Recently, the Dutch Supreme Court rendered a judgment in which it has given a detailed explanation of the effects of bankruptcy proceedings on a contract or other legal relationship. The case in question involved a dispute between a bankruptcy trustee and a bank as to whether the bank could file its post-bankruptcy legal costs as a claim in the bankruptcy proceedings. The Supreme Court took the opportunity to elaborate on earlier case law and provide clarification regarding claims arising out of continuing performance contracts – such as licence contracts – and claims for damages.
This judgment is noteworthy in that the Supreme Court has deviated from its usual policy of limiting itself to the specific matter at hand. Instead it has also addressed, at a more general level, the effects of a bankruptcy on certain types of contracts and legal relationships. Consequently, the judgment can serve as a practical guide for assessing the effects of bankruptcy proceedings in a variety of scenarios.
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