French food services company Sodexo Pass International, represented by Simmons & Simmons and Szecskay Attorneys at Law, claimed victory in a EUR 73 million international arbitration case last week, confirms a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.
As reported earlier, the case concerned the effects of a Hungarian legislative package reforming the country’s fringe benefit system. Sodexo argued that the reform constituted indirect expropriation of its investment under a French/Hungarian bilateral investment treaty.
The victory was secured at a tribunal of the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on behalf of Sodexo Pass International. The tribunal awarded the decision on January 28 and ordered Hungary to pay EUR 73 mln plus interest, after also rejecting the European Commission’s amicus brief submitting that the ICSID tribunal lacks jurisdiction following the Court of Justice of the European Union’s landmark judgment in another case, known as the Achmea case.
Szecskay Attorneys at Law’s team consisted of András Szecskay and György Wellmann, who were co-counsel to Philippe Cavalieros and Janet (Hyun Jeong) Kim from Simmons & Simmons, Paris.
"The case started well before the Achmea decision and we are professionally satisfied for the client," said Szecskay. "We are proud that we were able to achieve this successful result particularly as we were facing submissions by the European Commission as well as the Hungarian government to dismiss the claim on the basis of the Achmea judgment."
"This was a complex and challenging case and we are therefore delighted with the favorable result and the tribunal’s decision may also serve as a precedent in future cases," Wellmann added.