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ZRP and TGA Successful for Romania in ICSID Arbitration

ZRP and TGA Successful for Romania in ICSID Arbitration

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Zamfirescu Racoti & Partners and Tanasescu Gavrila & Asociatii have successfully represented the Romania state in an ICSID investment arbitration initiated by Alpiq AG Switzerland involving claims of over USD 450 million.

According to ZRP, "by the arbitration request filed in November 2014, the mother-company of two Romanian subsidiaries acting as energy traders claimed for damages following termination of two long-term energy supply contracts concluded with state-owned Hidroelectrica, Romania’s biggest power producer. Alpiq grounded its arbitration request on the bilateral investment treaty concluded between Switzerland and Romania and on the multilateral Energy Charter Treaty and it alleged expropriation of its investment in Romania and breach of the State’s fair and equitable treatment obligation."

"After rejecting Romania’s jurisdictional objections," ZRP explained, "the arbitral tribunal fully dismissed Alpiq’s damages claims of over USD 450 million and ruled that Romania observed its undertaken obligations as host State and did not breach the investor’s rights."

“Romania obtained a well-deserved victory following long legal proceedings," ZRP Senior Partner Calin-Andrei Zamfirescu declared. "The decision of the arbitral tribunal to reject Alpiq’s claim and to rule in favor of the Romanian State is a legal and grounded judgement, fully founded on the evidence produced in this case. This success was possible thanks to a truly dedicated team of professionals who proved once more that it can handle the most sophisticated and complex international disputes."

Tanasescu Gavrila & Asociatii Managing Partner Cristian Gavrila described it as "a balanced award which confirms the impartiality adopted by ICSID tribunals when settling such arbitration disputes, without getting sidetracked by vociferous emotional vocalization. We are happy to have been able to allow for such a result, following constant consideration for discerning the essential from the secondary, a quality in the absence of which one cannot prevail in such complex matters."

In addition to Zamfirescu and Gavrila, the team of lawyers that represented Romania in the international arbitration was coordinated by ZRP Managing Partner Cosmin Vasile and TGA Senior Partner Victor Tanasescu. The team also included ZRP Partners Alina Tugearu and Monica Strimbei and Managing Associates Cosmin Cojocaru, Violeta Saranciuc, Ovidiu Serban, and Laura Retegan, and TGA Managing Partner Carina Tanasescu and Senior Associate Cristina Solcan.

Editor's Note: On August 11, 2023, an ad hoc ICSID committee rejected the annulment action filed by Alpiq AG Switzerland against the Romanian State. Thus, the initial November 9, 2018, decision was upheld, by which Alpiq's claims were rejected in their entirety. The new decision also requires Alpiq to pay court costs and "marks the definitive settlement of the arbitration dispute in favor of the Romanian State," Romania's Ministry of Energy announced. Both ZRVP and TGA continued to represent Romania in the proceedings.

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Țuca Zbârcea & Asociații is a full-service independent law firm, employing cross-disciplinary teams of lawyers, insolvency practitioners, tax consultants, IP counsellors, economists and staff members. It also operates a secondary law office in Cluj-Napoca (Romania), and has a ‘best-friend’ agreement with a leading law firm in the Republic of Moldova. In addition, thanks to the firm’s dedicated Foreign Desks, the team provides the full range of services to international investors seeking to gain a foothold or expand their existing operations in Romania. Since 2019, the firm and its tax arm are collaborating with Andersen Global in Romania.

Țuca Zbârcea & Asociaţii is providing legal services in every aspect of business, covering all major areas of practice: corporate and M&A; litigation and international arbitration; corporate tax; public procurement; TMT; employment; insurance; banking and finance; capital markets; competition; healthcare and pharmaceutical; energy and natural resources; environmental; intellectual property; real estate; regulatory legal services.

Țuca Zbârcea & Asociaţii is a First-Tier law firm in all international legal directories and a multiple award-winning law firm both locally and internationally. It received the CEE Deal of the Year Award (DOTY Awards 2021) and the Law Firm of the Year Award: Romania (IFLR Europe Awards 2021). 

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