An archive of the key court rulings in the Tristangate dispute.
The Dutch Supreme Court Refers Kashagan Field Asset Freeze to Lower Court for Re-Examination
The Supreme Court of the Netherlands sets aside the Amsterdam Court of Appeal’s decision on the attachment of Kazakhstan’s stake in the international consortium developing the Kashagan oil field, held via Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna, and refers the case back to a lower court (the Hague Court of Appeal) for further consideration. Meanwhile, the Kashagan shares attachment, valued at $5.2 billion, remains fully in place.
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The Brussels Court of Appeal issued a decision upholding the challenge brought by Kazakhstan against the enforcement of the $545 million Energy Charter Treaty Award in Belgium. The ruling is limited to the Belgian jurisdiction only and did not affect the validity of the award in Sweden.
The Stati Parties petitioned the Washington D.C. federal district court for an emergency attachment of the former residence of the Republic of Kazakhstan’s ambassador in the District of Columbia, arguing that it is now used for commercial rather than diplomatic purposes.
The relief sought is in response to Kazakhstan’s continued refusal to honour the fully adjudicated US$556 Million Tristangate Award that was issued by a Swedish arbitration tribunal in 2013.
The property is presently rented out to a translation school and a remodelling company on a commercial basis, according to a filing by the Stati parties, and therefore no longer protected by sovereign immunity.
The motion asks for an order that the property cannot be sold for the next 180 days and, if the property were to be sold that the proceeds are paid into a designated court escrow account.
Lawyers for Argentem Creek Partners have re-filed a motion to dismiss, following Republic of Kazakhstan’s decision to amend their original complaint last month.
The Brussels Court of Appeal has rejected Kazakhstan’s challenge to a $530 million attachment of assets held via its National Fund with BNY Mellon in Brussels.
The asset attachment, originally at a value of $22.6 billion, is an enforcement measure against Kazakhstan’s continued failure to pay more than $500 million awarded to the Stati Parties by a Swedish arbitral tribunal in 2013. The Stati Parties later agreed to limit the attachment to $530 million, reflecting the approximate value of the Energy Charter Award at the time. The attachment value has since grown with interest to over $540 million.
The Amsterdam District Court denied a $118 million damages claim brought by the National Bank of Kazakhstan (NBK) against the Stati Parties.
NBK claimed it had suffered severe losses after rulings in a Dutch court and a Belgian court in 2017 led to the attachment of sovereign assets held by BNY Mellon worth $22.6 billion.
The court dismissed the claim in its entirety, arguing that “in this case there is no question of an unlawful attachment leading to risk liability,” and that “it cannot be held that the Stati parties abused their powers”. It also ordered NBK to cover the Statis’ legal costs.