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Can a contractual penalty be cut by 99%? When?
Contractual penalties are a common instrument for sanctioning failures to perform non-monetary obligations (e.g. completing construction on time). Contractual penalties can be cut by the courts, but generally the Polish Civil Code indicates only the grounds for mitigating a contractual penalty. The details must be sought in the legal literature and the case law. Indeed, the regulations do not even provide guidance on how much contractual penalties can be reduced. Thus each case should be treated individually, guided by the principles discussed below.
Can a contractual penalty be cut by 99%? When?
Will high court fees for conciliation be cut?
Increased court fees for an application for a summons to conciliation have been in effect since August 2019. They were intended to prevent the use of settlement proceedings solely to interrupt the running of the limitations period. Has this effect been achieved?
Will high court fees for conciliation be cut?
Should we be preparing for a Russian-Belarusian investment arbitration offensive?
After Russia threatened to expropriate foreign investors withdrawing from that country because of the war with Ukraine started by Russia and Belarus, we have seen an avalanche of commentaries encouraging wronged enterprises to prepare lawsuits against Russia in investment arbitration proceedings.
Should we be preparing for a Russian-Belarusian investment arbitration offensive?
Interrogation of a foreigner as a witness before the Polish civil court
A summons from a Polish civil court to testify at a hearing identifies the parties to the dispute, what is at stake in the dispute, and the court before which the case is pending. At the end of the summons there is a notice of the penalties for failing to comply with the summons. How to react to such summons and what it means in practice for a person who received it?
Interrogation of a foreigner as a witness before the Polish civil court
What is “use of a motor vehicle,” and what does it mean to the insurance industry?
The scope of the insured’s liability (and thus, the insurance companies’ auxiliary liability) is affected not only by national law, but also by EU legislation and case law regarding “use of a motor vehicle.” After a recent Supreme Court resolution, a contradiction between the two has emerged.
What is “use of a motor vehicle,” and what does it mean to the insurance industry?
Defects and payment: Handover dilemmas
When is the investor required to pay for the performance of work? How do identified defects relate to this obligation, and when can handover be refused? These questions cause many difficulties in practice and are the basis for numerous, often very complex and long-running disputes. Recently, this issue was addressed by the Supreme Court of Poland. The interpretive direction it affirmed may help market players, including construction contractors, to whom these findings may apply by analogy.
Defects and payment: Handover dilemmas
News from Poland—Business & Law, Episode 13 (part 2): interrogation of a foreigner as a witness
Stanisław Drozd and Konrad Grotowski carry on explaining what to expect if you are a foreigner testifying as a witness before the Polish civil court.
News from Poland—Business & Law, Episode 13 (part 2): interrogation of a foreigner as a witness
News from Poland—Business & Law, Episode 13 (part 1): interrogation of a foreigner as a witness
This time Stanisław Drozd and Konrad Grotowski explain what to expect if you are a foreigner testifying as a witness before the Polish civil court. The second part of the film will be published in January next year.
 
News from Poland—Business & Law, Episode 13 (part 1): interrogation of a foreigner as a witness
Problems with justifications for rulings: How to proceed properly?
Recent amendments to civil procedure in Poland (especially the one dated July 2019) have raised numerous doubts on how to interpret the Civil Procedure Code, in particular provisions on service of court documents, justifications for rulings, and appeals. Some of these ambiguities have caused lots of problems for parties and their counsel, as incorrect application of these regulations can have severe consequences and even result in losing the case on procedural grounds. Some of the doubts concerning justifications for rulings were recently clarified by the Supreme Court of Poland.
Problems with justifications for rulings: How to proceed properly?
The difficult (?) case of an undeclared subcontractor
The amended regulations on joint and several liability of the investor to subcontractors of construction works have been in force for four years. With the stated aim of facilitating the payment of debts, they tightened the formal requirements for subcontractors seeking payment directly from the investor. Unfortunately, this has not been followed by a change in industry practice, as for various reasons formal notification of subcontractors often does not take place. Is the situation of undeclared subcontractors hopeless?
The difficult (?) case of an undeclared subcontractor
Documents preferred over witnesses
In the course of a construction dispute, to prove certain facts the parties most often request the examination of evidence not only from documents, but also submit numerous requests to hear witness testimony. However, according to parliamentary findings, witness testimony tends to increase the length and cost of court proceedings, and also allows for procedural manipulations. Therefore, the parliament restricted the admissibility of witness testimony in commercial proceedings. This has had an impact on the day-to-day operations of companies.
Documents preferred over witnesses
Is an arbitration clause in a subcontract effective against the investor?
The investor and the general contractor are jointly and severally liable for the subcontractors’ fees. However, this does not automatically mean that the provisions of the agreement between the subcontractor and the general contractor will apply directly to the investor. A particular provision is an arbitration clause determining the method for pursuing claims. If the general contractor and the subcontractor have agreed to arbitration, can the subcontractor pursue the investor in arbitration as well, or must the subcontractor file suit in state court?
Is an arbitration clause in a subcontract effective against the investor?