In a case that highlights both that governments are not above the rule of law and that it is difficult to swiftly enforce arbitral awards, a Swedish appeals court, on December 12, 2016, upheld a $506 million award against Kazakhstan. The award stems from Kazakhstan’s 2008 seizure of the oil and gas investments of two Moldovan businessmen. The Swedish appeals court refused to allow Kazakhstan to further appeal the award and also ordered the country to pay attorney’s fees in excess of $3 million.

oil-1The District Court of the Hague overturned a record $50 billion in damages awards issued by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (“PCA”), to the former controlling shareholders of the Yukos Oil Company on the grounds that Russia had not submitted itself to the PCA’s jurisdiction.

In 2014, the PCA awarded the former Yukos Oil Company shareholders damages, unanimously finding that Russia had breached its international obligations under the Energy Charter Treaty by destroying Yukos Oil Company, expropriating its assets for political reasons and transferring its assets to the state-owned oil company Rosneft.