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Have you checked the investment protection? An essential element for transactional practitioners

International investment arbitration is undergoing multilateral reform under the efforts of UNCITRAL Working Group III. From Brussels, a Multilateral Investment Court is currently being negotiated at the international level, and the Commission has called the 1991 Energy Charter Treaty “outdated”, notably when it comes to its controversial ISDS arbitration clause.

In parallel, the EU FDI Screening Regulation was adopted in March 2019, to coordinate the screening of foreign investments likely to affect the sovereignty of the Union and its Member States.

Still, Belgian and European investors seek legal certainty when they go abroad, and vice versa. Beyond the protection of capex, it’s about incentivizing international exchange and innovation.

With the Covid-19 related measures by governments and the challenges of climate action for policymakers, how can foreign investors mitigate their risks to be expropriated or to see some of their privately-owned resources appropriated for the public good without compensation? Where can they seek certainty for the application of the rule of law in the thousands of trade and investment agreements concluded worldwide?

Françoise Lefèvre, Partner, Brussels, Linklaters (Chair)
Françoise has considerable experience in domestic and cross-border commercial litigation, including disputes involving banking law, contract law, corporate disputes, regulatory investigations, and construction law. She is also a well know white collar crime practitioner. She is widely regarded as one of the leading arbitration experts in Belgium with extensive experience as counsel and arbitrator in national and international arbitrations, both ad hoc and institutional (including under the ICC, UNICTRAL, LCIA, CEPANI and NAI rules, among many). Françoise was the firm’s worldwide litigation and arbitration head of from 2007 to 2010 before chairing the firm’s global international arbitration practice until 2016.

Dr. Nicolas Angelet
Nicolas specialises in public international law. His areas of expertise cover all aspects of public international law, including the law of treaties and state responsibility, investment law and investor-state dispute settlement, immunities, the law and governance of international organisations, international law against corruption, human rights including business and human rights issues, UN and unilateral sanctions, territorial regimes and the law of armed conflicts. Dr. Angelet sits as arbitrator and in ICSID annulment proceedings. He has acted as counsel for states and corporations in international investment cases, and has represented international organizations, the Belgian Government and foreign states from the Americas, Africa and Europe, as well as corporate clients before domestic courts in Belgium and abroad, PCA inter-State arbitration, the International Court of Justice, the European Court of Human Rights, the European Court of Justice, the UN Human Rights Committee and subsidiary organs of the UN Security Council. Dr. Angelet is a member of the Brussels Bar, an Associate Tenant of Doughty Street Chambers, London, and a professor of international law in the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). He is a member of the ICSID panel of conciliators (appointed by Belgium) and of the ICSID panel of arbitrators (appointed by Burundi).

Carolina Dackö, Partner, Mannheimer Swartling
Carolina Dackö is a member of the firm’s practice group Corporate Sustainability & Risk Management. She has 10 years of experience from working in Brussels, mainly at an international law firm, and specializes in international trade law, national security, foreign direct investment screening, import and export law, export control and sanctions law, customs law, trade defence measures, WTO law and free trade agreements. Carolina is active in the firms export control and sanctions practice and helps clients draw up and implement tailored compliance programs. She often assists clients with export control classification and assessments regarding trade bans in risk markets, as well as with internal and external investigations, often involving multi-jurisdictional aspects. Her practice includes advising on free trade negotiations, such as analysis and preparation of proposals for negotiating texts. She also has experience from assisting in WTO dispute settlement proceedings, and has assisted companies in multi-jurisdictional investigations and preparations.

Emmanuel Jacomy, Partner, Shearman & Sterling
Emmanuel is a partner in the International Arbitration practice, based in Beijing and Singapore. He has extensive experience advising and representing companies, State-owned entities and governments in international commercial and investment treaty arbitrations under all major arbitration rules (including ICSID, ICC, HKIAC, LCIA, SIAC and UNCITRAL), with focus on investment, oil & gas, energy and mining disputes, as well as disputes having a Chinese and African nexus. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) in Beijing. He also acts as an arbitrator. Emmanuel was recently appointed to the Expert Advisory Committee of the International Institute for Dispute Settlement Prevention (IIDPS), jointly established by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) and the Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT). He speaks English, French and Mandarin Chinese..

Eric De Brabandere, Partner, DMDB Law
Eric is an international lawyer, with special expertise in international investment law and arbitration, and international dispute settlement. He holds a Cand. Jur. and Lic. Jur. degree from Ghent University, and LL.M. in International Law from Geneva University, and a PhD from Ghent University. He is fluent in French, Dutch and English. He was admitted to practice in Belgium in 2002. He currently holds the chair of international dispute settlement at Leiden University, where he also serves as Director of the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies. He formerly was a Visiting Professor of International Investment Law and Dispute Settlement at the Universities of Lille (2010-2015), Trento (2014-2017) and Groningen (2013). He has published four books and over 80 articles and book chapters, relating to international investment law, arbitration, dispute settlement and international law. He regularly advises corporations and States on international investment law and arbitration and general international law and sits as arbitrator. As an academic, he also has vast experience in cooperating with governmental agencies and international institutions to conduct training sessions for government officials, attorneys, and lawyers in international investment law and arbitration, and corporate social responsibility. He has since more than five years been involved in a capacity-building project on international investment arbitration in Indonesia and has regularly trained African officials and lawyers in international investment arbitration..

Chair: Françoise Lefèvre

10.00 – Introduction

10.05 – The pillars of legal investment protection, by Françoise Lefèvre

10.30 – Lessons learnt from investment arbitration in practice, by Nicolas Angelet

10.55 – The type of available recourses?,  by Carolina Däcko

11.15 – Best practices for foreign investors, by Emmanuel Jacomy

11.40 – Conclusions and Questions & Answers, by Eric de Brabandere

12.00 – END

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