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Force Majeure, Change Of Circumstances And Necessity In A Fast Pace Evolving World And Book Launch: “Balancing The Protection Of Foreign Investors And States Responses In The Post-Pandemic World”


September 27, 2022
12:30 pm to 2:00 pm EDT


Moderator: Alvaro Galindo (Dean Law School at Universidad de Las Américas (EC), Carmigniani Pérez Abogados)
Presenter: Munia El Harti Alonso (Xtrategy, Senior Consultant)
Panelist: Pascale Accaoui Lorfing (Ph. D in International Law – International Contracts – Investment Contracts, Université Panthéon Assas (Paris II)
Panelist: Yulia Levashova (Professor, Nyenrode Business Universiteit)
Panelist: Crina Baltag (Stockholm University)
Panelist: Mark E Villiger (Professor of Law, University of Lucerne) (TBC)

During these past three years, the world has faced several upheavals that have had a global impact on the performance of projects and contracts.

This panel will launch the book entitled Balancing the Protection of Foreign Investors and States Responses in the Post-Pandemic World, published by Wolters Kluwer, and discuss, some of State defenses or circumstances precluding wrongfulness including, among others, force majeure, national security interest, necessity, change of circumstances.

The book provides an expansive synopsis ofthe diversity of approaches and tools for States and investors to anticipate and mitigate emergency situations in the future, by making a parallel with the COVID19 pandemic.

The first part of the book is dedicated to the perspective of the State and State defenses e.g., Force Majeure and National security Interest (NSI). The second part of the book delves into the perspective of the investor and more precisely with the claims available to investors during emergencies, including fair and equitable treatment, expropriation, and discriminatory measures. The third part covers different regions of the world as to the disputes that arose in the Covid context, and States’ responses in policy and arbitration defenses.

The co-authors of the book and panelists will share their insights of the subject from the uniquely holistic perspective of bothStates andforeign investors.
Concretely, the panelists will articulate their analyses around two paradigmatic instruments: the investment contract and investment agreement, as encapsulated in the book, and will provide for an extension for dialogue among the authors.



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September 26 - September 30

September 26 - September 30

International Dispute Resolution and the Ukraine-Russia Crisis

World Arbitration Update (“WAU”) invites you to attend a 75-minute webinar discussion by leading practitioners in the international dispute resolution field on the recent developments concerning the intersection of dispute resolution and the Ukraine-Russia crisis. According to the Kyiv School of Economics, Ukraine has so far experienced economic damage amounting up to $600 billion. Over $10 billion in airplane assets have been reportedly stranded in Russia setting off potentially large insurance claims and related disputes. Yale School of Management has collected data showing that almost 1,000 companies have publicly announced they are voluntarily curtailing operations in Russia to some degree beyond the bare minimum legally required by international sanctions. The Russian parliament continues to consider the expropriation of foreign assets. International disputes involving Russia and Ukraine are arising from the crisis and more likely to follow. Our speakers will discuss related topics, including: the impact of sanctions, the proposed formation of an international claims commission for Ukraine, the impact of the crisis on the legal profession, the potential and current international forums in which Ukrainian businesses and investors could submit legal recourse to address the consequences of the war in Ukraine, as well as an update on the ICJ case, Ukraine v. Russian Federation.

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September 26 - September 30

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The Actions of Russia, Countermeasures and Resulting International Disputes, Including Investor-State and Commercial Arbitration

September 26 at 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm GMT



JULY 12, 2022


6:00 pm to 7:30 pm GMT


Moderators: Gene Burd (FisherBroyles) (TBC)

Presenter: Rob Houston (K&L Gates Straits Law LLC)

Panelist: Tatyana Slipachuk (Of Counsel at Chief Legal Department of the Ukrainian Parliament, Special Advisor at Sayenko Kharenko Law Firm) (TBC)

Panelist: Raja Bose (K&L Gates Straits Law LLC) (TBC)

Panelist: Derek Loh (Deputy Director-General (Economic & Social), Attorney-General’s Chambers, Singapore) (TBC)

Panelist: Simon Chesterman (Dean, National University of Singapore School of Law) 

In response to the imposition of international sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, Russia has imposed sweeping economic measures on foreign investors from States it considers “unfriendly”, including Singapore, the UK, the US, and EU Member States.  Both international sanctions on Russia and Russia’s own economic measures on foreign investors have had wide-ranging impacts across global market sectors, affecting foreign investors from around the world both directly through compliance mechanisms and indirectly through international commercial contracts.   

However, a number of venues exist for the resolution of the wide range of disputes anticipated to result from the current crisis.  In particular, foreign investors may still seek protection under investment treaties.  Currently, there are 62 BITs in force between Russia and other States, including 27 States that Russia has determined to be “unfriendly” as a result of international sanctions imposed on Russia.  Such treaties generally include substantive obligations to promote and protect foreign investment (e.g., to provide fair and equitable treatment, not to undertake unlawful expropriation of foreign investments, etc.) as well as for access to investment treaty arbitration against the Host State in certain circumstances.  Such public international law obligations under international investment treaties now appear at odds, for example, with recent economic measures imposed by Russia against foreign investors including: 

  • Currency Transfer Restrictions 

  • Transaction Approval Requirements 

  • Prohibition of Foreign Currency Export 

  • Restrictions on Debt Repayment 

  • Prohibition of Certain Exports and Imports 

  • Non-Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights 

Also, the Russian Duma has considered additional measures (which many anticipate to be expropriatory) to effect the transfer of ownership or operation of certain foreign investments where foreign investors have ceased operating in Russia in the current climate of international sanctions. The resulting international legal climate arising from Russia’s actions in Ukraine breaks new ground in public and private international law. Practitioners are therefore broadly anticipating a wave of disputes both in international commercial arbitration and in investor-State arbitration, including with respect to claims advanced by covered investors in investment treaty arbitration against Russia for economic measures like the above.   

This panel will explore the implications of these developments both from a global perspective and a regional perspective in Southeast Asia, highlighting the following key points of interest: 

  • The Current International Sanctions Climate 

  • Regional Focus on International Sanctions in Southeast Asia 

  • Consideration of Current Venues for Disputes Arising from the Invasion of Ukraine 

  • Potential Mechanisms for Foreign Investors to Pursue Claims Arising from the Conflict in Ukraine in Investment Treaty Arbitration 

  • Anticipated Disputes and Issues in International Commercial Arbitration Prompted by the Conflict in Ukraine 

  • The Current Landscape for Sovereign Immunity and the Potential for Enforcement of Arbitral Awards Against State Assets 

This program will provide a brief summary of recent developments in relation to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and identify key legal issues, including the interplay between international sanctions and customary international law (e.g., the characterization of countermeasures and the application of the law of State Responsibility (including State Defences) in Public International Law as well as issues arising in Private International Law and International Commercial Arbitration (such as Force Majeure).  The panel discussion will be followed by a Q&A period as well as a networking session.