VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne Lawyers

We have a reputation as the region’s erudite centre of legal and market developments. We probably have the largest legal library in the Dutch Caribbean and we have access to many international databases.

Also, we have more lecturers than any other firm and we invest highly in the training of our people. We proudly share our vast knowledge base as it continues to develop in the Practice Areas, via our publications, participation in committees and several regional and international magazines.

Publications

Pursuant to the Persons of Suriname Descent Act, people who do not have the Suriname nationality, but have been born in Suriname or have at least one (grand)parent born there, can live and work in Suriname up to a maximum of one year upon arrival without having a work and/or residence permit. These persons can apply for so-called PSA status which enables them to acquire certain rights and exempts them from aforementioned permit obligations.
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Since 2015, the admission requirements for the Dutch Caribbean (Aruba, Curaçao, St. Maarten and the BES Islands) for US citizens are equal to those of European Dutch nationals. Although these requirements apply since 1 January 2015, the islands have been slower in actually implementing this policy. The latter of which resulted from a judgment of the Joint Court of Justice of Aruba, Curaçao, St. Maarten and Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba dated 15 December 2014.
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Within a company different conflicts can arise. These can include conflicts between the shareholders, at an administrative level or between the members of the supervisory board. Sometimes these conflicts lead to a situation in which it becomes impossible to make decisions and to ensure sound management. Fortunately, the law provides a solution for correcting misconduct within the company, the so-called investigation proceedings: an investigation into the course of events and the policy of the company.
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In the first week of January, it was announced that, on the eve of the Inter-Parliamentary Kingdom Consultations (IPKO), the delegations of the Caribbean countries of the Kingdom had reached an agreement on the content of the dispute settlement procedure for the Kingdom. A proposal was proudly announced and presented to the Dutch delegation. Several media headlined a historic moment; it would be unprecedented that the joint parliaments of the Caribbean countries of the Kingdom submitted an initiative bill for a kingdom act. This is actually not possible under constitutional law, but the idea of an initiative of the Caribbean parliaments gives hope and courage. However, the Dutch delegation of the IPKO does not support the Caribbean initiative. According to the Dutch delegation head, Jeroen Recourt, the proposal is premature and the governments have to make the next move. What is the background, history and context of this dispute settlement procedure? And what do the most recent developments mean to the relationships in the Kingdom?
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A Dutch legal magazine recently published a commentary on the recent judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union concerning Holterman Ferho c.s./Spies von Büllesheim. Roderik van Hees, attorney at law at VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne, is the author of this commentary, in which he explores whether Dutch courts have international jurisdiction in matters concerning the liability of directors (of a Dutch legal person) living abroad. The judgment specifically sets out whether a director living abroad can rely on the protective provisions in the Brussels I Regulation (EEX-Verordening) for employees, in case the director carries or carried out his duties on the basis of an employment agreement with the company (instead of, for example, a management agreement). In his commentary, Roderik elaborates on this issue and discusses some yet unanswered questions.
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On 5 November 2015, the new and long awaited Bureau of Intellectual Property St. Maarten (BIP SXM) finally opened its doors. Pursuant to new legislation a month earlier the BIP SXM had already launched online, making it the official agency responsible for the implementation of the National Ordinance on Trademarks (in Dutch: Merkenlandsverordening) as well as providing information to the public on intellectual property.
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On 6 October 2015, the European Court of Justice (the ECJ) handed down a landmark ruling in the case Schrems v Data Protection Commissioner. The Schrems judgment has sent shockwaves throughout the European Union and the United States, but may also become relevant in the Dutch Caribbean.
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In a December 2014 St. Maarten case, the Court of Appeal confirmed the right of United States citizens to reside and work on the island of St. Maarten under the same requirements as European Dutch citizens.
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A conservatory arrest, being an arrest before an enforceable title such as a judgment is obtained, can be effected after leave from the local Court. To obtain leave to arrest a vessel, a written application must be submitted to the Court on behalf of the claimant setting out any relevant information concerning the claim. At the time an arrest application is filed, the claimant is only required to assert his claim in writing. It is however recommended to produce documents or other evidence in support of the claim. Furthermore, a claimant is not required to demonstrate that the ship owner is of doubtful solvency. It is common practice to request leave to arrest the ship for the principal amount increased by 30% to secure any interest which accrues on the claim and costs and expenses of the proceedings.
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The application of the Agreement between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Republic of Suriname regarding the mutual recognition and enforcement of legal judgments and authentic deeds in civil matters has been extended to Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten. The parties involved have agreed on this on 14 July 2015 in Paramaribo. The agreement does not apply to the BES-islands (Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba).
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