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On 24 May 2022, the Dutch Supreme Court passed judgment between, on one hand, the Royal Dutch Shell PLC and 15 of Shell’s in-house lawyers (“Shell”), and on the other hand, the Dutch Public Prosecution Service.1 The Supreme Court held that both Shell’s and the Public Prosecution Service’s complaints were inadmissible because the decision of the court of first instance should be considered as an ‘interim decision’ (in Dutch: ‘tussenbeschikking’), and interim decisions are not open to cassation. The Supreme Court took the opportunity to provide some insights in relation to the scope and application of legal professional privilege of in-house lawyers by way of obiter dictum.

Through the EU Directive on Restructuring and Insolvency of 20 June 2019 (EUR 2019/1023, “Directive”), the European Union has imposed an obligation on its member states to offer a more attractive and flexible restructuring scheme in their respective local law. The initial deadline to do so had been 17 July 2021. Only a handful of countries (most notably Germany and The Netherlands) had implemented the Directive within the initial deadline, whilst the other countries made use of the possibility to ask for a one year extension.

The mutual recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters between the UK and the Netherlands used to be governed by the Brussels Recast Regulation. Today, post-Brexit, it is not an easy task to determine which rules apply. The key issue is whether the Convention between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland providing for the Reciprocal Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in Civil Matters dated 17 November 196711 revived. Nonetheless, a notable exception to the current uncertainty exists with respect to judgments that fall within the scope of the Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements dated 30 June 20052.

On 21 February 2022, the Corporate Governance Code Monitoring Committee submitted a proposal to update the Dutch Corporate Governance Code (“Proposal””). The Proposal (currently open for consultation up to and including 17 April 2022) provides for updating the Dutch Corporate Governance Code (“Code”) in areas such as long-term value creation, the role of shareholders and diversity. It also contains proposals to amend provisions of the Code due to changes of the Dutch Civil Code, such as introducing a statutory cooling-off period and statutory rules on the remuneration policy and report. This overview briefly outlines the most important parts of the Proposal.

In March 2021, the EU approved new reporting rules in a directive known as DAC7. The directive will require the operators of online platforms for the sale of goods and certain services, to collect, verify and share data on their sellers and their transactions concluded on the online platform. EU member states have until 31 December 2022 to implement DAC7 into national law. Certain platform operators will become a reporting platform and will need to start collecting and verifying data points in compliance with the DAC7 reporting requirements. The collected data points must be reported to the tax authorities of the relevant EU member state annually.

In the event that a position becomes redundant, employers are obliged to investigate whether the affected employee can be reassigned to another suitable position, before they can pursue termination. The reassignment assessment must cover the entire group of companies, which raises a number of questions, especially for large multinationals. Because what exactly is expected of employers and what does this mean in practice?

On 15 October 2021, the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs announced that the Dutch government has revised its licensing policy for exports of military-related items to Turkey. This policy covers both military items within the meaning of the EU Common Military List and dual-use items in case of a military end-use. The changes were announced in a letter to Dutch Parliament.

Following the example of companies in other countries, a number of companies in the Netherlands recently announced the requirement for employees to be vaccinated before they can return to the workplace. The announcement led to major discussion in the Netherlands, as a vaccination obligation would be a breach of fundamental rights. In this monthly feature, we discuss the possibility of requiring employees to be vaccinated.