After 22 years of handling almost incessant litigation, as well as compensation payments of more than $2.5bn (£1.7bn), political wranglings and hundreds of hours of UK counsels’ time, the Iran-US Claims Tribunal is about to finally close shop.
The tribunal was created under the terms of the Algiers Accord 1981, which brought to an end the Tehran Embassy hostage crisis. The plan was for the tribunal to resolve disputes between Iran and the US and their citizens. The deadline date for filing private claims against Iran was in 1982.
The final case at the tribunal, which is based in The Hague, relates to a claim by Iran against the US for the non-delivery of military equipment which the US has indicated it will not provide to the new regime. It was originally brokered when the Shah of Iran was in power. When this case is finalised the tribunal will close.
Several UK-based lawyers have been involved in the tribunal. Charles Brower, a prominent arbitrator who joined 20 Essex Street last year, handled some 4,000 claims when he was judge of the tribunal between 1984 and 1988. He rejoined the tribunal as judge last June and is one of the nine judges handling this final claim. Brower is also a co-founder of White & Case.
Public law lawyer Edward Helgeson, who joined Hammond Suddards Edge last year as associate counsel, has experience of the tribunal. Clifford Chance litigation partner Jeremy Carver was also involved.
Most of the judges are academics. Three have been appointed by Iran, three by the US and three by party-appointed members.
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