It is about time to pay the bills

The lawyers of Kazakov and Partners Attorneys at Law successfully defended the interests of principal in the dispute on collection the debt for promissory note, for a total amount of more than 800 million rubles.

Arbitrazh Court (Court of commercial disputes) of the Moscow District has completed the process of collecting the debt for promissory note, which had been continuing for more than 2.5 years.

OAO Regiongazholding filed a lawsuit against the bank which is a backer of a bill on a promissory note for the recovery of the debt for promissory note. The period of payment for the note is on presentation, but not earlier than 31 December 2014.

The drawer of promissory note was a legal entity excluded from the state register of companies in 2008, as in fact it terminated its activities (clause 2 of art. 21.1. of Federal Law of Russian Federation from 08.08.2001 No. 129).

In view of the fact that drawer was excluded from the state register of companies in 2008 and the claim to the defendant, as a backer of a bill, was filed in 2015, the defendant declared about limitation of action by plaintiff.

The court of First instance didn`t uphold the plaintiff’s position that the period of promissory note was not passed, and rejected claim in full, considering the exclusion of drawer from the state register of companies as liquidation, applying the relevant legal effects. The position of the Court of First instance was also upheld by the Court of Appeal.

Despite the controversial judicial practice on the commencement of the duration of making of demands on note to backer of a bill, in connection with the liquidation of drawer, as well as its de facto absence in the case of the exclusion of drawer from register of companies under clause 2 of art. 21.1. Of Federal Law of Russian Federation from 08.08.2001 No. 129) the office’s lawyers in the Court of Cassation have been able to prove that the findings of the lower courts on the plaintiff’s admission of statutes of limitations are not based on the law, cause at the time of the exclusion of drawer from register of companies by a decision of the tax Authority (2008), the exclusion of de facto ceased legal persons from register of companies was not a liquidation in the legal sense of the word and did not entail the relevant legal effects Related to the maturity of all obligations, including the Bill of Exchange. Therefore, the plaintiff did not have the obligation to request to the backer of a bill for recovering the promissory debt amount of the previously established payment term of note.

The Court of Cassation, in supporting the plaintiff’s arguments, revoked the court acts of the lower courts and sent the case for a new examination.

The defendant made a complaint with the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, but the Supreme Court, in supporting the position of the Court of Cassation, refused in acceptance of the complaint.

At a new trial, The Moscow City Arbitrazh Court (Court of commercial disputes), despite numerous statements and motions by the defendant, including the omission of the limitation period, the summons of witnesses, the claim for documents and evidence, satisfied the plaintiff’s claims for the recovery of the debt for promissory note, interest and the full court costs.

Later, in the Court of Appeal, the defendant filed petitions for the falsification of evidence, the appointment and examination of the signature of the guarantor, the signature of the endorser, the summoning of witnesses, and the requirement for documents and the admission of new evidence. It stands to mention that the court granted the defendant’s request for documents and the admission of new evidence, despite the fact that the defendant did not apply for its requisitioning and admission in the Court of First instance, which is extremely rare for the appellate court. Despite all the efforts of the defendant, the lawyers of the Bureau were able to defend their legal position and leave the decision of the Court of First instance in force.

In its turn, the Court of Cassation, after examining the defendant’s complaint, left the previous judicial acts unchanged by accepting the plaintiff’s position on all contentious issues.

This case is of particular interest to lawyer specializing in the bill law, as it solves the question of the current length of the promissory note, the endorsement by an improper person, the liability of the backer of a bill in the liquidation of drawer.

The interests of OAO Regiongazholding were represented by attorney Alina Bratishheva and lawyer Gregory Skripilev.

The project coordinator was Andrey Trushin, the partner at Kazakov and Partners Attorneys at Law.