13 March 2014
In February 2014, New Balkans Law Office successfully completed two further property disputes between British-based individual buyers of Bulgarian properties and two major Bulgarian construction companies. The properties which were the subject of the disputes were near the ski resorts of Bansko and Pamporovo in the South of Bulgaria. One of the cases was heard by the Arbitration Court of the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, while the other by the District Court of Haskovo.
Attorney Stoyan Petkov led NBLO’s dispute resolution team in these two cases.
The total size of our clients’ claims was in excess of EUR 320,000.
In both disputes, the defendants had failed to honour what they had agreed under contracts with the buyers, namely – had failed to complete all construction and finishing works on the contractual time schedule.
In one of the cases, the legal issues were aggravated by the interposition of an offshore company between the developer and the buyers, to which all payments of the purchase monies had been ordered over time. This posed complex issues of proof and causation under Bulgarian law.
However, in both cases the judge and arbitrator honoured NBLO’s submissions via Mr Petkov on behalf of the Claimants and found in favour if the claimants.
New Balkans Law Office regularly acts for clients involved in real estate related disputes surrounding prior purchases of Bulgarian properties. We have a very strong track record of success in these property disputes, and have achieved favourable results for several hundred individuals since the mid-2000s when the booming interest and construction of Bulgarian property began.
Stopping the improper use of insolvency proceedings
A client of our dispute resolution team (led by Kamen Shoylev and Yordan Neshkov) was recently the subject of an indirect claim by a Bulgarian bank with which this client has been engaged in a multi-stage dispute. Unusually, the bank acted through a vehicle registered in an African state, which made an unfounded claim in the tens of millions of euros against our client and sought the commencement of judicial insolvency proceedings against this client. The offshore vehicle was chosen to isolate the bank from liability and create certain evidential difficulties for our client's representation.
NBLO succeeded in terminating the insolvency proceedings, with direct loss fully awarded to our client. A second claim to recover our client's indirect losses is currently under way.
Where targeted in this way through insolvency proceedings, a company may be prevented from trading properly (e.g., by suffering restrictions on its financing or being unable to participate in public procurement).
Through our considerable experience in insolvency litigation, both entirely domestic and where there are European and cross-border elements, we are ideally placed to assist clients in resisting such attacks and recovering the real and considerable losses that may be suffered.
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