“Strict” warranty liability: A risky convention
In M&A practice, and elsewhere, share transfer agreements customarily provide for the seller’s warranty liability, for example, for breach of representations and warranties. This type of liability is grounded on principles of freedom of contract stemming from Art. 3531 of the Polish Civil Code. Although warranty liability is commonly referred to in Polish as “strict” (i.e. based on assumption of risk—na zasadzie ryzyka), strict liability is a completely different construction, expressly provided for by the Civil Code. Thus commercial practice is imprecise in this regard. In extreme cases, using this wording in contracts can generate problems, including interpretive disputes over the basis of liability under such agreements.