An archive of the key court rulings in the Tristangate dispute.
Brussels Court Sanctions an Attachment Order Targeting National Fund Assets Held by BNY Mellon
The Brussels Court of First Instance makes an attachment order as sought by Stati Parties. The said order was served on BNY Mellon as global custodian of Kazakhstan’s National Fund assets leading to BNY Mellon freezing US$ 22.6 billion in assets of the National Fund (comprising about 40% of the Fund’s entire portfolio).
This attachment is believed to be the largest in legal history.
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The Swedish Supreme Court (Högsta Domstolen) dismissed Kazakhstan’s claim to appeal the January 2023 decision of the Svea Court of Appeal that confirmed that claimants of the Tristan Award can collect $75 million held by Kazakhstan in Sweden.
In January 2023, the Svea Court ruled that approximately $75 million of cash held at the Swedish Enforcement Authority on behalf of the National Bank of Kazakhstan belongs to Kazakhstan and may be collected by the owners of Tristan Oil.
Kazakhstan had sought to appeal the decision, arguing that the attached assets did not belong to the Republic of Kazakhstan and were located in England not Sweden. The Supreme Court examined the material and found no reason to grant leave to appeal to Kazakhstan. The Court of Appeal’s decision therefore stands: the claimants of the Tristan Award can collect $75 million held by Kazakhstan in Sweden as part of the enforcement of the 2013 arbitral award.
The Gibraltar Supreme Court dismissed the claim brought by the bankruptcy manager of Tolkynneftegaz LLP (TNG) against the Stati Parties. This represents the latest failed attempt by the Republic of Kazakhstan to obstruct payment of the Tristan Oil arbitration Award.
In July 2020, Kazakhstan induced TNG’s bankruptcy manager to file a further claim in Gibraltar against the Stati Parties in a renewed attempt to attack the Award. In this claim, Kazakhstan again alleged conspiracy, fraud, and deceit – allegations which had already been dismissed by multiple international courts.
The case was dismissed in Gibraltar on the basis that it was abusive to use another country’s legal system to enforce one’s own tax regime. The court further found that Gibraltar was not the appropriate forum for this claim.
The Svea Court of Appeal in Sweden ruled that approximately $75m of cash held in a Swedish bank on behalf of the National Bank of Kazakhstan belongs to the Republic of Kazakhstan and may be collected by the owners of Tristan Oil.
Kazakhstan and the National Bank had asked the Svea Court of Appeal to set aside the attachments, arguing that the attached assets did not belong to the Republic of Kazakhstan and were located in England not Sweden.
After evidence was presented to the court contradicting Kazakhstan’s claims, the Swedish court concluded that the properties belong to Kazakhstan, are located in Sweden, and fall under Swedish law relating to the enforcement of arbitration awards.
The Supreme Court of the State of New York granted a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Republic of Kazakhstan against Daniel Chapman and New York-based investment firm Argentem Creek Partners.
Since December 2013, Kazakhstan has refused to pay and instead adopted a multijurisdictional legal strategy designed to frustrate the Award and avoid compliance with its binding international treaty obligations.
As part of these efforts, in June 2020 Kazakhstan filed a lawsuit in the United States against Daniel Chapman and Argentem Creek Partners, alleging that Argentem Creek Partners’ financing of attempts to enforce the Award constituted fraud. On August 29 2022, Judge Andrew Borrok of the Supreme Court State of New York granted a motion to dismiss this lawsuit.
The Hague Court of Appeal cancelled the attachment of shares worth around $5.2 billion held by Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund JSC Samruk-Kazyna in KMG Kashagan BV. The Hague Court of Appeal reversed its previous finding that the shares were not immune from attachment on the basis that they did not have an immediate public purpose.