Lawyers from the Dispute Resolution Practice have represented a corporate client in litigation for payment of damages for breach of contracts by foreign (EU) contractors. A significant element of the dispute was the question of whether Polish courts had jurisdiction; jurisdiction was reserved in the contracts to these courts.
The Regional Court in Warsaw dismissed the claims on the grounds that Polish courts lacked jurisdiction. The rulings were made as a result of the argument that the clause stating "the court with jurisdiction to hear disputes is a common court with jurisdiction over the registered office of X" meant that this did not refer to the party to the contract, but to all the companies in its group. This was because the contract defined "X" specifically as group companies. The court also accepted that the claim for damages for improper performance of the contract could also be classified as a tort under foreign law, so the jurisdiction of the competent court is determined by the defendant's place of residence.
Following an in-depth analysis of European and Polish mechanisms for determining court jurisdiction outlined in DZP's arguments in appeal proceedings, the Court of Appeals in Warsaw ordered the Regional Court to examine both cases on their merits.
The client was represented by Paweł Paradowski, Partner, Bartosz Karolczyk, Senior Associate, and Joanna Sobolewska, Associate, from DZP’s Dispute Resolution Practice.