The Netherlands Amends and Broadens its Legal Framework on Collective Claims
On 19 March 2019, the Dutch Parliament adopted the act aimed at facilitating the litigation of collective damages claims (the Act).
Under the previous regime (see previous post), Dutch courts could only render a declaratory judgment establishing that the defendant acted unlawfully. As a claim for damages could not be brought in collective actions, claimants had to resort to the Dutch Collective Settlement of Mass Claims Act (WCAM) in order to settle the case with the defendant, after which the Amsterdam Court of Appeal declared that settlement generally binding.
This situation has now changed with the adoption of the Act as it introduces the possibility to claim damages in a collective action before Dutch courts.
In addition, the Act also adds stricter requirements regarding the standing of representative organisations. While individual plaintiffs taking a role in class actions are inadmissible under Dutch law, the Act contains some key provisions regarding the qualification and characteristics of “representative organisations” (i.e., claim vehicles that take a role in the litigation and settlement negotiations with the defendant). The Act also contains specific provisions on the conduct of the proceedings.READ MORE