10.00 – 12.30
PETERKA & PARTNERS advokatni kancelář s.r.o. Karlovo naměsti 671/24, Prague 1
For a small country as the Netherlands, international trade has always been of vital importance, and the same applies to the trade by Czech companies with the Netherlands. Many Czech companies do business with the Netherlands and vice versa. Therefore, a special legal seminar was given on 7th October 2014 by the Dutch law firm De Koning Vergouwen Advocaten (DKVA). Brigitte Vanatova, a Dutch qualified lawyer from this firm of Czech origin, has worked with the Czech Embassy in The Hague on a regular basis. Brigitte presented the seminar together with another lawyer from DKVA: Michiel Verwijs. Both came from Amsterdam to Prague specifically for this seminar.
PETERKA & PARTNERS was so kind to host this event as well as provide some refreshments after the seminar.
Welcome by PETERKA & PARTNERS
PETERKA & PARTNERS kicked off the seminar with a warm welcome of all the participants.
Introduction by the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Prague
The Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Prague, His Excellency Ed W.V.M. Hoeks, addressed the participants. He pointed out that The Netherlands is the second biggest foreign investor in the Czech Republic. He stressed the resulting importance of having a legal network. International regulations are very important to regulate international trade and business. It is essential to know what rules and regulations are applicable, and how they should be applied. A legal network is therefore important to know who to contact for any legal advice on international trade and business.
Presentation on the Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods by Brigitte Vanatova
Brigitte was born in Prague and speaks fluent Czech, but she also speaks Dutch which is her second mother tongue, and English. Brigitte gave a presentation on The United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG). The CISG includes rules that apply also to the sale of goods between buyers and sellers in the Czech Republic and The Netherlands. Such sales must be done by contract. A contract can be concluded orally or in writing. It is recommended to make it in writing because it is easier to prove. The buyer or seller must make an offer which must be accepted by the other party. The offer must be descriptive. It must indicate the goods, the price, quality etc. The offer must be accepted, otherwise there is no contract. Brigitte dealt with various questions. What is a contract is made by email? What if the offer is different from the acceptance? She continued discussing the obligations of the seller. The seller must deliver the goods in accordance with the specifications in the contract. If necessary, the seller must provide the relevant documents, i.e. certificates, proof of ownership, waybill etc. The seller must transfer ownership of the sold goods. Further, she dealt with the right of buyers which are the right to performance, i.e. to get what was promised by the seller. She also discussed the right to terminate the contract and under what circumstances, such as a fundamental breach of contract by the seller. Under circumstances the buyer may also get delivery of the goods at a reduced price and claim damages.
Brigitte continued to discuss the obligations of the buyer such as paying the purchase price, taking delivery of the goods, fulfilling formalities and if agreed, arranging credit with a bank. She recommended not to agree on paying 100% of the purchase price in advance and provided other practical advice, such as to cooperate with the Dutch Embassy in The Hague.
She also discussed more technical matters, such as the choice of applicable law, resolving disputes, what courts would be able to decide on them and what this depends on, how long it takes to get a court decision in the Netherlands, what procedures there are for urgent disputes, dispute resolution by mediation instead of by a court and more. Brigitte concluded her presentation with some cases from her own experience with disputes about sales contracts between Dutch and Czech parties.
Presentation on legal aspects of trade with The Netherlands by Michiel Verwijs
Michiel Verwijs gave a presentation on legal aspects regarding trade with the Netherlands. In his presentation Michiel provided insight into the basic legal aspects of trading with Dutch counterparties. He illustrated his presentation with relevant cases from his day-to-day business. He dealt with agreements that are not sales contracts regulated by CISG. He recommended to apply Dutch law in these contracts, not English law for example.
He explained the requirement of acting in good faith before the contract is concluded.
Michiel also discussed relevant timing matters using examples from his own law practise, such as legal deadlines for complaining or exercising rights under contracts. Michiel concluded his presentation discussing general terms and conditions and how to make sure they are applicable, as there are certain legal requirements such as making them available or visible.
Future seminars on relevant Dutch / Czech legal aspects
Similar seminars relevant to Dutch / Czech legal aspects will be organised by De Koning Vergouwen Advocaten (DKVA) in Prague twice per year.
Brigitte Vanatova: firstname.lastname@example.org
Michiel Verwijs: email@example.com