A draft law has been submitted to the State Duma based on the outcome of the case of PJSC T Plus which Pepeliaev Group’s lawyers won previously in the Russian Constitutional Court
The Government has submitted a draft law to the State Duma to amend articles 126 and 134 of the Law on insolvency (bankruptcy) in furtherance of the Russian Constitutional Court’s Resolution No. 4-P dated 1 February 2022.
The amendments stipulate the extraordinary nature of expenses, including those which were incurred within the scope of general business operations but were aimed at preventing man-made or environmental disasters and their consequences or loss of life.
In February, based on the appeal drafted by our experts, the Constitutional Court held that article 134(1)(2) of the Federal Law On bankruptcy (insolvency) was inconsistent with the Russian Constitution. The lack of clarity in the case law with regard to determining the extraordinary nature of expenses necessary to prevent disasters and their after-effects served as the ground.
Yulia Litovtseva, a partner at Pepeliaev Group who represented the interests of PJSC T Plus in the Constitutional Court, commented as follows on the draft law: “The draft law not only stipulates the principal approaches of the Constitutional Court formulated in the resolution on the T Plus’s appeal. Most importantly, it is the provision of increased guarantees, in the form of the priority discharge of claims, to creditors who are forced to provide their services to a company that is going bankrupt to prevent hazardous consequences. It is essential that a list of criteria has been included in the draft law which characterise the imminent nature of a threat or a need to prevent the consequences which were specified.
The efficiency of the proposed regulation is increased by the right of a court-appointed administrator to discharge, without seeking prior authorisation from a court, a creditor’s claims which are based on the obligations to prevent the threats listed.
It is of the utmost importance that the draft law does not link the nature of creditors’ claims to any specific industry or types of resources necessary to handle the tasks which are being considered. This means that not only companies that supply resources but also enterprises from other industries will be able to count on the priority discharge of claims relating to obligations which meet the criteria that have been established”.