It’s the kind of scenario that international investors fear the most.
I know because one of the largest cases in our office right now involves the expropriation of sizable investments by a foreign government.
Unfortunately, given the volatility of the global economy, this is not an unusual occurrence.
So what’s an investor to do when a his investment is expropriated?
There are one of two scenarios. Either there is a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) covering the dispute or there is not.
In the latter case, the investor is left with the option of litigation, which in most cases is a nonstarter.
In the former case, an investor can file an international arbitration claim under the BIT in force.
If you think you’re international investment was expropriated, check to be sure that a BIT covers the dispute.
You’ll be far better off if it does.
Be sure to check out my related post, Investment Treaty Arbitration. The Basics., for a general overview of international investment arbitration.
For further information, be sure to visit the following:
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) provides an exhaustive list of all the BITs in force throughout the world.
The United Nations Commission of International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) provides the full text of the1976 UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules and the 2010 Revised Rules.
The World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) is the primary organization for the arbitration of international investment disputes. Information on how to file a claimand the schedule of fees are located on the site.