20 December 2022 Paving the way for virtual general meetings
On 7 December 2022, the Dutch government published a draft bill permanently enabling Dutch companies and associations to hold their general meetings in a virtual-only format. The proposed bill would offer a permanent basis for such virtual general meetings, replacing the temporary solution provided by the Covid-19 Emergency Act. Companies and associations would be able to choose between three meeting formats: fully in person, fully virtual or a hybrid option. Under the draft bill, requirements for hybrid meetings would be aligned with those of virtual meetings. The draft bill would also expand the existing options for companies and associations to convene their general meetings electronically.
23 March 2022 One year and 100 court decisions later: Dutch restructuring scheme in practice
The new Dutch restructuring tool, referred to as "WHOA" or the Dutch scheme, entered into force on 1 January 2021. We previously reported on the first three court orders handed down in WHOA cases. Since then, the courts have reviewed WHOA applications approximately 100 times, which demonstrates the appetite for this new restructuring instrument. We have carefully selected the three most relevant lessons that can be learned from the published court decisions. The new law appears to live up to its potential and is being used in a creative and pragmatic way by debtors and courts alike - making the WHOA the effective and expedient restructuring tool envisaged before being enacted.
18 January 2022 New debt restructuring scheme in Netherlands now automatically recognised EU wide
A recent amendment of the European Insolvency Regulation recast (EIR recast) means that the public version of the "WHOA", also known as the Dutch scheme, falls in the regulation's scope as of 9 January 2022. This is relevant for cross-border restructurings, most notably because the effect of a public Dutch scheme will be automatically recognised in the EU (except for Denmark and Ireland, which are not parties to the amendment). Given that the Dutch scheme provides great flexibility in the design of the restructuring plan and offers various tools to reach a consensual deal with a qualifying majority of creditors, automatic recognition will make the public version a powerful cross-border restructuring tool. The Dutch scheme's private version remains outside of the EIR recast's scope, but might be recognised based on other treaties or domestic private international law.