On 1 January 2019, the Netherlands Commercial Court (NCC) and the Netherlands Commercial Court of Appeal (NCCA) officially started their work.

In my (Dutch) article of 1 February 2016, I have already set out the plans for this specialised forum.

These new forums are special divisions of the Amsterdam District Court and Amsterdam Court of Appeal, intended to resolve international trade disputes before a specialised regular court.

The aim of the NCC is to prevent parties in large international trade disputes opting for (international) arbitration or foreign courts (including the London Commercial Court).

Some characteristics of the NCC (and the NCCA) are that the parties voluntarily (on the basis of contractual or ad hoc agreement) choose this specialised court and that proceedings are conducted in English (unless the parties agree to use Dutch). The proceedings are heard by full bench divisions with specialised judges and the courts will have their own procedural rules where the aim is to arrive at a relatively quick dispute resolution.

The court fees are substantially higher than in ‘regular’ first instance and appeal proceedings as the court fees for the NCC and NCCA are EUR 15,000 and EUR 20,000 per party, respectively. The court fees for interim injunction proceedings are lower.
Further details can also be obtained from NCC’s new website.

By Niels Dekker