Represented Lithuanian Gas in the international scope energy dispute

Motieka & Audzevičius’ team has represented Lithuanian Gas (AB Lietuvos Dujos), a major energy company, in the Supreme Court of Lithuania. In this case the Republic of Lithuania, represented by the Ministry of Energy, filed a claim to start an investigation into the activities of Lithuanian Gas, its board members, who were appointed by Gazprom OAO, and the CEO.

The Court of the first instance and the Court of Appeal had granted the Ministry’s request to start the investigation. These rulings were appealed to the Supreme Court of Lithuania.

The Supreme Court of Lithuania brought certain arguments that were not wholly compatible with the fundamental requirements of due process, guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights. It was decided that the Court of appeal could legally solve the case without taking into account the main part of the evidence collected by the Court of the first instance. The Court explained that the appellate instance’s decision could be based solely on the testimonies of both parties without having or examining the collected evidence. Moreover, the Court ignored the legal commitments of the Republic of Lithuania in international treaties regarding the service of documents to foreigners and the limitations on the jurisdiction of the Lithuanian courts due to valid arbitration agreements as well as due to the place of residence of the respondents. Lastly, the Court examined the main arguments presented by the parties before rendering a final judgment by the ruling to suspend the case.

Our team successfully presented the arguments to suspend the case. The Court indicated that some of the Ministry’s claims regarding improper activity may fall under the scope of the arbitration agreement concluded by the shareholders of the company. Due to this the case was suspended until the Supreme Court of Lithuania hears a civil case regarding the recognition and enforcement of the arbitral award of 31 July 2012 of the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce.

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