Hurricane Irma has a huge impact in St. Maarten, both for individuals and for businesses. In addition to the catastrophic logistical consequences and challenges that businesses now face, there will be legal questions as well. We are here to help.


With 35 attorneys and offices in Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, St. Maarten and Amsterdam, VANEPS is active throughout the Caribbean region. Our St. Maarten office was opened in 2011 and is staffed with a team of associates led by two partners. Because we are based on all islands in the Dutch Caribbean and in Amsterdam, we are able to provide you with uninterrupted high quality service, even during the aftermath of hurricane Irma.

SXM Helpdesk

VANEPS has set up a free legal helpdesk for local businesses in St. Maarten that were affected by hurricane Irma. If you have a legal issue in relation to (damage by) Hurricane Irma, we are happy to assess the legal problem and create a plan of action in collaboration with you, free of charge. You can then start working on resolving the issue based on solid advice.

Do you have a specific question that qualifies for this service? You can call our helpdesk line or send an email, and you will be directed to the appropriate person.

T +5999 461 3400 (please ask for the SXM Helpdesk)
M +1 721 588 3981
E (please include ‘SXM Helpdesk request’ as the subject of your email)

Should your specific question require more time from our team after the first call, we offer several options to pay for our services. In some cases, no cure no pay-arrangements are possible. We are happy to explore the options with you in these difficult times that require flexibility from all of us.


In addition, VANEPS is currently working on a Q&A for various (legal) areas. At the moment, we are receiving questions mainly focused on employment law, insurance law and bankruptcy law. We are working on compiling these questions and their short answers into a basic guide on how to act (legally) in these exceptional circumstances, in order for you to have some initial advice directly available to you online and free of charge.

Pro bono

Charity and aid organizations that focus on providing initial relief and aim to rebuild the island of St. Maarten, can contact us to explore the possibilities of receiving free legal assistance from our firm. VANEPS has an active pro bono policy and is happy to use it to support these organizations.

Points of attention

In the aftermath of the hurricane we are receiving questions about the following topics in particular:

Litigation: legal procedures before the Court of St. Maarten
Click here for available updates in this regard and other legal updates regarding hurricane Irma. 

Employment law, insurance law and insolvency/corporate law
Many employees of businesses with branches on multiple islands are now stationed at other locations, either temporarily or indefinitely. How does this affect the relationship between employer and employee? And what if this is impossible and the business itself is unable to operate? What about the continued payment of wages, for instance?

The enormous damage will also result in many insurance claims, and it will not always be possible to prevent legal proceedings in order to resolve these issues. Do you need legal advice regarding a claim?

Sometimes there is no other option than to close down a business. Is bankruptcy the only option or is a liquidation procedure possible? What steps do you have to take in that case, and are there any complications if the closure is the result of the current circumstances?

For these and similar questions, you can contact our SXM Helpdesk.

Changes in interests for clients

In ongoing cases, negotiations, proceedings etc., interests may suddenly have changed due to (the destruction and damage caused by) Hurricane Irma. We keep our clients personally informed about the consequences for their legal matters. Please click here for more information about our services for our current clients and/ or in ongoing cases in St. Maarten.


If you would like to print or easily share all the above mentioned information, click here to download the SXM Helpdesk Flyer. 

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