Proposed revision of rail transport regulations
Under a proposed amendment to Poland’s Rail Transport Act, it will be easier to obtain siting decisions for rail projects and expand logistics centres and railroad sidings on rail land, and train travel should be safer.
When (part of) a consortium wants to go to court
For many years, the consortium has been a familiar form of cooperation between businesses pursuing public contracts. But this construction still raises legal questions, especially when a dispute arises and goes to court. Because this structure is deceptively similar to an ordinary partnership, sometimes it is unclear which members of a consortium may participate in court proceedings. The Supreme Court of Poland examined this issue in its judgment of 30 June 2021 (case no. III CSKP 75/21).
News from Poland—Business & Law, Episode 16: War as force majeure
This time Mirella Lechna-Marchewka heading the firm’s Infrastructure and Public Procurement practices, discusses war as force majeure in the context of Russian aggression on Ukraine.
The difficult (?) case of an undeclared subcontractor
The amended regulations on joint and several liability of the investor to subcontractors of construction works have been in force for four years. With the stated aim of facilitating the payment of debts, they tightened the formal requirements for subcontractors seeking payment directly from the investor. Unfortunately, this has not been followed by a change in industry practice, as for various reasons formal notification of subcontractors often does not take place. Is the situation of undeclared subcontractors hopeless?
Indexation of road and rail contracts
The rapid price increases for construction materials observed since the beginning of 2021 raises the question whether the indexation clause used in contracts for construction of roads and upgrading of rail lines in Poland will prove effective in practice. To make an assessment, we must understand the substance of the clause.
Documents preferred over witnesses
In the course of a construction dispute, to prove certain facts the parties most often request the examination of evidence not only from documents, but also submit numerous requests to hear witness testimony. However, according to parliamentary findings, witness testimony tends to increase the length and cost of court proceedings, and also allows for procedural manipulations. Therefore, the parliament restricted the admissibility of witness testimony in commercial proceedings. This has had an impact on the day-to-day operations of companies.
Is an arbitration clause in a subcontract effective against the investor?
The investor and the general contractor are jointly and severally liable for the subcontractors’ fees. However, this does not automatically mean that the provisions of the agreement between the subcontractor and the general contractor will apply directly to the investor. A particular provision is an arbitration clause determining the method for pursuing claims. If the general contractor and the subcontractor have agreed to arbitration, can the subcontractor pursue the investor in arbitration as well, or must the subcontractor file suit in state court?
Is subcontracting easier? The effects of the amendment of Art. 647¹ of the Civil Code two years after adoption
Art. 647¹ of the Civil Code, providing for the investor’s secondary liability for the contractor’s debts to subcontractors, was introduced into the Polish legal system in 2003. In April 2017, the parliament amended it thoroughly in adopting the Act Amending Certain Acts to Facilitate Debt Recovery. Two years after implementation, we try to answer the question whether the title of the amending act corresponds to reality and subcontractors really have a better chance of receiving payment for their work.
Between a rock and a hard place: General contractors squeezed by investors’ joint and several liability regime
Od czasu wprowadzenia do Kodeksu cywilnego, a później również do Prawa zamówień publicznych, przepisów o solidarnej odpowiedzialności inwestora za zapłatę należną podwykonawcom robót budowlanych, generalni wykonawcy znajdują się w swoistym potrzasku – między koniecznością nadzoru i dyscyplinowania podwykonawców a presją inwestora, by ich rozliczać.
How to deprive Polish roads of billions of euros
A lot has been published on the harmful effects on the construction industry of the legal solutions proposed in the draft Act on Prevention of Abuses in Road Projects. A disadvantage of the concept of protection of local subcontractors presented by the Ministry of Justice may be to severely limit the General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways’ external financing of projects.
Railway infrastructure public or private?
The definition of “use of private railway sidings solely for one’s own purposes” requires pro-EU interpretation.
Waste Act amendment causes problems with EU funding for construction of incinerators
This year’s amendment of the Waste Act is forcing changes in the scheduling of incinerator projects. Target load start-up tests must be postponed until after the integrated permit is issued. This may give rise to claims by contractors for prolonging the project completion period because of a change in the law.