Dispute resolution in international commercial cases

Amsterdam has joined the likes of London, Dubai and Singapore now that the Netherlands Commercial Court has opened its doors.

This court is specialised in hearing complex (international) commercial cases.

The Netherlands Commercial Court offers parties to business and trade disputes a forum where they can litigate in English before neutral, specialist commercial judges, right in the heart of Europe.

Commercial law suits in The Netherlands

The NCC deals with private-law disputes involving business, rather than public-law disputes. Such commercial cases may include contractual disputes, pre-contractual issues, contract breaches, rescission claims, and contractual damage claims.

  • Contractual dispute: A contractual dispute occurs when any party is in disagreement over the contract terms or definitions. In order for a contract to be valid there needs to be consensus ad idem, or mutual agreement. A contract is not legally valid without mutual agreement and can be contested in court.
  • Pre-contractual issues: these are issues that arise before the contract comes into effect, and can include issues such as mistake (dwaling), threat (bedreiging), fraud (bedrog), and abuse of circumstances (misbruik van omstandigheden). Contracts that are affected by such issues may be found to be voidable or annulled, depending on the circumstances the type of defect of consent involved.
  • Contract breaches: legal breaches of contract occur when there is a failure by one party to perform any term of a contract, without a legitimate excuse. Such contractual breaches may include not paying on time, not finishing what is done, or failure to deliver goods. A breach of contract is a common reason to file a lawsuit, and usually results in damages.
  • Rescission claims: rescission is the unwinding or recinding of a contract as though the contract never happened and consequently the parties are brought back to the same legal position before they entered into a contract. Rescission claims may arise in case of fraudulent representation, mutual mistake, and lack of capacity, duress, or undue influence. Usually the decision to recind must be mutual. It may also be the case however that a party can bring a recission claim against the other party on the condition that a breach is so substantial that it defeats the purpose of the contract.
  • Contractual damage claims: These are claims that are brought about by a breach of contract whereby damages are awarded as the legal remedy. Damages are monetary awards that can include for example compensatory damages (most common), liquidation damages, and punitive damages.

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