Arbitration & International Disputes

Experience

    • Qatar Airways as claimant in four investment arbitrations against the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt (the “Four States”) seeking at least $5 billion in damages from the Four States’ unlawful measures to close their airspace and airports to Qatar Airways’ aircraft and revoking Qatar Airways’ licences and permits to operate in the Four States.
    • Francesco Becchetti and five other Italian investors in ICSID proceedings against Albania arising out of claimants’ investments in a hydroelectric plant and a media company, winning a historic order of provisional measures suspending criminal and extradition proceedings, and resulting in a favorable award.
    • The State of Qatar and Qatari entities and individuals in international claims arising out of the measures imposed by the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Egypt against Qatar, including twice prevailing in proceedings on provisional measures before the International Court of Justice against the United Arab Emirates under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, obtaining a unanimous decision in Qatar’s favor in proceedings before the International Court of Justice under the Chicago Convention and the International Air Services Transit Agreement, and in investment arbitrations and claims in other international tribunals.
    • A consortium of international EPC contractors in pre-arbitral proceedings over a delay and disruption to construction of an airport in the Middle East.
    • An engineering and commissioning contractor in an AUS$2 billion ICC Singapore arbitration concerning the disputed termination of an EPC subcontract to build a captive Combined Cycle power station on an LNG facility.
    • 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.
    • A U.S.-based natural resources company in an ICC arbitration against an African State-owned entity relating to the sale of shares in a holding company with significant assets in an African country.
    • The Russian Federation in an arbitration brought by Luxtona (a former Yukos Oil subsidiary) under the Energy Charter Treaty and the UNCITRAL Rules relating to an alleged expropriation and other breaches. The claims relate to shares allegedly held by Luxtona in its former parent company.
    • Helios Investment Partners and its investment vehicle Samba Luxco Sarl in the settlement of claims made in an ICC Arbitration regarding Samba's stake in Africatel BV. The settlement involved reducing Samba’s stake in Africatel BV from 25% to 14%, and the transfer from Africatel BV to Samba of a 34% stake in Mobile Telecommunications Limited, the Namibian telecoms operator.
    • The Republic of Korea in ICSID arbitration filed by IPICI and Hanocal.
    • Human Dignity Trust in a joint intervention on behalf of the Human Dignity Trust, International Committee of Jurists and Commonwealth Lawyers Association, which saw a law in Belize that disproportionately affects gay men ruled unconstitutional. London co-managing partner Lord Goldsmith QC also acted as lead advocate before the Supreme Court of Belize in the course of the proceedings.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Mobile TeleSystems in its investor-state arbitration against Uzbekistan brought under the Additional Facility of the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), including successfully defending an Article 45(6) application.
    • Occidental Exploration and Petroleum Company against the Republic of Ecuador in an ad hoc arbitration brought under the provisions of the U.S. - Ecuador Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) using UNCITRAL Rules, involving a dispute over Ecuador's refusal to refund value-added tax (VAT) paid by Occidental on its Ecuadorian investments. The Tribunal issued a unanimous decision awarding Occidental approximately $130 million. The award has been fully paid.
    • A major automotive corporation as claimant in consolidated ICC London arbitration proceedings against Volkswagen in respect of a dispute involving a multibillion euro cross-shareholding and arising out of a commercial alliance formalised in December 2009.
    • 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.
    • Tethyan Copper Company in its US$6 billion arbitration win against the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, which is the second-largest ICSID award ever rendered.
    • 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.
    • Perenco in claiming more than $1 billion in damages in an ICSID arbitration for an illegal expropriation by Ecuador and in defending against environmental counterclaims by Ecuador.
    • ExxonMobil and Murphy Oil in a NAFTA claim against the Government of Canada arising from requirements imposed by the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Tribunal handed down its Decision on Liability and on Principles of Quantum ruling in favor of our clients that Newfoundland’s regulations violated NAFTA.
    • 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.
    • British Caribbean Bank Ltd, in successfully defending anti-arbitration injunction proceedings brought by the Government of Belize to avoid arbitration under a BIT in the courts of Belize and the Caribbean Court of Justice (before which Debevoise is believed to have been the first non-Caribbean firm to argue a case).
