Sovereign immunity in the DIFC Court

Last week, the Dubai International Financial Centre Court issued its decision in Pearl Petroleum Company Limited & Others v The Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq. The Court upheld its earlier decision which recognised two LCIA arbitration awards totalling US$2 billion issued against the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq (the “KRG”) and dismissed KRG’s arguments (1) that the enforcement proceedings should be set aside on the ground that the Court did not have jurisdiction to make such orders against it, and (2) that the DIFC Court should not decide issues of immunity and its waiver. Continue reading

Herbert Smith Freehills hosts Panel Discussion and Seminar on “The State of State Immunity” in conjunction with the British Branch of the International Law Association

Herbert Smith Freehills, in conjunction with the British Branch of the International Law Association, is hosting a Seminar entitled “The State of State Immunity”. The Seminar will address Recent Developments, the “Commercial Purposes” Exception and provide practical guidance on negotiating immunity issues.

Date: Tuesday 29 September 2015
Time: 6pm to 7pm, followed by drinks (Registration from 5:45pm)
Venue: Exchange House, Primrose Street, London, EC2A 2EG
Please click here to view map


Adam Johnson, Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills (Chair)

Chanaka Wickremasinghe, Legal Counsellor, UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Michael Stock, Senior Group Legal Counsel, Dispute Resolution, Standard Chartered Bank

Andrew Cannon, Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills

The immunity of states and their assets from the reach of national courts is an area of law with considerable practical implications in the context of contracts between states and commercial parties.

In this panel discussion, the speakers will consider recent developments on state immunity in the English courts, as well as the exceptions to the immunity of states granted by the State Immunity Act 1978. They will consider how effective waivers of immunity can be negotiated, and how immunity may apply to state-owned entities and other bodies. The speakers will draw on their considerable experience from the public and private sectors to offer practical guidance and insights into this significant area of law.

The event will be held under the Chatham House Rule.

Places are limited.  To register your interest in this event, or for further information, please contact Paul McKeating.