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By Hilde Bruin, LL.M.
Russell Advocaten B.V.
Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Netherlands Commercial Court is almost here! Soon the first matters can be brought before the NCC. So what exactly is the Netherlands Commercial Court? And why is it established?

What is the Netherlands Commercial Court?

The Netherlands Commercial Court is a special court for trade disputes, like the Commercial Court in England and the Handelsgericht in Germany. The NCC will be a special department of the Amsterdam District Court and Court of Appeal.

Procedures before the NCC will be in English only, unless otherwise agreed by the parties. Proceedings will be digital so that this court is highly suited for international trade issues. Documents can be submitted by Dutch lawyers only.

Why the Netherlands Commercial Court?

International trade disputes occur frequently. Think of a supplier who does not meet his or her obligation to deliver goods to the Netherlands. Or you might suffer damage through an unlawful act or omission by another person and the effects can be felt outside the national borders.

Parties wishing to litigate in the Netherlands can now choose between the “common” Dutch court and (international) arbitration. If parties choose the national court because they want to get a real decision directly or limit costs, it is not possible to choose a specialized court for international trade disputes. International parties will end up with a common court, which, in addition, can only deal with the matter in Dutch.

The Netherlands Commercial Court provides for the need of the industry to deal with international trade disputes in English, digitally, effectively and based upon the existing rules of the practical Dutch procedural law. By this, the NCC also contributes to the business climate in the Netherlands.

What Kind of Matters?

The Netherlands Commercial Court focuses on complex and extensive trade disputes in the broadest sense. Within its scope falls basically everything, including national disputes. There is no minimum requirement. After all, in national matters with a rather limited interest expertise in the international field may also be desirable. Therefore, the NCC can also be appealing to small companies, including start-ups.

Parties litigate before the NCC because they wish to. This choice by the parties can, for instance, be included in a contract between the parties before a dispute arises. However, the parties can also choose the NCC after a conflict has arisen. After all, it is in the interest of both parties that a knowledgeable court will rule on their dispute.

The Netherlands Commercial Court has not started yet. The aim is to deal with the first cases in the course of 2017.

More information

Do you have an international trade dispute and would you like to submit it to the Netherlands Commercial Court or another Dutch court? Would you like to lay down the choice for the NCC in a contract? Or would you like to choose any other competent court? We will gladly help you in this matter. Please contact Russell Advocaten.