JULY 2021

The administrative court reinstated the illegally dismissed environmentalist
The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court annulled the illegal orders of the Director of the Department of Environmental Protection under the Ministry of Environment regarding the imposition of disciplinary sanctions on the head of the Regional Environmental Inspectorate and reinstated him in office.
With the help of a lawyer from the law firm SPES, the environmentalist proved that he had been dismissed unjustifiably. The court found that the client of the firm did not commit an official misconduct, and the Department of Environmental Protection violated, among other things, the procedures and deadlines for imposing an official penalty.
After examining the dispute, the court clarified that a service penalty could not be imposed if 6 months had elapsed from the date of the alleged violation. Although the law provides for an exception in cases where an official misconduct is detected during an audit, revision of monetary or other valuables (inventory) or when an official or other inspection of a competent authority is carried out, the court has clarified that this exception does not apply when the procedure for imposing an official penalty lasts longer than 6 months. Thus, the court found that the sanctioning authority could not, by way of exceptions to the law, justify its inaction or negligence in infringement proceedings, and that the procedure for imposing an official penalty could not be equated with an investigation carried out by a competent authority.
Arbitration is an effective way of resolving business disputes.

The Vilnius Commercial Arbitration examined the dispute between the law firm’s client and the Greek company regarding the fulfillment of contractual obligations in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The arbitration decision found that the business environment and the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic are not in themselves recognized as force majeure. Pursuant to the provisions of Article 79 of the 1980 United Nations Vienna Convention on the International Sale of Goods, the arbitral tribunal ruled that the conclusion of a contract after the declaration of a pandemic eliminates the possibility of relieving the party of its contractual obligations on the basis of the difficulties caused by the pandemic, moreover, the mere fact that a party does not have the necessary financial resources cannot, in the view of the arbitral tribunal, in itself be regarded as a case of force majeure.
We are pleased that the arbitration process was efficient and expeditious, which is especially important in resolving business disputes.
The president of the Hunting Club, who illegally misappropriated the funds of this club, will not only have to return the money, but also compensate for the damage done.

The court examined the dispute between the Hunting Club and its former president regarding the latter’s misappropriation of hunting club funds – contributions of club members.
The change in the management of the Hunting Club revealed that the former president of the club used the hunters' contributions, amounting to almost EUR 30000, for his own personal use, with the result that the club did not pay any fees for the use of hunted animal resources. Due to the non-payment of the latter fee, the club was subject to an increased contribution rate and accrued interest.
After assessing the situation, the court defended the interests of the Hunting Club represented by the lawyer of the law firm and ordered the former president of the club, who had acted dishonestly, to pay not only the funds obtained without a legal basis, but also compensation for all damages caused to the club.

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