Global Disputes of the Year
The American Lawyer Global Disputes of the Year honor the winning team in transnational cases no matter where they play out. Among this year’s winners are the holders of record awards in both commercial and investment arbitration (The Dow Chemical Company and Occidental Petroleum Corporation). Roman Abramovich and Porsche Automobil Holding SE beat back multibillion-dollar transnational claims in more traditional (national) forums. Mayer Brown improbably pioneered the law in Geneva on technical barriers to trade, while arguably preserving the livelihood of millions of Indonesian clove farmers. For its part, Davis Polk & Wardwell helped an Italian bank to escape a U.S. fine for dodging economic sanctions in a year when some of its global peers paid nine figures for the privilege of trading with the enemy.
GRAND PRIZE WINNER
Global Dispute of the Year, Commercial Arbitration: Dow v. Kuwait Petroleum
Reneging on deals can be costly. Kuwait found that out the hard way when an arbitral tribunal ordered Petrochemical Industries Corporation (PIC), a subsidiary of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, to pay nearly $2.5 billion to its former joint venture partner, The Dow Chemical Company.
Global Dispute of the Year, Investment Arbitration: Occidental v. Ecuador
Arguably, this massive arbitration win for oil giant Oxy is the second chapter in a long-running feud with the government of Ecuador.
Global Dispute of the Year, U.S. Litigation: Porsche v. Volkswagen
When bankers and sports car manufacturers collide, it's going to be expensive—and so it proved when 40 hedge funds took on Porsche Automobil Holding SE, which, they claimed, had squeezed the price of its stock and left them billions short.
Global Dispute of the Year, U.K. Litigation: Berezovsky vs. Abramovich
It was billed as a Clash of Titans. Two of Russia's richest men: Boris Berezosky, one of the first "oligarchs" to emerge out of the post-Communist Russia, up against "metals czar" Roman Abramovich, famed for his precocious wealth, connections, and ownership of Chelsea Football Club.
Global Dispute of the Year, International Litigation: Indonesian Clove Cigarettes
In Indonesia, clove cigarettes have a 90 percent share of the cigarette market. Outside of Southeast Asia, they're pretty exotic. But that didn't stop them being caught by the U.S. Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which prohibits the sale of flavored tobacco.
Global Dispute of the Year, Investigations: Intesa Sanpaolo
Typically, there's a degree of inevitability about sanctions investigations. Once the authorities begin compiling a case, few entities have the nerve to challenge it. But things turned out differently for Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo, after local law enforcement raided its Milan offices, at the request of the U.S. Department of Justice.