Working in the Netherlands under Anglo-Saxon contracts

Foreign construction companies regularly carry out works in the Netherlands. These are usually foreign companies with Dutch subsidiaries which are active in the Netherlands, but may also be foreign companies operating more or less independently in the Dutch market on parts of or complete works in the Netherlands.

We are also noticing the increasing use of Anglo-Saxon contracts in the Netherlands, including its territorial waters, for works commissioned by Dutch authorities, such as the NEC (New Engineering Contract) or FIDIC contract models. These contracts are used for ‘offshore’ or wind farms works.

FIDIC and NEC

FIDIC (Fédération International des Ingénieurs-Conseils) is an international organisation of consulting engineers. The FIDIC contract forms, also known as ‘FIDIC books’, cover the whole spectrum of tasks and responsibilities in various types of works. Some commonly used FIDIC books are the FIDIC Red Book for traditional construction projects (where the design is constructed by or on behalf of the commissioning authority), the FIDIC Yellow Book (for ‘design & build’ projects, where the design responsibility lies with the contractor) and the FIDIC Silver Book, for what we know as ‘turnkey’ agreements.

The NEC (New Engineering Contract) has been drawn up by the British Institution of Civil Engineers, which also a represents consulting engineers in the UK. The NEC series now consists of a suite of contracts, with version 4 dating from 2017, to which an alliance model was added in 2018.

We advise and litigate on these contracts where Dutch law has been declared to apply in addition to foreign terms and conditions.

International arbitration proceedings and collaborations

We also have experience with international arbitration proceedings in the construction Industry, for example with the NAI, ICC and other arbitration bodies. The Netherlands Arbitration Institute (NAI) is the largest general arbitration institute in the Netherlands. The ICC (International Court of arbitration) is the largest international arbitration authority for the alternative resolution of commercial disputes, and also adjudicates on construction disputes. The ICC Court is based in Paris, and also has offices in New York, Singapore, Hong Kong, São Paulo and Abu Dhabi. It is also worth mentioning that we have experience with the ‘Procedural Rules on Conciliation and Arbitration of Contracts Financed by the European Development Fund (EDF)’ and have conducted arbitration proceedings based on these rules, for example regarding a sewage treatment plant.

In cases where Dutch law does not apply on the (entire) matter, we work together with specialised international law firms, in Belgium, Germany, the United Kingdom and elsewhere. This means that we and our clients can collaborate with the best construction law lawyers in the key areas of the world where our clients operate.

It goes without saying that we can also advise in English, when required.

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International specialists

We manage our client’s expectations and we respond quickly. We give realistic advice and produce workable agreements and contracts. We aim to prevent and resolve legal problems with a personal touch.

What our clients say about our lawyers

According to our clients, we understand how the construction industry works. Even the technical aspects. They feel supported and helped and consider us to be the specialist in civil construction law.

‘We appreciate Jørgen for his considerable knowledge and understanding of cases. He still remembers things that happened 5 years ago. That’s very much appreciated.’

Richard Treur
Financieel directeur Thunnissen Groep B.V.

‘Pleasant, sharp and effective. Even though it’s nerve-racking, our humour helps us relax, and it’s always like that with Arno too. He knows us, knows how we work, and exactly what makes us tick. He knows our culture and speaks our language; in other firms I hear ‘I’m busy now, I’ll pass your case on to a colleague.’ Rozemond doesn’t do that, and that what I like about them. I don’t give up easily, and neither does Arno; our mentalities match.’

Cor Simons
Directeur Bouw Van Wijnen West

‘They are all experts in their field. They love their profession and can talk about it with abandon and enthusiasm. They all do that!’

Katja Groenendaal
Head of Legal Affairs at Van Wijnen N.V.