The Polish legal system is based on codified principles of civil law. Judicial precedents are not binding;however adjudicating courts do take other rulings in similar cases into consideration.
The Polish court system is composed of District Courts (Sąd Rejonowy), Regional Courts (SądOkręgowy), Courts of Appeal (Sąd Apelacyjny) and the Polish Supreme Court (Sąd Najwyższy). Withinthe above framework there are specialised court divisions that rule on specific subject matters, e.g., thecommercial division (wydział gospodarczy) decides commercial disputes and the labour division (wydziałpracy i ubezpieczeń społecznych) handles labour and employment disputes.
Generally, cases where the value in dispute is not more than PLN 75,000 (approximately EUR 18,000),are heard before District Courts in the first instance, and Regional Courts act as appellate courts. Majorcases, i.e. cases where the value in dispute is more than PLN 75,000, are heard before Regional Courtsin the first instance, and appeals are decided by Courts of Appeal. However, irrespective of the casevalue, District Courts always handle specified types of matters, e.g., claims for alimony, civil casesconcerning disturbance of possession, updating the land and mortgage register to the actual legal state,as well as cases concerning electronic payment orders.
Currently, there are 321 District Courts, 45 Regional Courts and 11 Courts of Appeal in Poland.
At the top of the judicial hierarchy is the Polish Supreme Court. It functions primarily as a court ofcassation. Grounds for cassation are limited to substantive law and major procedural issues. Generally,cassation is inadmissible in civil disputes concerning property rights in cases valued below PLN 50,000(approximately EUR 12,000). In addition, irrespective of the case value, cassation is inadmissible inspecified types of matters, e.g., cases concerning rent for lease or tenancy, disturbance of possession orcivil cases heard in summary proceedings.
Civil proceedings are commenced by filing a statement of claim (in litigious proceedings) or a motion (innon-litigious proceedings) with the competent court. The statement of claim must contain allegations ofthe facts on which the claim is based and offer evidence in support of those facts. Under Polish law, theclaimant must also precisely specify the request and, in matters concerning property rights, indicate theclaim value, unless the subject matter of the case is a specified amount of money.
Depending on the type of legal protection sought, statements of claim are divided into three generalcategories:
-actions for performance of an obligation, e.g., to pay a specified sum of money, to deliver or surrendermoveable property, to pay damages or to cease a particular behaviour;
-actions for determination of the existence or non-existence of a right or legal relationship; and
-actions for creating, amending or dissolving a legal relationship.
After the statement of claim is filed, the court considers whether it has jurisdiction over the claim andwhether there are any grounds to reject the statement of claim (e.g. litis pendentio, res iudicata). If thecourt has jurisdiction over the dispute and there are no other procedural impediments, the court servesthe statement of claim on the defendant. The defendant is entitled to submit a statement of defencebefore the first court hearing. The chairperson can request the defendant to submit a statement ofdefence within a specified period of time, no shorter than 2 (two) weeks.
Once the statement of claim is served on the defendant, the court initiates the trial proceedings whichtypically consist of several oral hearings. Generally, the trial is held and decided upon before a judge or apanel of judges depending on the type and stage of the proceedings. Only specific first instance casesconcerning labour law and family matters are heard by a judge and two jurors.
Hearings serve the important purpose of allowing the presentation and gathering of evidence. Inaccordance with the adversarial principle, generally it is the duty of the parties (or their attorneys) topresent the facts and evidence to the court. Under Polish law, the court is authorized to admit evidencenot presented by the parties. It is, however, admissible only in exceptional cases, e.g., in order toguarantee the factual equality of the parties to the dispute, especially when one of the parties is notrepresented by professional counsel.
Evidence presented by either party during the proceedings may include, inter alia, documents, electronicmaterials, witnesses, expert witnesses (the court decides whether the expert's opinion is to be presentedorally or in writing), inspections and testimony of the parties involved in the dispute. After the hearing andsubmission of evidence has been concluded, the judge closes the proceedings and issues a judgment.
