We have more than 35 years of experience dealing with cases that do not involve a relatively simple debt collection case, but where more complicated circumstances are involved. Examples of cases for which we were engaged or are currently involved in include:
Other international cases
In cross-border cases it is important not to set to work in an uncoordinated way and to engage foreign lawyers or other advisers on an ad hoc basis, who cannot be assessed properly and where misunderstandings and communication difficulties may easily arise in contacts with them. Generally it is much better to manage the work centrally and arrange contacts through a single channel, where the coordinating lawyer acts as the contracting party on behalf of his client. (See also the article (in Dutch): De Toekomst is aan de Strategisten by B. van der Goen LL.M in the Netherlands Law Journal of 27 January 2006, NJB 41,203.
We have more than 35 years of experience in carrying out international assignments. First we set out a strategy in close consultation with clients and then follow it through, engaging local lawyers and other professionals (such as tax lawyers, accountants, civil-law notaries and bailiffs) as and when required.
A few examples of cases we have handled:
• The German state claimed a sum of several tens of millions on the grounds of supposed tax fraud (so-called VAT carousel fraud), and for this purpose seized all the assets of a client living in Belgium. This person was also arrested, extradited to Germany and held there on remand. By engaging a number of experts including German criminal lawyers and Belgian civil lawyers, we conducted and coordinated a project-based campaign which eventually resulted in the client being cleared of all charges and his assets being returned to him.
• A businessman from the Netherlands became involved in a conflict in an African country with an influential local entrepreneur. The latter issued a warrant for the client’s arrest (which proved to be permitted there in civil cases). We took up the case to get the client released and to ensure civil dispute proceedings progressed according to plan.
• The client paid several bills to suppliers in the Czech Republic through Internet banking, but clicked on the wrong payee. When the client realized a moment later that he had made a mistake it was too late: the bank concerned took the view that it had a claim on this party and could therefore set off the amount that had been paid. We were engaged to claim back the amount through our fellow lawyer in the Czech Republic.
• The client was an elderly lady of Jewish origin living in the USA who had a claim on Swiss/German banks and insurance companies due to sums not paid out because of the death of her parents in concentration camps (the so-called holocaust claims). The case dragged on and if it could not be speeded up the client would no longer be alive to see justice done; for emotional reasons she wanted to move on with her life. We were engaged to urge the organizations involved to take action and pay out the amounts due.
• In Poland, a municipality tried to acquire originally Jewish-owned property by appealing to acquisitive prescription. We handled the case and engaged local lawyers to conduct a defence.
• We represented more than one thousand victims of the poison disaster with the Probo Koala in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, possibly the biggest environmental disaster ever to affect Africa. We sued the company responsible, Trafigura, as well as the municipality of Amsterdam and the State of the Netherlands.
• The clients were victims of a so-called investment construction, where bonds under the name of Baumgartner & Baumgartner of Curaçao were offered and investments could be made in an American listed fund. We sued the persons and companies responsible for this.
• The client, an American company with a subsidiary in the Netherlands, had a claim on a shipyard in Poland, but the contract stated that arbitration had to take place in Austria. We coordinated the campaign with the assistance of Polish and Austrian lawyers.
• The client, a multinational with branches in many countries including the Netherlands, was involved in a dispute concerning a tax matter against the British government involving a number of parties, including several in England. We selected the right specialists and superspecialists in this field, and settled the case for the client which resulted in the claim being withdrawn.
• The client, an ICT company with offices in the Netherlands, hosts hundreds of thousands of websites. Virtually every day summons are received to make websites inaccessible and to provide information on the responsible party because these websites are supposed to contain unlawful content. Recently there was a similar case involving a world-famous American star who alleged that her private details had been ‘hijacked’ by X who had then sold this information on for a lot of money (several millions) to Y who published the site concerned. We have been engaged in these cases to judge the demands on their legal merits, and if necessary conduct a defence in court.