Williams & Connolly’s Client the Republic of Serbia Defeats €300 Million Arbitral Claim

February 2023

On January 30, 2023, a tribunal under the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) dismissed a €300 million claim against Williams & Connolly’s client, the Republic of Serbia, on jurisdictional grounds and awarded it 90% of its attorneys’ fees and expenses and arbitral costs.  The decision came after the firm persuaded the tribunal to bifurcate the proceedings and consider the dispositive jurisdictional argument before the merits.  The dispute concerned a shopping center development in Belgrade that claimants alleged had been unlawfully blocked when they could not register their leasehold rights and the lease was cancelled.  But the tribunal agreed with the Republic of Serbia that claimant’s putative claims were tainted by an abuse of process because the Luxembourg owners had acquired claimants after the dispute had crystallized for the sole purpose of bringing the arbitral claim and not for investment purposes.

The Williams & Connolly team representing the Republic of Serbia included Senior Counsel John Buckley, Partner Jonathan Landy, and Associates Benjamin Graham and Youlin Yuan.

The firm’s victory was reported in Global Arbitration Review and International Arbitration Reporter.  To learn more about the claim click here.

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