In simple cases, a first instance judgment may be rendered within 6 (six) months. According to statisticsprovided by the Polish Ministry of Justice, first instance proceedings pending before District Courts takeon average a little less than 5 (five) months; in Regional Courts, the average time is 8 (eight) months. Inappellate proceedings, the court often relies on evidence gathered by the lower court. Appellateproceedings usually take between 4 (four) months and 1 (one) year. However, in complex cases, theduration of court proceedings can be considerably longer.
A party can request interim remedies. A court may order a preliminary injunction to secure claims eitherbefore or during litigation. In order to have a preliminary injunction granted, the party must make itplausible to the court that (a) the claim exists; and (b) the party has a legal interest in the granting of theinjunction. Preliminary injunctions aimed at securing pecuniary claims may include, inter alia, attachmentof movables, wages, freezing of bank accounts, attachment of other claims or property right andcompulsory mortgages
The final judgment issued by the court includes an order specifying which party has to bear the costs ofthe proceedings. Litigation costs are mainly composed of court and attorney's fees, expenses for expertopinions and travel expenses for witnesses. Generally, costs of litigation are awarded against the losingparty. However, if a party prevails only with a portion of his/her claim, the costs are divided on a pro-ratabasis. In exceptional circumstances, the court may order the losing party to reimburse only a part of thecosts of litigation to its opponent or not charge it with such costs at all.
In Poland, contingency fees that entitle an attorney to a certain percentage of the amount awarded to theclaimant are not prohibited by law. However, under codes of ethic by the Bar Council and the Chamberof Legal Advisors, the contingency fee must be only a part of the remuneration for rendering legalservices – the remuneration must not be based solely on a contingency fee.
In cases of business crimes, the perpetrator may often be subject to civil and criminal liability. For thisreason, criminal proceedings are often conducted parallel to civil litigation. Taking part in criminalproceedings against a perpetrator may be an effective way of obtaining evidence and gaining anadvantage over the opposing party. Evidence gathered in the course of criminal proceedings may alsobe submitted to the civil court, unless it contains classified information.
Judges presiding over business crime cases often lack relevant business experience and marketknowledge. This is mainly caused by insufficient training programs and, most of all, by the fact that thereis no specialization of judges, i.e. no special court divisions handling only economic offences. As aconsequence, even for experienced attorneys it is often difficult to predict the final outcome of a case.
The Act on Liability of Collective Entities of 28 October 2002 allows a penalty to be imposed on a legalentity, if: (a) an officer or employee of the company has been convicted of a crime specified in the act(e.g. bribery, offences against trade) or the committing of such a crime has been determined in anyproceedings; (b) the crime was committed in connection with the activities of the entity; (c) the offencewas committed due to at least lack of due diligence in the choice or supervision of the person whocommitted the offence or due to the improper organization of the company; and (d) the crime was orcould be beneficial (either economically or non-economically) to the entity.
The catalogue of penalties includes: (a) a fine up to the amount of PLN 5 million (approximately EUR1,200,000), but no more than 3 % of the yearly income of the entity; (b) mandatory forfeiture; and (c)optional bans imposed for a period between 1 to 5 (one to five) years, e.g. prohibition on the use of publicaid or subventions, prohibition on advertising and prohibition on participation in public tenders. As theprocedure to hold a company liable is rather burdensome, the Act on Liability of Collective Entities israrely applied in practice.
The two main stages of criminal proceedings are preliminary proceedings and court proceedings, whichare commenced by submitting an indictment act to court.
Preliminary proceedings are obligatory in cases of offences prosecuted ex officio. The main purpose ofpreliminary proceedings is to gather and record evidence. These proceedings are divided into twostages, i.e., proceedings in rem, the purpose of which is to clarify whether an offence has beencommitted and proceedings in personam, conducted against a specific suspect. Preliminary proceedingscan be conducted by the prosecutor, by the police (in minor cases), or other authorities (in specificcases). The organizational structure of the public prosecutor's office and the police, unlike that of thecourts, provides for divisions specializing in economic offences.
