Like our health care system, our legal system has its limits. Due to the recent developments in respect of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the courts in the Netherlands have partially closed and only handle specific, urgent cases. This was originally the case until 6 April 2020, but it has recently been announced that the court will remain closed also after 6 April 2020.
If you are currently in a commercial dispute, this dispute may just not be urgent enough, or you may not want to bother the court with your dispute in the current situation. In new cases, provisional measures are the only thing you can expect to get from the court in the near future anyway. So if you have a commercial dispute, why don’t you and your counterparty agree your own provisional measures?
When agreeing such provisional measures, you probably do not want to prejudice your legal position prior to an amicable settlement or a judgment from the court. Therefore, we provide you with a template for an agreement that provides for provisional measures, to give both parties the time and the possibility to settle the matter, or to address the court – or an arbitral tribunal – at a later stage.
We made for you a free online legal tool which enables you to quickly make an agreement on provisional measures. You can also download our template. You can use our free online legal tool and template.
Both the online legal tool and template are intended for use by legal professionals only. Please note that the template agreement is not an advice taking into account your specific situation. If you are not a legal professional, ask your lawyer or in-house counsel for advice. We also made a commentary on the agreement on provisional measures for you. Please read it if you want to use the template agreement and/or legal tool. The documents and the ‘legal tool’ are available in Dutch and English.
This agreement is different from a regular ‘standstill agreement’ as it provides for specific actions to be taken. To that extent, it is not a standstill. On the other hand, an agreement on provisional measures could also contain certain elements of a standstill agreement, such as the suspension of prescription periods. Our template also provides options for such elements.
One important thing to note: performance under provisional measures may de facto change your position. If you make a provisional payment or delivery to your counterparty, you may be unable to get your money or goods back at the end of the day. However, the same risk is attached to provisional measures issued by the court in summary proceedings. The provisional measures should take this risk into account. In any event, the agreed interim measures should be balanced and take into account the interests of both parties.
Should you have questions about the template, we will answer those free of charge, but subject to certain conditions to ensure compliance with our professional rules of conduct and indemnity insurance (e.g. to avoid conflicts of interest, the questions should be on a no names basis and not contain, or relate to, any case specific information.). To ask questions click here.
This template is made for commercial disputes. In disputes which belong to the competency of the administrative courts, similar arrangements can be made. Some administrative courts have already developed a practice in which they encourage the conclusion of agreements on provisional measures. For questions regarding provisional measures in administrative law disputes, you can contact Bas Megens.