March 8, 2019 - News about the firm

Mannheimer Swartling counsel in two of last year's most important rulings, according to Global Arbitration Review

In Global Arbitration Review's (GAR) annual GAR Awards, which takes place in Paris on 4 April, the "Most important decision" of the preceding year will be announced. Mannheimer Swartling has acted as counsel in no less than two of the short-listed rulings.

Both concern the effects of the ruling by the European Court of Justice in the Achmea case on the jurisdiction of arbitral tribunals and on the enforceability of arbitral awards, when the arbitral tribunal's jurisdiction is based on bilateral investment treaties between EU member states. For some time, the Commission has held the view that such treaties between member states violate EU law and in the 2018 Achmea ruling, the Court of Justice validated the Commission's view. Although the more detailed consequences of the ruling are unclear, they have been assessed in the two notable cases in which the firm acted as counsel (with the firm representing the successful party in both cases):

  • In the case of Vattenfall v Germany, in a decision announced in September 2018, the arbitral tribunal rejected Germany's jurisdictional objection, which was based on the Achmea case. In that case, the jurisdiction of the arbitration panelarbitral tribunal is based not on a bilateral treaty, but on the multilateral Energy Charter Treaty. The arbitration, which is still in progress, is being held before ICSID, the World Bank's arbitral institution in Washington DC.
  • In the case of The Republic of Poland v PL Holdings, the Svea Court of Appeal dismissed, in February 2019, Poland's challenge of two arbitral awards rendered under a bilateral investment treaty between two EU member states (Luxembourg and Poland). Poland lodged several objections and complaints of invalidity against the arbitral awards, which were issued at SCC in Stockholm. Among other things, Poland claimed that the awards should be annulled as a consequence of Achmea, an objection that the Svea Court of Appeal found to be precluded by Poland not having lodged this during the arbitral proceedings. Poland's other grounds of complaint based on the Achmea ruling were also dismissed by the Court of Appeal.