As of 1 January 2019, the Netherlands Commercial Court and the Netherlands Commercial Court of Appeal (NCC and NCCA) have been launched. The NCC(A) is a new international commercial court which aims to provide efficient, fast and predictable litigation. This newly introduced court allows for the proceedings to be conducted in English, including the procedural documents, the hearings and the judgment. With its own rules of procedure, the NCC(A) combines the highly regarded Dutch court system with a flexible focus on global best practices as the NCC rules of procedure are based on the rules of procedure that are used in other commercial courts and arbitration institutions. Below are some key features of the NCC(A).
Composition of the NCC(A)
The NCC(A) is part of the Amsterdam court and court of appeal and consists of the NCC District Court and the NCC Court of Appeal. Cases before the NCC District Court will be heard by a panel of three judges The NCC District Court also allows for summary proceedings (with one presiding judge). The NCC(A) judges are all experienced in complex international business matters.
Types of disputes for the NCC(A)
Parties can agree to have their dispute resolved by the NCC(A) by an explicit (written) agreement, provided the dispute is commercial and international in nature. Tort claims, contractual disputes, corporate law matters and class actions are all examples of cases which can be brought before the NCC(A), provided that the dispute is connected to more than one jurisdiction. The NCC(A) can also hear claims to set aside an arbitral award and requests for an injunctive relief.
Jurisdiction of the NCC(A)
The Amsterdam courts need to have jurisdiction before parties can agree to have their case heard by the NCC(A). In most cases, parties will make a choice for the Amsterdam courts and, in addition, a choice for the NCC Rules.
Recognition and enforcement of NCC(A) judgments
NCC(A) judgments are judgments rendered by a Dutch court and are therefore automatically recognised and enforceable in all EU Member States. NCC(A) judgments may also be enforceable outside of the EU, either through international conventions and/or local rules concerning recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments.
Costs of the procedure
The NCC(A) handles a relatively low fee comparing to other commercial courts and arbitration proceedings. The fixed court fee is EUR 15,000 for the NCC District Court and EUR 20,000 for the NCC Court of Appeal. The fixed court fees for summary proceedings are EUR 7,500 and EUR 10,000 respectively.
As a starting point, there are no full costs orders, so the losing party will not be ordered to pay the full legal costs of the opposing party. The parties may make agreements in respect of the costs of the proceedings, such as the court fee and costs for lawyers, service or delivery and translation. In absence of such an agreement, the cost order is based on regular Dutch law in respect of costs of proceedings in civil and commercial matters. The court can even order that each party must bear its own costs.