Enforcement of foreign awards & judgements

We assist clients from all over the world who have obtained a judgment or award outside the Netherlands, and wish to enforce it in the Netherlands because the debtor has assets there or is located there. Methods of enforcing a judgment depend largely on the country or state of its origin and the nature of the judgment or order. The so called exequatur proceeding are generally speaking not all that complex, but vary dependent on the country of origin. If a client avails over a European Enforcement Order, nu additional proceedings are necessary.

Countries can be split into four categories which, in descending order of ease and convenience, are:

  • countries that have adopted the European Enforcement Order (EEO) Regulation
  • countries who are a party to the Brussels Regulation or the Lugano Convention
  • countries with which the Netherlands has other multilateral or bilateral enforcement conventions in place
  • countries for which none of the above apply.

Generally speaking exequatur proceedings are simple proceedings, where one petition needs to be filed in order to obtain leave to enforce the foreign award. This is different for countries of origin that have no enforcement convention in place. In such a case it is necessary to commence proceedings on the merits of the case. However, there is good chance that the court will regard the foreign judgment as valid evidence of an obligation, which makes the proceedings not all that complicated after all.

So if one avails over a foreign judgment and it is anticipated that there are assets within the Dutch jurisdiction, initiation of enforcement procedeedings should be contemplated.

Further Information

For additional information please contact our contact person.

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Dutch Bar Association Official partner of Erasmus School of Law