The new act introducing a collective damages action on an opt-out basis for persons domiciled in the Netherlands will come in to force and effect on January 1st, 2020.
As we reported in our newsletter of February 6th, 2019, no monetary damages could be sought on a collective basis under the old collective action regime. The essence of the new Act on the Resolution of Mass Claims in a Collective Action, also known by its Dutch acronym “WAMCA”, is that this restriction is removed, so that a group action for monetary damages is possible. At the same time, the bar for collective claims is raised in order to achieve a fair and balanced system, which provides a higher level of finality for defendants. Under the new regime, finality is also increased by making a court ruling awarding or denying the collective relief sought binding on the individual members of the group, whereas under the old regime, there was no such binding effect. The WAMCA will apply to collective actions filed after January 1st, 2020 and must relate to an event or events which occurred on or after 15 November 2016.
For more information and the main changes at a glance, please read our newsletter.