SPCG has represented WPO ALBA S.A, a European waste management company, in a dispute involving the pick-up and management of municipal waste in a municipality in the lower Silesian voivodeship of Poland.
According to SPCG, WPO ALBA did not receive remuneration for the services it provided for the municipality after the municipality charged the company with a contractual penalty of over PLN 15 million, and deducted contractual penalty from remuneration due to the company and, "without cause refused to pay the rightful remuneration of the company."
SPCG reports that the Court of Appeals in Wroclaw "recognized the claim of the company for its remuneration, at the same time deciding that there was no legitimate basis in this case for charging the company with multi-million contractual penalties. In the court's opinion, the company duly performed all its principal duties connected with the pick-up and management of waste, and the contractual penalties were charged after the agreement has already been executed. Therefore, they did not perform the function of mobilizing the company to properly perform its contractual obligations and were only charged in connection with incidental dues, which the appellant court found as disloyal and contrary to the function of contractual penalties. Furthermore, the municipality did not prove that because of the incidental dues it incurred any damages."
As a result, the court decided that the contractual penalties should be lowered from PLN 15 million to PLN 50,000 — 0.3% of their Initial value.
The SPCG team was led by Partner Krystian Radlowski, with the help of Senior Associate Pawel Wec and Associate Pawel Lekawski.