UNCITRAL Tribunal finds jurisdiction under UK-Czech BIT

15 February, 2017

A Tribunal constituted pursuant to the UK-Czech BIT and acting pursuant to UNCITRAL Rules has held that it has jurisdiction to hear a dispute brought by A11Y LTD against the Czech Republic in respect of measures that A11Y LTD alleges destroyed its investment in the country.  A11Y LTD is a company specialising in the innovation and production of technology that assists blind and visually impaired people undertake activities such as reading, writing and navigating public places.  It alleges the Czech Republic breached the BIT by obtaining its trade secrets and passing them to its competitors, issuing defamatory statements about the company and encouraging its customers to use competitors. The Czech Republic advanced several jurisdictional objections. In a Decision on Jurisdiction dated 9 February 2017, the Tribunal held it had jurisdiction over the arbitration and ordered that it proceed to the merits/damages phase.

Lucas Bastin co-led the team for A11Y alongside Hussein Haeri, Co-Head of International Arbitration at Withers LLP.