December 7, 2022

On December 5, Willkie filed a notice of dispute against the Republic of Azerbaijan under the provisions of the 1994 Energy Charter Treaty (the “ECT”) on behalf of a group of 19 Armenian investors. 

The dispute concerns the clients’ investments in 18 small hydroelectric power plants located in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, parts of which had comprised territories of the unrecognized Republic of Artsakh. 

The said territories were retaken by Azerbaijan in late 2020 as a result of the 44-day armed conflict known as the “Second Karabakh War.” 

The investors seek compensation estimated in the range of hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars for the damage they suffered as a result of expropriation of their investments by Azerbaijan, as well as unfair and inequitable treatment, discrimination and other violations of the ECT and general international law by the host State. 

This is the first publicly known investor-State dispute arising out of the events of the “Second Karabakh War.” This type of collective claim cases is likely to become more common in investment arbitration in the coming years. 

The Willkie team consists of partner Grégoire Bertrou, counsel Sergey Alekhin and associate Dmitry Bayandin, and is working on this matter together with co-counsel based in Armenia.

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