Derains & Gharavi International


September 2013

Derains & Gharavi recruits senior counsel from ICSID to open office in Washington DC

The firm is delighted to welcome Eloïse Obadia to the partnership. Her arrival will add another reputable partner to the team and reinforce senior staffing in the dozen investment cases that the firm is handling as counsel. The opening of an office in Washington DC will moreover allow the firm to further develop both the ICSID as well as the Latin American practice.

Derains & Gharavi in second tier of International Arbitration in The Legal 500 Paris 2013-2014

The Legal 500 Paris 2013-2014 has just been released and Derains & Gharavi is once more ranked among the best French arbitration law firms: ”Derains & Gharavi délivre ‘des prestations de première qualité’ et peut s’appuyer sur ‘un réseau international de conseils très solide’. Boutique française d’arbitrage, le cabinet n’affiche pas moins une ‘forte compréhension des différentes cultures’; l’équipe est fortement internationale dans sa composition et constituée d’avocats ‘très ouverts d’esprit’. Le cabinet gère de grands dossiers en provenance de toutes les parties du globe et a remporté plusieurs succès majeurs dans des affaires d’investissement de premier plan. L’équipe représente Repsol et Gas Natural dans un arbitrage CNUDCI aux enjeux financiers très importants l’opposant à Sonatrach et portant sur un contrat d’exploitation de gaz liquéfié. Le cabinet agit également pour le compte d’Oxus Gold dans un autre dossier CNUDCI l’opposant à l’Ouzbékistan concernant des investissements dans le secteur minier. Yves Derains est un arbitre de forte renommée qui intervient aussi en qualité de conseil dans les dossiers ; Bertrand Derains cumule une forte expérience en tant que conseil et arbitre ; le ‘très impressionnant’ Hamid Gharavi est ‘extrêmement pragmatique, percutant’ et ‘capable de résoudre des situations complexes selon les systèmes civiliste et de common law’; enfin la ‘très engagée, travailleuse et compétente’ Melanie van Leeuwen ‘connaît ses dossiers sur le bout des doigts et a l’œil pour les détails’.”

Inaugural Conference of the Dutch Arbitration Association

Melanie van Leeuwen will speak on the supervisory jurisdiction of domestic courts in investment arbitration and investment protection in the European context of the Inaugural Conference of the Dutch Arbitration Association in The Hague, on 25 September 2013.

Derains & Gharavi defies Ukraine’s annulment application against the ICSID Award in favour of Joseph Charles Lemire

Derains & Gharavi obtained on July 8, 2013, a Decision (ICSID Case No. ARB/06/18) dismissing Ukraine’s application for annulment of the Award rendered on March 28, 2011 in favour of Mr. Joseph Charles Lemire. The firm had successfully represented Mr. Lemire, a US investor, in the underlying ICSID Arbitration initiated on the basis of a bilateral investment treaty for unfair and inequitable treatment and discrimination re. his investment in the radio industry, which had led to a favourable Decision on Jurisdiction and Liability followed by a favourable Award for 10 million USD with interests and partial legal costs. It was the first international award holding a State liable for breach of international law in relation to tenders, namely in the case at hand for the award of frequencies in the radio industry.


Yves Derains, together with Bernardo Cremades, has been honoured with a Liber Amicorum entitled “Arbitraje Internacional: Pasado, Presente y Futuro” during the VII Congreso Latinoamericano de Arbitraje that took place at the end of April 2013 in Lima. Representing 26 countries and written by 96 well-known authors in the field of arbitration, the publication was coordinated by Carlos Alberto Soto Coaguila and Delia Revoredo Marsana de Mur and is published by the Instituto Peruano de Arbitraje.

Derains & Gharavi secures ICSID win for Albania over gambling investment dispute, with full award of costs

Derains & Gharavi obtained on 29 May 2013 an Award (ICSID Case No. ARB/11/18) in favor of the Republic of Albania, with full legal and arbitration costs, dismissing all claims amounting to approximately USD 10 million for lack of jurisdiction. The claims were brought by an Albanian gambling company and its 65% shareholder (a dual national of both Italy and Albania) under the Italian-Albanian BIT and the Albanian Investment Law for the alleged expropriation of a gambling permit. Please click here to read the full Award. This is the seventh victory of the firm in ICSID arbitration out of seven cases so far, after the victory for the Republic of Albania against Pantechniki (ICSID Case No. ARB/07/21), the Republic of Turkey against Saba Fakes (ICSID Case No. ARB/07/20), and investors DLP v. Yemen (ICSID Case No. ARB/05/17), Rumeli/Telsim v. Kazakhstan (ICSID Case No. ARB/05/16), Lemire v. Ukraine (ICSID Case No. ARB/06/18) and Arif v. Moldova (ICSID Case No. ARB/11/23).


Melanie van Leeuwen will speak on the topic of the independence of arbitrators during the “New Developments in International Commercial Arbitration” conference organised by the University of Neuchâtel on 15 November 2013, in Neuchâtel, Switzerland.


Last Friday Derains & Gharavi won the Global Arbitration Review Award for the boutique or regional practices that impressed in 2012. The award is chosen through an online vote by GAR readers.

The GAR Awards dinner took place at the Sheraton Hotel in Bogota (Colombia) on the eve of the IBA Arbitration Day. Stephen Jagusch who handed out the award, said: the award “celebrates the growing range of options available to clients in international arbitration.” The category encompasses single-focus firms with all their partners in one location or full-service firms that handle international arbitration in regions not traditionally associated with the field.