witness and remind a witness of his oath. Such action is not an indication that a judge is not impartial or independent. Fire in a multi-tenant business building A fire destroyed a multi-tenant business building in the Dutch … Read more

Fire, furniture and strict liability for buildings used for business

Persons using a building in the course of running a business might be liable for damage caused by a defect in the building on the basis of strict liability. Such liability exists if there is a link between the origin of the defect and the running of the business. In its decision of 24 November 2017 (ECLI:NL:HR:2017:3016), the Dutch Supreme … Read more

Sharing is caring? Loan for use, due care and the good paterfamilias

These days, there is a lot of talk about the “sharing” economy. The basic idea is that there is no need to buy, say, tools or domestic equipment if it is possible to borrow it for free from someone around the corner and vice versa. But what if the borrowed object gets damaged or stolen? Should the borrower then compensate … Read more

Dutch Supreme Court confirms case law on causation: roundup of two recent cases (PART II)

In its decisions of 2 June 2017 (ECLI:NL:HR:2017:1008) and 9 June 2017 (ECLI:NL:HR:2017:1053), the Dutch Supreme Court reconfirmed its case law on causation, the condicio sine qua non test and the so-called “reversal” rule in the law of evidence pertaining to this test. Although strictly speaking, these decisions might not bring much news, they show that carrying out the condicio … Read more