Successfully defended foreign investors and local companies from EUR 240 million claim

Our Dispute Resolution team has for the second time successfully defended foreign investors and local companies from EUR 240 million claim filed by the Republic of Lithuanian before the Vilnius regional court.

On 14 February 2022, the Vilnius regional court ruled that Lithuania’s counterclaims against French investors and Lithuanian companies and natural persons, which were originally raised in ICSID arbitration, were not admissible.

In addition, the Court held that even if they were admissible, Lithuanian courts do not have jurisdiction to examine such claims. Therefore, Lithuania’s counterclaims should be brought to the French courts where French investors are domiciled.

After the appeal by the Government, Motieka team successfully convinced the Court of Appeal that the Government’s appeal was ungrounded and on 28 June 2022, the Court of Appeal rejected the Government’s appeal and left the ruling of 14 February 2022 adopted by the Vilnius regional court unchanged.

Our team’s dispute partner Ramūnas Audzevičius, representing the ICOR group, said that the ruling of the Court of Appeal contributes to the “yet unexplored practice of state claims against EU investors, which is especially relevant after the CJEU’s judgement in the Achmea case and the 2020 Agreement signed by the EU member states to terminate the intra-EU bilateral investment treaties”.

Dispute partner Rimantas Daujotas, representing other natural persons, stated that “the ruling of the Court of Appeal is fully in line with international practice, according to which, in disputes with investors, the state or the government shall not interfere in the area of local administrative law or to duplicate it, because state administrative institutions have their own established competence and procedures”.

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