Europe consults on investment protection and ISDS in the TTIP

The European Commission has launched a public consultation on its proposed approach to investment protection and investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (the TTIP).  The TTIP is a free trade agreement currently in negotiation between the United States and the European Union. Negotiations for the TTIP began in July 2013.

The Commission has described its approach as containing “a series of innovative elements that the EU proposes using as the basis for the TTIP negotiations” and stated that the key issue on which it is consulting is “whether the EU’s proposed approach for TTIP achieves the right balance between protecting investors and safeguarding the EU’s right and ability to regulate in the public interest”.

Whilst the EU is not consulting on a draft text of the TTIP, it has included as a reference text the investment protection and ISDS provisions in the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (the CETA), between the EU and Canada.

Whilst we are currently a long way from a signed agreement including investment protection and ISDS provisions, stakeholders may nonetheless want to take this opportunity to consider the ways in which the EU’s approach and the negotiations could impact upon them.  The European Commission’s Consultation can be found here and closes on 6 July 2014.

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Ukraine – EU imposes asset freeze and travel ban on 21 Russian individuals; US introduces additional Executive Order and imposes asset freeze and visa ban on 11 Ukrainian and Russian individuals

Herbert Smith Freehills has published its latest Sanctions Update e-bulletin, on the imposition targeted sanctions by the EU and US in response to the recent Crimea referendum.

On 17 March 2014, the EU introduced an asset freeze and travel ban applying to 21 Russian individuals. On the same day, the US introduced a second Executive Order, allowing it to sanction Russian individuals and released a list of 11 Russian and Ukrainian individuals subject to an asset freeze and visa ban under its Executive Orders.

For further information, please contact Rod Fletcher, Partner, Susannah Cogman, Partner, Daniel Hudson, Partner, or your usual Herbert Smith Freehills contact.

Rod Fletcher
Rod Fletcher
Partner
+44 20 7466 2411
Susannah Cogman
Susannah Cogman
Partner
+44 20 7466 2580
Daniel Hudson
Daniel Hudson
Partner
+44 20 7466 2470

Ukraine – EU imposes asset freeze on members of former government and issues a statement in relation to Russia; US introduces Executive Order permitting the blocking of assets

Herbert Smith Freehills has issued its latest Sanctions Update e-bulletin, concerning the EU and US response to recent events in Ukraine.

On 5 March 2014, the EU introduced an asset freeze applying to former President Yanukovych and other former government officials and persons associated with the former government. The UK has introduced domestic legislation criminalising breaches of this asset freeze. The EU also held an emergency Heads of State meeting on 6 March. The conclusions from that meeting indicate that there is a possibility of EU sanctions being imposed on Russia in the absence of negotiations between Russia and Ukraine which produce results within a limited timeframe. Also on 6 March the US introduced an Executive Order which would permit the imposition of an asset freeze and visa bans although no companies or individuals have yet been designated.

For further information, please contact Rod Fletcher, Partner, Susannah Cogman, Partner, Daniel Hudson, Partner, or your usual Herbert Smith Freehills contact.

Rod Fletcher
Rod Fletcher
Partner
+44 20 7466 2411
Susannah Cogman
Susannah Cogman
Partner
+44 20 7466 2580
Daniel Hudson
Daniel Hudson
Partner
+44 20 7466 2470

EU strengthens sanctions against Iran with particular impact for oil and gas sector and financial institutions

On 15 October 2012, the Council of the European Union announced that it had decided to strengthen significantly the EU’s restrictive measures in respect of Iran – increasing the action being taken by the international community against Iran. The amendments to the current EU sanctions regime in respect of Iran are wide-ranging in scope and intended to target both Iran’s nuclear and ballistic programmes as well as anything that might serve to provide revenue for those purposes to the Iranian government. For our detailed briefing on the amended sanctions regime, please click here.

German court confirms the protection of investors under intra-EU BITs

On 10 May 2012, the Higher Regional Court (Oberlandesgericht) in Frankfurt issued a long-awaited decision in annulment proceedings brought against a jurisdictional award that had been rendered by a tribunal in an UNCITRAL arbitration between Dutch insurer Eureko B.V. and the Slovak Republic.

The decision is important in that it confirms the possibility of European investors to initiate arbitral proceedings under the dispute resolution clauses contained in Bilateral Investment Treaties that have been concluded between EU Member States.  These are typically referred to as intra-EU BITs.  While the European Commission has taken the view that these treaties are in conflict with EU law, the Court’s decision will nonetheless come as comfort to the claimants in a number of proceedings that are presently pending under intra-EU BITs before international arbitral tribunals.

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