Timeline

From 1999 to 2022: A forced nationalization in Kazakhstan, an award under the Energy Charter Treaty in Sweden, and a subsequent multijurisdictional strategy designed to frustrate the payment of the Award.

29th August, 2022
Supreme Court of New York dismisses Kazakhstan’s allegations against Dan Chapman and Argentem Creek Partners as “impermissible collateral attack”

The Supreme Court of the State of New York grants a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Republic of Kazakhstan against Daniel Chapman and Argentem Creek Partners. Judge Andrew Borrok describes Kazakhstan’s main argument as “an impermissible collateral attack of a confirmed arbitration Award,” adding that “there can be no action for aiding and abetting fraud without an underlying fraud.” 

The ruling also states that the arbitration Award was obtained in Sweden and that the Award could only be set aside by a Swedish court, noting also that a US court had recognized the Award and that those findings were “entitled to full faith and credit.”

8th August, 2022
Stati Parties Appeal Dutch Court Decision Cancelling Attachment Of Samruk-Kazyna JSC’s Shares In KMG Kashagan BV.

The Stati parties file an appeal against a June 14 decision by the Hague Court of Appeal that cancelled the attachment of shares worth around $5.2 billion held by Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund JSC Samruk-Kazyna in KMG Kashagan BV.

14th June 2022
Hague Court Of Appeal cancels attachment of Samruk-Kazyna Jsc’s shares In KMG Kashagan BV.

The Hague Court of Appeal cancels the attachment of sharesworth 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. The Stati parties state their intent to appeal the judgement.

18th April 2022
Lawyers for Argentem Creek Partners file a motion to dismiss Kazakhstan’s complaint in New York Supreme Court.

Lawyers for Argentem Creek Partners and its CEO Daniel Chapman filed a motion to dismiss the claims brought by Kazakhstan in its Third Amended Complaintin the Supreme Court of New York.

The motion argues that New York law provides the Court with multiple, independent grounds to dismiss Kazakhstan’s frivolous lawsuit with prejudice.

The filing suggests the suit is a further attempt by Kazakhstan to relitigate the underlying arbitral award and “downplays or ignores” the decisions of several courts, including in Sweden, the US, the Netherlands, and Italy, which have rejected its arguments.

The motion notes the role of Karim Massimov, Kazakhstan’s former Prime Minister, and Timur Kulibaev, the son-in-law of Kazakhstan’s First President, in initiating “a sham criminal investigation of the Statis… resulting in Kazakhstan developing a pre-textual and arbitrary reason to expropriate the Statis’ assets and causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.”

31st March 2022
Stati Parties Challenge Belgian Court Ruling In Defense Of Tristangate Award.

The Stati Parties file an appeal against the November 16, 2021 Brussels Court of Appeal decision which upheld a challenge, brought by Kazakhstan, against the enforcement of the $544 million Energy Charter Treaty Award. The cassation appeal is based on the grounds that the Belgian Court of Appeals exceeded its legal authority and failed to give proper recognition under Belgian law to the binding effect of the Swedish court judgments.

10th February 2022
New York District Court Compels Arbitration of Claims By Outrider Management Against Argentem Creek.

A federal judge in New York grants the Argentem parties motionto compel arbitration against plaintiff Outrider thereby dismissing them from Kazakhstan’s vexatious litigation against U.S. investors. The claim was part of Kazakhstan’s efforts to enlist Outrider in its efforts to obstruct payment of the ECT Award.

2nd February 2022
Italian Supreme Court Decision Makes Tristangate Award Final, Binding & Non-Appealable.

The Supreme Court of Italyrejected an appeal brought by Kazakhstan against recognition of the $544 million Award on the grounds that it was procured by ‘fraud’. Kazakhstan had argued that the Swedish arbitration panel making the original Award and subsequent appeals heard by Swedish judges had not considered its fraud allegations.

The Italian Supreme Court confirmed the appeal court’s finding that this was not the case and that “it appears ex actis that both the Stockholm Court of Appeal and the Swedish Supreme Court were aware of the appeal against the Award for reasons that substantially resemble those that have now been brought before the Court.”