If the preliminary proceedings are not discontinued and on the basis of evidence gathered the prosecutoris of the opinion that there are high chances that a crime was committed, the prosecutor prepares anindictment act and submits it to the competent court. Court proceedings in Poland are composed of twoinstances. Additionally, a cassation to the Supreme Court can be filed against a final and bindingjudgment rendered by the appellate court.
During the preliminary proceedings stage, the prosecutor and the police are the most relevant players. Inthe case of economic offences it is, however, also worth mentioning:
-the Polish Financial Supervision Authority (Komisja Nadzoru Finansowego), a public authorityoverseeing the capital market and banking sector;
-the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (Urząd Ochrony Konkurencji i Konsumentów)whose main role is to safeguard compliance with competition law; and
-the Tax Audit Offices (Urzędy Kontroli Skarbowej) which are competent with respect to ensuring thepayment of tax liabilities
The above-mentioned institutions are authorized to conduct investigations within the scope of theirstatutory competences and often discover facts that may lead to the initiation of preliminary proceedings.Moreover, pursuant to the Polish Code of Criminal Procedure, the Prosecutor General (ProkuratorGeneralny) and the Commissioner for Human Rights (Rzecznik Praw Obywatelskich) are authorized tofile a cassation in criminal proceedings.
Under Polish regulations on criminal procedure, the aggrieved party is authorized to act as an auxiliaryprosecutor along with or instead of the prosecutor (in case the prosecutor refuses to initiate ordiscontinues the preliminary proceedings).
The outcome of criminal proceedings can be of key importance for civil litigation for a couple of reasons.Firstly, a criminal court may order in its ruling that the convicted person must remedy the damagecaused by committing the offence. As a result, a party awarded damages in a criminal case cannot claimthem again in the civil proceedings. Secondly, the findings contained in a final condemnatory sentence ofa criminal case are binding for the civil court as to the fact of the accused having committed the offence.In such cases, it is completely up to the civil court to estimate the damage incurred by the victim(claimant).
The approximate duration of preliminary proceedings in Poland is 18 (eighteen) months. Courtproceedings last on average an additional 2 (two) years.
The notification of suspicion of a criminal offence having been committed is not subject to any fee. Onlyspecific motions of the convicted party (e.g. motion for suspension of the sentence) are subject to fees.Moreover, the filing of a cassation is subject to a court fee, the amount of which depends on the type ofcourt which rendered the judgment subject to cassation.
As indicated above, the scope of court fees in criminal proceedings is very limited. Therefore, the costsincurred by the parties are mostly composed of attorney fees, travel expenses, and other costs, e.g.,remuneration of private experts.
Since 1 January 2016 Polish insolvency proceedings are regulated by two separate acts - theRestructuring Law of 15 May 2015 and the Bankruptcy Law of 28 February 2003.
The purpose of the restructuring proceedings is to agree on a voluntary debt restructuring arrangementwith the creditors and to conduct remedial actions, while securing legitimate rights of creditors andensuring the continued existence of the debtor. The Bankruptcy Law in general regulates the rules ofvindication of claims against insolvent debtors, so it usually leads to the winding-up of the debtor's estateand the distribution of its assets among its creditors.
Restructuring proceedings may be conducted against a debtor that is insolvent or threatened byinsolvency. The definition of insolvency (niewypłacalność) is very wide, but generally a debtor isinsolvent if he/she has lost the ability to fulfil their obligations.
The new Restructuring Law introduced four types of proceedings:
-arrangement approval proceedings (postępowanie o zatwierdzenie układu):
-arrangement proceedings (postępowanie układowe): and
-remedial proceedings (postępowanie sanacyjne).
Arrangement approval proceedings apply if debtors are able to reach an arrangement with the requiredmajority of creditors without the court's involvement and the sum of disputed claims does not exceed15% of the total claims. If debtors and creditors fail to reach an agreement on their own, the other typesof proceedings apply. Standard arrangement proceedings apply if the sum of disputed claims exceeds15% of the total claims. An accelerated arrangement proceedings, which is a simplified procedure (andshould take approximately 2 (two) months), applies if disputed claims do not exceed 15% of the totalclaims,. The last type of restructuring proceedings are remedial proceedings, which are the mostregulated and aimed at improving the economic situation of the debtor and restoring the debtor’scapability to discharge obligations, while ensuring protection against execution.
