Litigation in Europe

Experience

    • Tatneft in its victory in the English Court of Appeal in Tatneft v Bogolyubov & others.
    • NLMK in its successful defence in the English High Court against an application to enforce a Russian arbitral award that had been set aside by the Russian courts.
    • Prada in defending against copyright infringement claims brought by a textile manufacturer in federal court in the Central District of California.
    • Vincent Tchenguiz, in judicial review proceedings brought in respect of search warrants issued against Mr. Tchenguiz and Vincos Ltd, a company which provides advice to the Tchenguiz Family Trust and which is chaired by Mr. Tchenguiz, relating to a Serious Fraud Office investigation into the collapse of Kaupthing Hf., an Icelandic bank.
    • Perenco Ecuador, prevailing on novel jurisdictional and merits issues in an ICSID arbitration arising out of the Republic of Ecuador’s unilateral increase of its participation to 99% of all revenues from oil sales above a fixed “reference price” and its declaration that Perenco’s contracts had come to an end. Perenco is now entitled to approximately US$435 million, net of cost recovery and other factors, which is the largest compensation amount that any investment tribunal has awarded against Ecuador for its imposition of Law 42.
    • Smiths Group and its CEO in obtaining dismissal of state law whistleblower and gender discrimination claims asserted by a former Vice President.
    • Dart Realty in averting a judicial review which could have had a significant impact on a major redevelopment project planned for a stretch of the Cayman coast. The request for a judicial review of the redevelopment was filed by a local activist group, but Debevoise argued that the request was without merit and out of time.
    • An international mining group in its ongoing tax dispute in the context of development agreements with the Government of Zambia.
    • A major Japanese automotive corporation as claimant in consolidated ICC London arbitration proceedings concerning a multibillion euro cross-shareholding and arising out of a commercial alliance.
    • Ust-Kamenogorsk Hydropower Plant, a subsidiary of Samruk Energy, as advocates to the appellant in the UK Supreme Court on a landmark arbitration appeal to determine whether the English Court has jurisdiction to grant an anti-suit injunction in circumstances where no arbitration is intended or in prospect.
    • A large pharmaceutical company in conducting an internal investigation of alleged corruption at a foreign subsidiary.
    • L’Oréal in false advertising litigation against Neutrogena related to the parties’ advertisements for their respective sun screen products.
    • UBS Financial Services, as lead trial counsel defeated claims brought by former UBS clients in connection with investment losses during the Fall of 2008. Following nine hearing days, the three-arbitrator FINRA panel denied all of the claimants’ claims.
    • A major pharmaceutical company with advice at board-level concerning worldwide supply chain issues, including delay and quality concerns resulting in severe disruption caused to its global vaccines business, resulting in a successful settlement avoiding lengthy arbitration proceedings.
    • General Electric in due diligence matters relating to its $3.2 billion acquisition of Converteam.
    • The Special Committee of the Board of Directors of Dell in the $24.9 billion sale of Dell to an investor group including Michael Dell and Silver Lake.
    • Occidental Petroleum Company and Occidental Exploration and Production Company (“Occidental”) in an ICSID arbitration, winning one of the largest ever BIT awards, $1.1 billion ($1.4 billion including interest). The filing of the claim was made two days after Ecuador terminated all of Occidental’s exploration and production rights and seized all of its assets in the country. Ecuador and Occidental have arranged for payment of this award.
    • Yves Saint Laurent in defeating a motion for a preliminary injunction by Christian Louboutin over YSL’s red-soled shoes, and subsequently obtaining dismissal of all claims by the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
    • A leading high fashion luxury goods company advising on its defense of an employment discrimination and retaliation lawsuit brought by a former employee.
    • Oaktree Capital Management on regulatory aspects of its acquisition of a majority interest in Integrated Subsea Services.
    • Exxon Mobil Development Company and its subsidiary Esso Exploration & Production Nigeria in challenging the constitution and jurisdiction of a tribunal in arbitration proceedings.
    • An Austrian investor in a $500 million LCIA arbitration arising out of the collapse of the Ukrainian banking sector in 2008.
    • A manufacturer in an ICC arbitration involving a dispute over breaches of a joint venture agreement for the manufacture and distribution of supermarket checkouts and shelving.
    • Misys in obtaining summary judgment dismissing a federal lawsuit under the Americans with Disabilities Act based on purported 9/11-related disabilities.
    • Misys in obtaining an injunction, following a three-day trial, prohibiting a competitor from soliciting the company’s clients and retaining the company’s former employees.
    • Ferrostaal, a global provider of industrial services in plant construction and engineering, in an extensive internal compliance investigation relating to allegations of corruption and other wrongdoing in several jurisdictions.
    • Deutsche Telekom in United States Department of Justice and SEC investigations relating to payments made by its Hungarian subsidiary, Magyar Telekom.
