Our dispute resolution team successfully represented Compagnie Française d’Assurance pour le Commerce Extérieur (Coface), a credit insurance institute, in a civil dispute concerning the recovery of debt and default interest amounting to EUR 2.3 million. The client was successful before the courts of all instances, and with a recent decision by the Supreme Court’ the judgment in the client’s favour came into force.

Obligation to pay for goods

The case concerned international supply of goods: the client offered short-term credit guarantee insurance for exporters and had acquired the right to claim from the sellers by assignment. The respondent argued that it was not the actual purchaser of the goods but was acting only as an authorised agent based on a cooperation agreement, and that the claim should have been filed against the actual recipient of goods. In addition, the respondent challenged the assignment of claims, arguing that such an assignment is not binding to the debtor.

The Court’s decision

The Court found that a a commercial relationship had developed between the sellers and the defendant in purchasing and selling goods under the 1980 UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG). Additionally, the court concluded that the collaboration agreement between the defendant and its cooperation partners was not per se binding on the sellers and did not relate to the claim or the subject matter of the claim. The court emphasised that the CISG does not provide for contractual relations per se to be established between the consignor and the final recipient of the goods but only between the parties who have exchanged an offer and acceptance, which was proven in this case. In light of the arguments above, the courts of all instances upheld the client’s claim for recovery of the debt and default interest.

Our team

Partner Valts Nerets, senior associate Agita Sprūde and legal assistant Paula Šūtava handled the case.