All types of restructuring proceedings as a rule are initiated when a motion is filed by the debtor.Generally, during the restructuring proceedings, the debtor remains in charge of managing his/herestate; however, he/she is supervised by a court supervisor (nadzorca sądowy) or, in case ofarrangement approval proceedings, an arrangement supervisor (nadzorca układu). Furthermore, insome cases, the court may appoint an administrator (zarządca) to take charge of managing the debtor'sestate. Appointing an administrator is mandatory in remedial proceedings.
A proposed arrangement is voted at a creditors' meeting (except in the case of arrangement approvalproceedings, where the debtor collects votes in writing). As a rule, an arrangement is agreed upon, if it isaccepted by the majority of voting creditors, who hold in aggregate at least two-thirds of the total sum ofclaims held by the voting creditors.
It is also possible to conclude a partial agreement, concerning only certain liabilities the restructuring ofwhich have a fundamental impact on the continued functioning of the debtor's business. This applies inparticular to debts stemming from investment credits and most important business agreements of thedebtor, including those for the supply of raw materials for production, lease agreements, etc. Anarrangement accepted by the required majority of creditors is subject to the approval of the court.
Bankruptcy proceedings may be conducted only against a debtor who is insolvent. According to theBankruptcy Law, a debtor is presumed to be insolvent, if:
-it is late in paying its obligations for more than 3 (three) months;
-the value of its monetary obligations exceed the value of its assets.
Proceedings are initiated by a motion filed by the debtor or any of its personal creditors. If the conditionsfor declaring insolvency are fulfilled, the court issues a ruling containing a declaration of bankruptcy,calling upon the creditors to submit their claims within 30 (thirty) days of the announcement of the ruling.In the ruling, the court appoints a judge-commissioner (sędzia komisarz), who is in charge of thebankruptcy proceedings, as well as a deputy and a receiver (syndyk). The receiver takes over themanagement of the bankrupt's assets and conducts the liquidation of the bankruptcy estate (masaupadłości).
The receiver is obliged to prepare a list of the bankrupt's debts and a plan of distribution of the fundsobtained from the liquidation of the bankruptcy estate, as well from the running of the bankrupt’s enterprise.
After the above funds are distributed among the creditors, the bankruptcy proceedings are closed
by the court.
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 arbitralinstitutions in Poland include the Court of Conciliation (Arbitration) of the Polish Bank Association andthe Court of Arbitration at Confederation Lewiatan (a nation-wide representation of employers to thestate and trade unions 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 agreementsmust contain certain content. At a minimum, this must include: the names of the parties and a clearstatement that the parties wish to submit a particular dispute to arbitration or any dispute arising out of adefined legal relationship. The arbitration agreement may contain provisions regarding the arbitralprocedure or refer to the rules of a particular arbitral institution. Arbitration agreements to be entered intowith consumers and employees 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 thenumber of members of an arbitral tribunal. If the parties fail to determine the number of arbitrators, thenumber of arbitrators 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 arbitrationagreement or an arbitration case is pending. This second way of applying for interim measures isgenerally faster; due to the fact that a party is not obliged to obtain a separate enforcement clause formthe 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 thelegal force of the award nor its enforceability. It is, however, possible to stay the domestic enforcementon the basis of a challenge of the award.
The procedure for the enforcement in Poland of judgments issued in EU Member States is subject to astandardized and simplified procedure governed by Council Regulation (EC) No. 1215/2012 onjurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters. Under theabove-mentioned regulation there are only limited grounds on which the recognition of such judgmentcan be denied. These include, inter alia, cases in which the recognition of a judgment is manifestlycontrary to Polish public policy or the judgment was rendered in violation of due process.
