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Recovery M&A I Court fees WHOA. Corporate & Recovery on inequality issues in a draft bill adjusting court fees.

In a broader move from the Dutch government to reduce the general court fees for civilians and SMEs, the Ministry also proposed to reduce the fees for an application of the Wet Homologatie Onderhands Akkoord (“WHOA”). Curiously, a reduction of court fees for the parties challenging proposed WHOA settlements has not been implemented in the draft bill. Corporate & has shared its position on this significant imbalance, in line with earlier comments of a specialised WHOA-judge in Dutch literature, which judge rightly added that particularly the observations by opposing parties on a proposed settlement are welcomed by the courts, since these observations enable the courts to make a balanced decision.
It is to be noted that this recent imbalance was also remarkable in light of the parliamentary turbulence at the formation of the WHOA legislation (in 2020) arising from very similar inequalities in the draft bill of the WHOA. These inequalities have fortunately been reduced in the continuation of that parliamentary process due to the persistence of some MPs.