Squire Patton Boggs has successfully defended the Republic of Estonia against a US$100 million investment treaty claim brought under the Netherlands-Estonia Bilateral Investment Treaty by Estonian water provider AS Tallinna Vesi and its Dutch shareholder United Utilities (Tallinn) B.V., over the state’s refusal to allow an annual increase in water tariffs. In an award issued on June 21, 2019, the ICSID arbitration tribunal dismissed all claims brought against the Republic of Estonia and ordered the claimant to pay more than US$750,000 to Estonia for fees and costs it incurred by defending the claim.
The Squire Patton Boggs team representing Estonia was led by partners Rostislav Pekař (Paris and Prague), Eveli Lume (Berlin), Horst Daniel (Frankfurt), Luka Misetic (New York) and Mária Poláková (Prague), as well as associates Ariane Sproedt (Frankfurt), Matej Pustay and David Seidl (Prague).
“We are delighted that the tribunal confirmed Estonia’s right to regulate excessive water tariffs in Tallinn. Excessive water tariffs under old privatization agreements are a problem in many Central and Eastern European countries, and the award shows that investment treaties do not make them immune from regulation,” commented Mr. Pekař.
The Squire Patton Boggs International Dispute Resolution Practice is ranked 18th in Global Arbitration Review’s 2019 ranking of the top 30 international arbitration firms in the world. The team consists of more than 100 practitioners across more than 20 countries with experience practicing before virtually every major international dispute body in the world.