FBK Legal Represents Lessee in Dispute over Enforcement of Agreement Concluded by Email

12 January 2023

Our client entered into a contract to lease a restaurant space in a business centre. In 2020, the government passed Law No. 98-FZ that permitted lessees to terminate leases unilaterally if the lessor refused to reduce lease payments. The company used the law to ask for a discount to lease payments and a unilateral termination right.

The lessee arranged negotiations and sent a draft supplementary agreement approved in email correspondence. However, the lessor refused to acknowledge that the agreement had been concluded.

To defend the lessee, our lawyers Elizaveta Kapustina, Alexandra Gerasimova and Evgeniy Gallyamov developed an effective defence strategy, gathered evidence and represented the company in court. Thanks to our litigation support, the client managed to prove that the supplementary agreement had been concluded by email offer acceptance. The court of first instance ruled that the agreement had been concluded in the revision permitting the lessee (our client) to repudiate the contract. The court of appeal upheld the ruling. You can read the court decision in Russian using this link: https://kad.arbitr.ru/Document/Pdf/3b00a1dd-3008-49b3-8018-68334c5974a9/739ae23c-8dc5-490a-9247-5a1469947ec2/A40-264481-2021_20221214_Postanovlenie_apelljacionnoj_instancii.pdf?isAddStamp=True

The case sets a precedent, as claims of that kind are rare in Russia, and there are no established court practice concerning email correspondence and agreement conclusion in such a manner.

It was very important for the client to terminate the lease contract to avoid unreasonably big lease payments and continue its operations in other leased premises.

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