As long as the judgements are enforceable in the country of origin, they are subject to automaticenforcement in Poland. As a result, there is no need to obtain a declaration of enforceability beforePolish courts.
In order to enforce a judgement, it is merely necessary to present the court enforcement officer with acopy of the judgement to be enforced and a certificate issued in the country of origin confirming theenforceability of the judgement. A translation may also be necessary.
It is important to note that the above procedure is applicable only to judgements issued on or after 10January 2015. With regard to judgements of EU Member States issued before that date, EU RegulationNo. 44/2001 is applicable.
In addition, EU regulations No. 805/2004 (uncontested claims), No. 1896/2006 (European paymentprocedure) and No. 861/2007 (small claims) are applicable to claims specified therein. Such claims arealso subject to automatic enforcement.
The enforcement of judgments from non-EU countries is contingent on the issuance of a declaration ofenforceability by the competent Polish court. The enforcement proceedings are governed by the PolishCivil Procedure Code, unless an international convention binding Poland is applicable in a given case.The general requirement for the issuance of a declaration of enforceability is that the foreign judgment isenforceable in the country of its origin. Reciprocity is not required. The declaration of enforceability isdenied on exhaustively listed grounds, inter alia, if the foreign judgment is not final and binding in thecountry of its origin, the jurisdiction of Polish courts was exclusive in the given case, the judgment iscontrary to a prior Polish judgment or the judgment violates Polish public order.
A declaration of enforceability is issued by a competent District Court upon the request of the creditor.The debtor opposing the enforceability of the claim is allowed to present its position to the court. Thecourt's decision on enforceability is subject to an appeal and cassation.
In regard to the enforcement of arbitral awards, Poland is a party to the 1958 New York Convention onthe Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards and to the 1961 European Convention onInternational Commercial Arbitration.
-The duration of court proceedings depends onthe number of hearings and the scope ofevidence presented.
-There are two instances before which the casemay be heard. However, in many cases, a finaland binding judgment can be contested by anextraordinary remedy, i.e., cassation submittedto the Supreme Court.
STANDARD CIVIL PROCEEDINGS
-The Act on Class Action applies to claims forliability for damage caused by a dangerousproduct, torts, liability for non-performance orimproper performance of a contract, for thereturn of unjust enrichment, and in cases ofconsumer claims. With some importantlimitations, class actions may be also used topursue claims for the infringement of personalrights.
-A class action may only be filed by a minimum of10 persons.
Limited. The court generally adjudicates based onthe evidence offered by the parties at their owninitiative. Only under exceptional circumstancesor on the request of one of the parties, may thecourt order the other party to providedocumentation not offered by that party on itsown initiative.
Pro Bono System
Generally no. However, representation by professional counsel (attorney or legal advisor) is mandatoryin proceedings before the Supreme Court and in class actions.
In the first instance, specific cases concerning labour law and family law are heard by a judge and twojurors.
-Copies of documents should be submitted tothe court (one copy for the court and a copy forevery opponent). In the course of theproceedings, attorneys representing bothparties are obliged to deliver every court letteralong with attachments directly to each other.
-The court is entitled to order the parties tosubmit additional written submissions or topresent specified documentation. Non-compliance with such obligations can result inpreclusion of evidence and can influence theevaluation of the case by the court.
Simple cases: first instance (District Court):approx. 5 months; second instance: 15 months.
Complex cases: first instance (Regional Court):approx. 8 months; second instance: 36 months.
Court fees are based on the Court Fees Act andgenerally depend on the amount in dispute:
-in general, the court fee amounts to 5% of theclaim value;
-the court fee for a class action amounts to 2%of the claim value;
-the minimum amount of court fee is PLN 30;
-the maximum amount of court fee is PLN100,000.
Assumptions based on an amount in disputeof EUR 1,000,000: first instance: preparation ofthe claim/response, court hearings/meetings withclient: in total: EUR 30,000 to EUR 50,000; sec-ond instance: preparation of the appeal/response,court hearing: in total: EUR 8,000 to EUR 15,000.
