The Court of Appeal in Kraków dismissed the appeal of the Plaintiff against the judgement of the Regional Court in Kraków, favourable for the Firm’s Client. Thereby the Court of Appeal upheld the ruling of the Court of the first instance, on the basis of which the claim against the Firm’s Client had been dismissed. The Plaintiff – a company leading a large international capital group, in which the Firm’s client was a member of the management board – demanded the amount of nearly PLN 3.000.000. That amount was indicated as the up-front payment of the annual bonus, allegedly unduly paid because (as stated by the Plaintiff) in the moment of confirmation of the annual financial report, that regulated the final amount of the annual bonus, the Firm’s Client was no longer a member of the board.
Dismissing the company’s appeal, the Court of Appeal fully agreed with the arguments raised by the Firm. The Court found no undue payment (i.e. payment without the basis due to expiry of the management contract before the date of the confirmation of the annual financial report) in favour of the Firm’s client. Analogously as the Regional Court, the Court of Appeal acknowledged the Firm’s statement that the annual bonus (or bonuses – according to the Defendant the transferred amounts were paid to him as advances for the quarterly bonuses, with annual compensation) was an integral part of the remuneration and thereby – pursuant to the article 746 § 1 of the Civil Code – it was due as the part of remuneration for the activities performed hitherto.
According to the Court of Appeal, there was no reasonable argument that would justify considering the benefits paid during the performance of the function as undue payments, especially since in another proceedings the Court of Appeal awarded the Firm’s client with bonuses for further periods – proportionally, until the day of the management contract’s expiry. The ruling of the Court in this matter is non-appealable.
File number: I AGa 291/20