Supreme Court Litigation

Conducting proceedings before the Dutch Supreme Court is a skill in its own right. We are the go to firm in the Netherlands for Supreme Court proceedings.

The Supreme Court sets high demands

Supreme Court litigation is inherently different from proceedings conducted before the district court or court of appeal. The Supreme Court, when assessing an appeal, is bound by the facts established by the lower courts. The judgments of the lower courts can only be set aside if they are contrary to the law or if the reasoning is unsound. The Supreme Court sets high demands on the quality of complaints submitted to it and the defence conducted against those complaints. Accordingly, successful litigation before the Supreme Court requires a great deal of expertise and experience.

Pels Rijcken’s expertise and specialist team

Pels Rijcken has had a team of attorneys specialised in Supreme Court litigation for decades. We litigate at the forefront of legal developments and handle more cases before the Dutch Supreme Court than any other law firm.

Our specialists combine knowledge of procedural law and Supreme Court litigation expertise at the highest level in all major areas of law, both civil and tax. The team represents private and public-sector clients, often on behalf of the lawyer who handled the case before the district court and the court of appeal.

We can provide assistance at any stage and in any form, whether you need a quick scan, a detailed opinion, Supreme Court proceedings or questions for preliminary ruling by the Supreme Court. Our Supreme Court attorneys always work in close cooperation with the principal. Often already at the court of appeal stage, with a view to a possible Supreme Court appeal.

Our Supreme Court blog

Pels Rijcken's Supreme Court attorneys share their knowledge of Supreme Court law at, where they report and comment every week on the Supreme Court’s civil judgments. Our Supreme Court blog thus offers a quick, accessible and expert look at Supreme Court case law.


  • Hailed as "a top constitutional lawyer in the Netherlands," Martijn Scheltema of Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn N.V. is a prominent figure in the business and human rights space. He advises advises various state departments on human rights-related policy and legislation. In addition to establishing binding dispute resolution mechanisms, he also represents the Dutch state in high-profile appeals before the Supreme Court. A source says that "the depth of his knowledge is phenomenal," adding: "He is an absolute delight to work, with a very solid, strong legal brain.", Chambers Global 2021
  • Hans van Wijk represents banks and government bodies before the Supreme Court. His tenacity as a lawyer is valued by clients, one describing him as an "extraordinary lawyer with excellent determination.", Chambers Global en Chambers Europe 2021
  • Karlijn Teuben is an "excellent litigator." She represents a broad client list of energy multinationals, insurance companies and state bodies in the Supreme Court. An interviewee underlines that Teuben has a "very good reputation in Supreme Court litigation.", Chambers Global en Chambers Europe 2021
  • Sikke Kingma assists international corporates and state bodies with IP disputes before the Supreme Court. Clients appreciate his work in the court of cassation, one observing that "his Supreme Court advice was of stellar quality, thorough and covering all the angles.", Chambers Global en Chambers Europe 2021
  • One client stresses that Hans van Wijk is "well known as one of the best Supreme Court lawyers in The Hague" and "delivers everything we need.", Chambers Global en Chambers Europe 2020
  • Clients report that she (Karlijn Teuben, red.) has "a very sharp legal mind.", Chambers Global en Chambers Europe 2020
  • Interviewees describe him (Sikke Kingma, red.) as "a very sharp lawyer," adding that "his way of writing is excellent and his oral pleading is very convincing.", Chambers Global en Chambers Europe 2020
  • ‘On supreme court litigation they excel.‘, Legal 500, 2020
  • ‘Very experienced team, quick and reliable. The team delivers work of high quality and is also capable of finding good practical solutions for complex legal matters. Team members are easily accessible, also outside office hours.’, Legal 500, 2020
  • ‘We have trusted the Dispute Resolution team of Pels Rijcken to handle complex litigation for us. They are exceptionally knowledgeable and committed. Their work has been outstanding., Legal 500, 2020
  • ‘As the State Advocate of the government of the Netherlands Pels Rijcken not only performs as an excellent ordinary law firm, but also has a unique strength, Legal 500, 2020
  • “Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn’s team head Sikke Kingma is 'a very strong Supreme Court lawyer'.”, Legal 500 2019
  • "One client says: "I am very impressed with the team as a whole and rate my experience of their representation of my case as excellent," adding: "Their drafting and oral skills in support of our position was world class.", Chambers Global and Chambers Europe 2019
  • "Another source adds: "They are a great firm to work with," noting that "the focus is always on the best result for the client.", Chambers Global and Chambers Europe 2019
  • "The team is very quick to respond to requests for legal opinions on issues, and well-researched and lucid advice is generally available on short notice.", Chambers Global en Chambers Europe 2018
  • "Sources are impressed with the way the firm's culture matched up to its reputation: The firm is a class act and a veritable institution in The Hague. The lawyers are friendly, co-operative and knowledgeable, setting a high standard for competitors in the Dutch legal market, adding that it is a leading firm in the area of Dutch administrative law.", Chambers Global en Chambers Europe 2017
  • "They are fast and they always give us their reviews and answers quickly, and the quality is perfect. They got to know us and our business and that's important.", Chambers Global en Chambers Europe 2017
  • "Well-respected firm Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn NV is ahead of the curve; its team comprises experienced, smart and very responsive litigators, including the down-to-earth Willem Heemskerk, sharp lawyer Hans van Wijk and Bert-Jan Houtzagers, who always gives pragmatic advice.", Legal 500 2017
  • "The lawyers here are very dedicated and keep to strict deadlines. They know what they are talking about especially with regard to Supreme Court proceedings.", Chambers Global en Chambers Europe 2016
  • "The team always leaves enough time to discuss our briefs and drafts and we are always able to get in touch with the partner. The firm is very flexible, client-oriented, efficient and effective.", Chambers Global en Chambers Europe 2016
  • "One of the top firms in the Netherlands, Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn NV is particularly renowned for its Supreme Court litigation practice.", Legal 500 2016