18th November 2021
Swedish Supreme Court upholds $90 million freeze on Kazakhstan National Fund’s assets in Sweden.

The Swedish Supreme Court uphelda $90 million freeze on Kazakhstan National Fund’s assets in Sweden. The court ruled that the seized assets representing part of Kazakh National Fund are not protected by sovereign immunity as a matter of international and Swedish law. The Swedish Supreme Court remanded the case to the Svea Court of Appeal for further consideration with respect to other outstanding questions.

16th November 2021
The Brussels Court of Appeal upholds challenge brought by Kazakhstan.

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 does not affect the validity of the award in Sweden.

5th August 2021
Kazakhstan Risks Second Energy Charter Claim over its Refusal to Honour Tristangate Award.

The Stati Parties warn Kazakhstan of their intent to initiate a fresh Energy Charter claim against the country over its refusal to honour a fully adjudicated Award. Instead of honouring its obligations under international law, Kazakhstan is pursuing an ‘international strategy of frivolous and abusive litigation’ the notice letter says. The Stati Parties claim that Kazakhstan should be held responsible for the ‘dozens of millions of dollars’ incurred over the years in legal fees and expenses related to enforcement of the Award.

19th July 2021
Kazakhstan’s Former Embassy Property at Risk Over Tristangate.

The Stati Parties petitioned the Washington D.C. federal district court for an emergency attachmentof 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 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.

15th July 2021
Lawyers for Argentem Creek Partners re-file a motion to dismiss.

Lawyers for Argentem Creek Partners have today re-filed a motion to dismiss, following Republic of Kazakhstan’s decision to amend their original complaint last month.

30th June 2021
Kazakhstan Suffers Double Defeat in Struggle to Avoid Payment of Tristangate Award.

The Brussels Court of Appeal has rejected Kazakhstan’s challenge to a $530 million attachment of assetsheld 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.

23rd June 2021
National Bank of Kazakhstan Loses Claim for Damages After $22.6 Billion Asset Freeze.

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.

28th May 2021
Argentem Creek Partners’ lawyers file motion to dismiss “improper collateral attack” on binding award and compel Outrider into arbitration.
  • Lawyers acting for Argentem Creek Partners filed a motion in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York seeking to dismiss Kazakhstan’s suit, as well as a separate motion to compel Outrider to submit its claims to arbitration.
  • The motion to dismiss is available here.
  • The motion to compel arbitration is available here.
26thApril 2021
Argentem Creek Partners Request Dismissal of Kazakhstan’s Complaint.

In a letter, lawyers acting for Argentem Creek Partners request dismissal of Kazakhstan’s civil complaint filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York against the firm and its CEO.They argue that the case is part of Kazakhstan’s continuing attempts to re-litigate the SCC award despite the rejection of its fraud allegations by courts around the world, including the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

19th March 2021
A U.S. District Judge declines a bid to halt Kazakhstan’s suit in New York.

Judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia declines a bid to halt Kazakhstan’s litigation initiated in New Yorkagainst Argentem Creek and its CEO last year, finding that a court in New York may be better positioned to determine whether Kazakhstan’s claims are precluded.

The Judge previously enforced the arbitral award in 2018 and confirmed again that Kazakhstan is still subject to this valid and binding arbitration award in the United States, and that Kazakhstan’s previous complaint alleging fraud and RICO violations had failed even to state claim, and so had been dismissed.

11th February 2021
Luxembourg Court of Cassation Refers Award Enforcement to Lower Court.

The Court Of Cassation of Luxembourg concludes that the lower court incorrectly examined evidence in the award enforcement proceedings, and decides that the case should be re-heardby a different panel of judges at the Luxembourg Court of Appeal. The attachments of Kazakhstan’s assets in Luxembourg remain in place.

9th February 2021
Magistrate Judge finds that US asset manager for Kazakhstan’s National Fund should be compelled to produce documents detailing Kazakh holdings.