Assumptions based on an amount in disputeof EUR 10,000,000: first instance: preparation ofthe claim/response, court hearings/meetings withclient: in total: EUR 70,000 to EUR 200,000; sec-ond instance: preparation of the appeal/respons-es, court hearing: in total: EUR 20,000 to EUR50,000.
Yes. Legal aid is provided to persons who cannot afford costs of the legal proceedings.
-Litigation costs include court fees, attorneys'fees, and expenses for expert opinions and wit-nesses.
-Court fees in the first and second instance areto be paid by the party filing the statement ofclaim/appeal.
-Court fees can be paid by a bank transfer tothe court's bank account or by duty stamps.
-Litigation costs are generally awarded againstthe losing party.
-Reimbursement of attorneys' fees is limited tothe amounts specified in the Regulation on At-torneys' Tariffs and the Regulation on Legal Ad-visors' Tariffs. The actual attorneys' fees (de-pending on the fee agreement between the at-torney and the client) can be substantially high-er.
Class actions are regulated under the Act on ClassActions of 17 December 2009 (amended on 1 June2017).
Cases concerning business crimes are usually heard by only one judge, but jury trials may occur incomplex cases (panels are composed by one judge and two jurors, or two judges and three jurors).
The duration of preliminary and court proceedingsdepends on the location of the court. Courts insmaller cities usually have a smaller case loadand thus the proceedings are more expeditious.
The criminal proceedings are generally free ofcharge. However, if a party is convicted to imprison-ment, a fee of PLN 60 - 600 must be paid at first in-stance (depending on the judgment) and in thecase of a fine - 10% - 20% of the fine, but not lessthan PLN 30.
If the appeal filed in favour of the accused is not tak-en into account, the court will charge the same feefor the appeal proceedings.
Filing of a cassation is subject to a court fee in theamount of PLN 450 (in case of cassation againstthe judgment of a district court) or PLN 750 (in caseof cassation against the judgment of a regionalcourt).
Simple Case: EUR 5,000 to EUR 10,000.
Complex Case: EUR 10,000 to EUR 20,000.
Representation by counsel is mandatory in cases subject to a long imprisonment sentence or if thesanity of the defendant is questionable or if he/she is physically impaired.
Preliminary proceedings: approx. 18 months.
Court proceedings: approx. 24 months.
Yes. Legal aid is provided for persons who cannot afford the cost of legal representation.
Litigants often use or try to use criminal proceedingsto obtain evidence.
The prosecutor and the police may order any per-son to produce documents necessary for the pur-pose of criminal proceedings. The same may bedone by the court. Evidence gathered in the courseof criminal proceedings can be submitted to the civilcourt, unless it contains classified information.
Pro Bono System
In practice, hourly rates in the amount of ca. EUR250 and reimbursement of costs are preferred, asthe amount of work is difficult to assess in advance.
A party seeking a preliminary injunction mustmake it plausible to the court:
-that the claim exists; and
-that it has a legal interest in the granting of theinjunction. Legal interest is deemed to exist ifthe lack of an injunction may prevent orseriously hinder the enforcement of a futurejudgment.
If filed along with a statement of claim, therequest for a preliminary injunction is not subjectto any court fees.
If filed separately, the request is subject to a courtfee in the amount of PLN 40 (non-pecuniaryclaim) or PLN 100 (pecuniary claim). The courtfee for the appeal is equal to half of the base fee.
Assumptions: only the request for apreliminary injunction is filed, the courtrenders its decision behind closed doors:EUR 4,000 to EUR 7,000 in first instance; secondinstance: preparation of appeal/response, onehearing: EUR 6,000 to EUR 10,000.
Assumptions: the request for preliminaryinjunction is filed, court hearing and meetingswith the client: first instance: EUR 10,000 toEUR 30,000; second instance: EUR 15,000 toEUR 35,000.
Preliminary Injunction Proceedings
-Prior to granting an injunction, the court mayrequest an applicant to provide a security.
