23 February 2011
Recent amendments (in force since the 15th of February, 2011) in the Bulgarian Commerce Act (“CA”) have created new provisions: arts 21 (3) 3, Art. 57(4) and art. 141(8) 8, CA. These introduce stricter requirements for the eligibility of procurators (прокуристи), sole traders and managing directors of private limited companies (LLCs). As a result, one will be ineligible for a procurator, sole trader and managing director of a LLC if he or she was declared bankrupt or was a director, a member of a managing or supervisory body of a company, which was itself dissolved or wound-up due to insolvency in the two years immediately preceding the date of the winding-up judgment, where such an insolvency has left any unsatisfied creditors.
Similar restrictions were already in place for members of the boards of directors, the managing and the supervising boards of joint-stock companies but are now extended to private limited companies and sole traderships.
The recent changes to the Commerce Act were motivated by a desire to clamp down on non-payment of public debts. This was said to be causing losses to the state coffers and had the risk of skewing competition. One way to restrict non-compliance was to penalise individuals supervising such breaches.
Due to the introduction of the new restrictions, the Registry Agency (housing the Bulgarian company register) has announced that declarations for non-existence of the circumstances listed in Art. 21, Para 3, Art. 57, point 4 and Art. 141, Para 8, CA will be required with immediate effect for all new filings. Failure to declare accordingly would most likely lead to a refusal for registration of the filing.
A win in an insurance exclusion clause dispute at the Supreme Court
NBLO's dispute resolution team, led by Yordan Neshkov, secured a success against a large Bulgarian insurer in a claim brought on behalf of a UK national, who had lost her property in a fire. The insurer had refused to pay out under the insurance, on the grounds that a widely drawn clause in its general terms allegedly excused it from paying whenever there was a breach of building regulations, even if (as was accepted in this case) this breach was invisible externally, could not be discovered through reasonable investigation and was not caused by the insured. NBLO had good reasons to argue that this position was unsupported in the Bulgarian Insurance Code or civil law generally and persuaded the Supreme Cassation Court to back it. This is covered more fully in an article on our website.
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