Laurie Achtouk-Spivak’s practice focuses on international arbitration and litigation, with a particular emphasis on public international law.

Laurie represents investors and sovereigns in investment treaty arbitrations before ICSID as well as other arbitration institutions. She has also represented clients in several commercial arbitrations including some involving sovereigns and often provides companies with investment structuring advice. 

Laurie joined the firm in 2006 and became counsel in 2016.


Notable Experience

  • OJSC Tatneft in an UNCITRAL arbitration under the Russia-Ukraine bilateral investment treaty arising out of a raider takeover of Ukraine’s largest refinery, in which OJSC Tatneft was a shareholder. The arbitral tribunal rejected all of Ukraine’s jurisdictional and admissibility defenses and found Ukraine liable for breach of the Russia-Ukraine BIT in July 2014, awarding damages to Tatneft.

  • The Hellenic Republic in an ICSID arbitration commenced by Poštová banka a.s., a Slovak bank that purchased interests in Greek sovereign bonds, and its Cypriot shareholder, Istrokapital SE., under the Hellenic Republic-Slovak Republic and the Hellenic Republic-Cyprus bilateral investment treaties, challenging measures taken by the Hellenic Republic in 2012 to address its financial crisis. In April 2015, the arbitral tribunal dismissed all of the claims for lack of jurisdiction.

  • The Hellenic Republic in an ICSID arbitration brought by Cyprus Popular Bank Public Co. Ltd under the Cyprus-Hellenic Republic bilateral investment treaty arising out of measures taken by the Hellenic Republic in 2012 to address its financial and sovereign debt crisis.

  • The Arab Republic of Egypt in an ICSID arbitration under the US-Egypt bilateral investment treaty brought by H&H Enterprises Investments relating to an investment in an Egyptian resort. In May 2014, the arbitral tribunal dismissed all claims for lack of jurisdiction or on the merits.

  • The Arab Republic of Egypt in an ICSID arbitration under the Spain-Egypt bilateral investment treaty brought by Unión Fenosa Gas, S.A. relating to an investment in Egypt’s largest liquefied natural gas plant.

  • The Republic of Austria in an ICSID arbitration under the Austria-Malta bilateral investment treaty relating to an investment in an Austrian bank.

  • The French Republic in an ICSID arbitration commenced by a Turkish investor under the French Republic-Turkey bilateral investment treaty.

  • DP World in an ICSID arbitration against the Republic of Peru under a concession agreement for the development and operation of the South Pier of the Port of Callao and the UK-Peru bilateral investment treaty. The claims concern DP World’s exclusion from the tender for the concession for the operation of the North Pier and the impact of the terms of the North Pier concession on DP World’s operation of the South Pier terminal.

  • The Russian Federation in three parallel UNCITRAL arbitrations commenced by one Isle of Man and two Cypriot companies, in their capacities as former majority shareholders of Yukos Oil Company, alleging unfair treatment and expropriation in violation of the investment provisions of the Energy Charter Treaty. With damage claims totaling more than US$100 billion, the arbitrations are thought to be the largest ever in terms of the amount in dispute.

  • The Republic of Iraq in the successful dismissal of an arbitration brought by a German State-owned company under the Austrian Chamber of Commerce Rules concerning claims under financial arrangements in violation of the financial sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council on the Saddam Hussein regime.

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Selected Activities

  • Lecturer at the University of Poitiers (Investor-State dispute settlement)
  • Lecturer at the Ecole de formation professionnelle des Barreaux de la Cour d’Appel de Paris (international arbitration)
  • Peer Review Board, ICSID Review (Member)
  • Transnational Dispute Management (Associate Editor)
  • I. Fadlallah/ Ch. Leben team editing a yearly chronicle on “International Investment and Arbitration” in the Cahiers de l’arbitrage (Member)
  • Association Suisse de l’Arbitrage, ASA Below 40 (Member)
  • LCIA Young International Arbitration Group, YIAG (Member)
  • Comité français de l’arbitrage, CFA 40 (Member)
  • ICDR Young & International (Member) 


Publications

Reasserting Control Over State Consent to Investment Arbitration – Some Recent Trends in Treaty-Making, The European Arbitration Review 2017, pp. 20-26 (with P. von Mühlendahl)

Compétence des tribunaux arbitraux d’investissement et différends fiscaux : quelques développements récents, (Jurisdiction of investment treaty arbitral tribunals and tax disputes: some recent developments) vol. 4 Cahiers de l’arbitrage (2016)

