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2021-06-doc3 Insight into insolvency law of Poland

Last month it has been 15 years that Poland became Member State of the EU. Since a few weeks – with the introduction of changes to Annex A of the EU Insolvency Regulation (EIR 2015) – we know that Poland now has seven (!) listen insolvency proceedings, with in Annex B also mentioning seven national names for persons acting as insolvency practitioner.

Seven insolvency proceedings. And the country comes from (only) three proceedings and names! From the outside, it certainly looks that much has been changed. In the former Annex A (connected to the EIR 2015), I gather, one sees reflected Polish insolvency law system, consisting of its Bankruptcy Law Act of 2003 (mainly focusing on liquidation) and its 2015 Restructuring Law Act setting out the terms of the arrangement between the insolvent (or threatened by insolvency) debtor and the creditors. These proceedings found their place in one Act. What happened since then is set out by legal Rafał Adamus in his recent book Polish Bankruptcy and Restructuring Law for Entrepreneurs and Consumers. The author works at the University of Opole.

The book’s content.  Adamus sets out (in close to 200 pages) bankruptcy and restructuring law in Poland. He explains that Poland closely followed significant changes in national laws by several EU Member States, including (neighbour countries) Germany and the Czech Republic. The amendment of the law in Poland in general aligns with the core trend in Europe since the economic-financial crises since 2008. His book is organised in four divided in four parts.

The first relates to general problems in Polish insolvency law. They are rather familiar to many of us: where does ‘insolvency and restructuring law’ fit in the Polish system of law (majority in literature believes it is a separate and independent branch of law), digitalization of proceedings, the State Treasury’s preference, or rather the lack of it, apart from social insurance claims). This part closes with some international remarks, but the reader will not find how the UNCITRAL Model Law is taken into account, where Poland is one of the four Member States reportedly having enacted the Model Law. Part two covers bankruptcy of entrepreneurs and part three the restructuring of entrepreneurs (including a special simplified restructuring proceeding due to COVID-19). The last and final part focuses on consumer insolvency with attention for the different modes of debt relief the legislation offers, its legal character as well as the issue of ‘payment morality’.

I understand that Poland is in the process of adopting legislation on the basis of the EU Restructuring Directive (2019/1023). As a matter of fact, the majority of Member States have opted (Article 34(2) Directive) for an extension of the implementation date to July 2022, mainly referring to the disrupted process of legislation, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In all, the guide is a timely and detailed guide to get better understanding of the Polish restructuring and insolvency law.

Rafał Adamus, Polish Bankruptcy and Restructuring Law for Entrepreneurs and Consumers. Publisher: Uniwersytet Opolski, 2021. ISBN 9788373959187

Note: this book I received free of charge from the publisher with the request to announce it or to review it on my blog at www.bobwessels.nl.