A team from King & Spalding representing Petersen Energia Invesora and other investors against Argentina in connection with that Government’s nationalization of oil firm YPF in 2012 has persuaded the Southern District of New York to reject a second motion to dismiss filed by Argentina. This case, Petersen Energia v. Republic of Argentina, is the most important ongoing litigation against Argentina of the past decade, with damages estimated to fall between US$ 3 and 10 billion.
The case was filed in 2015 with Argentina and YPF named as defendants. Both defendants initially sought dismissal in 2016 on a variety of grounds, including the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and forum non conveniens. Litigators from King and Spalding and co-counsel Kellogg, Hansen, Todd, Figel & Frederick persuaded both the SDNY and the Second Circuit to reject Argentina’s arguments. Argentina then sought review from the United States Supreme Court, which called for the views of the Solicitor General. The Solicitor General rejected Argentina’s arguments and the Court denied review.
Following remand to the SDNY in 2019, Argentina again sought dismissal on forum non conveniens grounds. Once again, King & Spalding and co-counsel persuaded the SDNY to reject Argentina’s grounds. In particular, Judge Preska was convinced that New York had a strong interest in litigating this matter given that it involved the sale of securities to private investors on the New York Stock Exchange.
In addition to prevailing on multiple occasions before the U.S. courts, the King & Spalding team also worked with Spanish co-counsel to defeat an attempt by Argentina before the Spanish courts to nullify the litigation funding agreement underlying the American litigation. On that side of the case, both the trial court and court of appeals in Madrid found that Argentina lacked jurisdiction to bring its claims.