Court decision invalidating yukos capital

The Amsterdam Court of Appeal had decided that the Russian Courts had been partial and dependent on Dutch public order grounds.

The English Court must decide the same question but on English public order grounds.

The group was broken up and Rosneft, owned by the Russian government, acquired the majority of its assets.

Based on intra-group loans made by Yukos to its subsidiary Yuganskneftegaz (later acquired by Rosneft), in September 2006 Yukos obtained four arbitral awards against Rosneft for the total of US5 million, rendered under the rules of International Commercial Arbitration Court at the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Moscow.

Yukos Capital began enforcement proceedings in the Netherlands on 9 March 2007.

In May 2007 the Awards were set aside by the Russian Arbitrazh Courts. In April 2009, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal gave leave to enforce the Awards, deciding that the annulments were a result of a partial and dependent judicial process and should not be recognised.

The Court considered that the question of whether the Act of State doctrine applied to at least some of Yukos Capital’s allegations was not an easy one.

Followers of the case will need to wait to see whether the English Court will follow the Dutch Court of Appeal’s lead in allowing the enforcement of these arbitral awards despite their annulment at the seat of arbitration.

Background In September 2006, Yukos Capital obtained four arbitration awards (the “Awards“) against Rosneft totalling over US0 million.

The standards by which one country decides that the courts of another are partial and dependent may vary considerably in another country.

In order for the English Court to refuse recognition, cogent evidence of partiality and dependency must be given and considered in accordance with English law and public policy.

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