Magistrate Bowler of the United States District Court in Boston has affirmed her Report and Recommendation which finds that State Street Corporation, asset manager for one of Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth funds, should be compelled to produce certain documents, emails, details of SWIFT payments and other financial records relating to the management and custodianship of Kazakhstan National Fund assets.

The Magistrate’s Report and Recommendation was originally issued in November 2020, but State Street did not immediately comply and instead sought clarification and reconsideration.

8th January 2021
Luxembourg Court Stays Local Attachment Proceedings.

The Luxembourg District Court stays proceedings on the validity of the attachments of various Kazakh state assetsobtained by the Stati Parties pending the outcome of the criminal proceedings initiated by Kazakhstan in Luxembourg. The attachments in question are estimated to be worth US$550 million and include Kazakhstan’s 40% shareholding in Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) and frozen dividends owed by ERG to Kazakhstan among further receivables. In the meantime, the attachments continue to remain fully in place as a security measure under the award.

31st December 2020
Outrider Management joins Kazakhstan as plaintiff against Argentem Creek.

Kazakhstan amends its civil complaint in New York against Argentem Creek Partners and its CEO, adding Outrider Management as a plaintiff to the case. Outrider, a small distressed-debt investor based in California, had purchased Tristan Notes with a face value of nearly US$ 48 million between 2009 and 2014 and sold the last of its notes in 2016.

18th December 2020
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 stakein 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.

1st September 2020
Kazakhstan Files a Further Case in Gibraltar Countering the Award through TNG.

Kazakhstan induces TNG’s bankruptcy manager to file a further claim in Gibraltar against the Stati Parties in a renewed attempt to dispute the award decision. In this claim, Kazakhstan again alleges conspiracy, fraud and deceit; similar allegations which had already been dismissed by multiple courts in Europe and the USA.

10th August 2020
US Federal Court Rebukes Kazakhstan for non-compliance with court orders.

The federal district court in Washington, D.C. compels Kazakhstan once again to provide discovery of its assets on a worldwide basis– including assets of various Kazakh state instrumentalities such as NBK and Samruk-Kazyna.

The Judge also rebukes Kazakhstan and its legal counsel for the breaches of the previous U.S. court orders regarding discovery:“Don’t get me wrong, the Republic of Kazakhstan had every right to litigate the petition to confirm the arbitral award, and they had every right to appeal my decision. But those proceedings are over. These are post-judgment proceedings. And the Republic of Kazakhstan and its counsel needs to get that into their heads because the level of intransigence that we’ve seen to date is not acceptable and it officially ends today.”

14th July 2020
Dutch Appellate Court Grants Recognition of the Award.

The Amsterdam Court of Appeals grants recognition with respect to the award, dismissing all of Kazakhstan’s challenges to the award (including based on the fraud allegations).

16th June 2020
Kazakhstan Files a Civil Complaint in New York Against Argentem Creek Partners and Its CEO.

Kazakhstan files a civil complaint in New York against Argentem Creek Partners and its CEO, alleging that they had been involved in a criminal conspiracy together with the Stati Parties.

18th May 2020
The Swedish Supreme Court Dismisses Kazakhstan’s second application to overturn the Award.

The Swedish Supreme Court upholds the award for the second time, dismissing Kazakhstan’s application to overturn the December 9, 2016 ruling of the Svea Court of Appeal filed on the basis of alleged new evidence. The award is therefore once again confirmed to be final, binding and non-appealable for all intents and purposes.

22nd April 2020
English Court Rejects National Bank of Kazakhstan’s (NBK) Debt Claim Against BNY Mellon.

The High Court of Justice in London rejects NBK’s US$ 530 million debt claim against BNY Mellon for the latter’s refusal to release the National Fund assets frozen as a result of the parallel Belgian enforcement proceedings, by agreeing with the Stati Parties that the decision with regards to BNY Mellon is to be determined by the Belgian courts in due course.

21st February 2020
31st January 2020
Swedish Appellate Court Rejects Second attempt by Kazakhstan to Re-litigate the Award.

