Živković Samardžić’s dispute resolution team has recently achieved a major victory at the Supreme Court of Cassation. The firm has represented Vojvodjanska banka a.d. Novi Sad, member of the National Bank of Greece Group in civil proceedings related to a bank guarantee issued by legal predecessor of Vojvodjanska banka a.d. to Moscow Investment bank as a collateral for USD 3 million loan granted to petrochemical plant HIP Pančevo.
Vojvodjanska banka a.d. Novi Sad was a defendant in a litigation initiated by PFHC Establishment, a company from Liechtenstein to whom receivables related to USD 3 million loan originally granted by Moscow Investment bank to the Serbian petrochemical plant HIP Pančevo, were assigned. Once the original loan was granted, legal predecessor of Vojvodjanska banka a.d. issued a bank guarantee as a collateral.
In lengthy proceedings, it was established that Moscow Investment bank returned the original of the guarantee with an explanation that the transaction was completed, but later on had sent a swift message demanding the guarantee back and claiming that it was returned by mistake of an employee.
The Commercial court in Pančevo initially rejected all PFHC Establishment claims in 2010. However, that decision was quashed and a retrial ordered by the Commercial Appellate Court upon plaintiff’s appeal in 2013. Živković Samardžić were retained to represent Vojvodjanska banka a.d. since the commencement of the retrial. The first instance judgement in the retrial was once again in favor of Vojvodjanska banka a.d., but this time it was confirmed by the Commercial Appellate Court in September 2015 and now finally by the Supreme Court of Cassation.
In essence, the Supreme Court of Cassation confirmed the standpoint of Živković Samardžić lawyers that the form prescribed for interbank communication concerning bank guarantees was not followed by the Moscow Investment bank’s swift message sent to the defendant after the original of the guarantee was returned, and for those reasons the swift message produced no legal consequences.