WHOA in practice

On 1 January 2021, the Court Approval of a Private Composition (Prevention of Insolvency) Act (hereinafter WHOA) entered into force in the Netherlands. This is a new scheme in the Bankruptcy Act that enables companies with liquidity problems to restructure debts by concluding a private agreement with their creditors. This can be done without bankruptcy or suspension of payments. What is special about the WHOA agreement is that it is also binding upon creditors who have not agreed to the plan. Until 1 January 2021, concluding a private agreement required the consent of all creditors. This meant that just one creditor could prevent the conclusion of the agreement.

The purpose of the WHOA agreement is to enable restructuring to prevent the bankruptcy of the company of a debtor. In addition to preventing bankruptcy, a WHOA agreement can also be used for a controlled debt settlement. Companies are then liquidated outside a bankruptcy, with a better result than if the settlement took place in the bankruptcy.

Below is a drop-down overview of the WHOA procedure, including questions and answers relating to the main components of the WHOA. Our specialists have already guided several companies through a WHOA process.

Our specialists

Bas Besseling

Partner, member of the executive board

Charlotte Crombag

Senior lawyer

Dennis Kok


Sandra Ruitenbeek


Zorana Koria