18 January 2012

Converium: Dutch court declares an international collective settlement binding

On 17 January 2012, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal declared an international collective settlement binding in a case where none of the potentially liable parties and only a limited number of the potential claimants were domiciled in the Netherlands.

This decision confirms the Court of Appeal’s earlier provisional decision to assume international jurisdiction. The decision will in principle have to be recognised in all European Members States, Switzerland, Iceland and Norway. The Netherlands is the only European country where a collective settlement can be declared binding on an entire class on an “opt out” basis. This makes the Netherlands an attractive venue for settling international mass claims, irrespective of whether any litigation has taken place in the Netherlands. This option has become more important since the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions in Morisson v. National Australia Bank and Hoffman-La Roche v. Empagran.

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