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GAR 100 - 10th Edition

Szecskay Attorneys at Law

02 March 2017

Active as counsel and experts in ICSID claims against Hungary

Pending cases as counsel 7
Value of pending counsel work US$170 million+
Treaty cases 1
Current arbitrator appointments 33 (of which 17 are as sole or chair)
Lawyers sitting as arbitrator 2

Founded in Budapest in 1992, this firm is increasingly seen as local co-counsel to investors bringing treaty claims against the Hungarian government. Lately, it’s paired up with the likes of Quinn Emanuel and Winston & Strawn to bring such cases.

The five-strong international arbitration practice is led by founding partner András Szecskay, who also sits as an arbitrator at local institutions. Its members are fluent in English, French, German and Hungarian, and include counsel qualified in France, Germany, England and Wales, and the US.

Its first ICSID case came as far back as 2003, when it acted for Cypriot investor ADC in a successful US$80 million claim relating to the cancellation of a renovation project at Budapest airport.

It later paired up with Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan to advise radio companies in an ICSID claim against Hungary. Another ICSID case saw it provide expert testimony on Hungarian law on behalf of Vigotop, a company owned by US businessman Ronald Lauder, in a dispute over a lakeside casino resort.

In addition, it acts on various commercial cases, including under ICC and UNCITRAL rules and before the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce. Clients in that field include natural gas trader E.ON Földgáz.

The firm continues to represent a Hungarian bank in five arbitration cases filed by the bank’s clients in a dispute over interest-swap transactions and Plaza Centers Group in an ICC arbitration. It’s also been involved in work before the European Court of Human Rights.

The team has also started the first ever blog about Hungarian arbitration law.

Recent events

The firm provided expert evidence on Hungarian law on behalf of French corporate services provider Edenred in an ICSID claim against Hungary, which saw a €23 million award for the investor in late 2016.

Szecskay continues to co-counsel with Winston & Stawn on a similar ICSID claim against the state brought on behalf of French voucher company Sodexo.