Williams & Connolly represents The Republic of Paraguay in a lawsuit brought by a state-owned Italian insurance firm seeking millions of dollars in guaranteed loan repayments for two manufacturing projects. On Friday, September 2, 2016, Paraguay asserted sovereign immunity in a D.C. federal court claiming that a corrupt Paraguayan official inked the deals while acting outside his authority. The South American republic denied that it “waived” its sovereign immunity when Gustavo Gramont Verres, Paraguay’s consul in Switzerland at the time, executed written guarantees pledging to repay private loans on behalf of two companies he had stakes in, in the event of the companies’ default. The suit was lodged by SACE SpA, a firm that had insured a group of banks that issued the loans.
In an article published by Law360, Ana Reyes, Co-Chair of the firm’s International Disputes practice group and part of the Williams & Connolly team representing Paraguay, was quoted explaining to U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson that, “It doesn’t matter what the agent thought, and it doesn’t matter what the third party thought. It only matters what the authority was…every court to have considered the issue held there was no actual authority.” The team representing the client includes Dane Butswinkas, Ana Reyes, and Richmond Moore.
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