Despite the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on legal matters and company wellbeing, creditors still have the same remedies at their disposal to recover unpaid debts and the Dutch courts are generally handling bankruptcy petitions and requests for pre-judgment attachment in the same way. However, this will likely change soon, as in June 2020 the minister for legal protection published a preliminary draft of the Temporary Deferral of Payments Act 2020 for online consultation.
The COVID-19 outbreak is greatly affecting legal matters and company wellbeing. Some companies can no longer comply with their contractual obligations, while others have become financially distressed. To ensure that creditors do not make improper use of the measures available to collect a debt or ensure recourse, the question has arisen as to whether the courts should change the way in which they assess such measures.
More than 10 years ago, the Supreme Court handed down the so-called 'April 15 rulings', which imply that a resolution of a shareholders' meeting dismissing a statutory director who has an employment agreement with the company also terminates the agreement by operation of law. This led to confusion as to whether a corporate dismissal resolution would result in the termination of a management agreement where such an agreement existed. The Limburg District Court recently ruled on this matter.
It is often difficult to collect undisputed claims from foreign debtors through the courts. However, under Dutch law, claims against Netherlands-based debtors can be collected through bankruptcy filings. This has become increasingly popular in Dutch legal practice and the traditional method of collecting claims through a normal court case is losing ground.