Author: Cody Olson**
Published: June 2012
In November 2007, OAO Yukos Oil Company (“Yukos” or the “Company”), a Russian open joint stock company, which a mere four years earlier, at its peak, had “a market capitalization estimated at over U.S. $33 billion,” was “liquidated and struck off the register of legal entities.” The events leading up to Yukos’ total demise have been described by its former owners as “the biggest political expropriation in history,” and, not surprisingly, have given rise to “history’s biggest arbitrations,” with the Russian Federation (“Russia”) as respondent. At least five investment arbitration proceedings have been commenced to date (collectively the “Yukos arbitrations”), as well as a claim before the European Court of Human Rights (the “ECHR”).
Although Russia denies any State impropriety, “[t]he Yukos camp has largely persuaded Western opinion leaders that it was the victim,” and the various claimants anticipate a victory on the merits. Final awards in the majority shareholder proceedings are not expected for several years. However, a recent award in RosInvestCo UK Ltd. v. The Russian Federation (a minority shareholder proceeding) adds weight to Yukos investors’ position. Thus the issuance of …
*Notes and Comments
**B.Comm. (with distinction) (University of Calgary), J.D. candidate (University of Victoria).