News 2019March 2019
On March 1, 2019, the Rome Court of Appeal handed down its ruling in favor of the Stati parties in Stati et al. v. Republic of Kazakhstan, rejecting all objections and defenses raised by Kazakhstan against the recognition of a US$530 million arbitral award in Italy, law360.com reports.
In its ruling, the Italian Court ruled that the recognition and enforcement of the Award in Italy does not contravene Italian substantive or procedural public policy. The Court further rejected the remaining objections raised by Kazakhstan such as the alleged lack of a binding arbitration clause and procedural violations in the constitution of the Arbitral Tribunal. In this context, the Italian Court paid deference to the previous decisions of the Swedish courts which upheld the award on its merits at the seat of the arbitration. The Court also ordered Kazakhstan to reimburse claimants for legal costs totaling €120,000.
Anatolie Stati, CEO and shareholder of Ascom Group, his son Gabriel and two family-controlled companies have been involved in legal battles with the Kazakh government of President Nursultan Nazarbayev for several years. They invested in Kazakhstan’s oil and gas industry and have asserted that they were subjected to harassment from the state aimed at forcing them to sell their investments cheaply.
They and two of their companies won an arbitration award of around $500 million in Sweden against the government. Kazakhstan denies the allegations, says the arbitration was won through fraud, and has countersued in several countries.