    • A major pharmaceutical company in litigation alleging material breaches and unilateral termination of a commercial supply agreement for the development and manufacture of a vaccine.
    • A leading consumer products group on potential exposure under the UK Bribery Act arising from activities of its subsidiaries around the world, including facilitation payments.
    • A major global financial institution in a multimillion dollar arbitration in London arising out of a failed joint venture.
    • A major Indian base metals mining company in an ongoing multimillion dollar dispute among the members of a JV for the establishment of a mining and refining operation in Africa. The case was referred to us by our client's parent company, a large Indian conglomerate, which we have represented in several previous matters. The dispute concerns claims made by the minority party to the JV that the other parties have breached the terms of a Shareholders' Agreement and managed the company in a manner unfairly prejudicial to the minority party. The matter will be referred to LCIA arbitration in London, and we are advising both on the preparations for arbitration and on parallel settlement negotiations.
    • Notz, Stucki et Cie, its directors, and related entities, in litigation related to substantial investments with Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, in obtaining dismissal of investor class action litigation purporting to assert claims for fraud and breach of common law duties relating to one of the firm's managed funds, and in adversary proceedings brought by the Trustee of the BLMIS estate in the bankruptcy proceeding.
    • Macquarie Capital in the resolution of a dispute over a shareholders agreement relating to a French listed company.
    • Absolut Spirits in obtaining summary judgment dismissing trade secret and idea misappropriation claims relating to its sponsorship of a reality television show.
    • An aluminum manufacturer in an ICC arbitration claim for breach of an alleged alumina sale and purchase contract.
    • An Eastern European natural resources company in a LCIA arbitration concerning a supply contract.
    • A major investment bank in an internal investigation relating to mispricing of subprime securities and representation in follow-up government investigations.
    • Norilsk Nickel and Interros International Investments in a dispute with United Company Rusal, including LCIA arbitration proceedings and related court litigation in the United States, England, Russia, Switzerland, St. Kitts & Nevis and The Netherlands.
    • An international development bank in arbitration clauses and matters relating to its immunities from suit and execution.
    • Holcim and its subsidiaries, Holderfin B.V. and Caricement B.V., against Venezuela in proceedings before ICSID under the Switzerland-Venezuela BIT and the Netherlands-Venezuela BIT, asserting claims that Venezuela’s nationalization of Holcim Venezuela constituted unlawful expropriation and discrimination. After Holcim filed its statement of claim, the parties agreed on a settlement providing for compensation of $650 million.
    • Worms & Cie for the enforcement in France of a Swiss arbitration award against a leading French company following a dispute over securities-related transactions.
    • Oaktree Capital Management and Franklin Mutual in the £6.45 billion restructuring of Eurotunnel debt.
    • Louis Vuitton in successfully resolving litigation involving infringement of its trademark Epi design.
    • An international asset management firm in the enforcement of arbitral awards and judgments against sovereign debt of North Korea.
    • Beacon Insurance Company in proceeding to recover reinsurance proceeds.
    • Misys and senior management in a litigation brought by Raymond English alleging discrimination on the basis of national origin and whistleblower retaliation.
    • Ronald Lauder before the SEC and in class action and derivative suits relating to the Estee Lauder companies.
    • Allied Domecq in obtaining dismissal of ownership claims filed by a Russian Federation entity related to the Stolichnaya trademark.
    • Pernod Ricard in opposing an application to register Malibu Miracle as a trademark for juices.
    • A consortium of banks in a putative class action alleging violations of the WARN act.
    • Mrs Gomez-Monche Vives, the widow of Alfredo Gonzalez-Diez, the former head of drinks company Gonzalez-Byass, in an international family trust dispute involving proceedings in several jurisdictions.
    • Pernod Ricard in its trademark and unfair competition claims against Malibu Ice Company.
    • The Republic of Uzbekistan in the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce arbitration instituted by Newmont (Uzbekistan) Limited.
    • The Republic of Uzbekistan in the ICSID arbitration instituted by Newmont (Uzbekistan) Limited and Newmont USA Limited.
    • Louis Vuitton-Moët Hennessy in a contributory trademark counterfeiting matter.
    • Artemis and its chairman and controlling shareholder in an investigation of several French banks and other companies and individuals. A civil resolution was reached and no criminal charges were filed.
    • Two UK-based video game developers in a consumer fraud class-action lawsuit arising out of their use of copy-protection software on their game DVDs.
    • Debevoise partner David H. Bernstein as arbitrator to adjudicate the ownership of the domain name lastminute.com.
    • Alcon in false advertising disputes against Bausch & Lomb involving reports of scientific studies on corneal staining.
    • Novartis in its challenge of Bausch & Lomb's new ALAWAY trademark for an anti-itch eye medicine.
