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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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I am an architect in Denver, Colorado working with a Russian

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I am an architect in Denver, Colorado working with a Russian team in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. We have signed agreements that are stamped in Nizhny Novgorod. We performed and delivered all of the work for a 60,000 s.f. (6,000 sq. meter) space and they have decided not to pay us. I am wondering what our rights are and what our next best steps are. They owe us over $130,000.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

This may be a bit of a complex issue. I am assuming that you had a signed agreement in lace. I likewise am assuming that it had no 'satisfaction guaranteed' clause. Did it also have a 'choice of law' clause pertaining as to which state or country's laws would govern in a situation where there is a dispute? Please advise.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Hello Dimitry,


The contracts were signed by both company's and the work was completed by our company and delivered to the Russian team. Section 10 of the agreement says that the applicable laws are in the Russian Federation and "any dispute shall be resolved in the Court of Arbitration in Nizhny Novgorod." I could not find anything discussing the no 'satisfaction guarenteed' clause. I have worked with this company for over two years now and have not had a problem with them until now.


 


The agreement lists the following:


Consulting services,Time Commitment, Consulting services fees, Reimbursables, Termination clause (stating the agreement can be terminated at any time upon thirty (30) days prior written notice, termination fee (Stating that we (the contractor) would be paid for the work that was performed), agreement extension, confidentiality, severability, final provisions, and applicable laws.


 


It does not list the satisfaction guaranteed. I have asked them how we can revise the design, but they have not give me any answers. I believe they are going to use our design and do not want to pay us for our work.

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 11 months ago.

Thank you for your follow-up, Christa.

In this situation the contract that you signed is based on Russian law and not US law. The way your contract is written means that it has to be interpreted based on Russian law, and it also means that you would have to file suit out of the Russian Federation to compel them to perform the contract (this is what that 'choice of law' clause section really means). As a consequence you would need to find a Russian attorney to sue the company for breach of contract since US courts would not be able to review this agreement for you.

I am genuinely sorry, I do tend to agree with your beliefs--this appears to be a way to try to avoid paying you what is owed. But without taking it to the Russian courts you have limited options in getting them to pay you for your work. Hope that helps.

Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 37620
Experience: Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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