Dispute Resolution

Litigation

Disputes are the order of the day, especially in the competitive international market where most of Houthoff’s clients operate. A dispute can bring a company’s operations to a standstill. That is why our 80 experienced Litigation Team lawyers are always focused on bringing disputes to a satisfactory conclusion and preventing surprises. Our lawyers never lose sight of our clients' strategic interests.

Where settlement is an option, our litigators negotiate the best settlement conditions. Where litigation is unavoidable, our specialists commit themselves to the process with energy and enthusiasm - in national and international mediation procedures and arbitrations, and proceedings before the Enterprise Chamber, the Dutch Supreme Court and the European Court of Justice.

  • recommendation people shaking hands
    First Tier firm.
    Chambers Global & Europe, Dispute Resolution (2018 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    "Interviewees especially admire the team's meticulous approach to a case: 'The lawyers are very good in dispute resolution, really hard-working, and they go into all details of the case'."
    Chambers Europe, Dispute Resolution (2018 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    "Sources praise the 'excellent lawyers' for being 'a pleasure to work with, resourceful and prompt,' and say: 'They always provide very reliable advice about Dutch law'."
    Chambers Europe, Dispute Resolution (2018 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    First Tier firm.
    Legal 500, Dispute Resolution: Commercial litigation (2018 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    First Tier firm.
    Legal 500, Dispute Resolution: Mediation (2018 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    "Houthoff has considerable expertise handling national and international mediation procedures." 
    Legal 500, Dispute Resolution: mediation (2018 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    "The ‘very good’ team at Houthoff handles a broad range of contentious matters, including restructuring and corporate litigation."
    Legal 500, Dispute Resolution: Commercial litigation (2018 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    First Tier firm.
    Chambers Global & Europe, Dispute Resolution (2017 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    "An excellent law firm, and very thorough. Its lawyers stand out for their profound knowledge, experience and winner's attitude."
    Chambers Europe, Dispute Resolution (2017 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    "The team is "very efficient, forward-looking and client-friendly'."
    Chambers Europe, Dispute Resolution (2017 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    "The firm is amongst the top five firms in the Netherlands and competes effectively with the international firms that have a presence in the jurisdiction."
    Chambers Europe, Dispute Resolution (2017 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    First Tier firm.
    Legal 500, Dispute resolution: commercial litigation (2017 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    "'Highly sophisticated and efficient law firm’ Houthoff Buruma is regularly instructed in high-profile disputes, with a particular specialism in financial services and corporate litigation."
    Legal 500, Dispute resolution: commercial litigation (2017 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    First Tier firm.
    Legal 500, Dispute resolution: mediation (2017 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    First Tier firm.
    Chambers Global & Europe, Dispute Resolution (2016 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    "The level of service has been excellent. The response time has been good, the lawyers have brilliant business acumen, and their approach has been thorough, in depth, to the point and aware of the risks involved."
    Chambers Europe, Dispute Resolution (2016 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    "A true world-class law firm; the people I have worked with are extremely talented lawyers, and by far the most client responsive."
    Chambers Europe, Dispute Resolution (2016 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    First Tier firm.
    Legal 500, Dispute resolution: mediation (2016 Edition)

Our litigators represent national and international companies, government bodies and independent professionals. Houthoff has gained a unique position when it comes to complex disputes involving a multitude of parties and jurisdictions. Our Litigation Team doesn't shy away from questions that lead parties and the court into uncharted territories.

Our litigation specialists work in concert with our experts in sectors such as financing, M&A, environmental law and insurance, and employ a strategic and result-orientated approach to disputes. They are known for their success and it’s not without reason that for many years they have ranked highly in legal guides such as the Legal 500 and Chambers Global. We can scale up our litigation teams to any desired size and conduct multiple complex national and international proceedings at the same time without compromising on quality.

