Deals & Cases

Homburger team wins Swiss Rules Arbitration

Gabrielle Nater-Bass and Melissa Magliana of Homburger’s Litigation / Arbitration practice team recently achieved a significant victory in arbitration proceedings conducted under the Swiss Rules. The arbitration involved a complex shareholder dispute regarding entitlements out of a shareholder agreement relating to the holding company of an international group of companies with a value estimated at several billion dollars.

Claimant, represented by Homburger, initiated arbitration proceedings in order to enforce a call option exercised under the terms of the shareholder agreement. Respondent disputed the validity of the shareholder agreement as well as the call option contained therein, arguing inter alia that changes in the corporate structure of the group rendered the original agreement and the call option moot and unenforceable. Respondent claimed that as a result, there was no obligation to sell the shares to Claimant and that in any event, any sale would have to take place at market value rather than at the price set forth in the shareholder agreement.

The Arbitral Tribunal in its Final Award followed Claimant’s interpretation of the shareholder agreement as well as the terms of the call option in full and granted Claimant the relief sought in this regard, declaring that the call option had been validly exercised and that the relevant shares were to be transferred to Claimant.