Mélanges offerts à Charles Leben, Droit international et culture juridique, ouvrage collectif, 2015, éd. Pedone, 592, vol. 1 Cahiers de l’arbitrage (2016)

Cautio judicatum solvi et arbitrage d’investissement: développements récents et perspectives, (Cautio judicatum solvi and investment arbitration: recent developments and perspectives) vol. 4 Cahiers de l’arbitrage 697-703 (2015)

Le droit applicable dans l’arbitrage d’investissement (Applicable Law in Investment Arbitration), in Charles Leben (ed.), Droit International des Investissements et de l’Arbitrage Transnational (2015) pp. 813-860

Les voies de recours contre les sentences en matière d’investissement (Post-award Remedies in Investment Arbitration), in Charles Leben (ed.), Droit International des Investissements et de l’Arbitrage Transnational (2015) pp. 885-940

Reconnaissance et exécution des sentences arbitrales en matière d’investissement (Recognition and execution of arbitral awards in investment arbitration), in Charles Leben (ed.), Droit International des Investissements et de l’Arbitrage Transnational (2015) pp.999-1026  (with A. Ben Mansour)

Landmark Sovereign Debt Restructuring Award, Opinio Juris, available at http://opiniojuris.org/2015/04/30/guest-post-landmark-sovereign-debt-restructuring-award/ (with P. Barker) (2015/4)

Interprétation des traités et consentement de l’Etat (Treaty Interpretation and State Consent), Cahiers de l’arbitrage 697 (2014/4)

Droit pénal et droit de l’investissement (Criminal Law and Investment Law) Cahiers de l’arbitrage 74 (2013/4)

Consentement à l’arbitrage et lois d’investissement (Consent to Arbitration and Investment Laws) Cahiers de l’arbitrage 893 (2012/4)

Notion de siège social et protection des traités d’investissement (Notion of Seat and Investment Treaty Protection) Cahiers de l’arbitrage 1032 (2011/4)

Article 41(5) du règlement d’arbitrage CIRDI et objections préliminaires à la compétence (Article 41(5) of the ICSID Arbitration Rules and Preliminary Jurisdictional Objections), Cahiers de l’arbitrage 1034 (2010/4)

Infrastructure in the Mediterranean Basin: PPPs, InfraMed and Treaty Protection, IBA Conference Paper, available at http://www.int-bar.org/shop (with C. Annacker and D. Hashish)

Entités infra-étatiques et consentement à l’arbitrage sur le fondement de traités d’investissement (State Entities and Consent to Investment Treaty Arbitration), Cahiers de l’arbitrage, Gazette du Palais 30 (2009/4)

L’affaire Pantechniki ou la renaissance de la clause electa una via dans l’arbitrage d’investissement? (The Pantechniki Case or the Rebirth of the Fork-in-the-Road Clause in Investment Arbitration) Cahiers de l’arbitrage, Gazette du Palais 24 (2009/4)

La réparation du préjudice moral dans l’arbitrage sur le fondement de traités d’investissement: premiers développements, premiers désaccords (Reparation for Moral Damages in Investment Treaty Arbitration: First Developments, First Disagreements), Cahiers de l’arbitrage, Gazette du Palais 48 (2008/4)

Arbitrage en matière d’investissement et crise argentine (Investment Arbitration and the Argentina Crisis), Cahiers de l’arbitrage, Gazette du Palais 55 (2007/4)



Events

  • Party Non-Participation in Investment Arbitration, ICC YAF, Vilnius, October 12, 2017
  • The EU Permanent Investment Court Proposal – Will it Be Fit for Purpose?, GAR Live Frankfurt, June 29, 2017
  • Reshaping The Investor-State Dispute Settlement System, University of Paris 1 – Panthéon Sorbonne, Paris, March 14, 2017
  • Shareholders’ Claims And Denial Of Benefits: Where Do We Stand?, 6th Investment Treaty Arbitration Conference, Prague, October 13, 2016
  • Representing States: Challenges and Strategies, Young Arbitrators Forum Investment Arbitration In Practice: A View From the Inside, Geneva, September 26, 2015
  • Corporate Nationality Planning in the Context of Investment Protection: International and Turkish Perspectives, Worskhop, Istanbul, January 27, 2015
  • Conflicting Decisions in International Commercial Arbitration, ICDR Y&I Conference, Sciences-Po Paris, November 12, 2013