News 24 Jun. 2020

Curtis defeats second treaty claim brought against Kuwait

On 9 June, 2020, an UNCITRAL tribunal dismissed with prejudice an US$86 million investment treaty claim against Kuwait over the termination of contracts for health-screening services, and ordered claimant Conseil Économique des Pays Musulmans to pay the full costs of the proceeding, as well as Kuwait’s legal fees and expenses. Faced with substantiated allegations by Kuwait in its memorial on jurisdiction that the basis for the claim was fraudulent, the claimant asked for the claim to be withdrawn and proposed a discounted costs settlement. Kuwait rejected the proposed settlement terms and requested the tribunal to issue an award, resulting in the award of full costs and the dismissal of the claim with prejudice.

This is the second claim against Kuwait that Curtis has successfully defended. The first win for the State concerned a US$320 million treaty claim brought by Egyptian tourism company Almasryia, which was found to be manifestly without legal merit by an ICSID tribunal in November 2019. The tribunal’s ruling represented a rare victory by a respondent State in the use of article 41(5) of the ICSID rules of arbitration. Curtis also acts for Kuwait in the annulment proceedings initiated by Almasryia.

The Curtis team representing Kuwait in Conseil Économique was led by Charles Buderi and included Justin Jacinto, Luciana Ricart and William Hampson. Charles Buderi also led the team that defeated the Almasryia claim, together with Gabriela Álvarez Ávila and Luciana Ricart.

Click here for Global Arbitration Review’s analysis of the award.

Click here for Investment Arbitration Reporter’s coverage of the award.