-Generally, the costs relating to injunctionproceedings constitute a part of the litigationcosts and are awarded by the court in thefinal decision rendered in the mainproceedings.
As a rule, a motion for preliminary injunctionshould be decided upon within 1 week from itsfiling. In practice, however, this deadline may beextended, which is often the case. Appellateproceedings take from 2 to 4 months.
-The costs of arbitration depends, to a greatextent, on the amount in dispute, the amount ofdocuments, the number of witnesses, andwhether expert opinions are required.
-An arbitral tribunal has discretion regarding theawarding of costs. Usually the losing partymust reimburse the winning party.
-The award of attorneys' fees is usually basedon actual fees paid and not determined byreference to statutory tariffs.
The procedural costs depend on whether a sole arbitrator or an arbitral tribunal composed of threemembers is appointed.
The following estimates are based on the procedural costs of the Court of Arbitration at the PolishChamber 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 ofclaim/response, review of 100 pages of documents, preparation and participation in hearings, meetingswith 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 ofclaim/response, review of 1000 pages of documents, preparation and participation in hearings, meetingswith client, correspondence; in total: EUR 80,000 to EUR 200,000.
The usual duration of arbitration proceedings isbetween 8 months and 2 years.
Limited. All the documents should be submitted in the language in which the proceedings are held. Theparties can agree on the application of the IBA Rules on the Taking of Evidence which stipulate narrowdocument production.
Filing of an application for recognition or enforcement of a foreign/arbitral award is subject to a courtfee in the amount of PLN 300.
Application for recognition/enforcement:
EUR 500 to EUR 1,000.
EUR 1,500 to EUR 3,000.
-Under EU Regulation 1215/2012, judgementsof EU Courts are automatically recognized andoperate as enforcement titles.
-In order to initiate enforcement proceedings,the creditor shall provide the competentenforcement authority with:
-a copy of the judgment which satisfies theconditions necessary to establish itsauthenticity; and
-a certificate saying that the judgment isenforceable.
-In order to avoid delays, attaching a certifiedtranslation of the judgment is highlyrecommended.
-Judgments issued in non-EU countries aresubject to the procedure on recognition of thejudgement or declaring its enforceabilitypursuant to the provisions of the CivilProcedure Code. The applicant must submit acertified copy of the judgement, a documentconfirming the validity of the judgement and, incase of application for enforcement, adocument confirming the enforceability of theaward. All the above documents must besubmitted with a certified translation.
-For enforcement of arbitral awards under theNew York Convention, the creditor mustprovide the court with the arbitral award andthe arbitration agreement in original or incertified copies.
Rulings issued in EU Member States are subjectto direct enforcement.
In the case of judgements by non-EU courts – 2to 6 months until a decision on recognition orenforcement is rendered in the first instance. 4 to10 months if the decision is contested.
The duration of enforcement proceedingsdepends mainly on whether the debtor hasexecutable assets and whether the enforcementsare opposed by the debtor.
Enforcement of Foreign Judgments and Arbitral Awards
Filing of an application for the declaration of bankruptcy is subject to a court fee in the amount of PLN1,000.
Filing of an application for commencement of restructuring proceedings is subject to a court fee in theamount of PLN 200.
Filing of an application for the declaration of bankruptcy/commencement of restructuring proceedings:
EUR 1,000 to EUR 1,500.
EUR 2,000 to EUR 5,000.
Filing ofInsolvency Claimsby Creditors
Insolvency proceedings are initiated on the day of service of the application for the declaration ofbankruptcy at the court. Restructuring proceedings are formally initiated upon publication in the officialgazette (Monitor Sądowy i Gospodarczy) of a statement by the debtor that restructuring proceedingshave commenced
The duration of restructuring proceedings depends on the type of procedure
-arrangement approval proceedings can be very efficient and take about 2 weeks;
-accelerated arrangement proceedings - 2 to 3 months; and
-standard arrangement proceedings – 6 to 10 months.
Bankruptcy proceedings may take from 1 year to several years (depending on the number of creditorsand complexity of the individual case).