Lazareff Le Bars SARL has considerable and relevant experience in complex international commercial arbitration and Investment Treaty/ Investor-State arbitration. Often, mandates require LLB to work extensively on parallel proceedings in multiple jurisdictions during arbitrations and thereafter to enforce damage awards. Lazareff Le Bars has historically taken on extremely complex and difficult cases that many law firms would be hesitant to take on for two primary reasons- (i) a client has insufficient funding to ensure counsel fees and the costs of arbitration are available and/or (ii) premature concerns over the ability to be successful on the merits and damages claims themselves. LLB believes clients have a right to have access to justice and therefore LLB endeavours to provide clients with fee solutions whereby LLB will defer compensation and assist in obtaining third-party funding. We consider that LLB ‘puts its money where its mouth is” through the sharing of the risk to win the claim and win the greatest value of damages and to guarantee efficient cashflow payments to LLB for both the client and LLB’s benefit.
Benoit Le Bars has been in arbitrator in over 250 cases and therefore we cannot present a detailed resume of his experience. One relevant recent case where Benoit acted as co-arbitrator in a significant LCIA arbitration case between Petrobras and Korean investors (Claimed damages- US$750 million). Both Louise Wright and Jean-André Diaz also have relevant experience as arbitrators.
LLB has been retained by the Government of Senegal to act as counsel in an ICSID claim initiated by an indirect Mauritius investor under the Mauritian-Senegal BIT (Claimed damages-USD1.2 billion) pursuant to a coal fired power plant facility investment.
- US-FRANCE/BANKING ARBITRATION & LITIGATION/CLAIMANT
LLB is retained by a US national, Mr. John Fiorilla, and a related NY Trust, for the enforcement of a FINRA Award issued against CGMI, a subsidiary of Citibank, in France (and elsewhere). (Award value, including interest- USD30 million). Recently the Paris Court of Appeals confirmed the writ of execution (“exequatur”) in application of Putrabi case law and notwithstanding a US Court decision refusing recognition and enforcement in the US with a Vacatur Order and an anti-suit injunction which was in fact controversially an anti-enforcement injunction.
- US-FRANCE/BANKING ARBITRATION & LITIGATION/CLAIMANT
LLB retained by a US national, Mr. John Fiorilla, and a related NY Trust, is acting together with Paul Batista, US Counsel, in a RICO claim against Citigroup, Citibank, CGMI, Paul Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP et al for relevant violations of the RICO Act related to conduct before US and French Courts to obtain orders against Mr. Fiorilla and the Trust, including the issuance of an anti-suit injunction, contempt orders and financial penalty orders. (Claimed damages- US$100 million plus $200 million punitive damages).
- CAYMAN ISLANDS-SENEGAL-USA/ENERGY/ARBITRATION/RESPONDENT
LLB represents a US national and a Cayman Island SPV in claims for violations of US State and Federal laws related to former legal counsel conduct in a prior ICC proceeding. (Claimed damages- undisclosed). Such claims also are likely to include New York Bar violations against the individual lawyers that previously assisted the Cayman entity in ICC proceedings that it had initiated against the largest Senegalese electricity company. LLB advised the largest Senegalese electricity company that prevailed against such claims in an ICC arbitration proceeding arising out of an alleged breach of a Power Purchase Agreement (Claimed damages- US$300 million). The Tribunal rejected all claims of Claimant, a Cayman Island SPV. Claimants were represented by Boies Schiller Flexner LLP (NY).
LLB represents a Luxembourg group’s Portuguese subsidiary in its ICC claim against minority shareholders for violations of the shareholder agreement and Portuguese law in relation to the road concession operations and the project company concession contract with the State of Portugal. (Claimed damages- EUR28.5 million)
LLB represents a Portuguese construction company in an FED claim against the Government of Mauritania for fraudulent inducement in a road concession tender process and subsequent contract violations. (Claimed damages- EUR50 million)
- PORTUGAL- CAMEROON/INFRASTRUCTURE/ARBITRATION & MEDIATION/CLAIMANT
LLB represents a Portuguese construction company in an ad hoc arbitration administered by the PCA against the Government of Cameroon for violations of a road concession contract and its unlawful termination by the State. Prior to the initiation of the arbitration, LLB represented the client in a mediation process where the mediator determine d the contract was improperly terminated by Cameroon. (Claimed damages- EUR30 million). LLB representing the client intends to commence a second arbitration against Cameroon for violations of a related road concession contract and its unlawful termination by Cameroon.
