Latham Secures Victory for Novenergia in Arbitration with the Kingdom of Spain

High-profile action concerns the overhaul of The Kingdom of Spain's renewable energy regime.

February 22, 2018

Latham & Watkins has secured a victory for Novenergia II Energy & Environment, (SCA), SICAR, a Luxembourg-based renewables investment fund, in a Stockholm Chamber of Commerce arbitration against the Kingdom of Spain. Novenergia’s claims were brought under the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT), a multilateral treaty that protects investments made in the energy sector. The arbitration was seated in Stockholm.

The international arbitral tribunal unanimously found that the Kingdom of Spain’s fundamental overhaul of its renewable energy system, culminating in Royal Decree-Law 9/2013 and attendant regulations, was in violation of the Kingdom of Spain’s obligation under Article 10(1) of the ECT to accord fair and equitable treatment to Novenergia’s seven photovoltaic installations in Spain. In addition to awarding Novenergia compensation of €53.3 million, the arbitral tribunal ordered the Kingdom of Spain to pay Novenergia’s arbitration costs.  

The Latham & Watkins team was led by Paris partner Fernando Mantilla-Serrano and Madrid partner Antonio Morales, with Paris counsel John Adam, Madrid associate Rosa Espín, and Paris associates Aija Lejniece and Nora Fredstie.

“We are delighted to have supported Novenergia in this high-profile action,” said Mantilla-Serrano. “This is only the second successful investment arbitration against the Kingdom of Spain concerning the overhaul of its renewable energy regime. The award will set new precedent for any future claims addressing the same issue.” 

Morales added: “This is an important win individually for Novenergia as an investment fund, and constitutes a key, positive development for investors in the Spanish PV sector more generally.”

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