Deals & Cases

Homburger wins award worth more than CHF 50 million for Alpiq in VIAC arbitration against Polish power company PGE

An arbitral tribunal acting under the rules of the Vienna International Arbitration Center and consisting of German arbitrator Klaus Gunther, Swiss arbitrator Wolfgang Peter and Austrian arbitrator Michael Kutschera issued its Final Award on September 12, 2012 after three years of proceedings. The arbitration was reported to be the largest arbitration pending before the Vienna International Arbitration Center.

Alpiq was represented by a Homburger team led by partner Mariella Orelli and consisting of counsel Kirstin Dodge and associate Christina Rouvinez (all Litigation / Arbitration). The arbitration raised complex legal and technical issues and required an in-depth understanding of the electricity markets in Central and Eastern Europe. The claims asserted by Alpiq arose out of PGE’s breach of a long-term electricity export contract entered into in 1997. The dispute turned on the one hand on certain regulatory changes introduced by Poland to implement the 2003 Second Electricity Directive, and on the other hand, on the Polish transmission system operator’s decision to cut electricity exports from Poland to protect the Polish domestic market. In its final award, the arbitral tribunal ordered respondent Polish power company PGE to pay claimant Alpiq over CHF 50 million in damages.