05 Feb 2014

Sovereign immunity: whose assets are they freezing anyway?

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Richard Garcia writes for Butterworths Journal of International Banking and Financial Law. This article considers the extent to which assets in which a party without immunity has a beneficial or other interest may be immune from enforcement as a result of the interests of a third party who does benefit from immunity. The recent case of Thai-Lao Lignite (Thailand) Co Ltd and another v Government of the Lao People's Democratic Republic [2013] EWHC 2466 (Comm) highlights the difficulties that third parties can face where there is uncertainty around the status of such assets including, perhaps most notably, banks that are caught between contractual obligations and potential court sanctions.

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