Do you have a legal problem, dispute, or conflict with an entrepreneur or consumer? And are you unable to reach a mutually agreed settlement? You can call in specialist help. In the Netherlands you can contact different types of professionals and bodies for information and (legal) advice.
A lawyer is a legal advisor and provides legal assistance. They must be registered in the National Register of Lawyers (Landelijk Advocaten Tableau, LAT). You can look up all registered lawyers through the website of the Netherlands Bar Association (Nederlandse Orde van Advocaten, in Dutch).
A company lawyer (legal counsel) advises on commercial legal matters within a company.
Sector organisations and employers' organisations
Sector organisations and employers' organisations represent the interests of their members. Members can sometimes obtain legal advice from the sector organisation and/or employers' organisation in which they participate.
A dispute committee (geschillencommissie) solves disputes without the intervention of a court. Disputes committees have been set up for a large number of sectors (in Dutch). They work together in the Dutch Foundation for Consumer Complaints Boards (De Geschillencommissie). This foundation manages complaints between consumers and business owners, and between business owners. There are consumer-related committees and business-related committees. If you want to file a complaint about an entrepreneur, they should be affiliated with a disputes committee.
Debt collection agency or bailiff
If your customer does not pay, you can call in a debt collection agency or a bailiff to collect the debt.
Do you want to settle a dispute outside the court? You can use mediation. A mediator is a specialist in negotiations. In case of a dispute they mediate between you and the other party to help find a mutually agreed settlement.
A certified mediator must meet certain quality standards. You can find a certified mediator in the register of the Netherlands Mediators Federation (Mediatorsfederatie Nederland, in Dutch).
A civil-law notary is authorised to draw up notarial deeds and to give legal advice. They should be included in the register of civil-law notaries. Use the European Directory of Notaries or the Dutch register of civil-law notaries (in Dutch) to find a civil-law notary near you.
The Dutch notary register also provides you with information about civil-law notaries, apprentice civil-law notaries and prospective civil-law notaries. The successor archive (opvolgersarchief, in Dutch) tells you which civil-law notary currently holds your deed and which civil-law notary held it previously.
Legal assistance insurer
Legal assistance insurance covers you for legal advice. The conditions of your legal assistance insurance state the disputes for which you are covered by your insurer.