Republic of Slovenia Wins Motion to Block Former Yugoslavian Agency Bid to Seize Disputed Assets

May 11, 2007

Cleary Gottlieb won a SDNY motion for the Republic of Slovenia in a dispute over rights to certain assets in New York claimed by Yugoimport, an agency of the former Yugoslavia. On May 11, Senior Judge Charles S. Haight issued a decision that refers interpleader claims involving Yugoimport assets to the Standing Joint Committee established under the June 29, 2001 Succession Agreement among the five successor states to the former Yugoslavia.

The dispute arose over claims to a deposit at the Bank of New York in the name of Yugoimport. Yugoimport, a successor to the Federal Directorate of Supply and Procurement of the former Yugoslavia, argued that Yugoimport is a private Serbian company entitled to the BNY deposit. Slovenia and the Republic of Croatia argued that Federal Directorate was a “department” or “agency” of the former Yugoslavia, requiring allocation of Yugoimport’s BNY deposit under the Succession Agreement. The court concluded that the case should be referred to the Standing Joint Committee because the dispute requires interpretation of the Succession Agreement.