The right strategy
What would be the best outcome?
This question has many answers. They depend on a variety of factors that may change during the course of proceedings. One client might consider a quick resolution the best outcome, while another will be dead set on being proved right in court.
We will sit down with you to discuss the best strategy for you. Mapping out underlying interests is a key part of our strategy-making. And those interests stretch beyond the mere legal details.
Our negotiation method
Our attorneys are trained negotiators
'Getting to yes' and negotiating on the basis of exchanging interests rather than points of view. Focusing on the other will yield more results than repeating your own views. A good negotiator is above all a good listener.
Negotiations with the authorities
Our negotiations are typically with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration or the Public Prosecution Service. Negotiating with the authorities is a special discipline because the relationship can be qualified as asymmetrical and hierarchical. Civil servants do not have a personal financial interest in the outcome of a dispute. Their main concern is the correct application of the law.
For this reason, we have converted the Harvard Negotiation Method into the Hertoghs negotiation method, which makes allowance for these specific relationships. Safeguarding the right to institute legal proceedings plays an important role in our strategy, as does the willingness to take a matter to court and fight it out to the end. In that sense, the combination of negotiation and legal proceedings creates a more level playing field. That said, the government also has an interest in resolving disputes. We understand their interests as well.
If a taxpayer has a conflict with the tax authorities, it is important to remember that the relationship between them will continue after the dispute has been settled. Having regard for preserving the relationship and the mutual trust that is required between the parties for the relationship to work is a key aspect in this process. If a personal grudge happens to stand in the way of a resolution, the parties will have to seek closure first.
The process of reaching an out-of-court settlement with the Public Prosecution Service or the tax authorities usually follows the same pattern. Although the interaction with the Public Prosecution Service will – hopefully – be a one-off, the future of the relationship is definitely an issue, also in these types of cases. Compliance in terms of special prevention has now become part and parcel of the legal domain. Also, the role of the victim is gaining traction.
Solutions are endless
With an open mind and a creative eye, the options for reaching agreement are endless. That is what Hertoghs offers. We look beyond the legal side of things, we weigh all the varying interests and we know that the solution lies in the past, present and future.