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Cases & Deals

February 1, 2023

Tolkynneftegaz LLP & Anor v Terra RAF Trans Traiding Ltd & Ors, 2023/GSC/003

On 31 January 2023, The Supreme Court of Gibraltar Court dismissed the claims brought by the insolvency administrator of Kazakh entity Tolkynneftegaz LLP (“TNG”) against the firm’s clients, the Stati Parties.

This outcome represents the latest failed attempt by the Republic of Kazakhstan to thwart the enforcement of a US$560 million arbitral award obtained by the Stati Parties in December 2013.  In July 2020, Kazakhstan induced TNG’s insolvency administrator to file a claim in Gibraltar against the Stati Parties in a renewed attempt to attack the 2013 award. In this US$ 500+ million claim - believed to be the largest in Gibraltar legal history - the Claimants alleged conspiracy, fraud, and deceit.

The Defendants contested the jurisdiction of the Gibraltar court, which sided with the Stati Parties and declined jurisdiction to hear the claims on the basis that it was against the well-established English/Gibraltar common law “revenue rule”, according to which the Gibraltar courts have no jurisdiction to entertain an action involving the enforcement of a penal, revenue or other public law of a foreign State (in the present case, Kazakhstan). The court further found that Gibraltar was not the appropriate forum for the claims in any event.

A cross-office King & Spalding team, led by partner Egishe Dzhazoyan in London, provided key support and assistance to the clients’ Gibraltar counsel throughout the proceedings. Other team members included associates Kabir Bhalla, Mikhail Kalinin and Florence Mugerwa in London as well as associate Kateryna Frolova in Dubai.

A copy of the judgment is accessible here.