Ilija is a partner in the Paris office. Ilija has represented clients in international arbitrations conducted under all major arbitration rules. His practice focuses on complex investment and commercial arbitrations, particularly in the energy sector. He has extensive experience with proceedings for the annulment and enforcement of arbitral awards in numerous jurisdictions.
Ilija has also advised clients in relation to the renegotiation of bilateral investment treaties and on public international law issues, more generally, including on immunities, the law of the sea, and international criminal law.
Ilija’s experience includes the representation of:
- A Ministry of Finance of a European State in an ICC arbitration against a consortium of European infrastructure companies, relating to a project for the improvement of the wastewater infrastructure in the country. The contract is based on the FIDIC Red Book
- An aviation consultancy firm in an ICC arbitration seated in Geneva against a major aircraft manufacturer. The dispute arose from a series of consultancy contracts governed by French law. The consultant is seeking payment of unpaid remuneration in the amount of US$80 million and financial relief in connection with the termination of the relationship
- A European energy company and the municipality of a European city in an SCC arbitration against an international utility company. The dispute arises from a long-term agreement for the lease of energy generation facilities
- The majority shareholders in the former Yukos Oil Company in proceedings initiated in multiple jurisdictions in relation to the setting side and recognition and enforcement of the $50 billion awards rendered in the arbitrations against the Russian Federation. Ilija also represented the majority shareholders in the underlying UNCITRAL arbitrations, in which the Tribunal found the Russian Federation liable to pay damages under the Energy Charter Treaty for the expropriation of the shareholders’ investments in Yukos
- The Republic of Lithuania as Respondent in an ICSID arbitration relating to district heating and power generation markets in Lithuania brought under the Lithuania-France bilateral investment treaty
- The Republic of Lithuania in two arbitrations against Gazprom: one brought by Gazprom under the Russia-Lithuania BIT in respect of Lithuania’s implementation of the EU Third Energy Package (UNCITRAL) and another brought by the State under two contracts in respect of Gazprom’s undertaking to supply gas to Lithuania at fair prices (SCC)
- Electricité de France (EDF) as Claimant in a UNCITRAL arbitration against the Republic of Hungary. The dispute arose from termination of the Power Purchase Agreements put in place during the privatisation of the electricity sector. The claims were brought under the Energy Charter Treaty and the arbitration was considered in accordance with UNCITRAL rules
Ilija is featured in Who’s Who Legal since 2020 which hails him as “one of the most outstanding legal minds of his generation”, someone who “knows the cases inside out”, and a “truly remarkable’ arbitration lawyer who has an impressive ability to manage very complex cases and to develop strategy”. One client notes “I was most impressed with the depth of Mr Mitrev Penusliski’s knowledge across various areas of public international law”.
Ilija teaches international arbitration at the Université de Fribourg, in Switzerland. Ilija holds an LLM from Harvard law School, a Magister Juris from the University of Oxford, and an LLB from Saints Cyril and Methodius University.