How to act if the leased equipment is broken and the supplier accuses you of damaging it
April 05, 2019

When considering a dispute under a contract, a counterparty submitted an act of reconciliation of mutual settlements to the court. This act reflected the calculations for all contracts that were concluded between the companies for 2017. The Defendant argued that according to the reconciliation statement provided, the debt was not on the side of the Defendant, but on the side of the Claimant in the amount of about 20 million rubles. Accordingly, the Defendant considered his debt under a specific contract to be repaid by offsetting counterclaims of other contracts listed in the reconciliation statement.

However, as was indicated in court by an employee of the Law office of Moscow "ZASCHITA" representing the interests of the Claimant, this position of the Defendant is erroneous and contrary to the current legislation and the prevailing judicial practice. The act of reconciliation of mutual settlements is an internal accounting document reflecting the state of mutual settlements between companies for a given period. The act of reconciliation in itself does not lead to the emergence, change or termination of legal relations of the parties who signed it. From the contents of the reconciliation act it is impossible to establish neither the obligations of the parties, nor the deadline for their fulfillment, nor the amount of claims for obligations. Consequently, the act of reconciliation is not an agreement on the termination of obligations by offset, but merely states the accounting records of the Claimant and the Defendant.

The courts of first and appeal instances dismissed the Defendant's arguments of the debt under the contract being repaid after offsetting similar counter claims. The courts rightly pointed out that the act of reconciliation presented in the files of the case is not an agreement of the parties about the offsetting of similar counterclaims. The court decision rules the collection of debt under the contract, as well as penalties for the use of other's funds.


Tatyana Klepikova