Legal support for contractors of geological works in cases of remuneration payment for drilling

Experience / 06.06.2022

The advocates and attorneys of the Law Firm provide legal support to companies operating in the geological work industry, in cases related to claims against the General Directorate of National Roads and Highways (GDDKiA), for remuneration for test holes drilled, necessary to determine geological-engineering conditions in the area intended for the construction of expressways.

In connection with the contracts executed by the geological companies, a dispute arose between the contractors and the GDDKiA over how to account for test holes drilled in the ground and in the rock (within a single test hole). The contracts provided for different rates for the completion of individual test holes (higher for test holes drilled in rock and lower for test holes drilled in soil), and the contracts did not provide for “mixed holes” (drilled partly in soil and partly in rock). According to the Directorate for National Roads and Motorways, in cases where both soil and rock were present within a single test hole, it remained reasonable to divide the test hole into shorter sections and to apply a different unit price for 1 linear meter of drilling depending on the ground. According to the contractors, such a method of settlement, which was adopted by the Directorate General for National Roads and Motorways, was not supported by the tender documentation and the provisions of the contract, and the settlement should be subject to the research borehole, classified as a whole, i.e. either as soil or rock.

In 2020 – 2022, one of the cases concerning the above issue was the subject of litigation, in which lawyers of the Law Firm represented two geological companies, including one of the largest in south-eastern Poland. The case in question resulted in a final precedent-setting judgment, in which the courts of both instances shared the arguments presented by the Law Firm’s advocates and attorneys, including as to the consequences of ambiguous description of the subject matter of the contract in the tender proceedings.

Lawyers of the Law Firm are currently representing geological contractors in further proceedings against the General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways regarding a similar issue.

Representation in disputes arising under contracts executed as part of public procurement is one aspect of our business, in which our experience to date allows us to seek optimal solutions and achieve favourable settlements for our Clients.