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Peter van Kippersluis and Willem Heemskerk assisted the Netherlands in the recognition by the Arizona Supreme Court of a $16M Dutch Court decision

Thanks to the Arizona Supreme Court ruling, the Netherlands is after a longstanding contractual dispute with Arizona based MD Helicopters, able to enforce a $16M Dutch Court judgement in Arizona.

Key for this recognition was whether the Arizona legal requirement of ‘reciprocity’ was met. MD Helicopters argued that ‘reciprocity’ only is met if the foreign country enacted a reciprocal law regarding the recognition of a foreign (Arizona) judgment. However, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled that such legislative act was not required and that only Dutch case law would suffice. As the Netherlands does recognise judgements from Arizona, the purpose of the requirement of reciprocity is met, according to the Supreme Court.

The implications of this Supreme Court opinion are far reaching. Other countries than the Netherlands, also recognising foreign judgments based on case law, could benefit from it. Furthermore, Dutch judgments could be recognised in other US states as well as many of them have implemented a law on recognition very similar to Arizona.

The Arizona Supreme Court opinion, including the dissenting opinions, can be found here. To watch the video stream of the hearing, click here.