Republic of Mozambique (acting through its Attorney General) (Appellant) v Privinvest Shipbuilding SAL (Holding) and others (Respondents)
Case ID: 2021/0085
Whether the Court of Appeal erred in its approach to section 9 of the Arbitration Act 1996 in finding that none of Mozambique’s claims were “matters” outside the scope of the relevant arbitration agreements.
This case concerns the “Tuna Bond” scandal in the Republic of Mozambique. Three corporate vehicles wholly owned by Mozambique (the SPVs) entered into supply contracts with Privinvest entities (the Contracts) for the development of Mozambique’s exclusive economic zone. The SPVs borrowed the purchase funds from various banks, over which borrowing Mozambique granted sovereign guarantees (the Guarantees). The Guarantees are governed by English law and provide for dispute resolution in the courts of England and Wales. Mozambique accuses the Privinvest companies and various individuals of paying significant bribes to Mozambique’s corrupt officials, exposing it to a potential liability of approximately USD 2bn under the Guarantees, and accordingly brought proceedings in England and Wales. The Contracts are governed by Swiss law and provide for dispute resolution by arbitration. Mozambique is not a signatory to the Contracts, but Privinvest contends that as a matter of Swiss law Mozambique is party to them and bound by the arbitration agreement within them. On that basis, Privinvest sought a stay of all Mozambique’s claims pursuant to section 9 of the Arbitration Act 1996. As a preliminary question, the issue arose as to whether Mozambique’s claims were “matters” “in respect of” the arbitration agreement under section 9. At first instance, the High Court held the claims were not. The Court of Appeal disagreed on appeal. Mozambique now seeks permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.
Republic of Mozambique (acting through its Attorney General)
Privinvest Shipbuilding SAL (Holding) and others
Lord Hodge, Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lord Hamblen, Lord Leggatt, Lord Richards
Hearing start date
24 January 2023
Hearing finish date
25 January 2023
|24 January 2023||Morning session||Afternoon session|
|25 January 2023||Morning session||Afternoon session|
Future Judgment Update
Please note that appeal in the matter of Republic of Mozambique (acting through its Attorney General) (Appellant) v Privinvest Shipbuilding SAL (Holding) and others (Respondents) has been heard by the Supreme Court and is currently awaiting judgment.
As soon as the judgment hand-down date is confirmed, it will be published on the Future judgments page of this website. As a very broad indication, judgments tend to follow between three to nine months after the conclusion of the appeal hearing, although in some cases it may be earlier than that. Information about judgment hand-downs is usually announced one week in advance. We are unable to give any indication of the likely hand-down date for judgments not listed on the Future judgments page.