Legal Business Blogs

A&O defeats Quinn as $575m Progas energy claim against Pakistan thrown out

Allen & Overy (A&O), Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan and Withers have advised as a tribunal convened under the UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) threw out two parallel investment treaty claims worth about $575m against Pakistan made by Progas Energy.

In a legal wrangle that lasted five years, the Progas group of companies and Ali Allawai, formerly the Iraqi Minister of Finance, alleged that regulatory measures around liquid petroleum gas (LPG) pricing in the country forced the auction of its LPG import terminal at Port Qasim in Karachi after it became insolvent.

The London-seated tribunal presided by chair Yves Fortier QC, Judge Charles Brower and J Christopher Thomas QC dismissed the case after spending 10 days presiding over hearings in 2015.

Pakistan turned to A&O which has been working on six separate cases for the country over the last several years. Judith Gill QC led teams on both claims with partners Jeff Sullivan, Marie Stoyanov, Andrew Battisson. The firm is also currently advising Pakistan several other disputes, including a claim brought by Turkish power-ship company Karkey Karadeniz worth over $2bn, made after Pakistan seized its ships.

The Magic Circle firm is also helping Pakistan defend a multi-billion dollar claim brought by Australian mining company Tethyan Copper Company in relation to a mining concession in the Balochistan Province of Pakistan.

Quinn partner David Orta advised Progas on its claim with a team led by Steven Madison, Tai-Heng Cheng, Daniel Salinas-Serrano alongside Withers partner Hussein Haeri who has overseen the case over the last five years.

Other recent disputes mandates for Quinn include representing a group of US investors bringing a $100m claim against Mexico after its government seized and closed six casinos across the country in 2014, and the firm is bringing the first major US-style class action in the English courts against MasterCard.