The legislative proposal for settlement of large-scale loss in a class action was submitted to the Lower House, on November 15th 2016. In response to this, the OO&R Symposium on ‘Collective loss redress, claim code and supervisory authority’ took place at Loyens & Loeff in Amsterdam on March 17th 2017, under the direction of the day’s chair Kitty Lieverse.

What does the legislative proposal mean?

The legislative proposal for settlement of large-scale loss in a class action includes enabling:

  • setting up class actions for damages
  • better ensuring the quality of the collective representatives
  • coordinating collective procedures
  • increasing judicial involvement in an attempted settlement

There will be one regime for class actions pursuant to article 3:305a of the Dutch Civil Code, irrespective of whether they entail damages in money or not.

All class actions must be taken before the Court of Amsterdam and recorded in a register for class actions.

The ruling of the judge in a class proceedings is binding for all those aggrieved who have not withdrawn (using an opt-out) from the collective representation of interests.

The legislative proposal has a wide scope and inter alia relates to:

  • consumer claims
  • product liability
  • prospectus liability
  • cartel damage issues
  • other forms of collective loss redress

What does the legislative proposal mean for you?

During the symposium Mijke Sinninghe Damsté gave her views on the possible consequences that the legislative proposal may have for the (international) cartel loss practice:

We expect that the possibility of starting a class action for damages has little added value for the cartel loss practice. The present way of conducting legal proceedings – on the basis of the assignment model – is unlikely to change by way of third party funders. Exceptions are nevertheless conceivable; for example proceedings on cartels in the financial sector or consumer actions. All this will crystallize further in the coming years.