THEME: "PRIVATE ENFORCEMENT AGENTS IN THE NEW JUDICIAL ENFORCEMENT SYSTEM"
Until recently, only a third of all court decisions had been enforced in Ukraine, and the amounts collected in the process of enforcement made a minor percentage of those funds that were subject to forcible collection. As a result, the ultimate goal of justice was zeroed out by non- enforcement of court decisions. If a system does not function effectively, it should be changed. Thus, in Ukraine a mixed system of judicial enforcement has been introduced, where court decisions will be executed not only by the state enforcement agency, but also by private enforcement agents. The tendency of attracting private institutions to the process of judicial enforcement is becoming more and more noticeable abroad. Private enforcement agents operate in most European countries. In some countries, private enforcement agents act alongside state enforcement agents. Such a model, however, is more typical of a period of transition from the state to the private enforcement system. This summer in Ukraine, the first private enforcement agents are getting their certificates and begin their activities. Statistics show that that it is advocates, arbitration managers, and former employees of the enforcement service who will become private enforcements agents. Private enforcement agents have the authority to enforce almost all kinds of court decisions, in particular, decisions on collection of funds, foreclosure of the security interest in movables and immovables, seizure of property and restraining orders. Private enforcement agents are not allowed by law, however, to collect funds in excess of UAH 6 million (until 01.01.2018), to enforce decisions against state authorities, to collect funds from state and municipal enterprises, and to carry out eviction from housing. GENTLS law firm specializes in litigation. GENTLS lawyers work at all stages of dispute resolution, ranging from legal support in negotiations, throught administrative appeals, to representation of clients in courts and at the stage of judicial enforcement. We understand that it is important for our clients to get a positive outcome. When it comes to court proceedings, such an outcome will not only be a court decision in itself, but its enforcement, such as the collection of funds, transfer of property, etc. Therefore, GENTLS law firm has launched a detached practice of judicial enforcement, which is aimed at an effective interaction with private enforcement agents. In my opinion, a truly effective law firm should be prepared to take on responsibility for the organization and implementation of a set of procedures aimed at solving the client's problem. You hope you agree that it is convenient that a law firm has developed business links with a notary public, an arbitration manager or an auditor, and that such a law firm is responsible to the client for the outcome. Thus, the responsibility is concentrated on the law firm, and the client does not need to personally interact with different subjects in the process. The same refers to private enforcement agents. Some of them will prove to be better and more effective. Choosing a private enforcement agent on their own, clients, so to speak, buy a cat in a bag, since it is unknown whether the agent will ensure effective collection or, on the contrary, will make mistakes that will enable the debtor to successfully contest the agent’s actions. A law firm practicing in the field of judicial enforcement knows those private enforcement agents who have a high professional level and are most effective. Entrusting the question of choice of and interaction with a private enforcement agent to a law firm, the client will receive a foreseeable situation with minimal risks, save time, optimize costs, which will ultimately have a positive impact on the ultimate result. It should be noted that the activity of a private enforcement agent should be carried out in strict compliance with law and subject to the rights of the debtor. In addition to a law firm, the legality of the actions of a private enforcement agent will be supervised by the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, the bodies of professional self-government, as well as by a court in case of a respective claim. Thus, business receives an additional tool for collecting overdue debts. We sincerely hope that the European experience of attracting private enforcement agents will improve the situation in the field of judicial enforcement in Ukraine.
Managing Partner at GENTLS law firm Oleh Gromovyi