    • Alcon Laboratories in its challenge with the National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau concerning advertisements by Bausch & Lomb regarding its ReNu MultiPlus contact lens solution.
    • Novartis Nutrition in preventing the online sale of foreign, gray market versions of Ovaltine in the US.
    • Successful defense of Bluecher USA’s marketing of its exclusive treatment of chemical and biological protective clothing for military use. Bluecher was accused of price discrimination in violation of the United States and Puerto Rico antitrust laws. We prevailed on arbitrable claims at the AAA and had the remaining claims dismissed by the District Court in Puerto Rico. We then argued the appeal successfully to the First Circuit Court of Appeals. (The Bluecher case as featured as one of the year’s “most interesting cases” in the January 2006 issue of The American Lawyer.)
    • Invesco, AIM Advisors and Invesco Funds Group in enforcement proceedings and in an MDL involving securities class action and derivative lawsuits arising from market timing in the mutual fund industry.
    • Novartis Nutrition in its defense of an advertising challenge brought by Hormel Foods before the NAD.
    • An oil and gas company in an ICC arbitration in London arising from disputes with a drilling contractor in relation to gas exploration operations in South America.
    • GoshawK Insurance in an investigation by the FSA into the circumstances surrounding the events in 2003 when GoshawK’s licence to conduct business at Lloyd’s was revoked and its Syndicate 102 was placed into run-off; the FSA is now seeking to close the investigation and may seek to impose penalties on GoshawK.
    • BMG Avocats in advice on whether its client, luxury watch maker Zenith International SA, has claims for design patent, copyright and/or trade dress infringement against U.S. watch maker Fossil based on Fossil's Eveyn watch design, which appears to copy the asymmetrical STAR OPEN watch dial design.
    • Dresdner Bank, Barclays Capital, Mizuho Corporate Bank, and Saudi American Bank in BIT claims based on the Saudi Kingdom's apparent repudiation of obligations to pay over $900 million under Saudi-law assignments.
    • Wellington Underwriting against Royal & Sun Alliance in reinsurance claims for losses incurred by UOP.
    • A U.S. investor in discounted sovereign debts, in transactions relating to the acquisition of interests in sovereign debt issued by European countries and related enforcement steps.
    • Alcon Laboratories in defending false advertising claims asserted by Bausch & Lomb against Alcon's new contact lens solution, Replenish.
    • The Audit Committee of Telewest, a telecommunications company with principal operations in the United Kingdom, in an internal investigation of certain accounting and billing practices.
    • As lead trial counsel for an international bank, defeated all claims brought by 10 former directors and managing directors, plus prevailed on the bank’s counterclaim.
    • Misys in an investment agreement and marketing services agreement between its subsidiary Medic Computer Systems and Healtheon/WebMD.
    • Alcon Laboratories in the successful defense of a preliminary injunction sought by Pharmacia Corporation to enjoin the launch of Travatan.
    • Novartis Consumer Health in a trademark infringement matter.
    • Unilever in the protection and enforcement of its Faberge trademark.
    • Philip Morris in an antitrust case in Russia against Gallaher Group.
    • DART Management in matters relating to an investor and its co-investors in a Russian investment who now seek to obtain discovery regarding a New York bank account in New York state court pursuant to an order by the Royal Court of Jersey.
    • Swedish Match in a landmark settlement of antitrust claims against its rival seller of moist snuff in the United States, USST. Under the terms of the settlement, USST paid $200 million and handed over ownership of its cigar business to Swedish Match.
    • Chrysler, which owns the Jeep brand, in asserting trademark claims based on the grille design of GM's Hummer.
    • Central European Media Enterprises in its successful investment treaty arbitration against the Czech Republic, which resulted in a $360 million recovery for the client.
    • Unilever in a review of its licenses with Calvin Klein to determine who owns the fragrance trademarks of Obsession, Eternity and Escape.
    • EnergyBrands in seeking a temporary restraining order against Consac Industries, makers of Enhance vitamin fortified waters.
    • Mark Anthony International in considering whether the packaging and name of Smirnoff Ice constitutes false and deceptive advertising.
    • The LaGrand Case (Germ. v. U.S.), 2001 I.C.J. 466. Germany on its claims for violations by the United States of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations in respect of two German nationals sentenced to death in state court proceedings in the United States and of its obligation to abide by an order of provisional measures issued by the ICJ at the outset of the case. The ICJ upheld the Vienna Convention claims and, settling years of controversy, also held that provisional measures indicated by the ICJ are binding.
    • A major global financial institution in obtaining dismissal of antitrust claims relating to auction-rate securities.
    • Property developer Paddy McKillen in the UK Court of Appeal against the Barclay brothers concerning the £1 billion Mayfair Group of hotels.
