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Liedekerke assisting with ground-breaking Virtual Court Trial

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27/03/2020
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Liedekerke acts as Lead counsel in Belgium for the Republic of Kazakhstan in the prominent multi-jurisdictional dispute relating to the enforcement by the Stati Parties of a USD 530 million ECT Arbitral Award.
 
The dispute relates to the enforcement of a USD 530 Million Energy Charter Treaty Arbitral Award obtained in 2013 against the Republic of Kazakhstan (“the RoK”) by Stati, Ascom Group SA and Terra Raf (“the Statis”). The RoK is resisting the enforcement on the basis that the Award has been obtained by fraud (as found on a prima facie case by the English High Court in a judgment of June 2017), which has now been confirmed by the withdrawal by the Statis’ auditors KPMG of the audit reports relating to the alleged investments in Kazakhstan.
 
The Claimants have obtained attachments measures against the RoK in various jurisdictions, including a USD 22 billion attachment order in Belgium in the hands of BNY Mellon.
 
Liedekerke’s team, led by partners Arnaud Nuyts and Roel Fransis, assists the RoK in the Belgian proceedings, resisting (i) the enforcement (exequatur) of the Arbitral Award in Belgium, where proceedings are currently pending before the Court of appeal of Brussels; and (ii) the conservatory and executory garnishments on the State’s assets in Belgium.  Liedekerke assisted the RoK in the proceedings before the Court of first instance of Brussels leading to the un-freezing of assets (from USD 22 Billion to USD 530 million). Liedekerke also assists the RoK in the ongoing proceedings before the English court that have been initiated following a referral by the Belgian Court to the English Court as to whether the garnishment has any subject-matter.
 
Partner Arnaud Nuyts also acted as witness in the English proceedings seeking declaratory relief under CPR Part 8 (appeal proceedings are on foot against the judgment of J. Popplewell handed down in December 2017).
 
The case is unprecedented in Belgium by the size of the originally frozen funds (USD 22 Billion) by the nature of the funds, namely cash and securities accounts from the Kazakh National Fund held by the Central Bank of Kazakhstan, and by the multi-jurisdictional aspect of the case. This matter has been widely reported in all major media outlets. The GAR reports on the Belgian proceedings and the work of Liedekerke in the setting aside proceedings.
 
 
Liedekerke acts for the Republic of Kazakhstan
Loyens & Loeff acts for the National Bank of Kazakhstan in Belgium
Nauta Dutilh acts for the Statis in the Belgian proceedings
Herbert Smith Freehills acts for the Republic of Kazakhstan internationally
De Brauw Blackstone acts for the National Bank of Kazakhstan in the Netherlands
Reed Smith acts for the National Bank of Kazakhstan internationally
Stewarts acts for the National Bank of Kazakhstan in the UK
King & Spalding acts for the Statis in the English proceedings
 
Don’t hesitate to contact Arnaud Nuyts (a.nuyts@liedekerke.com) or Roel Fransis (r.fransis@liedekerke.com) for more information.