On 1 January 2016, the Rotterdam District Court started a pilot project allowing cases involving maritime and transport law and international sale of goods to be conducted in English. By introducing the possibility to conduct proceedings in English the Rotterdam District Court hopes to further meet international commercial needs. At the request of both parties, litigation documents may be filed in English, and the working language will be English at hearings and in correspondence. Experts and witnesses may still be examined in Dutch. The pilot project will run for eighteen months.

To respond to the need of large enterprises for fast, professional and efficient resolution of disputes, the Amsterdam District Court is setting up a special division to settle large national and international trade disputes: the Netherlands Commercial Court (NCC). The NCC will further contribute to a positive business climate and strengthen the leading international position of the Dutch judiciary.

The NCC is intended to open on 1 January 2017, assuming the government will be able to timely pass legislation that facilitates proceedings in English. The government has announced that it will introduce legislation by mid-2016. We will keep you informed of further developments.