If the financial or other interests involved are significantly high, if the case is at the forefront of a new development in law, if specific procedures apply (e.g. the setting aside of arbitral awards) or if the status quo simply needs to be questioned, cases may have to be brought before the Supreme Court.
Litigating before the Dutch or Belgian Supreme Court is different from litigating at lower instances. It requires very specific skills and a detailed and thorough approach. If our Supreme Court Specialists accept a case, they will work in close cooperation with the lawyers that represented the client before the lower courts. In many cases, this involves Stibbe’s specialists from various practice areas bringing their in-depth knowledge to the table. Typically, the process starts by assessing the client's chances of appealing an unfavourable decision from a lower court, or the chances of successfully defending such appeal and ensuring that the decision of the lower court is upheld. Decisions from lower courts can generally be set aside if they are contrary to the law or if the reasoning of the lower court is deficient. Another key distinction from litigating before lower courts is that in most cases, only written briefs are exchanged in Supreme Court Litigation.
Before both the Belgium Supreme Court (Cour de Cassation/Hof van Cassatie) and the Dutch Supreme Court (Hoge Raad der Nederlanden) we have a strong record of accomplishment and have won landmark cases at the highest level. In practice, we may become involved when the legal proceedings are still before the lower courts, but Supreme Court litigation is already anticipated. In certain cases, a lower court may ask for a preliminary ruling from the Supreme Court on certain questions of law.
Please contact our Supreme Court Specialists in Amsterdam or Brussels if you need assistance in any way or in any form.