Arbitration in Poland is governed by Part V of the Polish Civil Procedure Code (Kodeks postępowaniacywilnego), as revised in 2005, which defines the limits of arbitration including the validity of arbitrationagreements 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 ofArbitration at the Polish Chamber of Commerce in Warsaw (“SAKIG”). Other nationwide arbitral institutionsin Poland include the Court of Conciliation (Arbitration) of the Polish Bank Association and the Court ofArbitration at Confederation Lewiatan (a nation-wide representation of employers to the state and tradeunions founded in 1999).
Generally, any natural person, legal entity, or partnership fully capable of entering into a contract mayconclude an arbitration agreement.
Under Polish law, pecuniary and non-pecuniary claims that are capable of being decided by courts of lawmay 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 supervisoryauthorities, claims relating to family law, personal status, bankruptcy, and disputes concerning entries inpublic registers may not be subject to arbitration.
An arbitration agreement may be concluded as a separate agreement or as a clause in a contract. Anarbitration agreement must be executed in writing. Moreover, under Polish law, arbitration agreements mustcontain certain content. At a minimum, this must include: the names of the parties and a clear statementthat the parties wish to submit a particular dispute to arbitration or any dispute arising out of a defined legalrelationship. The arbitration agreement may contain provisions regarding the arbitral procedure or refer tothe rules of a particular arbitral institution. Arbitration agreements to be entered into with consumers andemployees have stricter requirements.
Any natural person of any citizenship, of full age and capacity may serve as an arbitrator. However, itshould be noted that an active judge cannot be an arbitrator. The parties are free to agree on the numberof members of an arbitral tribunal. If the parties fail to determine the number of arbitrators, the number ofarbitrators shall be three.
The parties are free to agree on a procedure for the appointment of arbitrators. They can also makereference to a procedure setting forth the appointment of arbitrators and/or agree on a person/entity toserve as an appointing authority. Polish law stipulates a default procedure for the appointment ofarbitrators 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 suchinterim measures as the arbitral tribunal considers necessary with respect to the subject-matter of thedispute. The arbitral tribunal may require the requesting party to provide appropriate security. Interimmeasures are enforced by state courts and court enforcement officers. The state court may refuseenforcement on certain legal grounds. Any party may also apply to the state courts for interim measuresbefore and during arbitration, irrespective of the fact that the dispute is subject to an arbitration agreementor an arbitration case is pending. This second way of applying for interim measures is generally faster; dueto 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;
-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/herof 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 challengeshould be lodged with the Court of Appeal. The award of the Court of Appeal cannot be challenged byfurther appeal, but a party has the right to lodge a cassation with the Polish Supreme Court. The partiesmay not waive their rights to challenge a future award. A challenge of an award neither suspends the legalforce of the award nor its enforceability. It is, however, possible to stay the domestic enforcement on thebasis of a challenge of the award.
2. ENFORCEMENT OF FOREIGNARBITRAL AWARDS
In regard to the enforcement of arbitral awards, Poland is a party to the 1958 New York Convention on theRecognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards and to the 1961 European Convention onInternational Commercial Arbitration.
TYPE OF PROCEEDINGS
PROCEDURE AND ASSUMPTIONS
The usual duration of arbitration proceedingsis between 8 months and 2 years.
Limited. All the documents should be submitted in the language in which the proceedings areheld. The parties can agree on the application of the IBA Rules on the Taking of Evidencewhich stipulate narrow document production.
-The costs of arbitration depends, to a greatextent, on the amount in dispute, theamount of documents, the number ofwitnesses, and whether expert opinionsare required.
-An arbitral tribunal has discretion regardingthe awarding of costs. Usually the losingparty must reimburse the winning party.
-The award of attorneys' fees is usuallybased on actual fees paid and notdetermined by reference to statutory tariffs.
The procedural costs depend on whether a sole arbitrator or an arbitral tribunal composedof three members is appointed.
The following estimates are based on the procedural costs of the Court of Arbitration at thePolish Chamber of Commerce in Warsaw (SAKIG).
Assumptions: sole arbitrator is appointed and the amount in dispute is EUR1,000,000: Total costs: registration fee in the amount of EUR 625 and arbitration fee in theamount of EUR 14,000.
Assumptions: sole arbitrator is appointed and the amount in dispute is EUR10,000,000: Total costs: registration fee in the amount of EUR 625 and arbitration fee in theamount 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 thestatement of claim/response, review of 100 pages of documents, preparation andparticipation 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 thestatement of claim/response, review of 1000 pages of documents, preparation andparticipation in hearings, meetings with client, correspondence; in total:
EUR 80,000 to EUR 200,000.
ATTORNEYS’ FEES (NET)
Filing of an application for recognition or enforcement of a foreign/arbitral award is subjectto 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.
ATTORNEYS’ FEES (NET)
2 to 6 months until a decision on recognitionor enforcement is rendered in the firstinstance. 4 to 10 months if the decision iscontested.
The duration of enforcement proceedingsdepends mainly on whether the debtor hasexecutable assets and whether theenforcements are opposed by the debtor.
-For enforcement of arbitral awardsunder the New York Convention, thecreditor must provide the court with thearbitral award and the arbitrationagreement in original or in certifiedcopies.
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