- BERMUDA-NETHERLANDS-BVI-BULGARIA/MEDIA/ARBITRATION & LITIGATION/CLAIMANT
LLB represents a Bulgarian nation and BVI entity in its LCIA claim against a Bermuda group with Dutch SPVs for violations of the share purchase contract and related investment agreement in a joint investment in the largest Bulgarian television broadcaster and related radio operations. Parallel proceedings are likely to occur in at least the Netherlands and Bulgaria. (Claimed damages- EUR100 million).
LLB represented an Emirati company in an the OIC treaty claim for expropriation by Libya of construction projects during the first Libyan civil war. (Claimed damages- EUR1.2 billion). In a landmark decision, LLB successfully obtained the intervention of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague (PCA) for the appointment of arbitrators and preventing a State from nonparticipation or the refusal of the OIC Secretary-General to nominate an arbitrator to impede an arbitration. LLB did not assist further in proceedings after the constitution of the Tribunal.
LLB represented the Government of Senegal to act as counsel in an ICC arbitration procedure related to a State Guarantee provided in relation to a coal fired power plant facility investment (Claimed damages- EUR235 million). The claim was settled by the parties by consent and withdrawn by Claimants.
- UK-GUERNSEY-IOM-MALTA-BULGARIA-LUXEMBOURG-FRANCE/CONSTRUCTION/ARBITRATION & LITIGATION/CLAIMANT
LLB represented a Guernsey investor against an Isle of Man SPV and Maltese SPV related to the purchase of shares in a Bulgarian retail operation in an ICC case initiated 2015. An ICC Award by Consent was issued in June 2021 with consented damages and costs totalling of GBP21 million. This arbitration was complex and parallel related proceedings occurred (and are ongoing in some instances) in Ireland, Bulgaria, Malta, Isle of Man and France. LLB is presenting enforcing an assigned value of that Consent Award against the ultimate beneficial owners of those two SPVs and other parties. LLB further assisted the implementation of Isle of Man Orders related to the implementation of a separate settlement agreement between the Guernsey investor, Isle of Man entity and certain creditors of that Isle of Man entity. Michael McNutt provided strategic advice to the ultimate beneficial owner of the Isle of Man entity and the Isle of Man entity and coordinated legal counsel and other advisors prior to 2017 when he restricted LLB operations (Matter value- over EUR200 million).
- UK-GUERNSEY-BULGARIA/FRAUD & CONSTRUCTION/ARBITRATION & LITIGATION/CLAIMANT
LLB represented a UK national and a Guernsey investor against a New Zealand national residing in the UK and a Bulgarian entity in an ICC claim related to the fraudulent inducement to invest in a Bulgarian retail operation through multiple offshore SPVs. (Claimed damages- EUR45 million). When LLB ceased to act as counsel in early 2022 the merits phase had commenced after the Tribunal rejected an application for bifurcation.
- CANADA-JERSEY-SENEGAL/TAX & MINING/ARBITRATION/RESPONDENT
LLB represented Senegal against an ICC claim by Barrick mining group’s Jersey entity related to tax modifications and violations of a concession agreement (claimed damages- EUR235 million). LLB assisted in negotiation of a settlement between the parties in October 2021 whereby Senegal ensured the continuation of mining operation by Barrick.
- AUSTRALIA-MALI/MINING/ARBITRATION & MEDIATION/CLAIMANT
LLB represented B2 Gold, an Australian mining company, as claimant in an ICC dispute against Mali for concession contract violations related to the Fekola Mine, the second largest gold mine in Africa. (Claimed damages- USD280 million). The claim was settled through ad hoc mediation by the parties.
- FRANCE-JORDAN/TELECOMMUNICATIONS/ ARBITRATION /CLAIMANT
LLB assisted the Orange Group in its ICSID arbitration against the State of Jordan. The parties entered into a settlement agreement with LLB’s assistance ensuring operations of the orange Group in Jordan until at least 2030. (Claimed damages- USD160 million).