Orrick Secures Arbitration Victory for the Republic of Guinea in Land Dispute

January.06.2016

Orrick’s Paris International Arbitration team has obtained a key victory for the Republic of Guinea in a $91 million ICSID arbitration.
 
The Société Civile Immobilière de Gaëta (Gaëta) claimed that Guinea had illegally expropriated its rights relating to a plot of land in the capital city, Conakry. Gaëta alleged that it had financed and overseen the construction of 16 buildings on the plot, at a cost of more than $70 million, and claimed damages amounting to approximately $91 million on the basis of the Guinean Investment Law.
 
An ICSID tribunal held that it had no jurisdiction in this dispute, based on two reasons. First, it considered that Gaëta was not a French company, despite its incorporation in France. Second, the tribunal found that Gaëta had not made a protected investment under the ICSID Convention. As a result, the tribunal found it had no jurisdiction and ordered Gaëta to bear 80 percent of the arbitration costs and 80 percent of Guinea’s le​gal costs.
 
This is just the latest in a series of victories our Paris International Arbitration team has secured on behalf of the Republic of Guinea, including the recent annulment of a €38.5 million arbitral award in a dispute relating to the management and operation of the Conakry port terminal. 
 
The Orrick team included Laurent Jaeger, Yann Schneller and Rory Wheeler, assisted by Bruno Gay on issues of Guinean law.