  • Advised Vi Holding, the largest shareholder of aluminum multinational Vimetco N.V. on several proceedings in the Netherlands and the UK relating to a transaction with regard to a significant minority stake in Vimetco. Disputes arose with respect to certain obligations under this transaction, and also a third party initiated proceedings in both the UK and the Netherlands following it. In the Netherlands, one of the issues reached the Supreme Court, leading to a fundamental judgment on the interplay between attachment in The Netherlands and foreign proceedings.

     

    Click  here for the judgment of the Supreme Court. 

  • Advised Aurelius, through its investment vehicle Capricorn, in lodging several claims in the Netherlands, relating to, among others, (a) the voidance of several intercompany transactions of the Oi Group which have been to the detriment of the group's creditors and (b) to prevent the ailing Brazilian parent company from borrowing any more money from one its Dutch subsidiaries. Furthermore, Houthoff advised Aurelius investment vehicle Citadel in bankruptcy proceedings against a financing entity of the Oi group. This branch of the matter ended in a victory at the Supreme Court.

     

    Click here for the judgment of the Supreme Court.

  • Represented Swiss/Spanish Teka Group in inquiry proceedings before the Enterprise Chamber in Amsterdam. Teka is in dispute with a cluster of minority shareholders. In the action before the Enterprise Chamber of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal, they alleged that Teka has been mismanaged on a number of issues. The court of appeal denied all claims against Teka.
  • Represented Danube Logistics in a significant litigation matter in the Netherlands against several Dutch and Moldovan parties regarding Danube's acquisition of the Giurgiulesti International Free Port in Moldova, including its oil and cargo/container terminals. In this massive international litigation, on behalf of the Danube Logistics group of companies, Houthoff successfully lodged a claim in 2015 before the Amsterdam Court. Opposite parties launched an appeal.
  • Houthoff successfully represented Nationale Nederlanden (NN) in proceedings that were brought by the foundation Vereniging Woekerpolis.nl in relation to investment-linked insurance offered by NN. The court ruled that generally speaking NN had provided sufficient information on costs and premiums. It thus concurred with NN’s position that the provision of information to customers should be assessed against the regulations and system of standards that applied when the investment-linked insurance was offered. The court dismissed all of Vereniging Woekerpolis’s claims.
  • Houthoff is advising a foreign bank on its defence against announced class actions for damages as a follow-on to several alleged cartels regarding InterBank Offering Rates.
  • Houthoff is representing a European oil company in its defence against third party cartel damages claims submitted by a bitumen purchaser claiming damages allegedly suffered as a result of the bitumen cartel.
  • Houthoff is representing a South Korean listed electronics manufacturer in its defence against several cartel damages claims submitted by major CRT purchasers regarding the manufacture of television screens and computer monitors.
  • Houthoff is representing a major European truck manufacturer in its defence against a number of announced cartel damages mass claims to be submitted by associations of haulier companies.
  • Houthoff is representing an air cargo carrier in several proceedings in its defence against an accumulated number of cartel damages claims submitted by claim vehicles Equilib, EWD, and Stichting Cartel Compensation (SCC) as follow-on to the alleged air cargo cartel. In 2010 and 2017, the European Commission issued fines totalling almost EUR 800 million to 11 airlines for participating in an air cargo cartel with regard to surcharges for over a six year period.
  • Houthoff is representing Singapore Airlines Singapore Cargo in various Dutch private enforcement proceedings before the Amsterdam courts. These proceedings were initiated by claim vehicles Equilib, EWD and Stichting Cartel Compensation (SCC) following the EC's decisions in the air cargo case. The first action was initiated in 2010 and all the cases are ongoing. In the past seven years, many procedural issues have been raised: a suspension until a final EU judgment has been given, the disclosure of the EU decision (which was rejected in March 2014), the disclosure of air waybills, the assignment of claims, and applicable law. More substantive issues are likely to be discussed in Q4 of 2017 or in the course 2018.
  • V&D was a landmark brand of high street located department stores (63 stores) in the Netherlands and was founded in 1887. Houthoff advised the company in a wide array of matters, including the restructuring of its debt, and representing the company in several high profile litigation matters related to real estate and labour law.
  • Ballast Nedam wins court of appeal case against Max Bögl. Houthoff advised Ballast Nedam on an appeal case against Max Bögl, a former joint venture partner. The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal in cassation, lodged by Max Bögl. For Ballast Nedam this ruling means an elimination of a risk of over 9 million euros, without further financial impact.

