Rise in arbitration in the extractive industries

According to a recent report from think-tank Chatham House, arbitration cases have increased nearly fourfold between 2001 and 2010 in the mining sector, reflecting tensions among stakeholders which escalated with the commodity price boom. The rise in commodity prices increased popular expectations, and governments accordingly came under pressure to show that citizens would receive greater … Read more

Australia-Korea FTA concluded: investor-state dispute resolution mechanism included

On 5 December 2013, Australia and South Korea concluded negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Trade with South Korea was valued at AU$31.9 billion in 2012, making Korea Australia’s fourth biggest two-way trading partner (following China, Japan and the United States) and third largest export market. As a result of the FTA, tariffs will … Read more

Anti-money laundering and anti-bribery systems and controls at asset management firms: FCA thematic review

In October 2013, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published the much-anticipated report of its thematic review into anti-money laundering (AML) and anti-bribery and corruption (ABC) systems and controls at asset management and platform firms.  The report follows the FSA/FCA’s previous thematic reviews of ABC controls in commercial insurance broking (2010), ABC controls in investment banks … Read more

Geneva Agreement – Temporary relaxation of Iran sanctions announced

In the early hours of 24 November, the P5+1 (the UK, US, Germany, France, Russia and China, facilitated by the EU) announced that they had reached a set of initial understandings with Iran. In exchange for limits on Iran’s nuclear programme, the P5+1 have given undertakings to relax sanctions, including agreeing that no new nuclear-related … Read more

Dawn of a new era for investment protection in South Africa – draft investment law to replace protections offered under investment treaties published for public comment

On 1 November 2013, the South African Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has released its new “Promotion and Protection of Investment” bill (PPI Bill) for public comment (for a copy of the PPI Bill, see here). The PPI Bill follows South Africa’s publicised plans to review its bilateral investment treaties (BITs), in particular those … Read more

Kenyan MPs approve motion to withdraw from the International Criminal Court

Kenyan MPs have voted in favour of leaving the International Criminal Court (ICC). The vote in the Kenyan National Assembly came just before the trials of President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto in the ICC for crimes against humanity. They are accused of having orchestrated the post-election violence in Kenya in 2007 and … Read more

Argentina settles five outstanding investment treaty arbitration claims in historic break with its anti-enforcement stance

Argentina has agreed to settle five separate investment treaty arbitration claims at a cost of around USD 500 million, in an historic departure from the Latin American state’s refusal to comply with awards made by international investment treaty arbitration bodies. It was reported in an Argentine newspaper last Thursday, and confirmed by the counsel involved, … Read more

Ecuador to establish commission to audit bilateral investment treaties

On 5 October 2013, the President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, confirmed that a commission is to be established to audit the bilateral investment treaties (BITs) that Ecuador currently has with other countries. According to the national Ministry of Planning and Development, Ecuador intends to audit 26 BITs which are considered prejudicial to national interests. This … Read more

Herbert Smith Freehills contributes to Transnational Dispute Management’s (TDM) 10th Aniversary Issue

September saw the release of TDM Journal’s special aniversary issue: Ten Years of TDM. The TDM Journal is a comprehensive and innovative journal comprising contributions from well-known arbitration practitioners on the management of international disputes with a focus on the rapidly evolving area of investment arbitration, as well as  other significant areas of international investment.  The 10th anniversary issue … Read more