AGA Partners has successfully defended Ukrlandfarming's interests in The Federation of Oils, Seeds and Fats Associations Ltd (FOSFA) arbitration.
The dispute involved, AGA Partners reports, an unspecified Dutch companies claim to USD 8.5 million in damages resulting from Ukrlandfarming's delivery of agricultural products of "allegedly improper quality."
According to AGA Partners, "to the joy of our clients, a large Ukrainian agricultural holding, the arbitrators refused the claim in full. The last nail was the recognition of all counter claims of our client and compensation for legal and expert expenses."
Irina Moroz, Partner at AGA Partners, described the main ingredients of her team's success: “Everything is quite simple. Study seven volumes of the complainant’s claims. Pore over the EU directives for a long time. Look for gaps and weaknesses in claims. Apply the English law doctrines of satisfactory quality, fitness for purposes, quality final, etc. Add a dozen of expert opinions. Cook it for three years, let it brew, add arguments to taste. And voilà, the FOSFA tribunal meets our claim in the first instance."
In a comment to CEE Legal Matters, Moroz elaborated: “This case has fundamental importance to the interpretation of EU Regulations on quality standards applied to agricultural commodities exporting from non-EU member countries. A huge difference exists between EU quality standards and domestic legislation of non-EU countries that indeed require unification and consolidation. However, at the date we remain where we are. The application of EU quality standards gave rise to long-lasting and complicated dispute between the parties.
After analyzing dozens of Regulations, hundreds of pages of evidence, and making consultations with commodities experts we put together strong arguments and convinced the Tribunal that clear words should be used to apply EU quality standards and expand the limits of seller’s responsibility.
This case is good lesson for traders who pay no attention to quality clauses agreed in sale contracts that very often refer to EU quality standards. Beware of responsibility and consequences you undertake under such clauses!
It is also important signal to buyers who indeed always want receive high quality products, that could be achieved only with correct wording of quality clauses.”