The Act on redress of mass damages in a collective action (Wet afwikkeling massaschade in collectieve actie) (WAMCA) was approved by the Dutch Senate on 19 March 2019, building on previous legislation first introduced in July 2005.
One consequence of the new Act is that Dutch courts and Dutch claimant foundations (associations representing an unnamed group with similar interests) may become more attractive for large, international collective actions with respect to events that took place after 15 November 2016.
This is because, among other benefits, WAMCA has improved the position of claimants seeking redress. In fact it makes collective compensation actions possible on behalf of individuals and their legal representatives.
Marcelo Delfos, Director at financial services provider Intertrust, explains: If a claims foundation wins a case in court, affiliated participants no longer have to enforce their own compensation through an individual procedure, saving time and money for them, the company and the courts.
Another improvement is that if there are several claimant foundations involved in a specific claim, the court can appoint one exclusive representative. The outcome of that procedure is then declared binding for the other organisations, provided they have not opted out.
The management of the selected organisation must also meet certain quality standards (kwaliteitseisen), such as good governance, administration and financial management. The goal is to prevent a proliferation of claim organisations in order to protect both the claimants and the company.
The outcomes offered by the new legislation will also attract attention outside the Netherlands. This is because the rules make it possible to have an...