Commerz loses the last of the Port of Rotterdam guarantee claims; claim of EUR 70 million denied

On 9 July 2019, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal denied a claim of Commerz against the Port of Rotterdam (Havenbedrijf Rotterdam N.V.). Commerz claimed EUR 70 million (including EUR 46 million for interest) on the basis of a guarantee issued by the former director of the Port of Rotterdam in 2004.

After 15 years of litigation, four decisions of the Courts of Appeal, two decisions of the Supreme Court, and a decision of the European Court of Justice, the last remaining claim on the basis of the guarantees issued by the former director of the Port of Rotterdam Willem Scholten in 2003-2004, has been denied.

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Amsterdam District Court gives guidance on substantiation of cartel damages claims

Today, 15 May, the Amsterdam District Court rendered an important judgment in the cartel damages actions in respect of the Trucks cartel.

Several known European Truck producers colluded on Truck pricing and on passing on the costs of compliance with stricter emission rules. The European Commission has imposed record fines of several billion Euros in these cases. The Commission’s investigation revealed that the Truck producers had engaged in a Cartel relating to coordinating prices for medium and heavy trucks in the European Economic Area, the timing for the introduction of emission technologies, and the passing on to customers of the costs for the emission technologies. The infringement covered the entire EEA and lasted 14 years.

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Important judgments in Air Cargo

Today, 1 May, the Amsterdam District Court rendered two important judgments in the cartel damages action in respect of the Air Cargo cartel.

Several known Airlines participated in this worldwide cartel and made illegal price fixing agreements in respect of Air Cargo. For years, the Airlines coordinated their action on surcharges for fuel and security without discounts. The aim of these contacts was to ensure that these surcharges were introduced by all the Airlines involved and that increases (or decreases) of the surcharge levels were applied in full without exception. A large number of buyers of Air Cargo services has incurred damages as the result of the activities of the cartel.

The lawyers of Brande & Verheij LLP, who represent the claimants in this case, believe the judgments are an important step forward that should expedite the resolution of the damages claims.

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Start of new firm

On 1 May the new litigation firm Brande & Verheij LLP has started. Within this firm, a team of five lawyers will fully focus on litigation and resolving business disputes.

The lawyers at Brande & Verheij are (among others) involved in the largest collective actions currently pending in the Netherlands: the cartel damages claims against global airlines and European truck manufacturers. The firm also respresents other international clients in high-profile commercial litigation.

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