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GAR 100 - 12th Edition

Brown&Page

05 April 2019

The Swiss boutique is believed to be counselling Israel in a multibillion-dollar matter relating to Iran

People in Who's Who Legal 1

Established in 2008, this Geneva boutique is led by Dominique Brown-Berset, a past president of ArbitralWomen who regularly sits as arbitrator at the ICC and the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The team has experience in international commercial arbitration and litigation, energy and environmental law, as well as public international law. It regularly partners with international law firms on cases in Switzerland, either providing Swiss law input or specialist advice on international arbitration and PIL. The firm is sometimes brought in to provide a second opinion on cases where it isn’t counsel of record.

Despite its small size, Brown&Page handles some impressively high-stakes disputes. The firm prides itself on resolving a number of its cases pre-hearing.

Brown&Page also collaborates with Geneva-based academic Laurence Boisson de Chazournes, an associate member of Matrix Chambers who also sits as arbitrator in investor-state cases.

Network

Besides the Geneva office, Brown&Page has an office in the Swiss city of Nyon, making it well placed to serve the fast-growing technology and biotech industry there.

Who uses it?

Swiss bar rules mean the firm won’t give anything away about its clients. However, it is believed to be advising the Israeli government in a multibillion-dollar dispute with the National Iranian Oil Company over an abandoned oil pipeline venture. The politically sensitive dispute has been quietly playing out over more than two decades in various arbitrations and court actions.

Other clients on the public record include France’s EDF International and Medex Petroleum.

Track record

In a rare public example of the firm’s work, it helped EDF successfully defend a €107 million Energy Charter Treaty award against Hungary over the early termination of power purchase agreements. The Swiss Supreme Court upheld the award in 2015, rejecting Hungary’s arguments that it was incompatible with EU law. Shearman & Sterling represented EDF in the arbitration.

The firm successfully co-counselled the former owner of a bank as respondent in a post-M&A dispute, with an ICC tribunal dismissing seven out of eight claims brought by the bank’s new owners in a 2017 award.

As part of its work for Israel, the firm appeared before the Swiss Supreme Court in a challenge to a US$1.2 billion award that compensated the National Iranian Oil Company for oil deliveries pre-dating Iran’s Islamic revolution of 1979. The award was upheld but a related and much bigger arbitration is pending.

Recent events

Brown&Page has been advising Medex Petroleum in an UNCITRAL claim against Algeria’s national oil and gas company Sonatrach concerning contracts for two oilfields. The client won an early round of the dispute when it persuaded the Swiss Supreme Court to stay the arbitration on the ground that a conciliation process had been prematurely ended. However, the arbitration has since resumed and led to a partial award that Sonatrach says was in its favour. Other claims by Medex are still to be decided.

Insight

Reviews

Regional analysis from arbitrators around the globe, focussing on key developments in specific industry areas and jurisdictions.

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The Middle Eastern and African Arbitration Review 2019

Highlights

CRCICA Overview

Ismail Selim and Dalia Hussein

The Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA)

DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Overview

Alec Emmerson

DIFC Arbitration Institute (DAI)

Robert Stephen, Matthew Harley and Katy Hacking

DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Centre