CLE: International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, Sudapet Co. Ltd. v. Republic of South Sudan

04/15/2013 - 12:05pm

This program is approved for 1.5 CLE credits.

Douglas Nordlinger will be discussing the Sudapet Company Limited v. Republic of South Sudan (ICSID Case No. ARB/12/26) Arbitration before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). The subject of the dispute is the exploration and production of hydrocarbons, key components of crude oil and natural gas.

South Sudan is the world's newest country and became a sovereign nation on July 9, 2011. Prior to becoming an independent nation, South Sudan was part of occupied Sudan under joint British and Egyptian rule from 1898 to 1955. However, the South Sudanese rejected the occupational government and continued to fight for self-determination. In 1956, Sudan became an independent nation. Despite independence from British and Egyptian rule, widespread and long-term civil conflicts arose out of disputes over human rights, and the struggle for southern self-determination continued. In January 2011, the South Sudanese voted for total independence with 98 percent in favor of total secession. Southern Sudan is both rich and poor because it has abundant natural resources but its industry and infrastructure are underdeveloped. The government of South Sudan derives more than 97 percent of its budget revenues from oil.

The ICSID is considered to be the leading international arbitration institution devoted to investor-State dispute settlement and it plays an important role in the field of international investment and economic development. ICSID is an autonomous international institution established under the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (the ICSID or the Washington Convention) with more than 140 member States. The ICSID Convention is a multilateral treaty formulated by the Executive Directors of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (the World Bank). It was opened for signature on March 18, 1965 and entered into force on Oct. 14, 1966. Recourse to the ICSID facilities is always subject to the parties' consent.

The dispute between the Republic of South Sudan and Sudapet Company Limited was registered on Aug. 29, 2012 and the Tribunal was constituted on Jan. 22, 2012 in accordance with 37(2)(a). The President of the Tribunal is Campbell McLachlan (New Zealand) and the arbitrators are Gavan Griffith (Australia) (appointed by Respondent) and David A.R. Williams (New Zealand) (appointed by Claimant). The Republic of South Sudan is represented by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, London, U.K. and Sudapet Co. Ltd. is represented by S&A Law Firm (in association with SNR Denton), Ruwi, Sultanate of Oman.


Douglas E. Nordlinger is a Partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP (UK) and represents clients in a broad array of corporate, commercial and finance-related transactions, with a particular emphasis on the energy industry and other infrastructure projects. He holds an A.B. from Duke University (summa cum laude) and a J.D. (cum laude) from Harvard Law School and is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia and as a Solicitor in England and Wales. In the course of his almost 30 years of practice on matters throughout the world, he has advised clients in connection with mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, structured and project financings, commercial agreements, project developments, dispute resolutions, oil and gas developments and regulatory matters.

Mr. Nordlinger is currently advising the Republic of South Sudan in connection with oil and gas issues relating to its secession from the Republic of Sudan and its becoming a sovereign and independent nation. Mr. Nordlinger has advised on matters arising in the negotiations of agreements between the two countries and in negotiations between the Republic of South Sudan and each of the oil companies having rights to explore for, produce, and market crude oil and natural gas in the territory of South Sudan.

Mr. Nordlinger has written and spoken on various matters related to his practice. He is listed as a "leading individual" in Chambers Global, Chambers UK, The Legal 500 and Who's Who Legal: Project Finance 2012. He also was selected for inclusion in The Lawyer magazine's "Hot 100" dealmakers for 2013 and shortlisted for Legal Business magazine's "Lawyer of the Year Award" 2013.


12:00-12:05 p.m. Introductions (Professor Rachel Anderson)
12:05-1:15 p.m. Douglas Nordlinger on Sudapet Company Limited v. Republic of South Sudan Arbitration
1:15-1:25 p.m. Questions and Answers
1:25-1:30 p.m. Closing Remarks (Professor Rachel Anderson)



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