The last couple of years have been important for the restructuring and insolvency practice in the Netherlands. The amount of distressed activity clearly picked up throughout 2022, with an overly active fourth quarter. While the initial period after the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic was relatively calm given generous government support, most of the government support measures were scaled down in 2022. At the same time, supply chain disruptions still affected the markets in the aftermath of the outbreak. Further, interest rates were raised making funding less accessible. Consequently, more companies struggled to meet their financial obligations and resorted to different forms of restructuring options.
In our briefing, we begin by providing a short description of the types of insolvency proceedings available under Dutch law. We then discuss the three main developments in the Dutch restructuring practice: (1) the use of suspension of payments to restructure large amounts of unsecured debt; (2) the revival of the pre-pack as a restructuring tool; and (3) the development of the Act on Court Confirmation of Extrajudicial Restructuring Plans (WHOA) into a mature restructuring tool, suitable for large international restructurings: