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International Debt Collection Disputes

When you conduct business internationally, you hope that your business transaction will operate smoothly with no issues. However, sometimes there is a problem. For example, delivery is late or the quality of the goods is not as expected. 

What is an international dispute?  

An international dispute occurs when you and your foreign business partner don’t agree on the business transaction. This could be due to the quality or delivery of the product or service or could be down the buyers perception of the products they thought they were receiving.  

They say the customer is always right, but this isn’t always the case. So, just because your customer isn’t happy, you don’t need to agree with them. If you think you have fulfilled your contractual obligations to a satisfactory level, then you are within your rights to ask for your invoice to be paid. However, when this happens then you have a dispute with your international debtor on your hands.  

International debt collection

How should you handle an international dispute? 

If you have an international dispute, it’s usually difficult to get your money back without the need for court intervention. If you use the services of Bierens, we always try to settle the issue with your debtor amicably. This can be done through the use of mediation or alternative dispute resolution (ADR). In some countries, like the UK for example, courts prefer you to try ADR before initiating legal proceedings.  

However, if this isn’t a viable option or if you have tried this route but still not resolved the issue, then litigation is likely your best route for getting your outstanding business invoice paid. If you choose to begin litigation proceedings, you should look for a lawyer who can litigate internationally. This is because you may need to litigate in the country of your debtor. There are two reasons you need to consider when it comes to litigating abroad: 

  • Which judge is competent?  
  • Which law is applicable? 

Which judge is competent in international disputes? 

Unless otherwise stated in your terms and conditions or contract, the judge that is competent to preside over your international debt collection case, is usually the judge that resides in the same country of your debtor. This means that if you have a Dutch debtor for example, then a Dutch judge will be the one that is competent to preside over the case, and you therefore must go to court in the Netherlands.  

Want to know more about which judge is competent in international disputes? There’s plenty more information in our knowledge bank.  

Which law is applicable in international disputes? 

Have you agreed which law is applicable in your terms and conditions or in your contract? Has your customer agreed to this? In which case, this law will be applicable. However, if no such clause was agreed to and included within your terms and conditions or contract, then the law of the country of your debtor will be applicable.  

Read more about which law is applicable in our knowledge bank. 

Important! If you agree that the law of your country is applicable but the judge of your debtors country is competent then you may have an issue should you need to collect. This will mean that the judge presiding over the case will need to handle the case under an unfamiliar law. This is certainly not ideal and may cause delays and problems. It is therefore advisable to consult with a lawyer before defining and agreeing the applicable law and competent judge.  

“Bierens and its team of international lawyers understand the needs of companies and can adapt to any situation.”

Lea Macedoni / Alessi


International Debt Collection Lawyers

If you are thinking of litigating internationally, you should consult with a lawyer first. An international debt collection lawyer will be able to inform you of the potential costs, length and likelihood of success. This will give you the information you need to make an informed decision before taking your debtor to court.  

Why choose our international debt collection agency?

1. Lawyers from 20 of Europe's largest economies

Do you have an outstanding invoice with your European business partner? Our firm employs more than 60 in-house European debt recovery lawyers and specialists, who can assist you in getting your invoice paid.

2. Knowledge of local legislation and commercial customs

Our international debt recovery lawyers have extensive experience with and knowledge of the legislation, regulations, commercial customs and culture in the country of your debtor. That makes it easier for us to engage with your debtor and encourage them to pay more swiftly.

3. Honest advice

We will always give our honest advice on the chances of success in your debt recovery matter. Putting your interests first is important to us; we endeavour to provide you with your options, as well as our advice on the best route to take. It’s easy to see how we put our core values of integrity and justice into practice.

4. Customised international debt collection

Our commercial debt recovery approach is customised to each unique case, and we provide you with tailor-made advice.

Send us your case before 16:00pm and we'll get to work immediately!

The advantages of a Bierens Debt Recovery Lawyer

  • Succesfully recovering debt since 1952
  • Always honest and clear advice
  • Specialist laywers in international debt recovery
  • Every year we collect thousands of outstanding invoices

Litigating in the language of your debtor 

If you do need to litigate abroad, then the chances are you’ll also need to litigate in the language of your lawyer. This is something you need to be aware of when choosing an international debt collection lawyer. You should look for a lawyer that can not only speak the same language of your debtor but also has the experience and knowledge of your debtor’s country laws.  

At Bierens, we have lawyers from over 20 of the largest European countries. They have the knowledge and expertise to litigate in most European countries. Not only that, they speak the language of your debtor and understand the business culture of your debtor. This is what sets us apart from other debt collection law firms and agencies. 

Specialists in International Debt Collection

Our 35 international lawyers are specialists in debt collection across Europe. From the moment that you hand your case over to us, we will do our utmost to resolve the matter as soon as possible. Whether this concerns a straightforward debt recovery matter or a complicated legal conflict, we will unburden you.

More information about international debt collection disputes 

Are you in dispute with an international debtor? Wondering how you can get your money back? Get in touch with us today. Our team of international debt collection lawyers know how to litigate in the country of your debtor and get your money paid. We speak the language of your debtor, understand your debtors’ country laws and their business culture. This is what sets us apart from other law firms and gets your money back.  

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