POLAND

1. ARBITRATION

Arbitration in Poland is governed by Part V of the Polish Civil Procedure Code (Kodeks postępowania cywilnego), as revised in 2005, which defines the limits of arbitration including the validity of arbitration agreements and the minimum standards that must be observed for a fair trial.

The oldest and largest Polish arbitration court in terms of number and value of cases is the Court of Arbitration at the Polish Chamber of Commerce in Warsaw (“SAKIG”). Other nationwide arbitral institutions in Poland include the Court of Conciliation (Arbitration) of the Polish Bank Association and the Court of Arbitration at Confederation Lewiatan (a nation-wide representation of employers to the state and trade unions founded in 1999).

Generally, any natural person, legal entity, or partnership fully capable of entering into a contract may conclude an arbitration agreement.

Under Polish law, pecuniary and non-pecuniary claims that are capable of being decided by courts of law may be subject to arbitration if the law allows the parties to enter into a settlement with regard to them, excluding claims for alimony. Disputes that would normally be decided by regulatory or supervisory authorities, claims relating to family law, personal status, bankruptcy, and disputes concerning entries in public registers may not be subject to arbitration.

An arbitration agreement may be concluded as a separate agreement or as a clause in a contract. An arbitration agreement must be executed in writing. Moreover, under Polish law, arbitration agreements must contain certain content. At a minimum, this must include: the names of the parties and a clear statement that the parties wish to submit a particular dispute to arbitration or any dispute arising out of a defined legal relationship. The arbitration agreement may contain provisions regarding the arbitral procedure or refer to the rules of a particular arbitral institution. Arbitration agreements to be entered into with consumers and employees have stricter requirements.

Any natural person of any citizenship, of full age and capacity may serve as an arbitrator. However, it should be noted that an active judge cannot be an arbitrator. The parties are free to agree on the number of members of an arbitral tribunal. If the parties fail to determine the number of arbitrators, the number of arbitrators shall be three.

The parties are free to agree on a procedure for the appointment of arbitrators. They can also make reference to a procedure setting forth the appointment of arbitrators and/or agree on a person/entity to serve as an appointing authority. Polish law stipulates a default procedure for the appointment of arbitrators where the parties have not agreed on such procedure.

Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, an arbitral tribunal may, at the request of a party, order such interim measures as the arbitral tribunal considers necessary with respect to the subject-matter of the dispute. The arbitral tribunal may require the requesting party to provide appropriate security. Interim measures are enforced by state courts and court enforcement officers. The state court may refuse enforcement on certain legal grounds. Any party may also apply to the state courts for interim measures before and during arbitration, irrespective of the fact that the dispute is subject to an arbitration agreement or an arbitration case is pending. This second way of applying for interim measures is generally faster; due to the fact that a party is not obliged to obtain a separate enforcement clause from the common court.

Under Polish law an arbitral award can be challenged on the following grounds:

-no valid arbitration agreement;

-violation of due process;

-decision outside the scope of the arbitration agreement;

-improper composition of the arbitral tribunal;

-proceedings not in accordance with the parties’ agreement or with provisions of law;

-the award was obtained by way of a crime or on the basis of a forged or falsified document;

-res iudicata;

-lack of objective or subjective arbitrability; and

-violation of Polish public order.

In addition, a consumer may challenge an arbitral award on the grounds that the award deprives him/her of rights granted to him/her by the provisions of binding law.

In principle, a challenge must be filed within 2 (two) months from the service of the award. The challenge should be lodged with the Court of Appeal. The award of the Court of Appeal cannot be challenged by further appeal, but a party has the right to lodge a cassation with the Polish Supreme Court. The parties may not waive their rights to challenge a future award. A challenge of an award neither suspends the legal force of the award nor its enforceability. It is, however, possible to stay the domestic enforcement on the basis of a challenge of the award.

2. ENFORCEMENT OF FOREIGN ARBITRAL AWARDS

In regard to the enforcement of arbitral awards, Poland is a party to the 1958 New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards and to the 1961 European Convention on International Commercial Arbitration.

TYPE OF PROCEEDINGS

PROCEDURE AND ASSUMPTIONS

PRACTICE TIPS

Document Production

Arbitration Proceedings

The usual duration of arbitration proceedings is between 8 months and 2 years.

Approximate Duration

Limited. All the documents should be submitted in the language in which the proceedings are held. The parties can agree on the application of the IBA Rules on the Taking of Evidence which stipulate narrow document production.

-The costs of arbitration depends, to a great extent, on the amount in dispute, the amount of documents, the number of witnesses, and whether expert opinions are required.

-An arbitral tribunal has discretion regarding the awarding of costs. Usually the losing party must reimburse the winning party.

-The award of attorneys' fees is usually based on actual fees paid and not determined by reference to statutory tariffs.

The procedural costs depend on whether a sole arbitrator or an arbitral tribunal composed of three members is appointed.

The following estimates are based on the procedural costs of the Court of Arbitration at the Polish Chamber of Commerce in Warsaw (SAKIG).

Assumptions: sole arbitrator is appointed and the amount in dispute is EUR 1,000,000: Total costs: registration fee in the amount of EUR 625 and arbitration fee in the amount of EUR 14,000.

Assumptions: sole arbitrator is appointed and the amount in dispute is EUR 10,000,000: Total costs: registration fee in the amount of EUR 625 and arbitration fee in the amount of EUR 50,000.

In the case of an arbitral tribunal composed of three arbitrators, the arbitration fee doubles.

Assumptions based on the amount in dispute of EUR 1,000,000: Preparation of the statement of claim/response, review of 100 pages of documents, preparation and participation in hearings, meetings with client, correspondence; in total:

EUR 30,000 to EUR 80,000.

Assumptions based on the amount in dispute of EUR 10,000,000: Preparation of the statement of claim/response, review of 1000 pages of documents, preparation and participation in hearings, meetings with client, correspondence; in total:

EUR 80,000 to EUR 200,000.

Approximate Costs

PROCEDURAL COSTS

Simple case

Complex case

ATTORNEYS’ FEES (NET)

Simple case

Complex case

Approximate Duration

Filing of an application for recognition or enforcement of a foreign/arbitral award is subject to a court fee in the amount of PLN 300.

Application for recognition/enforcement:

EUR 500 to EUR 1,000.

EUR 1,500 to EUR 3,000.

Approximate Costs

COURT FEES

ATTORNEYS’ FEES (NET)

Simple case

Complex case

2 to 6 months until a decision on recognition or enforcement is rendered in the first instance. 4 to 10 months if the decision is contested.

The duration of enforcement proceedings depends mainly on whether the debtor has executable assets and whether the enforcements are opposed by the debtor.

-For enforcement of arbitral awards under the New York Convention, the creditor must provide the court with the arbitral award and the arbitration agreement in original or in certified copies.

Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards

The information in this chapter was correct as of 1 January 2018. If you have any questions about the content of this chapter,

or would like further information about arbitration in Poland, please contact

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