Our team has acted as a strategic legal counsel alongside with Skrastins & Dzenis before the Latvian Supreme Court in the case regarding the recognition and enforcement of the judgment given by the Court of Appeal of Lithuania. The matter concerned the interim measures granted by the Court of Appeal of Lithuania in an early stage of a private competition enforcement case, in which the Lithuanian national air carriage flyLAL (undergoing the bankruptcy process) has brought a claim against the Latvian air carriage AirBaltic and Riga International Airport. The interim measures were set according to the amount of the claim and amounted to almost 58 million Euro.
After Vidzemes regional court and Riga district court recognised the judgment and granted the declaration of enforceability, the cassation appeal was brought before the Supreme Court of Latvia by the judgment debtors. The Supreme Court of Latvia decided to refer the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union for a preliminary ruling in order to get answers as to the application of Articles 5, 22, 31, 34 and 35 of the Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001.
The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that in accordance with Regulation No 44/2001 the Supreme Court of Latvia has a right to recognise and enforce the judgment given in another Member State, despite the claim being partly based the defendants’ actions arising out of the application of legislative acts, when they act in commercial relations. Moreover, the Court of Justice of the European Union decided that neither the amount of interim measures, nor the calculation methods of the amount (with the condition that such calculation methods can be retraced) could be grounds to refuse the enforcement of a judgment due to the violation of public policy of a Member State.
Nevertheless, the Supreme Court of Latvia decided to refuse recognition and enforcement of the judgment by the Court of Appeal of Lithuania due to violation of public policy and national security of Latvia. The full decision will be announced 4 December, 2015.