Over the last two weeks, Herbert Smith Freehills’ global arbitration practice has delivered two live audio seminars delivered to the listener’s desktop. We were delighted that hundreds of people from around the world were able to attend.
On 4 July 2013, the topic was ‘What value your BIT protection now? – withdrawals, annulments and refusal to enforce’. This was chaired by Matthew Weiniger (London) and the speakers were Christian Leathley (London/Madrid), Leon Chung (Sydney) and Iain Maxwell (London). This was the second in our current series focusing on Bilateral Investment Treaties and following on from our successful introductory seminar ‘A Beginner’s Guide to BITs: What are they and why do you need them?’ in April.
In this webinar, we considered what the impact of the backlash against investment arbitration has been and how it will affect investors in the years to come. What does it mean for the Bilateral Investment Treaty protection that many have come to rely on when structuring an investment or venturing into a new market?
The third in this series will focus on structuring investments to maximise investment treaty protection. Details will soon be publicised but please click here if this would be of interest.
Our webinar on 12 July 2013 was entitled ‘Enforcing arbitration awards on the fringes of EMEA’. The focus of this webinar was on local advice in relation to enforcement in each of the regions encompassed within EMEA, namely Europe, the Middle East and Africa, using the experience and insight of our partners who cover these regions. This was chaired by Nicholas Peacock (London) and the speakers were Paula Hodges (London), Craig Tevendale (London) and Vladimir Melnikov (Moscow).
If you would like a link to the recording of either webinar, please contact Prudence Heidemans, our Webinar Co-ordinator. All Herbert Smith Freehills webinars can also be downloaded as podcasts. Prudence Heidemans can also provide you with a full list of archived events.
For more information about what was covered in the recent webinars, please click on the link below.
What value your BIT protection now? – withdrawals, annulments and refusal to enforce
The last few years have seen a marked backlash against investment arbitration from many stakeholders, notably emerging economy States and Non-Governmental Organisations. In particular, there have been a number of withdrawals from the ICSID Convention and a number of States who have terminated their Bilateral Investment Treaties or changed their policy towards the protection of foreign investment. Of those States who remain within the system, there have been numerous instances where States have failed to honour awards made against them.
In particular, this webinar focused on:
- the impact of withdrawal from ICSID on existing disputes and on the value of existing BITS containing an offer to arbitrate at ICSID
- the impact of withdrawal from BITs and the effect of any ‘sunset provisions’
- recent use of the ICSID annulment process – limited review or wholesale appeal?
- enforcement under the ICSID Convention – a toothless process?
The speakers were
- Matthew Weiniger (Chair)
- Christian Leathley
- Leon Chung
- Iain Maxwell
Enforcing arbitration awards on the fringes of EMEA
As more and more investment is made into the emerging markets of Africa, the Middle East and emerging Europe, enforcement in those jurisdictions is increasingly an issue of central importance. Clearly when selecting a dispute resolution procedure, be it litigation, arbitration or a combination of the two, the ability to enforce a resulting court judgment or arbitral award will be of primary concern.
This webinar looked specifically at the way in which different and overlapping enforcement regimes apply in different jurisdictions within EMEA, but particularly in those less predictable legal regimes encompassed within that region. In many cases, where coverage of treaties providing for reciprocal recognition of judgments is limited, arbitration will be the dispute resolution mechanism of choice, given the wide application of the New York Convention (NYC).
As such, we looked at how the NYC operates both on a theoretical and, more particularly, on a practical level. Signatory states can differ enormously in how they interpret grounds for refusal under the NYC and as regards the steps that need to be taken to enforce foreign awards. It is crucial to be aware of these differences on the ground.
The speakers were:
- Paula Hodges
- Nick Peacock (Chair)
- Craig Tevendale
- Vladimir Melnikov
Please click here for further details about other upcoming events.