    • An Asian government in an inter-state treaty dispute in an ad hoc international arbitration under the auspices of the Permanent Court of Arbitration.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • NML Capital Limited in a request by Argentina to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea for provisional measures against Ghana arising from the arrest in Ghana of an Argentine frigate on NML’s application.
    • Petrolera Ameriven (a joint venture owned by PdVSA of Venezuela, Phillips Conoco and Chevron Texaco) in five ICC arbitrations involving a petrochemical “upgrader” facility in Venezuela, with over $900 million at stake.
    • Hyundai Heavy Industries in an ICC arbitration involving disputes between the shareholders of Hyundai Oilbank Ltd. (HDO), South Korea’s fourth largest oil refining and marketing company, winning the largest ICC award issued at the time and Global Arbitration Review’s "Arbitration Win of the Year" (2010).
    • A Hong Kong-based oil and gas exploration company in a dispute arising out of a Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) to develop and explore an Indonesian oil and gas block. The matter was resolved before commencement of ICC arbitration provided for in the JOA.
    • Two investment funds in a series of disputes relating to an investment in a restructured Brazilian consumer products business. The representation includes an ICC arbitration seated in Saõ Paulo and coordination of litigation proceedings in Brazil and elsewhere.
    • A tire manufacturing company in winning an ICDR arbitration involving a $20 million dispute over a contract to provide tires for a mining equipment manufacturer.
    • A large Russian investment company in its defence of an LCIA arbitration claim brought by a Russian individual, relating to a corporate dispute with respect to a manufacturing group.
    • An aluminum manufacturer in an ICC arbitration claim for breach of an alleged alumina sale and purchase contract.
    • 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.
    • A consumer products company in an ad hoc arbitration in Paris involving a dispute between joint venture partners about the existence of an obligation to contribute individually acquired products to the joint venture for marketing.
    • Oy Metsä-Botnia in its $1.3 billion greenfield investment in the Orion pulp mill project in Uruguay and the Case Concerning Pulp Mills on the River Uruguay (Argentina v. Uruguay) in the International Court of Justice, which concerns that project. Argentina commenced proceedings against Uruguay in the ICJ pursuant to a bilateral treaty concerning the River Uruguay, which forms a shared border between the two countries, claiming that Uruguay had violated the treaty by allowing construction of the mill.
    • Korea Asset Management Corporation, an organ of the Korean government, in a derivative action originally brought in New York state court. After removing the case to the Southern District of New York, Debevoise successfully moved for dismissal under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA). The plaintiff thereafter appealed to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals where oral argument took place in June 2006. In July 2006, the Court affirmed the lower court's FSIA dismissal by summary order.
    • Verizon Communications and its subsidiary in the sale of shares in Compañía Anónima Nacional Teléfonos de Venezuela (“CANTV”), the largest telephone company in Venezuela, to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela after the Government announced that it intended to assume control of CANTV.
    • EM Limited in obtaining payment in full of an $849 million judgment against the Republic of Argentina arising from Argentina’s default on its sovereign debt, recognized as the 2016 Global Dispute of the Year by The American Lawyer.
    • Autopista Concesionada de Venezuela, C.A. (“Aucoven”) in an ICSID arbitration against the Republic of Venezuela, where the tribunal issued a final award finding liability and damages against Venezuela involving claims arising from the breach of a concession agreement for a toll road in Venezuela.
    • A series of court actions on behalf of General Electric Company (GE) against Deutz AG for breach of contract arising from an agreement to design and develop a new generation of locomotive engines. GE filed a complaint in the Western District of Pennsylvania alleging over $80 million in damages from Deutz's breach of certain financial obligations. Debevoise's representation involved a series of favorable decisions obtained in four different fora, applying the law of four different legal systems, including a unanimous jury verdict in the District Court, reversal of an ex parte injunction obtained by Deutz from the High Court of Justice in London, a unanimous final award following a two-day ICC arbitration in London and an affirmance by the Third Circuit of the District Court's jurisdictional and new trial rulings.
    • A German accounting firm in a fraud action in New York State Court alleging negligent misrepresentation and RICO violations relating to its audit of another German company. We were able to win complete dismissal, on the grounds of forum non conveniens.
    • The lead claimant in Reineccius, First Eagle, and Mathieu v. Bank for International Settlements, in which a five-member tribunal constituted under the 1930 Hague Agreement awarded private shareholders some $500 million.