The legal team at Italian utility Edison S.p.A has won Litigation Team of the Year at the Global Counsel Awards, held by the International Law Office and the Association of Corporate Counsel. The Awards, which recognise the achievements of in-house legal teams and individuals, were announced at a gala dinner and awards ceremony which took place last week in New York.
The Edison team won the award for achieving spectacular results in a series of five arbitration cases that increased the Company’s EBITA profits by over €1.3 billion, addressing a profitability issue fundamental to Edison’s business of selling natural gas in Italy, the excessive cost of long term contracts with its suppliers of natural gas and LNG.
In three of those arbitrations Edison’s legal team won financial awards that significantly reduced the Company’s supply costs. In the two other arbitrations, the same result was reached by settlement.
The Edison team of Piergiuseppe Biandrino, general counsel; Marco Lorefice, senior litigation counsel, and counsel Annamaria Astolfi, were in New York to receive the award. Squire Sanders’ global chair of the International Dispute Resolution (IDR) practice George von Mehren, who represented Edison on three of the arbitrations, also attended the awards ceremony. He was accompanied by Squire Sanders’ managing partner Stephen Mahon and IDR partner Stephen Anway.
George von Mehren commented: “We are delighted that the achievements of the team at Edison have been recognized at the Global Counsel Awards. Through effective planning and the coordination of a series of complex legal proceedings, the team has made a significant contribution to the future profitability of the Company and fully deserves this award.”
The Squire Sanders International Dispute Resolution practice acted for Edison on arbitrations against:
- Algerian oil and gas company Sonatrach, with the award expected to have an impact of about €300 million on Edison’s earnings;
- Rasgas where the ICC International Court of Arbitration in Paris awarded Edison a €450 million discount;
- Russian-owned PromGas, which resulted in a settlement for more than €200 million in favor of Edison.
Squire Sanders is recognized as one of the top 30 international arbitration firms in the world by leading industry journal Global Arbitration Review (GAR). The firm is noted in the GAR guide for its track record in energy and construction matters, and has attracted plaudits for its gas price review work for clients such as Edison SpA and Gas Natural.