Squire Patton Boggs has achieved a complete victory for long-standing client the Republic of Croatia with a tribunal fully dismissing a claim of €200 million brought before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) by Marko Mihaljevic.
The Squire Patton Boggs team was led by New York partner Luka Mišetić, Sabrina Aïnouz (Paris), Carlos Guzman (New York) and Jakub Kamenický (Bratislava).
In the case, Mr. Mihaljevic alleged that Croatia breached its obligations under the Croatia-Germany Bilateral Investment Treaty due to its actions related to a property located next to Mirogoj cemetery, a historical landmark in Zagreb, allegedly owned by the claimant.
Mr. Mihaljevic filed his first Request for Arbitration with ICSID in October 2019. Shortly after, when he realized that he was a dual citizen of Croatia and Germany, Mr. Mihaljevic withdrew this request for arbitration and sought to terminate his Croatian citizenship. He then filed his second Request for Arbitration with ICSID in December 2019. At the time, under Croatian law, Mr. Mihaljevic was still a Croatian citizen—and remained so until May 2020.
Croatia claimed that Mr. Mihaljevic was precluded from bringing his claim because he failed to meet the jurisdictional requirements under Article 25 of the ICSID Convention because of his Croatian citizenship. Specifically, Croatia claimed that Mr. Mihaljevic was a Croatian citizen on both the date of Mr. Mihaljevic’s consent and the date when his second Request for Arbitration was registered with ICSID.
The Tribunal agreed and unanimously declined jurisdiction, holding that Mr. Mihaljevic was a dual citizen of Croatia and Germany. In addition, the Tribunal awarded Croatia all of its costs, including all legal fees.