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.

  • “Sparring partners who have a lot of trial experience and the ability to assess risks.”
    Chambers Europe, Dispute Resolution (2019 Edition)
  • “One client says: ‘The team is excellent and the quality of work is outstanding,’ and adds that the lawyers are ‘very technical, objective and clear and deliver high-quality services.’”  
    Chambers Europe, Dispute Resolution (2019 Edition)
  • “Houthoff’s ‘exceptional’ group has 'considerable experience in ICC arbitrations’ and stands out for the ‘accuracy and clarity of its legal advice’; it is also a key name for large-scale investment arbitration.” 
    Legal 500, Dispute Resolution: Arbitration (2019 Edition)
  • “The ‘consistently excellent, very responsive’ team at Houthoff is, according to one client, ‘in a class of its own’ and its lawyers are ‘tactically astute, intellectually great, and very commercial in their approach.’”    
    Legal 500, Dispute Resolution: Commercial litigation (2019 Edition)
  • First Tier firm
    Legal 500, Dispute Resolution: Commercial litigation (2019 Edition)
  • First Tier firm
    Legal 500, Dispute Resolution: Mediation (2019 Edition)
  • Recommended
    Legal 500, Dispute Resolution: Mediation (2019 Edition)
  • First Tier firm
    Chambers Global, Dispute Resolution (2019 Edition)
  • First Tier firm
    Chambers Global & Europe, Dispute Resolution (2018 Edition)
  • "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)
  • "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)
  • "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)
  • "Houthoff has considerable expertise handling national and international mediation procedures." 
    Legal 500, Dispute Resolution: mediation (2018 Edition)
  • First Tier firm
    Legal 500, Dispute Resolution: Commercial litigation (2018 Edition)
  • First Tier firm
    Legal 500, Dispute Resolution: Mediation (2018 Edition)
  • "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)
  • "The team is "very efficient, forward-looking and client-friendly'."
    Chambers Europe, Dispute Resolution (2017 Edition)
  • "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)
  • First Tier firm
    Chambers Global & Europe, Dispute Resolution (2017 Edition)
  • "'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)

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.

  • Houthoff is defending a leading commodity trader in class action litigation in the Netherlands against more than 100,000 claimants in the Ivory Coast. The team successfully defended the company at the Amsterdam District Court. It will continue to defend the company in the appeal. Houthoff successfully defended the company in another class action submitted by a different mass claim vehicle at the Amsterdam District Court and the Amsterdam Court of Appeal.

  • Houthoff is defending a major European truck manufacturer against several cartel damages mass claims submitted by claim vehicles allegedly representing haulier companies.

  • Houthoff is defending a Luxembourg air cargo carrier in several proceedings against an accumulated number of cartel damages claims submitted by several claim vehicles arising from the alleged air cargo cartel.

  • Houthoff is advising a Japanese bank on its defence against announced class actions for damages as a follow-on to several alleged cartels regarding InterBank Offering Rates.

  • Houthoff represented a former CFO of a Belgian bank/insurance company in his defence against several prospectus claims, including a mass claim brought by the Dutch Shareholders Association (VEB).
  • 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.
  • 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 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 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.
  • Representing an alleged cartelist before the Dutch civil court in the defense of a billion Euro damages claim as a follow-on to the alleged cathode ray tubes cartels.
  • Assisting Petróleo Brasileiro - Petrobras and its subsidiaries, as well as former directors, in respect of a Dutch class action threatened by the Dutch foundation named Stichting Petrobras Compensation Foundation representing non-US investors in securities issued by Petróleo Brasileiro - Petrobras and Petrobras Global Finance B.V.
  • Houthoff represented ING Commercial Finance in a Supreme Court concerning 'surplus sharing arrangements'. Such arrangements provide lenders of the same debtor with rights for recourse on a potential surplus in the collateral provided to each of the other respective lenders. The Supreme Court confirmed that such arrangement is enforceable if a bankruptcy of the debtor follows (‘bankruptcy proof’) , under the condition that the debtor was a party to this arrangement. Considering the volume of surplus sharing arrangements used by credit institutions as security arrangement, this judgment is of prime importance for financial institutions active on the Dutch market.

    Click here for the judgment of the Supreme Court.
  • Represented Goodyear Dunlop in litigation resulting from a series of incidents.
  • 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.
  • 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%.
  • 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.
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