Squire Patton Boggs IDR Team Secures Absolute Victory for Ecuador, Achieving Dismissal of Treaty Claim on Corruption Grounds

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Squire Patton Boggs’ International Dispute Resolution (IDR) team secured a resounding victory for the Republic of Ecuador, defeating a USD $200 million investment claim involving two marquee refinery projects in Ecuador, while recouping all of Ecuador’s fees and costs.

In a precedent-setting decision, a distinguished arbitral tribunal (composed of professors Andrés Rigo Sureda, Bernard Hanotiau, and Brigitte Stern) unanimously ruled in Ecuador’s favor, finding the Claimant’s alleged investment was affected by “a widespread pattern of illegality and bad faith,” and that Claimant had engaged in “corruption during the operation of its investment” and was “willful[ly] blind[] towards [its main subcontractor’s] corruption.” The case is captioned Worley International Services, Inc. v. the Republic of Ecuador, Permanent Court of Arbitration Case No. 2019-15.

The decisive Award, which recounts specific instances of corrupt and bad faith conduct, creates new guidance for the illegality defense under public international law.

The Squire Patton Boggs team was led by partners Raúl Mañón and Digna French (Miami) and Rostislav Pekař (Prague) and included Francisco Batlle and Carmen Haché (Santo Domingo), David Seidl and Fëllënza Limani (Prague), María Gómez (Miami), and Pawel Bukiel (Warsaw). The SPB team worked in close coordination with Ecuador’s State Attorney General’s Office.

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