• Reference
  • 27 May 2013

Bech-Bruun successful in biodiesel Supreme Court case

Bech-Bruun has litigated and won a Supreme Court case for Denmark’s only biodiesel manufacturer Emmelev A/S.

In 2002, Bech-Bruun’s client Emmelev A/S, a Danish manufacturer of biodiesel, concluded a contract with the German company Verbio for the processing of rape seed oil into biodiesel. The contract included a volume of 28,000 tonnes.

At some point in time, the cooperation failed, and Verbio repudiated the contract arguing that Emmelev was in breach of contract. The court did not uphold this argument. In 2008, the Copenhagen Maritime and Commercial Court ruled in favour of Emmelev, which was awarded damages in the amount of 3.4 million euro for lost contribution margins.

Verbio lodged an appeal against the judgment with the Danish Supreme Court. In May 2013, the Supreme Court delivered a judgment in line with that of the Copenhagen Maritime and Commercial Court and dismissed Verbio’s allegation of breach on the part of Emmelev.

The judgment also established that Emmelev was capable of delivering biodiesel conforming to contract and, as a result, Emmelev suffered a loss equivalent to lost contribution margins during the contract period.

Based on an expert inspection and valuation, the Supreme Court subsequently reduced the amount of the original claim for damages by 1 million euro, and Emmelev was awarded damages of 2.7 million euro plus rates of interest and court legal costs.

Verbio was ordered to pay a total amount of approx. 5 million euro to Emmelev which for 13 years has been represented by Bech-Bruun partner Erik Malberg.

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