Judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters: Choice of law, jurisdiction and enforcement

A hard Brexit would leave choice of law rules largely intact, but remove the UK from convenient EU procedures for recognition and enforcement of judgments.

Will the Supreme Court resolve the problems with settlement attempts?

The Supreme Court of Poland has presented to an expanded panel legal questions concerning a summons to attempt a settlement as an action interrupting the limitations period on a claim.

Differently in the handover protocol than in the contract: No defects as a condition of payment

In the judgment of 26 April 2019 (case no. V CSK 80/18), the Supreme Court of Poland held that it is not contrary to the nature of a construction contract to condition the payment of fees on the absence of defects in the structure. Therefore, the parties’ terms requiring payment only after a faultless handover protocol has been obtained are permissible. However, in the Supreme Court’s opinion, such objections may also be included in the terms of the handover protocol. The court approved the possibility for the parties to invoke reservations made in the handover protocol, which constitute additional provisions in relation to the contract.

Pro rata condition in insurance policy held ineffective

In a judgment involving compensation under an insurance policy, the Supreme Court of Poland has held that a pro rata provision was invalid because it was disadvantageous to the insured and was included in the insurance conditions unilaterally by the insurer as the party with the stronger contractual position.

A few words on setoff

The Supreme Court of Poland has recently issued several rulings on setoff (Civil Code Art. 498), confirming the existing line of case law and the established legal and commercial practice. The regulations on asserting the defence of setoff in civil proceedings have also been amended.

Watch out for rejected pleadings: Amendment of the Civil Procedure Code

The amendment of Poland’s Civil Procedure Code which entered into force on 7 November 2019 changed certain provisions on the formal requirements for pleadings and the consequences of failure to meet these requirements. Harsh rules, uncertainty on the proper method of curing formal defects, and varying practices of the courts may result in final rejection of a pleading and loss of the case for seemingly trivial reasons. Professional attorneys must exercise particular caution.