European litigation team of the year
Zamfirescu Racoti & Partners
Romanian firm Zamfirescu Racoti & Partners scored a remarkable success in 2018, with a case before the International Court of Arbitration in Paris regarding the dispute between Chevron and Romania’s National Agency for Mineral Resources. The dispute arose following the termination of three oil concession contracts without complying with the financial obligations under the oil law.
The ICC tribunal rejected claims that Chevron had brought against Romania’s state agency over the termination of the three shale gas concessions, while fully upholding the Agency’s counterclaim for more than US$73 million plus interest from October 2014 as mandatory financial obligations due upon early termination. A total of approximately US$100 million was voluntarily paid within a month from the award. The Zamfirescu team had to face an opponent with unlimited budget and a lead counsel coming from a common law background, and therefore had to decide whether to fight the case through forests of paperwork. It decided to simplify the case to its contractual and legal essence, thereby protecting the client’s budget from unnecessary spending.
The judges said: ‘This certainly seems to be a David and Goliath case. That David was ultimately successful highlights the expertise, innovation and professionalism of the legal team. The tactic of not getting bogged down by disclosure and focusing on the merits of the case strikes a chord that other disputes lawyers should bear in mind.’
Highly commended: Egorov Puginsky & Partners
Egorov’s work on Novartis v Nativa was significant for many reasons, not least for addressing a legislative loophole that allows generics manufacturers to register a ‘’new’ patent for an existing product. The issue of protection of patent rights was crucial for big pharma: Egorov’s work for Novartis prevented the generic drug from penetrating the Russian market. The judges lauded Egorov’s ‘innovative approach’ in a ‘landmark case for Russia with significant implications for pharma regulatory landscape going forward. An impressive result for the client.’
Brucher, Thieltgen & Partners
Clyde & Co
Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners
Latham & Watkins