Țuca Zbârcea & Asociații | NEWS & EVENTS
11 November 2005

Lawyers from the firm formerly known as Țuca & Asociații contributed to Romania winning a multi-million dollar international dispute against Noble Ventures, Inc.

Lawyers from the firm formerly known as Țuca & Asociații scored a major arbitration victory before the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) within the World Bank in Washington.

The legal team was conducted by Florentin Țuca, Managing Partner and Cornel Popa, Partner; other members of the legal team included Levana Zigmund, Senior Associate.

Noble Ventures, Inc. submitted its claim under the bilateral investment treaty between the United States and Romania to arbitration under the ICSID Convention in August 2001.

Noble Ventures` claimed as much as USD 447 million in damages from Romania, challenging Romania's treatment of Noble Ventures and its investment in Combinatul Siderurgic Resita S.A. (CSR) following the steel company's privatization. The constitution of the tribunal dated January 16, 2003, included a German arbitrator, Mr. Karl-Heinz Böckstiegel, chairman, a British arbitrator, Mr. Jeremy Lever, and a French arbitrator, Pierre-Marie Dupuy.

The ICSID award was communicated to both sides on Wednesday, October 12, 2005 in Washington, at 15.00 hours (22.00 hours, Bucharest time). A three-member ICSID arbitration tribunal unanimously dismissed Noble Ventures` claims in their entirety. The Romanian State shall only bear the expenses for taxes, fees and other court-related costs, according to the order for splitting the cost of arbitration.

The successful outcome of the arbitration in Washington comes after four years of extensive work undertaken by lawyers, legal experts, accounting experts and other experts in the steel industry. The defense strategy was revealed in Washington by a team made up of more than fifteen Romanian and American lawyers who used about thirty witnesses from among the Romanian authorities, four Romanian legal experts and one English legal expert, a British company expert in the steel industry and an American company specialising in accounting expertise.

The case involved tens of thousands of pages and covered very complex international law matters (particularly issues related to expropriation, standard of fair and equitable treatment, investment protection etc.) as well as relevant Romanian legal matters (privatisation, fiscal law, bankruptcy and insolvency, contract law, companies' law, employment etc.).

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