We would like to inform you about the measures LegalMatters has taken to guarantee business as usual for our clients and their pending matters and about the possible implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on litigations in the Netherlands.
Recent developments in the Netherlands
Following the developments concerning COVID-19 in the Netherlands, this weekend the government decided to close schools, daycare centers, restaurants, museums and other public areas with immediate effect. Furthermore, everyone has been urged to work from home if possible as per immediately in order to try and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
LegalMatters fully operational remotely
LegalMatters has decided to follow the government’s recommendation which we consider inevitable for the safety and protection of our society and especially for the protection vulnerable individuals therein. This means that our attorneys and staff will work remotely from now on. We were prepared for this situation and will remain fully operational. Our IT infrastructure enables us to work remotely in a safe and efficient manner. We will be able to continue to assist our clients in the same way that you are used to from us. Client meetings will, in any case until 6 April 2020, be held only by telephone or through video conferencing.
Dutch Courts closed as of 17 March 2020
The Dutch courts will be closed as of 17 March 2020. If you have any pending litigations in the Netherlands, it is highly likely that hearings and/or deadlines will be rescheduled as a result of this. It is not yet clear what the consequences of this will be for all the various positions civil litigations might find themselves in at the moment, but at least it is clear that we should all be prepared that this is likely to cause delays. We are closely monitoring the communication from the courts and will inform you as soon as possible about the consequences (if any) for your pending or future litigations in the Netherlands.
The European Intellectual Property Office informed us that all time limits expiring between 9 March and 30 April are extended until 1 May 2020.
The Benelux Office for Intellectual Property will be open with minimal occupancy. For the duration of the imposed COVID-19 measures by the government, BOIP will not withdraw requests of proceedings because a given time limit was not respected.
It is uncertain what the next phases of the COVID-19 outbreak will bring us and might require us to do. We will continue to closely monitor and evaluate the situation and keep you updated on any adjustments to the way we are able to provide our services, or on relevant legal implications.
In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any specific questions or concerns and let’s all take care!