Restructuring proposals.
15 grudnia 2018

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In restructuring proceedings - subject to the exceptions referred to in art. 156 sec. 3-4 R.L. - there are no numerus clausus proposals for restructuring liabilities. The legislator indicated in the act only exemplary types of restructuring of obligations. The arrangement proposals may indicate one or more restructuring methods. Thus, the legislator introduced, in the wake of the concept adopted in the Bankruptcy and Reorganization Law in 2003, a general competence pattern stemming from the construction of the autonomy of the will.[1] The open catalog of arrangement proposals fully meets the needs of modern legal transactions.[2] Restructuring law is a multitude of restructuring paths and a multitude of restructuring methods. Multidimensionality is a sign of time. At present, one can speak of "named" arrangement proposals, that is, those listed in the Act and "unnamed arrangement proposals."
Arrangement proposals, if the explicit provision does not state otherwise, may include any legal measure that will allow the most satisfactory satisfaction of the claim.
The current legal status thus opens the way to even very sophisticated restructuring structures.
By the way, it is worth emphasizing that, in accordance with art. 8 Entrepreneurs' Law Act of 6th March 2018 any debtor - entrepreneur may take any action, except for those prohibited by law. Therefore, an entrepreneur in restructuring may propose in the restructuring proceedings the conclusion of such an arrangement, which is not prohibited by law.

 

The arrangement proposals may indicate one (mono-proposals) or more ways of restructuring (multi-proposals). Therefore, the entitled person can submit homogeneous or different arrangement proposals. In practice, the vast majority of entities present multi-proposals arrangement. Various arrangement proposals may be addressed to all creditors (in the case of a unitary agreement), and in the case of the division of creditors into groups (Article 161 R.L.) it is perfectly acceptable to submit different arrangement proposals for individual groups. When submitting various arrangement proposals, one should take into account the principle of equal treatment of creditors (pari passu principle), which will be discussed later in this report. It is permissible to apply various arrangement proposals to individual parts of the claim. However, various arrangement proposals cannot interfere with each other and lead to conflicting conclusions. The arrangement proposals should constitute a closed whole.
The arrangement proposals (in connection with the existence of the so-called restructuring and liquidation arrangement) may have the character of restructuring and liquidation proposals.


The arrangement proposals may be independent or accessory, i.e. they may only occur in combination with other arrangement proposals. The arrangement proposals may be universal in the sense that they can be submitted in the restructuring proceedings of each entity (i.e. reducing the sum of debts). The arrangement proposals may also be specific, limited to a selected group of debtor (i.e. conversion of claims for shares or stocks may only take place in the case of a debtor being a company limited by shares or joint stock company.


The legislator as the principle accepts an open catalog of arrangement proposals as to their type (content), and additionally sec. 2 art. 154 R.L. does not limit the number of these proposals. The "freedom" of the arrangement proposals should be considered a positive phenomenon, even at the cost of hindering the arrangement's judicial review. In the absence of a closed list of arrangement proposals, the question arises about legal boundaries for arrangement proposals.


First of all, the boundaries for arrangement proposals are laid down in the provisions on restructuring proceedings. First of all, they will be art. 156 sec.. 3 and art. 160 sec. 1 R.L., which for some types of restructured receivables provide for a closed catalog of arrangement proposals. The boundaries for arrangement proposals in proceedings regarding the restructuring of obligations under an employment relationship are set out in a special provision of art. 163 sec.. 1 R.L. Further, it should be pointed out the general provisions on the nature and aims of restructuring proceedings. As a consequence, no arrangement proposals may be added to enhance the current status of the debtor's liabilities. The arrangement proposals should also not violate the obligation of equal treatment of creditors resulting from the standard - pari passu principle (Article 162 R.L.). In setting the boundaries for the arrangement proposals, some help is provided by the provisions on the grounds for refusing approval of the agreement (Article 165 sec. 1 R.L.). The refusal to approve the arrangement is a sanction for non-compliance of the arrangement proposals with the law (lex perfecta). On the basis of the previously binding legal status, the view was expressed that the obviousness of non-performance of the arrangement cannot serve as a determinant of the content of the arrangement proposals. This premise concerns not the content of the arrangement and its implementation. In addition, the content of art. 165 sec. 1 R.L. indicates that the legislator distinguishes between the law and the actual circumstance in the form of impossibility of implementing the arrangement.

 

Secondly, legal boundaries for arrangement proposals should be seen in the text of Article 353 [1 ] Civil Code even if only the public claims were under restructuring. The manner of complying with public law liabilities subject to the arrangement is determined by the arrangement excluding the provisions of the Tax Ordinance or other public law provisions. The content of the arrangement should have the same boundaries as the content of the contract under private law. The content and purpose of the arrangement cannot be opposed to the law or the rules of social coexistence (i.e. in the case of excessive debt reduction). Compliance of the content and purpose of the arrangement proposals with the nature of the arrangement in restructurization proceedings can be derived from general provisions on the procedure. In the literature on the subject, P. Machnikowski pointed out that the provision of art. 353 [1] Civil Code is a competence standard.[3] Consequently, any act carried out outside the scope of competence specified in the Act (ie Article 353[1] Civil Code) is an action contrary to the Act, even if the exceeding of competences would consist in arranging a legal relationship in a manner contrary to the Act or the legal relationship.


The principle of freedom of contract refers to contractual legal relations. Therefore, thirdly, the limits of the arrangement proposals should be sought in the text of art. 58 Civil Code, in the context of arrangement proposals, which may sometimes be relations of property law (see Article 151 R.L.). The arrangement proposals should therefore be in accordance with the law and principles of social coexistence.


The limit of the number of restructuring proposals is basically open. The arrangement proposal can only be one. In practice, pragmatic considerations are a barrier to multiplying the number of proposals, because the more complex the system is in legal terms, the greater the legal risk involved.

 

[1] R. Adamus, Dopuszczalność podziału wierzycieli na kategorie interesów w układzie częściowym, Przegląd Prawa Handlowego 2018, no 2, p. 35

[2] A. Witosz, Restrukturyzacja spółek handlowych jako propozycje układowe w upadłości z możliwością zawarcia układu spółek handlowych, Prawo Spółek 2003, No 11, p. 2., A. Lubicz-Posochowska, M. Kuźnik, Swoboda kształtowania propozycji układowych w postępowaniu upadłościowym z możliwością zawarcia układu, in: Ustawowe ograniczenia swobody umów. Zagadnienia wybrane, B. Gnela, Warszawa 2010, p. 194, A. Lubicz-Posochowska, Układ w postępowaniu upadłościowym – jego materialne przesłanki i charakter prawny, Katowice 2015, p. 66.

[3] P. Machnikowski, Swoboda umów według art. 3531 k.c. Konstrukcja prawna, Warszawa 2005, p. 209

 

 

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