Netherlands updates

Arbitration & ADR

Contributed by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Netherlands confronted with €1.4 billion ICSID claim in first Dutch investor-state arbitration
  • Netherlands
  • 25 February 2021

A German electricity generation company recently filed a request for arbitration against the Netherlands at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes. The application is based on the Dutch government's decision to phase out coal for electricity generation. The company has invoked an investor-state dispute settlement clause in the Energy Charter Treaty, which the European Union co-signed on behalf of the Netherlands. This marks the first investment arbitration against the Netherlands.

Third time lucky? The Hague Court dismisses Ecuador's defence against tribunal's non-pecuniary order
  • Netherlands
  • 04 February 2021

In the ongoing dispute between Ecuador and US energy multinational Chevron Corporation, The Hague District Court was again called upon to consider whether an award issued pursuant to the US-Ecuador bilateral investment treaty could be set aside. The ruling confirms The Hague court's positive view of investment arbitration and orders which are rather unconventional in such arbitration.

The Hague Court of Appeal sets aside ICC award because underlying purchase contract was procured by corruption
  • Netherlands
  • 19 December 2019

In recent setting aside proceedings, The Hague Court of Appeal had to decide whether an arbitral award issued in proceedings under the International Chamber of Commerce Arbitration Rules had to be set aside due to the fact that the award was contrary to public policy. In its assessment, the court took a bold approach. The decision demonstrates that while the court is conscious of the competence and authority of arbitral tribunals, it will assess a case individually and fully when it comes to public policy.

New model BIT: negotiations to commence soon
  • Netherlands
  • 13 June 2019

In 2018 the government adopted its new model bilateral investment treaty (BIT). Following this adoption, the government has now obtained the authorisation required to start the renegotiations with eight non-EU countries and conclude new BITs with two others. The government has made clear that the new model BIT is intended to serve as an opening offer that sets the scene for the negotiations. However, as each negotiation will have its own dynamic, it is difficult to predict what the new Dutch BITs will look like.

The future is now (or is it?): net-ARB, Inc online award not recognised due to lack of due process
  • Netherlands
  • 02 May 2019

The Amsterdam Court of Appeal recently had to decide on an application for recognition and enforcement of an online arbitral award regarding a loan in bitcoins. To date, this has been a subject that the Dutch courts have seldom encountered. Notably, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal took a critical approach in what may be considered a test case for recognition and enforcement of online arbitral awards in the Netherlands.


Airport of destination no safe haven for claims under Montreal Convention
  • Netherlands
  • 07 August 2019

The Amsterdam Court of Appeal recently denied jurisdiction against an airline and its ground-handling agent in a case concerning a claim for loss of cargo from the agent's premises at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The judgment is relevant for claimants seeking to bring a case against air carriers and their ground-handling agents before the court of the place of destination under Article 33 of the Montreal Convention 1999.

Employment & Immigration

Contributed by Maes Law
Seconded 'knowledge migrants' are possibly in the danger zone
  • Netherlands
  • 14 April 2021

The Hague District Court recently ruled in a case against a Chinese 'knowledge migrant' (ie, a highly skilled non-EU migrant worker) who was employed by a payroll company and subsequently seconded to a company that she owned. The court held that the combination of employee and proprietor was impossible. This is a far-reaching judgment which could have major consequences for knowledge workers. However, the court completely missed the mark.

Impact of Brexit on UK nationals relocating to the Netherlands
  • Netherlands
  • 17 March 2021

Although the United Kingdom and the European Union have found agreement in facilitating the trade of goods, nothing is provisioned for cross-border professionals on both sides of the Channel. UK nationals who relocate now will be treated in the Netherlands as third-country nationals. This article highlights everything that UK nationals relocating to the Netherlands need to know.

Energy & Natural Resources

Contributed by Stek
Heat Act 2: key points for investors
  • Netherlands
  • 24 August 2020

The draft Heat Act 2 recently underwent consultation. This draft bill – which will fundamentally change the regulatory framework for district heating compared with the current Heat Act – aims to advance the energy transition from gas to heat and thus help to fulfil the Dutch Climate Agreement's aims. Further, it aims to stimulate the scale-up of collective heat systems, provide a more transparent tariff scheme and refine various conditions to safeguard security of supply.

Energy audits – Dutch approach
  • Netherlands
  • 01 June 2020

Energy audits are essential for assessing existing energy consumption and identifying potential energy-saving measures. They allow companies to identify and prioritise opportunities for improvement, thereby bridging the information gap, which is one of the main barriers to energy efficiency. Various EU countries, including the Netherlands, have taken measures to promote energy audits among companies. This article provides an overview of energy audits and the applicable Dutch reporting requirements.

The Netherlands as a green hydrogen hub: government presents views on future of hydrogen
  • Netherlands
  • 20 April 2020

The government considers green (ie, carbon-free) hydrogen to be essential for achieving its energy transition goals and maintaining energy-intensive industries and wishes to improve the business climate for green hydrogen in the Netherlands. As such, the minister of economic affairs and climate policy recently published the government's Outlook on Hydrogen, which sets out the government's medium and long-term policy objectives in this respect.

NVB introduces model deed to promote financing of rooftop solar projects
  • Netherlands
  • 19 August 2019

In September 2018 the Dutch Banking Association introduced a standard form for a deed of right of superficies (the model deed). The model deed was introduced to promote the financing of solar panels on companies' roofs in the Netherlands and has been well received among market participants. This article examines the background, use and objectives of the model deed.

New act aims to minimise gas production from Groningen Field
  • Netherlands
  • 11 March 2019

The government aims to terminate the gas production of the large-scale Groningen Field as soon as possible. The reason for this decision is the Zeerijp earthquake of January 2018. However, immediately reducing production from the Groningen Field to a much lower level would lead to safety and security risks in the Netherlands and neighbouring countries. As such, the next few years will be used to decide on a safe production level and simultaneously safeguard security of supply.

Environment & Climate Change

Government to introduce CO2 emissions tax for industrial companies
  • Netherlands
  • 27 July 2020

In the Climate Agreement, the government announced its plans to impose a CO2 emissions tax on industrial companies as part of proposed measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 49% by 2030 compared with 1990 levels. These plans were further developed in the draft bill concerning a CO2 tax on emissions from industrial installations, which was presented for consultation in April 2020. The levy is now intended to enter into force on 1 January 2021.