Hogan Lovells secures major legal victory for the Slovak Republic before the German Supreme Court

London, 9 November 2018 – Hogan Lovells has secured yet another major legal victory for the Slovak Republic in the case of Achmea v Slovak Republic, which tested the compatibility of investor-State arbitration clauses in investment treaties with EU law.

In a decision dated 31 October 2018 (made available on 8 November 2018), the German Federal Supreme Court set aside a €22 million arbitral award previously issued in favour of Dutch insurer Achmea. The court found that there was no valid arbitration clause in the investment treaty between the Slovak Republic and the Netherlands and the tribunal did not have jurisdiction. The court also ordered Achmea to cover the costs of the proceedings.

This decision follows the landmark judgment by the Court of Justice of the European Union ("CJEU") on 6 March 2018 that investor-State arbitration clauses in investment treaties concluded between EU Member States ("intra-EU investment treaties") are incompatible with EU law.

In the proceedings before the German courts and the CJEU the Slovak Republic was represented by Hogan Lovells led by partners Markus Burgstaller in London and Karl Pörnbacher in Munich.

London international arbitration partner Markus Burgstaller commented: "The CJEU judgment from earlier this year has already had far-reaching consequences for other disputes under intra-EU investment treaties. This major legal victory before the German courts that we secured for our client reinforces the message that EU law has to be taken seriously."


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