International Law in the Courts

No business wishes to litigate, but litigation is occasionally the only way to secure a legitimate and necessary end.  Volterra Fietta has significant experience in the English courts in high value complex commercial and other disputes.  We also have particular experience in acting and advising on court involvement in numerous countries around the world.  This covers multifaceted commercial and contractual issues as well as more traditional public international law issues such as sovereign immunity.

Volterra Fietta’s careful but dynamic strategic approach optimises the chances of successful litigation or, if the circumstances demand, ensures advantageous settlements.

In addition to litigating substantive issues before the national courts, litigation is frequently integral to the management of the arbitration life cycle. Court involvement can be required at any stage of an investor-State or commercial arbitration dispute, from assisting in the constitution of an arbitral tribunal, supporting the collection of evidence or preservation of property in dispute, to the enforcement of an award.

Many of our lawyers are English qualified and several have Higher Rights of Audience enabling them to appear before all civil courts including the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

Selected highlights of our lawyers’ litigation experience include:

AY Bank Limited (In Liquidation) and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia, the Republic of Macedonia, the Republic of Slovenia, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (now the Federal Republic of Serbia), Embassy of Serbia and Montenegro Acting for the Republic of Croatia in an English High Court Chancery Division dispute involving the dissolution and partition of the assets of the former Yugoslavia.

Harrington v The United States of America Acting for the United States of America in its assertion of sovereign immunity in relation to English courts and tribunals.

An international bank Advising an international bank on litigation and arbitration arising from the unwinding of an OSLA.

A natural resource company Advising on threatened transnational litigation involving 50 claimants, reforming an operational level grievance mechanism and revising security and human rights policies and practices in relation to police and private security.

A European oil and gas company v companies and individuals based in an Asian country Acting for the claimant in successful opposition to the respondents’ application for an anti-arbitration injunction. The underlying commercial arbitration before the ICC concerned the enforcement of cash call payment and other provisions of a suite of oil and gas production sharing agreements and joint venture agreements.

An oil and gas company v an Asian State Acting for the claimant in English Commercial Court proceedings to enforce an award arising out of an international commercial arbitration dispute against a major Asian State.

AT&T Corporation and Lucent Technologies Inc. v Saudi Cable Company [2000] 2 All E.R. (Comm) 625 Acting for the Respondent in an application under the English Arbitration Act 1996 seeking removal of an arbitrator.

The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime v (1) Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co (Europe) Ltd (2) Tokio Marine Europe Insurance Ltd [2016] UKSC 18 Acting for insurers in relation to a £50 million claim against the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime under the Riot (Damages) Act 1886 which arose out of the arson attack on a Sony DADC Distribution Centre during the 2011 London riots. The test case concerning the recoverability of consequential losses was finally determined by the Supreme Court with far reaching repercussions for the legislation, the insurance industry, the Police and the public.

Dubai Aluminium Co Ltd v Deloitte Haskins & Sells and others [2001] All ER (D) 93 Acting for the Claimant in a claim brought against its former auditors, alleging failure to report the fraudulent activities of its former CEO.

Liberata UK Ltd. v British Telecommunications plc [2014] EWHC 2565 (Comm) Acting for the claimant in relation to recovery of losses from a multi-million pound procurement contract which had been terminated for convenience.

Roadchef (Employee Benefits Trustees) Ltd v Hill & Anor [2014] EWHC 109 (Ch) Acting for defendants in relation to a £98 million claim by a corporate trust company regarding a substantial transfer of shares from an employee share ownership plan to a management trust, the subsequent grant of options over those shares and exercise upon the sale of the business to a private equity group.

Union pour le Financement du Cinema et de l’audiovisuel SA v ITV Acting for the Claimant in English High Court proceedings to enforce a television serial licensing agreement.

Faraday Capital v Reliance (Scrap) Metal Merchants [2009] Acting for the claimant in relation to a multi-party coverage dispute arising out of a scrap yard explosion which killed a worker. Following indemnification and during a gross negligence manslaughter trial, a Director of the scrap yard admitted perverting the course of justice, leading to a collapsed eight week trial, policy avoidance and asset freezing.

Material damage insurers Acting for insurers in relation to a multi-party coverage dispute in which Insurers were joined as a Part 20 Defendant for failure to indemnify insured for property damage caused by the spread of fire from their premises to neighbouring electricity power lines.

Demurrage dispute Acting for Charterers in demurrage dispute relating to vessel “Mass Glory”. Concurrent Head and Sub Charter arbitrations followed by appeal to the English High Court.  Clients emerged successful in case which established a point of principle.

IT Dispute Acting for a Californian software house in a multi-million dollar dispute in London against a major Italian utility in relation to a project to provide remote electricity metering to households in Italy.

Allen Fabrications Limited v ASD Limited [2012] EWHC 2213 (TCC) Acting for a Part 20 Defendant in relation to multi-party litigation which turned on whether the supplier’s terms were agreed, incorporated and reasonable, the effect of which was to cap damages at the de minimis price of the goods.

Major Insurance Company Defending an insurance company against a significant claim for a success commission by a consultant engaged in brokering a settlement in a previous reinsurance arbitration.

US Department of Justice Advising the US Department of Justice and representing the United States of America in three sovereign immunities cases before English courts and tribunals.