The Svea Court of Appeal in Sweden dismisses Kazakhstan’s second challenge of the awardfiled on the basis of alleged new evidence. The award is therefore again confirmed to be final, binding and non-appealable for all intents and purposes.

20th December 2019
Belgian Court Grants Recognition of the Award.

The Brussels Court of First Instance grants recognition with respect to the Award, dismissing all of Kazakhstan’s challenges to the award (including based on the fraud allegations).

19th December 2019
The Luxembourg Court of Appeal Grants Recognition of the Award.

The Luxembourg Court of Appeal grants recognition with respect to the award.The Court finds that Kazakhstan has failed to prove the existence of any fraud. This decision is binding and enforceable as a matter of Luxembourg law notwithstanding any further appeals.

2nd December 2019
The Stati Parties Ask the U.S. Court to Sanction Kazakhstan.

The Stati Parties file a motion for sanctions and contempt before the federal district court in Washington,C. given Kazakhstan’s repeated breaches of its discovery obligations stemming from previous U.S. court orders in the local award enforcement proceedings. This matter is currently stayed pending Kazakhstan’s compliance with its discovery obligations.

5th July 2019
Swedish Court Dismisses Appeals Against US$ 93 Million Attachment Made by the Swedish Bailiff.

District Court in Stockholm dismisses Kazakhstan’s and NBK’s separate appeals against various attachment orders made by the Swedish bailiff concerning Kazakh state property in Sweden.

The assets in question represent proceeds of shareholdings and related economic rights in various Swedish listed companies owned by Kazakhstan as part of the savings portfolio of the National Fund. These proceeds are currently blocked in the Swedish bailiff’s escrow account in the sum of SEK 790,284,526 (approximately US$ 95 million) pending final resolution of the Swedish award enforcement proceedings before the Swedish Supreme Court.

7th May 2019
Dutch Appellate Court Confirms the Kashagan Shares Attachment for a Second Time.
19th April 2019
U.S. Appellate Court Confirms the Award.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit confirms the previous court ruling from March 23, 2018 that the award is valid and enforceable as a binding U.S. judgment.The ruling states that: “We find that it was not an abuse of discretion for the District Court to deny Kazakhstan’s motion because the District Court based its ruling on multiple valid grounds. We further agree with the District Court that Kazakhstan improperly presented new facts in its motion for reconsideration that it had not introduced in its original motion to supplement.”

As a result of this ruling, any non-state immune Kazakh state assets on U.S. soil become amenable to attachment and foreclosure by the Stati Parties.

30th March 2019
U.S. Federal Court Tosses Kazakhstan’s RICO Complaint.

The federal district court in Washington, D.C. dismisses Kazakhstan’s complaint against the Stati Parties filed pursuant to the U.S. Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Actby describing this lawsuit as “ill-advised” and “an improper use of the auspices of this Court to revive and prolong a dispute that is over”.

27th February 2019
The Rome Court of Appeal Recognises the Award.
10th August 2018
The Stati Parties Discontinue the Award Recognition Proceedings in England.

The Court of Appeal in England allows the Stati Parties to discontinue the English award proceedings for recognition of the award, after the High Court had initially granted Kazakhstan’s application for a trial based on the fraud allegations.

25th May 2018
Kazakhstan loses appeal against the Belgian Attachment Order.

The Brussels Court of First Instance rejects Kazakhstan’s and NBK’s appeals against the original attachment orderwith respect to the National Fund assets held by BNY Mellon granted on October 11, 2017. With the Stati Parties’ consent, the Court reduces the attachment value from US$ 22.6 billion to US$ 530 million given the then size of the award.

23rd March 2018
U.S. Federal Court Confirms the Award

The federal district court in Washington, D.C. rules that the Award is valid and enforceable as a binding U.S. judgmentfollowing an application by the Stati Parties to confirm the award on U.S. soil. In doing so, the U.S. court rejects the fraud allegations brought forward by Kazakhstan.

24th January 2018
Swedish Court confirms attachment of Kazakh State Assets in Sweden.
5th January 2018