PT Venture’s Arbitration Proceedings


White & Case LLP secured a victory for PT Ventures SGPS with an arbitral award of over US$650 million upheld by the French courts.

PT Ventures SGPS, S.A. is a Portuguese telecommunications company ultimately owned by Sonangol EP, the Angolan state oil company.

The disputes relate to PT Ventures’ shareholding in Unitel S.A., Angola’s largest telecommunications company. White & Case successfully represented PT Ventures in arbitration proceedings before the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in 2019, securing an award of over US$650 million in favor of PT Ventures.

After the ICC award was issued, Vidatel applied to the Paris Court of Appeals in an effort to annul the award. However, in a substantial decision rendered on 26 January 2021, the Paris Court of Appeals has dismissed the action for annulment brought by Vidatel.

The decision dismissing the action for annulment was issued by the International Commercial Chamber of the Paris Court of Appeals. It has all the elements of a landmark decision, which settles a number of important issues in French arbitration law. The decision clarifies the powers granted to the ICC by its Rules of Arbitration, the scope of the principle of equality of the parties in the constitution of the arbitral tribunal, an arbitrator’s duty of disclosure, the duty of loyalty and promptness of the parties in the conduct of the proceedings, and, finally, the conditions for assessing circumstances likely to create a reasonable doubt as to an arbitrator’s independence.

The White & Case team which represented PT Ventures in the proceedings before the Paris Court of Appeals was led by partners Christophe von Krause (Picture), Lucas De Ferrari and John Willems (all Paris), Jorge Mattamouros (Houston) and John Rogerson (London), with support from associates Faustine Chapelin, Fadi Hajjar, Héloïse Broc and Niels Aujouannet-Kelner (all Paris) and Gwen Wackwitz and Charlie Mercer (both London).

Involved fees earner: Niels Aujouannet-Kelner – White & Case; Héloïse Broc – White & Case; Faustine Chapelin – White & Case; Lucas De Ferrari – White & Case; Fadi Hajjar – White & Case; Jorge Mattamouros – White & Case; Charlie Mercer – White & Case; John Rogerson – White & Case; Christophe von Krause – White & Case; Gwen Wackwitz – White & Case; John Willems – White & Case;

Law Firms: White & Case;

Clients: PT Ventures, SGPS, S.A.;