Contractual disputes in the Netherlands can arise for a number of reasons. If one of the parties does not observe the terms agreed upon in the contract, the other can take legal action to recover damages.
In practice, disputes arising from non-compliance and contractual breaches can also be solved through arbitration instead of court litigation. This is a more cost-effective method and it can also be preferred in international contractual disputes between companies in the Netherlands and other foreign companies.
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Court litigation in the Netherlands
Contractual disputes in the Netherlands are brought before a district court. Proceedings in these cases are governed by the commercial law and can also be governed by the Dutch Civil Code. Claims for contractual obligations are subject to a statute of limitations, meaning that the claimant must bear in mind that the obligation to perform a certain action under contract expires five years after the date of the cause of action.
Court litigation is generally more costly and more time consuming than alternative dispute resolution methods like arbitration. When signing contracts with a foreign company, Dutch corporations can include an arbitration clause and can also agree upon the jurisdiction that will handle the litigation, should contractual disputes arise. International contractual disputes can be enforced in a country only if a special treaty exists for this purpose. Our Dutch law firm can provide you with the needed support if you are involved in international contract litigation.
Alternative dispute resolution methods in the Netherlands
An arbitration clause included in a contract signed in the Netherlands is often a very good solution for solving disputes that may arise from the misinterpretation of the agreement or from non-compliance. An arbitrator can be selected by the parties or determined by a third party. The Netherlands has a long history of using arbitration to solve commercial matters and the process guided by the Dutch Arbitration Act and the Netherlands Arbitration Institute.
Not all commercial disputes in the Netherlands can be solved through arbitration. For complete details about this dispute resolution method and court representation please contact our Dutch law firm.