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If you have decided to resolve a commercial conflict in the Netherlands, 

you can go straight to courts but you can also try to settle the dispute in a peaceful way choosing one of the ADR methods - arbitration or mediation. ADR methods are highly encouraged in this jurisdiction, and when it comes to mediation in the Netherlands, you can be sure to receive support and necessary help from the Dutch courts. 

Before starting litigation in the Netherlands, we recommend that you read the material of this article in order to thoroughly prepare for a complex and lengthy process.

Dutch Judges 

Historically, judges in Dutch courts have played only a passive role in court proceedings in the Netherlands, especially with regard to establishing the facts of a dispute.

Meanwhile, in recent decades, there has been a trend towards more active involvement of judges in the process. This is reflected in recent legislative initiatives allowing judges to assist parties in the form of dispute resolution through mediation in the Netherlands.

Temporary remedies

There are many different temporary remedies for commercial dispute resolution in the Netherlands. Provisional remedies may be requested both prior to the commencement of the proceedings and as a temporary release from the proceedings.

In addition to declarative decisions, a party can seek specific execution, termination of the contract with compensation for losses. Court decisions, in addition to monetary decisions, can be strengthened by fines. Interest at a contractual or statutory rate must be requested, but may be calculated on the date the payment obligation arises.


In about 70% of all civil disputes, a first instance case in a district court is decided in less than 1 year, and the majority of all commercial claims are resolved within 2 years on average.

Public access

If you need to resolve a business dispute in the Netherlands, please note that court hearings are public, with a few statutory exceptions. Meanwhile, the arguments of the parties during the proceedings initiated by the petition are not public.


Those wishing to start litigation in this jurisdiction should know that court costs in the Netherlands are quite low compared to common law jurisdictions. Nevertheless, before the proceedings start you can order insurance policies for legal assistance. They are most valuable for situations where you're pursuing legal actions to reclaim losses that weren't recoverable through your main insurance - such as the excesses you have to pay on an insurance claim. Policies also provide cover against paying the other side's costs.

Start arbitration proceedings in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, the parties can easily enter into an oral arbitration agreement, as the country has not joined the UNCITRAL Model Law and does not impose any special requirements on the form of the arbitration agreement. Dutch courts, as a rule, cannot intervene in the arbitration process in the Netherlands.

IQ Decision UK Services

It is better to entrust the resolution of a commercial conflict to experienced solicitors in order to save time and money. The IQ Decision UK team of professionals will help you resolve a business dispute in the Netherlands, and provide comprehensive advice on resolving a dispute by arbitration. Also, our clients have access to the services of a mediator in resolving business disputes in the Netherlands. 

Reach out to us by filling out the application below, or go to the Contacts section.