AUSTRALIA

Australian court issues freezing order under SIAC arbitration proceedings

An Australian court has recently granting a US$20 million freezing order against a Spanish-owned engineering company Duró Felguera Australia to prevent it from disposing of the potential proceeds of a US$234 million claim it is pursuing against Samsung at the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC). The underlying arbitration dispute refers to a subcontract for the transport of processing facility components for a major mining, rail and port project in Western Australia.

BANGLADESH

Bangladesh faces new ICSID claim

The Bangladesh Power Development Board has recently been hit by a claim brought by NEPC Consortium Power allegedly related to a power plant that the company operates in the country. NEPC began supplying electricity to Bangladesh’s national grid in 1999 pursuant to a 15-year contract. In 2015 the Power Development Board extended the contract for two further years but its status is now unclear.

CHINA

CIETAC award upheld in London

The English Court of Appeal unanimously dismissed British company, RBRG Trading (UK) Ltd's, application for appeal and held that the RBRG's refusal to implement a CIETAC arbitration award in favour of Chinese company, Sinocore International Co. Ltd on the basis of public policy was invalid. The dispute relates to a contract for the sale of rolled steel coils.

INDIA

Vodaphone claims to proceed

The Delhi High Court has issued a decision vacating an earlier ex parte interim order prohibiting Vodafone’s parent company in London from continuing an UNCITRAL arbitration under the India-UK bilateral investment treaty over a retroactive tax bill. It also rejected India’s request for a permanent injunction. Among its reasons, the court dismissed arguments that the arbitration constituted an abuse of process on the basis that Vodafone’s Dutch subsidiary had already brought a similar UNCITRAL claim in 2014 under the India-Netherlands BIT. According to the court, a parent company invoking another treaty or “multiple claims by companies in a vertical structure under different treaties against same state measures” do not automatically constitute an abuse of process. Now that the tribunal hearing the claim under the India-UK BIT has been constituted, in accordance with the doctrine of kompetenz-kompetenz, the tribunal must therefore decide any arguments that the claim under the India-UK BIT constitutes an abuse of process, the court said.