Home News Hans van Wijk: “Highly esteemed Supreme Court litigator (…), with a particular focus on clients based in the Dutch Caribbean.”

Hans van Wijk: “Highly esteemed Supreme Court litigator (…), with a particular focus on clients based in the Dutch Caribbean.”

7 March 2024

The Chambers Global Guide 2024 has been announced. Six lawyers from Pels Rijcken have been included because they are leading in their work according to their clients and relations. We asked them to look both back and ahead. Read the story of Hans van Wijk Dispute Resolution - Foreign Expert for Dutch Caribbean.

A nice place in a ranking. What does that mean to you?
I like that my passion for the Caribbean part of the Kingdom, which originated when I lived and worked in Curaçao for two years, together with a passion for handling Supreme Court cases ensuing from that, can still lead to a mention as ‘Foreign expert for the Dutch Caribbean’.

What was an important development in your work in 2023?
I believe that the rules introduced for the right of inquiry were an important development in Curaçao (2012), Sint Maarten (2014) and Aruba (2021). These rules are largely the same as the inquiry rules in the European Netherlands, and are leading to a growing number of cases, including in Supreme Court appeals. These often deal with important corporate law subjects, also for the European Netherlands (see, for example, HR 10 February 2023, ECLI:NL:HR:2023:199 (Bab/Cordial III) on the interest of the legal entity).

What legal challenge will affect many of your clients this year?
My clients are usually attorneys who have handled the case in the actual jurisdictions. The complexity of appeal procedural law (see, for example, Supreme Court 26 May 2023, ECLI:NL:HR:2023:784) and efficient/effective litigation on appeal are a challenge partly because of the maximum length of the procedural documents (see Supreme Court 3 June 2022, ECLI:NL:HR:2022:824). I am increasingly being asked to take a look at complex cases in which a great deal is at stake on appeal already, with a view to possible Supreme Court proceedings. It’s great to be involved at that stage and to work with the client.

Name a colleague’s publication that helped you along!
For each procedural law issue, I begin by consulting the unsurpassed Outlines of Dutch Civil Procedural Law (‘Hugentholtz/Heemskerk’), edited by my colleague Willem Heemskerk. Just as I often start every issue under property law by consulting the Compendium of Dutch Property Law (‘Hijma/Olthof’). Without a solid foundation, it’s much harder to rise to broader, more complicated heights.

The reviews are commendable. What motivates you in this?
For me, it’s the variety and challenge of working as a lawyer at the Supreme Court: cases in various legal fields, for all kinds of clients and in issues that are often there on the back of developments in society. Of course, it’s also just in my nature: I am not willing or able to settle and do a job halfway.

What (new) book will we ever read from your hand?
That would be a book about Caribbean procedural law or about the subject of Roman law, another old love. Or on a subject that has nothing to do with the legal field.

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