Jurisdiction and NCC agreement

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What kinds of cases can be brought before the NCC?

A matter may be submitted to NCC where the following requirements are met:

  1. the Amsterdam District Court or Amsterdam Court of Appeal has jurisdiction
  2. the parties have expressly agreed in writing that proceedings will be in English before the NCC (the 'NCC agreement')
  3. the action is a civil or commercial matter within the parties’ autonomy
  4. the matter concerns an international dispute.

The ordinary private international law rules apply. The jurisdiction of the Amsterdam District Court or the Amsterdam Court of Appeal may be based on a choice-of-court clause or such other rules as the defendant’s domicile.

Next, parties agree to take the case to the NCC (a chamber within the Amsterdam District Court or the Amsterdam Court of Appeal) and to make English the language of the proceedings. This is the “NCC agreement”. The NCC agreement can be recorded in a clause, either before or after the dispute arises (see the Model clause).

The "civil or commercial matter" test is met where the dispute is related to civil law in a broad sense, as opposed to criminal charges or administrative proceedings. These matters may be contractual disputes, claims in tort, property disputes, or intellectual property, anti-trust/competition, technology, construction or corporate matters.

The following special types of cases may be appropriate for NCC proceedings:

  • A claim in a collective action, provided the Amsterdam District Court has jurisdiction based on criteria such as the domicile of one of the parties, or the place where the harmful event occurred.
  • An application seeking a declaration that a collective settlement is universally binding (including third parties), provided the agreement is connected to the Netherlands, so that the Amsterdam Court of Appeal has jurisdiction.
  • A claim to set aside an arbitral award that is filed in Amsterdam, provided that there is an agreement that the proceedings will be in English before the NCC Court of Appeal.

The "international dispute" test is broad in scope. It is met not only where one or more of the parties have their domicile in a foreign jurisdiction, but also where the dispute otherwise involves a relevant cross-border interest, such as shareholders, employees or revenue located in or linked to a foreign jurisdiction.

How can I confer jurisdiction and make an NCC agreement?

Parties may agree a clause that (a) confers jurisdiction and (b) records their agreement for proceedings to be in English before the NCC (the 'NCC agreement'). See the Model clause.