Freshfields racks up fourth victory for Turkey on investment dispute

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has sealed a major arbitration victory for the Republic of Turkey in one of the largest investment disputes on record.

A team of international lawyers led by arbitration partners Jan Paulsson, Lucy Reed, Brian King and Noah Rubins represented Turkey in the last of a series of four cases brought against the republic by Cypriot company Libananco Holdings.

Turkish firm Cosar Avukatlik Burosu jointly defended Turkey, with partners Aydin Cosar, Arzu Cosar and Utku Cosar leading.

Libananco was jointly represented by a team from Washington DC-based firm Crowell & Moring, led by partner Stuart Newberger, and Cypriot lawyer Achilleas Demetriades from Lellos P Demetriades Law Office.

The US-based International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes ­dismissed all of the $10.1bn (£6.4bn) claims brought against Turkey by Libananco, owned by Turkish mogul Cem Uzan. The arbitral ­tribunal also awarded Turkey the unprecedented amount of $15.6m in costs.

The latest award marks the fourth victory for Turkey in the set of cases, with Freshfields advising the republic in each instance.

The claims date back to 2003, when Turkey’s Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources seized the Uzan Group’s CEAS and Kepez companies after their patent rights were outlawed in light of an application by Turkey’s Energy Market Regulatory Authority.

Libananco introduced itself as a company operating in southern Cyprus, then claimed it was a partner of CEAS and Kepez and had therefore suffered losses as a result of the seizure.

New York-based Freshfields partner King said the arbitration was complex and challenging, with most of the documentation requiring translation from Turkish and the Libananco team making four changes to its story during the case.