Entrepreneur, philanthropist and British investor Tamaz Somkhishvili continues his investment dispute with Ukraine over compensation under the Agreement between the Government of Ukraine and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on Promotion and Mutual Protection of Investments.
In 2007, Kyiv-Terminal,the Ukrainian company of TamazSomkhishvili, won the competition of the Kiev Mayor’s office to attract investors for the reconstruction of Kharkiv Square, which resulted in signing an investment agreement. Immediately after signing the agreement, Kyiv-Terminal began actively working on implementation of the agreement. However, even in order to obtain the land, the investor was forced to go to court. As a result, several years were lost in courts just to conclude a lease agreement.
In 2013, Kyiv authorities decided to terminate the land lease agreement and seize the land plots previously transferred to Kyiv Terminal for public needs. This decision implied termination of the investment agreement and reimbursement of losses of Kyiv-Terminal, according to an additional agreement concluded by the parties. However, the KSCA shirked its responsibilities and refused to pay damages.
In 2018, Tamaz Somkhishvili appealed to a Ukrainian court, claiming $98.5 million in damages and lost profits. The court of first instance partially satisfied the claims of the British investor, the court of appeal reversed the decision of the first instance, and the Supreme Court returned the case to the court of appeal.
On November 22, 2022, the Ukrainian Northern Court of Appeals met. At this meeting, the representative of the defendant, a lawyer of the Kyiv Mayor’s office, handed the court a letter from the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, which, with reference to Ukrainian intelligence data, stated that the plaintiff was a Russian citizen. Based on the new data, the court postponed the case until December 20.
Tamaz Somkhishvili considers the use of the citizenship factor in the investment dispute inappropriate. The presence of a passport of a particular country should not become an argument in a business conflict. Tamaz Somkhishvili considers the quoting of the letter of the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice by the representative of the Kyiv Mayor’s office to be speculation on the war between Russia and Ukraine and an attempt to influence the court.
To the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine,Tamaz Somkhishvili sent a notice of dispute and a proposal to peacefully resolve the investment dispute on compensation of losses under the Agreement between the Government of Ukraine and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on Promotion and Mutual Protection of Investments. If the investor and the state fail to reach an amicable settlement, the investor will be ready to initiate arbitration proceedings against Ukraine.