Polish Supreme Court judgment
dated 6 December 2005
(Case No. I CK 324/05)
Summary by arbitraż.laszczuk.pl:
In 1995 Z.N. sp. z o.o. and W.Z.K. sp. z o.o. entered into a cooperation agreement including an arbitration clause calling for disputes arising out of the agreement to be decided by four arbitrators, two appointed by each side. In 2003 W.Z.K. sp. z o.o. obtained an award against Z.N. The fee for the work under the agreement was based on an hourly rate in US dollars, but the award was in Polish zloty. The award was issued by four arbitrators (one of them presiding). The presiding arbitrator and one other arbitrator signed the agreement without reservation, but the other two added the words “signature and notation below.” In the notation each of them stated, “I do not agree with the assessment.” They also initialled the other pages of the award.
The regional court set aside the award, finding that two of the arbitrators had failed to sign the award and thus it was not signed by a majority of the arbitrators. On appeal, the appellate court reversed and remanded the case, holding that the notations by the two arbitrators should be treated as a concurring opinion rather than refusal to sign the award. On rehearing, the regional court denied the petition to set aside the award. The appellate court denied the appeal, finding that all of the arbitrators had signed the agreement and that it did not violate the Polish Civil Code for an obligation to be paid in Polish zloty even though the original amount was stated in US dollars.
The Supreme Court denied the cassation appeal.
Excerpt from the text of the court’s ruling:
Refusal to sign an award, which is contrary to the assumptions of the procedure before the arbitration court and may, for example, result in liability to the parties for loss, should be stated expressly and not done in an implicit manner.