Resolving disputes is a vital part of corporate risk management and strategy. Dispute resolution comes in several shapes and forms. Settlement may be the preferred solution; it may be unrealistic, impractible, not feasible or even undesirable. Globalization and the changing market in the Dutch Caribbean are resulting in more cross-border disputes. Also, regulation is becoming increasingly complex.
Dispute resolution is where a civil action is brought before a court of law in which a party who claims to have received damages seeks a legal or equitable remedy from someone else. If successful, judgment will be given. A range of court orders may be issued, e.g. to:
- Enforce a right;
- Award damages;
- Impose an injunction to prevent an act or to compel an act;
- Prevent future legal disputes (declaratory judgment).
Litigation is the most common form of dispute resolution. Another form is administrative dispute resolution. That covers issues in court where a governmental body’s authority or a government’s act is claimed to be legally invalid, illegal, or otherwise a party seeks an injunction against future governmental acts. This includes dispute resolution between administrative bodies. In the Dutch Caribbean a myriad of administrative procedures exists that has greatly increased since the recent introduction of the National Ordinance on Administrative Proceedings. Finally, alternative dispute resolution methods are arbitration and mediation.
Dispute resolution is traditionally a substantial part of our law practice. Our lawyers are qualified to litigate all over the Dutch Caribbean. Due to the exceptional international orientation of the region, many cases also have international aspects which are reflected in complex corporate relationships. At VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne we experience this as an exciting challenge and offer our clientele, ranging from local and international companies to governmental bodies, extensive experience in all forms of dispute resolution.
An interesting aspect of dispute resolution in the Dutch Caribbean is that it contributes (modestly) to the development of law in the kingdom of the Netherlands. This is due to the fact that the Supreme Court of the Netherlands in The Hague is also the highest court of justice on the islands. Our team is led by the former head of the dispute resolution department of an international British law firm. Moreover, it holds lawyers that have been deputy members of the Joint Court of Justice of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. Several of the members of the team act as arbitrator. Some of the team members specialize in corporate litigation.Recently we have assisted:
- A bank in litigation against a civil-law notary, the Land Register and the Island Territory of Curacao regarding responsibilities in the process of mortgage registration in Curacao
- A large hotel in a building dispute with its contractor
- A state owned utility company against Island Government of Curacao in relation to tariffs of electricity and water
- Aruba in dispute with the Kingdom of the Netherlands on the allocation of proceeds of the Marriott Aruba Hotel sale
- Hotelchain in litigation against large touroperator in respect of hotels in Dominican Republic
- Maduro & Curiel’s Bank in a dispute on charge backs from credit card payments in Curacao with the bankrupt Sunset Water Resort
- The Netherlands Antilles Government in a case against hospitals claiming reimbursement for cost regarding uninsured patients
- Various Netherlands Antilles and Aruba based banks in litigation relating to customer care and liability
- Various Netherlands Antilles and Aruba based Insurance companies in a myriad of insurance related litigation
- “Stichting Monumentenzorg” (Foundation for the preservation of historic buildings and sites) and Sea Shore Propoerties NV, as owners of a large part of the Jan Kok area in Curacao, with regard to the damage to this nature reserve as a result of an oil spill in 2012
- Court considers damage oil spill by terminal Isla at Jan Kok currently proven
- Common Court confirms liability for overlooking mortgage registration
- “Cinelandia Building unique in Kingdom”
- School board loses legal proceedings against public utility company Aqualectra
- Aqualectra wins case against PWFC