The term “financial litigation” encompasses all judicial, insolvency and regulatory disputes involving financial institutions—primarily banks, brokerages, investment funds, and insurance companies, as well as investors.
Adversary proceedings and disputes in a broader sense, primarily arising under the law of banking, securities, insurance, and investment funds, as well as the restructuring of bank loans or structured financial instruments, are considered by state courts and regulators (with review by the administrative courts), as well as arbitration courts both permanent and ad hoc. Financial litigation also includes tax offences and other criminal cases related to financial market abuse (insider trading, market manipulation, and other forms of white-collar crime), conducted by investigative bodies, including police, prosecutors, and tax authorities.
Another important element of financial litigation is proceedings brought by the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection in relation to prohibited clauses in bank contracts, or prohibited banking practices, which are eventually heard by the Court of Competition and Consumer Protection.
Disputes are often resolved through an out-of-court settlement at the pre-trial stage. Even then, preparation of a litigation strategy and the position to be argued before the court or other body that would consider the dispute is instrumental in obtaining a settlement under the most favourable terms.
The subject matter encountered in disputes involving financial institutions is extremely broad, hence the diverse range of institutions involved in resolving financial disputes.
The main laws in Poland under which proceedings involving financial institutions are conducted include:
- Banking Law
- Registered Pledge and Pledge Register Act
- Trade in Financial Instruments Act
- Financial Market Supervision Act
- Act on Public Offerings and Public Companies
- Civil Code
- Penal Code
- Fiscal Penal Code
- Investment Fund Act
- Bankruptcy & Recovery Law
- Bond Act
- Competition and Consumer Protection Act.