Dorda has successfully represented Italian investor Francesco Becchetti in enforcement proceedings against the assets of the Republic of Albania in Austria.
According to Dorda, the dispute began in 2015 after Albania expropriated investments made by Becchetti and other Italian investors in the country's hydropower, wind energy, and media industries. The investors initiated arbitration proceedings against Albania under the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes convention, and in April 2019 an ICSID arbitral tribunal awarded them approximately EUR 100 million (plus interest and costs). However, according to Dorda, the Albanian government failed to comply with its payment obligations.
In order to collect up to EUR 25 million for Becchetti, Dorda commenced enforcement proceedings against Albania’s accounts and securities deposits at several banks in Austria. The firm noted that, “as Austria has acceded to the ICSID Convention, domestic courts must recognize and enforce ICSID arbitral awards.”
The District Court Innere Stadt Wien approved the application for enforcement on November 10, 2020.
"Enforcement proceedings like this one do not occur frequently, because countries usually comply with arbitral awards," explained Dorda Partner Florian Kremslehner, who led the firm's team on the matter. "The special situation here is also that parallel proceedings are conducted in many European countries, and enforcement is required in other states if state sovereignty is invoked."
In addition to Kremslehner, Dorda's team included Attorneys-at-Law Philip Exenberger and Alexander Karl and Associate Robert Keimelmayr.