Latvijas Kuģniecība

Fee of law office of sworn advocate Grūtups in the case of BB creditors could exceed 13 million lats


Fee of law office of sworn advocate Grūtups in the case of BB creditors could exceed 13 million lats

june 19, 2012 / News

The current Management Board of JSC “Latvijas kuģniecība” (Latvian Shipping Company - LSC) holds the view that financing legal proceedings in the case of creditors of “Banka Baltija” is groundless and is not to be supported. In 2005, the LSC Management Board of that time assented to an agreement which is extremely disadvantageous to LSC – with law office of sworn advocate Andris Grūtups, which represented all creditors of JSC “Banka Baltija” (BB) in court in the case on recovery of 238 million lats from the Bank of Latvia and from the state in the person of the Ministry of Finance.

The total fee that the law office of sworn advocate A.Grūtups would receive from LSC in case of satisfying the claim of BB creditors could be 13.6 million lats; i.e., according to the agreement concluded by the former LSC Management Board, Grutups law office’s fee comprised of an outrageous 50% of the claim won by  LSC, not including VAT. Taking into account VAT of 22%, the law office’s fee would constitute 62% of the claim amount of LSC, which is 22.45 million lats according to the administrator of BB. The previous Management Board of LSC has already paid over 1 million lats to the law office of sworn advocate A.Grūtups.

In 2005, before concluding this disadvantageous agreement, the previous LSC Management Board twice refused to finance legal proceedings of BB creditors, holding a view that prospects of recovering its deposits into Banka Baltija are rather low. However, later – as a result of probable external pressure, which possibly can be linked to interests of a head of a municipality – an agreement that is grossly disadvantageous to the company was concluded. The LSC Management Board was possibly hiding the existence of this agreement from the State Social Insurance Agency (SSIA).

The present Chairman of the Management Board of LSC Simon Blaydes explains that “currently the management of Latvian Shipping Company has initiated legal proceedings in order to recognize this incommensurable fee of the advocate as non-compliant with the Advocacy Law and to recover the sum. The Management Board of Latvian Shipping Company, just as the State Social Insurance Agency, which owns 10% of the company’s shares, is interested in effective administration of the company in accordance with good and fair business practice.”

There was no representative of SSIA in the Supervisory Council of LSC in 2005, one was appointed in the Supervisory Council only in February of 2008.