    In 2013, the appeal court found in favour of Ballast Nedam and ordered Max Bögl to pay an amount of over 9 million euros to Ballast Nedam. This amount has been paid at the time and has been included in the Ballast Nedam financial statements.

    Ballast Nedam brought action in 2003 against its then joint venture partner Max Bögl for breach of contract in the tendering stage of three underground stations on the North-South Line.
  • Houthoff is representing a Dutch pension fund in a more than € 1 billion claim against their former asset manager for inadequate covering of the interest risk of the pension fund.
  • Represented Goodyear Dunlop in litigation resulting from a series of incidents.
  • Assisting Elliott in inquiry proceedings at the Enterprise Chamber against the paints and chemical group AkzoNobel. Elliott is one of AkzoNobel’s largest shareholders, with an interest in AkzoNobel of more than 5%.
  • In deviation of its judgment Vis q.q. / NMB from 1989, in JPR / Gunning q.q. the Supreme Court found that a bankruptcy trustee can revoke an electronic payment transaction if the payment order has not led to a credit entry in the bank account of the receiving party on the moment of the bankruptcy. The Supreme Court overruled its own old judgment prospectively: the new rule is only applicable to bankruptcies declared after the new judgment.

    Click here for the judgment of the Supreme Court.
  • Representing and providing litigation support to a housing corporation concerning a €2 billion settlement with a consortium of banks with respect to its derivative portfolio and subsequent litigation against banks, its former board and supervisory board and its former auditors. The team also conducts sensitive and complex investigations into the liability of a number of foreign banks, all regarding the unwinding of the derivatives portfolio.
  • Houthoff is the lead counsel to the private owner of the vast Dutch polder Duchess Hedwige (adjacent to the Belgian border in the southern part of the Province of Zeeland). Houthoff advises the owner and litigates against the Dutch Government regarding the planned project of the Dutch Government to submerge the privately-owned polder (more than 300 hectares of cultivated land) and turn it into estuarine nature. This submerging plan of the polder Hedwige is currently a major international political issue between both the Dutch and Belgian governments and the European Commission. Litigation against the State Zoning Plan Duchess Hedwige before the Dutch Council of State, as well as against the decision of the Dutch Government to expropriate 300 hectares of privately-owned land. An expropriation of this scale is unique in the Netherlands.
  • Defense counsel to Trafigura in class action litigation in the Netherlands against more than 100,000 claimants in Ivory Coast. The team successfully defended the company in proceedings at the Amsterdam District court against a mass claim submitted by a foundation representing thousands of plaintiffs and will continue to defend the company against one other class action.
Albert Knigge

Key Contact

Amsterdam
Advocaat | Managing Partner
+31 20 605 65 62
+31 6 5184 5323
Hans Londonck Sluijk

Key Contact

Amsterdam
Advocaat | Partner
+31 20 605 61 16
+31 6 2248 1560
Bart van der Wiel

Key Contact

Amsterdam
Advocaat | Partner
+31 20 605 61 11
+31 6 2025 0758
Jan Willem de Groot

Key Contact

Amsterdam
Advocaat | Partner
+31 20 605 69 62
+31 6 1851 6628
Rob Meijer

Key Contact

Amsterdam
Advocaat | Partner
+31 20 605 61 08
+31 6 5149 4309
Dirk Knottenbelt

Key Contact

Rotterdam
Advocaat | Partner
+31 10 217 24 72
+31 6 5155 9271
Marielle Koppenol-Laforce

Key Contact

Rotterdam
Advocaat | Partner
+31 10 217 25 25
+31 6 5152 1024