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Dominican Government loses court round in US$680M suit

7 October 2008

Dominican Government loses court round in US$680M suit

SANTO DOMINGO.— An arbitration tribunal constituted under the France-Dominican Republic Bilateral Investment Treaty released an award last week ruling on the jurisdictional objections raised by the Dominican Republic in a claim brought by TCW and its parent company.

“The claim involves an investment in EDE ESTE, an electric distribution company in the Dominican Republic that serves approximately 600,000 customers and has 1,200 employees. The tribunal rejected the objections raised by the Dominican Government and allowed US$680 million in claims against the Republic to proceed to a final hearing and an award on the merits of the dispute,” Business Wire said.

“We are extremely pleased that the tribunal convincingly rejected the Government’s position. This arbitration proceeding goes to the heart of the problems affecting the Dominican electric sector and the unstable legal and regulatory framework. By holding the Government accountable we hope to finally advance the prospect of having a reliable and efficient electric sector for our customers,” said R. Blair Thomas, president of EDE ESTE and group managing Director of TCW, quoted by the Web site.

“On March 15, 2007, TCW and its parent company initiated an arbitration under the bilateral treaty to resolve its allegations that the Republic’s treatment of the investment in EDE ESTE has greatly diminished the value of EDE ESTE. The Republic raised objections to the jurisdiction of the tribunal to hear the claims under the Treaty. The Tribunal’s decision rejected these objections and now the arbitration will proceed to a final hearing in 2009,” said Business Wire.

 source: Dominican Republic Lawyer