Key features and jurisdiction

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Key features

  • NCC is situated in the Dutch courts, which are ranked number 1 worldwide: (civil justice)
  • Speedy proceedings: the Dutch courts are the 5th fastest in the European Union with an average of 130 days from a notice to appear to a final judgment
  • The language of the entire proceedings is English (including judgment)
  • NCC judges are impartial, independent and experienced in complex international business matters
  • Cases are heard and disposed of by a three-judge panel
  • Active case management in consultation with the parties: typically a conference will be scheduled to discuss issues, motions, fact-finding and a timetable
  • Clear rules of procedure: the NCC Rules provide parties with reliable, transparent guidance on procedural matters
  • Focus on global best practices: the NCC Rules provide flexibility
  • 24/7 availability: in exceptionally urgent cases, the court is authorised to hear and decide cases anytime, anywhere
  • Low costs: a flat court fee of € 15,000 (NCC District Court) or € 20,000 (NCC Court of Appeal)

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
  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 those courts) and to make English the language of the proceedings. This can be done in a clause to that effect, either before or after the dispute arises.

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

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

  • A claim in a collective action, provided the District Court of Amsterdam 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.