This M&A dispute raised questions about deferred payment provisions and the valuation of a future put option and took place against the backdrop of difficult economic conditions that have accompanied the recent political crisis in Ukraine. Arising out of eight contracts, and involving the launch of eight related arbitrations, the dispute raised interesting procedural questions including the availability of consolidation. The dispute was settled in our clients favour, where we played a significant role.
In one of the largest ICC cases in history, Three Crowns helped ConocoPhillips obtain a US$2 billion arbitral award against PDVSA, the Venezuelan state-owned oil and natural gas company. The arbitration raised issues of contract interpretation, contractual and extra-contractual liability, and the net present value of two long term projects of macro-economic significance. ConocoPhillips has since entered into a favorable settlement with PDVSA for the full value of the arbitral award, including interest.
Three Crowns lawyers also act as counsel to ConocoPhillips in a parallel ICSID claim against Venezuela, arising from the State’s nationalization of its oil industry. By representing ConocoPhillips in both the ICC and ICSID proceedings, the firm has played an integral strategic role in helping ConocoPhillips obtain redress for its loss.
The matter raises complex revenue allocation and accounting issues, and is the subject of an expert audit procedure within the arbitration process, which our lawyers are managing under the supervision of a standing arbitral tribunal. The matter has been ongoing since 2008, and Three Crowns were brought in to replace our client’s prior counsel as the arbitration reached a new, significant phase.