Dutch judge declares to be competent in an International Equine dispute between Dutch principal and an Italian Architect and Italian Interior decorator

The Court of Oost-Brabant has made a decision in an interim judgement during a court procedure between a Dutch equine business owner and her Italian counter parties with regards to her competence in this matter.

The case concerns the performance of an agreement with regards to contracting of work in the Netherlands. The equine business owner contracted an Italian architect and an Italian interior decorator, which according to the business owner failed to fulfil their obligations set out in the agreements they made. This resulted in substantial damages.

Apart from claiming damages from the contracted parties the business owner also decided to claim damages from the (former) directors of the interior decorator and a subcontracted Italian interior decorator.

The architect, one of the directors of the interior decorator and the subcontracted interior decorator all were of the opinion that the Dutch judge wasn’t competent and that the case should be decided by the Italian judge. The business owner disputed these statements.

The Court decided, in line with the statement of the business owner, that based on the in the EU applicable EEX-regulation she is competent to rule on the dispute when it comes to the director of the interior decorator and subcontracted interior decorator. Therefore the litigation against these parties may be continued in the Netherlands.

The Court did declare that she was not competent where it concerns the dispute against the architecture agency. Reason for this was that in the opinion of the Court the business owner and the architect did agree on an applicable Court in Italy and this agreement was considered legally valid. As a consequence of this the Italian judge is the competent judge in this matter. The litigation against this party was therefore continued in Italy.

The complete decision and in particular the interesting reasoning of the Court can be found on rechtspraak.nl.

The equine business owner was represented by Mr. L.M. Schelstraete en Mr. P.M. Wawrzyniak and Mr. V. Zitman.

For more information (dutch only), go to rechtspraak.nl. Use NL:RBOBR:2017:1784 to view the article.

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