Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Victory for Slovak Republic in Investment Dispute

The Slovak Republic has defeated an investment treaty claim brought by Dutch investors, according to the text of an arbitral award rendered in April but only released publicly today.
The tribunal in Oostergetal and Laurentius v. Slovak Republic rejected all of the investors' claims under the Netherlands-Slovak Republic bilateral investment treaty and ordered them to pay the costs of the arbitration (equivalent to court costs in domestic litigation) as well as to bear € 2 million of the Slovak Republic's costs of defending against the suit.
The tribunal found that the claimants had not proven their claim that the Slovak Republic breached the treaty's obligations to treat them fairly and equitably, to afford them full protection and security, and to refrain from expropriating their investments without adequate compensation.  The investors challenged the state's pursuit of bankruptcy proceedings to collect back taxes.
Siding with the state, the tribunal criticized the claimants' presentation of their case, observing that they had failed to clearly articulate their factual allegations and legal arguments.  Such poor advocacy will be familiar to experienced international arbitration practitioners who have been in the frustrating position of deciphering the arguments of hopelessly inexperienced opposing counsel.  Presumably lack of experience explains the poor showing in Oostergetal; the identity of the claimants' counsel has been redacted from the award.

2 comments:

Charlepetit said...

In para. 324 (D.1. Costs) of the Award the lawyers are actually named.

GLDK: Van Gastel, Loeffen and Knopper, they consist of 9 lawyers.

The practice is sitting in Helmond. They call themselves an "no nonsense law firm".

http://www.gldk-advocaten.nl/
and on twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/GLDKadvocaten

Sadie Blanchard said...

Charlepetit,

Thank you for your response. I see a different acronym several other places in the Award. There may be a typo there, so I prefer not to jump to any conclusions.