Peters & Peters

Supreme Court hears appeal in Republic of Mozambique ‘Hidden Debts’ litigation

The Supreme Court will hear the appeal of Republic of Mozambique (acting through its Attorney General) (Appellant) v Privinvest Shipbuilding SAL (Holding) and Others (Respondents) (2021/0085) from 24 to 25 January 2023.

The appeal arises out of ongoing litigation before the Commercial Court in which Peters & Peters has acted for the Republic of Mozambique since 2019. In the proceedings, the Republic alleges a fraud and conspiracy involving bribery, corruption and other unlawful conduct with the aim of procuring purported sovereign guarantees with a face value of circa $2 billion.

The appeal itself relates to specific jurisdiction challenges made by entities within the Privinvest Group, defendants to the Republic’s claims, whereby the Privinvest Group seeks to have the Republic’s claims against it determined in arbitration.

The Supreme Court has granted the Republic permission to appeal on the question of 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.

Nathan Pillow KC (Essex Court), Richard Blakeley (Brick Court) and Ryan Ferro (3 Verulam Buildings) appear for the Republic in the Supreme Court, instructed by Sarah Gabriel (Partner), Philip Gardner (Associate) and Stephanie Williams (Associate) of Peters & Peters.