The Netherlands: an attractive jurisdiction for follow-on cartel damage claims

For several years the Netherlands has been amongst the most important jurisdictions in the European Union for cartel damage claims. Courts dealing with cartel damage claims have so far managed to handle these proceedings in a pragmatic and relatively fast manner whilst at the same time ensuring that all interests and arguments are carefully taken into account. Recent judgments illustrate that Dutch civil courts on the one hand adopt a pragmatic approach that allows parties to litigate relatively efficiently (Equilib/KLM), while on the other hand make sufficient provisions for procedural safeguards, e.g. by ensuring that both sides are heard (TenneT/ABB). Civil courts also pay sufficient attention to the specific characteristics of the individual case in establishing whether they have jurisdiction in multinational cartel damage cases. The Court of The Hague, for instance, found that it had jurisdiction to hear and decide on the claims against all the defendants in the paraffin wax cartel (CDC/Shell et al.), because the various claims were sufficiently connected. In the lift cartel (Stichting Elevator Claim/Kone) on the other hand, the Rotterdam Court did not believe that such a close connection existed. The main reason for that finding was that, unlike in the paraffin wax cartel, national cartels were involved. 

Maverick Advocaten NV, the first competition law boutique firm in the Netherlands, has made an overview of recent Dutch case-law on follow-on cartel damage claims. For more information, please click here.

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Martijn van de Hel

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