Litigation in Bulgaria is the typical method for resolving different issues and disputes. Usually litigation in Bulgaria can be resolved with out-of-court settlements but if there is no agreement between both parties the dispute will be heard in front of a judge. When a dispute has to be brought to court that means there is no other resolution of the issue. It is really difficult for foreigners to represent themselves in case of a litigation in Bulgaria not only because they don’t know the language but they’re not familiar with the legislation in the country. This applies for citizens, businessmen, companies, etc. We at Mikov & Attorneys provide to small and medium enterprises assistance when it comes to dealing with litigation in Bulgaria. We can help you resolve various issues with your business in Bulgaria or disputes with Bulgarian shareholders.
Litigation in Bulgaria is the same as in any other country. It is a process between two opposing parties to enforce or defend their legal rights. Most of the times litigation in Bulgaria is settled through an agreement between both parties, also known as plaintiffs and defendants. An agreement between two sides can be achieved in three ways – settlement, mediation and arbitration. If the two sides are not able to reach an out-of-court agreement the litigation in Bulgaria is brought to the Bulgarian court and a judge renders a verdict.
Usually a lot of people tend to mix up litigation in Bulgaria with lawsuit but they should know that there are major differences between the two terms. Litigation in Bulgaria includes every activity, that happens before, during and after a lawsuit that tends to enforce legal right. In addition to the lawsuit process, there are a lot of activities that may take part in the process of litigation in Bulgaria, such as pre-suit negotiations, facilitations, arbitrations and others. We at Mikov & Attorneys can provide legal advice and help for resolving any disputes and litigations in Bulgaria.
Usually litigation in Bulgaria can be resolved without the need of a trial. The alternatives of the litigation in Bulgaria usually save a lot of time and money, but sometimes they still don’t lead to a final resolution of the dispute. In general, there are 3 ways a litigation in Bulgaria can be resolved without going to trial: settlement, mediation and arbitration.
Every time a dispute arises between two parties it is a good idea to try finding a way to resolve it with out-of-court actions. Indeed, most matters can be settled before even reaching the trial stage. Settlement can be discussed and achieved by both parties at any time of the litigation in Bulgaria. Usually this method of resolving disputes can save both sides money, because it doesn’t need any court actions. Usually settlement of the litigation in Bulgaria is not discussed or promoted in court and it is an agreement between the two sides. In some cases, one or both parties can request court’s assistance in reaching a settlement for the litigation in Bulgaria.
Mediation is one of the alternatives to litigation in Bulgaria and it is similar to settlement but in this case the court is not involved to provide assistance in reaching a settlement, but a third, neutral party is included, known as “the mediator”. The mediator plays the same role as the court in reaching a settlement. Her job is to help resolving the litigation in Bulgaria. The parties can select a mediator who then has separate, private meetings with both sides. The mediator also helps both parties identify possible risks of the case and advices them to take those risks in consideration when it comes to taking a final decision. The most important thing is that the mediator cannot enforce both sides to agree with a settlement that can resolve the litigation in Bulgaria.
Arbitration is the third alternative to litigation in Bulgaria. It has combined an out-of-court agreement and the trial. In this situation both parties shall have agreed in writing that the dispute is subject to arbitration (the so-called “arbitration clause”), appoint a third neutral side, also known as “arbitrator”. Its main goal is to resolve the arbitration litigation in Bulgaria. In the arbitration process both parties present evidence and argue the case. After that the arbitrator must decide which party wins the argument. This process is very similar to a trial but it’s still an out-of-court settlement of the litigation in Bulgaria. Arbitration is often preferred when it comes to commercial agreements. When the litigation in Bulgaria is settled with a binding arbitration, that ruling usually cannot be appealed in front of a court unless contradicting with mandatory provisions of the law and the rules for equal participation of the parties in the proceedings.
Generally, court litigation in Bulgaria develops in 4 different stages.
First instance court litigation in Bulgaria
The first instance court litigation in Bulgaria involves the investigation and filling up the statement of claim. During the first stage of the litigation in Bulgaria, a lawyer starts the investigation of the factual basis of the claim and the legal theories of liability. After the claim is filed together with all available written evidence, the defendant party in the litigation in Bulgaria shall be officially notified by the court and shall submit its position, also known as a “response”. Usually it denies the allegations, filed by the offender party and denies any liability for the claim. The judge shall schedule open court hearings for the litigation in Bulgaria where witnesses and experts appointed by the court may be questioned by the judge and the parties. Once the judge decides that all facts on the case of the litigation in Bulgaria are clear, the parties present their final oral arguments, and the case is closed. The judge renders the decision in close chambers and officially notifies the parties on its content. The first court instance of the litigation in Bulgaria may take one to three years depending on the complexity of the dispute.
Second instance court litigation in Bulgaria
Within two weeks after the notification for the first instance court decision in the litigation in Bulgaria the parties are entitled to appeal it before the second instance court. Under certain conditions the panel of three judges may allow new written and oral evidence. This stage of court litigation in Bulgaria usually takes one and a half year.
Third instance court litigation in Bulgaria
The third final stage of court litigation in Bulgaria is the cassation stage, which in contrast to the previous stages is not applicable to all cases. Both parties are entitled to file a cassation appeal, however, the Supreme Court of Cassation decides which cases will be heard depending on their subject matter and significance for the development of the law. The cassation decision of the litigation in Bulgaria is mandatory not only for the parties but also for the judges when deciding on similar cases. This stage of court litigation in Bulgaria usually takes one and a half year.
Execution stage of court litigation in Bulgaria
The fourth and last stage of the court litigation in Bulgaria is the execution of the final decision on the case. A writ of execution shall be issued by the court, then public and private bailiffs are vested with enforcement powers. In case the debtor does not pay voluntarily, the bailiff shall attach and sell its property (i.e. money in bank accounts, real estate assets, movables, etc.) until the final satisfaction of the creditor. Execution tends to be more successful if the creditor has been granted interim relief prior or during the court litigation stages securing its claim in advance.
In general lawyers that handle litigation in Bulgaria have the same role and responsibilities like their colleagues in every other country. Attorneys that handle litigations in Bulgaria represent the plaintiffs and defendants in different court cases. They also manage throughout all phases of the litigation in Bulgaria that can include different types of investigation, pleadings, trial, settlement, appeal, and execution.
When it comes to litigation in Bulgaria, we provide representation of our client before all Bulgarian courts and arbitration courts as well as public and private bailiffs. We represent small and medium enterprises in various legal disputes, such as corporate, real estate and construction, labour and administrative law.
The lawyers at Mikov & Attorneys will provide help throughout every stage of the litigation in Bulgaria. When it comes to the first stage we will help you with providing drafts of court claims and other related documents. Then we will submit them in front of the judge and represent you during the process of the litigation in Bulgaria until the final decision on the case enters into force and you get satisfied by the debtor.
We also provide help in litigations in Bulgaria in the form of representing client before investment brokers and/or competent ombudsman in case of breach of the European normative acts in the field of investment services and regulated markets.
We are working with experts in the field to ensure all of our clients that their rights will be protected throughout the whole process. During the many years of the work of Mikov & Attorneys, we have dealt with a lot of different dispute resolutions and litigations in Bulgaria. Currently we represent hundreds of clients in disputes with Investment Firms. We can proudly say that our Law Firm has successfully achieved many out-of-court settlements in different litigations in Bulgaria and abroad. We can provide all our clients with competent information and legal advice in English, French and Bulgarian language. We at Mikov & Attorneys are eager to maintain strong professional relationships with Law and Accounting Firms throughout Europe with a view to fully satisfy our clients’ needs.