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OTC Travel Talks: Vlog on Limitation in Spain, France & the Netherlands – Part 2

Watch Ian Denham, Ana Romero Porro, Gerben Janson and Thomas Ricard in the second of a new series of travel law discussions hosted by Outer Temple’s Travel Law team; ‘OTC Travel Talks’.  This episode continues to discuss limitation of personal injury claims in Spain, France, and the Netherlands (Part 2).

Outer Temple’s Ian Denham spoke to three foreign personal injury specialists about limitation rules in their respective jurisdictions: Ana Romero Porro of Cremades & Calvo Sotelo (Spain); Gerben Janson of Leidse Letselschade Advocaten (the Netherlands); and Thomas Ricard of JP Karsenty & Associés (France). All of Ian’s guests have experience of giving Part 35 expert evidence in the English Courts.

In Part 1, which you can watch here, Ana, Gerben, and Thomas answered these questions about limitation in their jurisdictions:

  • What starts the limitation clock running?
  • What is the length of the limitation period for personal injury claims?
  • How can the limitation period be extended?

In this episode, our experts respond to the following questions about limitation in the Netherlands, Spain, and France:

  • If limitation has expired, can the Court exercise its discretion to extend the period? 
  • What steps need to be taken to “start” proceedings?
  • Are there any exceptions to the limitation rules?

Our experts also provide some invaluable practical tips for English lawyers grappling with these issues in their cross-border cases.

Limitation in the Netherlands

In contrast to the situation in England and Wales, Gerben explained that Dutch Courts cannot exercise their discretion to extend limitation where the relevant period has expired. Further, Dutch Courts cannot raise limitation on their own initiative – it is for the Defendant to do so.

In the Netherlands, to “start” proceedings, you must instruct a bailiff to serve the claim on the other side. However, don’t forget to serve it on the Court as well – otherwise the service won’t be valid.

Limitation in Spain

Ana told Ian that Spain is similar to the Netherlands in that the Court cannot raise limitation as a bar to the claim on their own initiative and have no discretion to allow the case to proceed when the defence is raised. Where limitation has expired, Ana suggests you “cross your fingers” and hope the Defendant doesn’t notice! Ana also told Ian that the Spanish Courts tend to be quite flexible when interpreting what kind of communication qualifies as “interrupting” the limitation period – a concept which we talked about in Part 1.

To “start” proceedings in Spain, the claim documents need to be filed in Court and must include all the evidence you are going to rely on to make your case.

Limitation in France

As we learned in Part 1, the limitation period for personal injury claims in France is long – very very long. As such, you’d have to be a pretty talented procrastinator to get into a situation where you’ve missed it!

Similar to the Netherlands, France uses a bailiff system to kick off proceedings.

Thank you to our wonderful guests!

This was the second in a new series of talks that Outer Temple’s cross border and travel law team have created on matters of interest in cross border personal injury work. Our next episode will be about liability of road traffic accidents (RTAs) abroad.

These vlogs will be included in our new travel law e-newsletter, launching in July.

Subscribe to the Travel Law E-Newsletter here.

Find Out More

Ian Denham is a personal injury practitioner with a particular expertise in matters involving serious and catastrophic injuries, wrongful deaths, clinical negligence and cross-border personal injury claims. His cross-border practice covers advising on jurisdiction, applicable law, direct rights of action against insurers, claims against the MIB, accidents in the air and on sea, and claims involving a cross-border employment aspect. Ian has also advised on the potential implications arising from Brexit.

To find out more about Ian or any of our International Injury & Travel Law barristers, contact Paul Barton +44 (0) 7427 4907 for a confidential discussion.

Webinars & Vlogs, Travel Vlogs, Travel, Travel 29 Jun, 2020


Ian Denham

Call: 2003

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