On 20th September 2021, our Dutch advocates (from law firm STEK)attended the formal hearing of the Amsterdam District Court. The court discussed a number of procedural issues that were important for the proceedings but also time-consuming.
At this point we would like to point out two important facts on which an agreement has been reached:
Our cases have landed in the first batch out of three.
As already reported, the plaintiffs were divided into several groups. This was necessary in order for the court to be able to deal with the huge number of cases and data. Under this arrangement, certain later claims may “leapfrog” earlier claims. The Court has decided that priority is given to claims that were brought by plaintiffs whose claims are already included in one of the earlier groups of plaintiffs. Since LitFin is one of these plaintiffs, all our later-filed cases will be included in the earlier-filed claims. This will result in an earlier payment of compensation for our clients.
As for general time expectations, it is no wonder the opposing party is trying to buy as much time as possible. The defendants have been given a one-year deadline from the closure of the third batch, so they will be heard by the Court until 7th December 2022. However, it is a positive fact that plaintiffs were allowed to jointly seek clarification on certain (e.g. procedural) issues in the interim period.
In this way, the whole of the coming period will not be wasted in idle waiting.
The Court also pointed out that, while each group of plaintiffs have a team of 10 to 15 lawyers, only three judges and two court secretaries are dealing with the case from the Court’s side. The Court, therefore, asked the claimants for patience.
We are also looking for the most strategic timing to start settlement negotiations and will keep you informed of further developments.