    • Daewoo Motor Co Ltd in an ICC arbitration concerning post-closing disputes with GM Korea Company and General Motors Company in relation to indemnification for automobile recalls and other matters.
    • Daewoo in a hearing at the Paris Court of Appeal, successfully defeating an annulment application from GM which sought to set aside an ICC arbitral award arising from the acquisition by General Motors (GM) of Daewoo’s automotive business.
    • A major global financial institution in federal and state regulatory investigations relating to auction-rate securities.
    • Philip Noble in the English High Court in the successful defence of claims brought pursuant to a Demerger Agreement. The amounts in dispute were £100 million. The claims were based in contract, tort and equity. We also successfully represented Mr. Noble in the appeal in summer, 2016.
    • BAT Industries in proceedings arising from the $1 billion clean-up of the Fox River in the U.S., including proceedings brought by BAT in the High Court against Appvion and Windward Prospects (certain companies which used to form part of the BAT Group) and proceedings seeking to ensure the recovery of around $800 million in dividends paid by Windward to a company called Sequana.
    • The Attorney-General of St. Kitts and Nevis in the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (St. Kitts and Nevis) and Court of Appeal in constitutional proceedings brought against the Government by Members of Parliament seeking to carry a motion of no confidence in the Government.
    • Acting for the audit committee of international shipping company NewLead Holdings, a Nasdaq listed entity, to conduct an investigation under Section 10A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 into the circumstances behind a high value transaction.
    • A major London-based mining company and its African subsidiary, one of the largest mining and metals companies in Africa, in four parallel LCIA arbitrations relating to a $500 million dispute with a major contractor over short delivery and other alleged breaches of a contract for mining services at an open cast copper mine in Southern Africa.
    • SpinVox, a subsidiary of Nuance Communications in a claim in the English High Court brought against it by its founder and former director in respect of alleged promised incentive payments.
    • A FTSE 100 engineering company in UK Bribery Act compliance advice.
    • BTL Employees' Trust, a shareholder in Belize Telemedia Limited, concerning the re-nationalisation without compensation of BTL, and the amendment of the Belize Constitution to enshrine the nationalisations and to curtail the courts’ power to protect fundamental rights, including the right to property.
    • An Asian government in an inter-state treaty dispute in an ad hoc international arbitration under the auspices of the Permanent Court of Arbitration.
    • The financial director of a UK company, under administration, in investigations into potential accounting irregularities by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC). A successful settlement was reached with the FRC.
    • Julius Meinl V and others in a €2 billion claim brought against them in the English High Court by Atrium European Real Estate Limited (Atrium). Debevoise successfully challenged the jurisdiction of the English court and commenced a €1.2 billion derivative action in the Royal Court of Jersey against Atrium, alleging that the defendants acted in concert to enrich others at the expense of Atrium. Defamation proceedings were also issued in England and Meinl Bank commenced an indemnification claim in Israel against Atrium’s chairman, Chaim Katzman, and its parent company. Debevoise represented the client in these various claims and ultimately secured a successful settlement.
    • Multiple directors of a central European financial services company in regulatory and civil proceedings in London, Jersey and elsewhere.
    • Three Indian companies in two joint venture disputes brought against them by several Spanish entities. The disputes relate to a development of a sea water desalination plant in South India and are arbitrated under the auspices of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). Indian law applies as the substantive governing law. Lord Goldsmith QC acts as the leading counsel for the Respondents, in which role he is supported by both D&P team and local Indian counsel.
    • U.S. multinational corporations in European, German and Austrian law aspects of FCPA investigations and OFAC sanctions
    • A leading European retail group in an assessment of its compliance management system including Russia, Benelux and Italy.
    • Poštová Banka of Slovakia in investment treaty claims against Greece arising from the Greek debt restructuring.
    • An international pharmaceutical corporation in a dispute relating to a joint venture for the research and development of certain vaccines.
    • A large Russian bank in a dispute concerning accounting warranties, among other issues, which arose following its acquisition of a pan-CIS banking group. The matter settled on terms favorable to our client.
    • The subsidiary of a leading logistics company in an investigation by the Department of Justice relating to the performance of a government contract with the Department of Defense.
    • A leading international pharmaceutical company in an FCPA investigation in Europe relating to marketing practices.
    • Corbiere and Raleigh, wholly-owned subsidiaries of Russian miner Norilsk Nickel, in a dispute between Rusal and the Interros Group over the buyback of Norilsk shares worth $3.5 billion.  These complex, inter-related proceedings involved parallel litigation in England, the Caribbean, the United States and Russia. Amongst the interrelated proceedings was the successful defence of a Norwich Pharmacal application, in which Rusal sought to obtain documents relating to Debevoise’s representation of Norilsk, Corbiere and Interros.
    • A leading international asset manager in the restructuring by the Greek government of its sovereign debt.