Magyar farm in Hungary (Source: Magyar)
ICSID Roundup: The Latest Claims You Need To Know (excerpt)
By Caroline Simson
Law360, New York (August 4, 2017, 9:16 PM EDT) -- It's been a particularly busy few weeks at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, with new claims in the agricultural, energy, tourism, textiles and construction sectors targeting nations in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Pacific. Here are the latest claims at ICSID you need to know.
British agricultural company Magyar Farming Co. Ltd., along with two Hungarian companies called Kintyre KFT and Inicia ZRT, hit Hungary with an ICSID claim on Aug. 1. The exact nature of the dispute is unclear, although ICSID says the dispute focuses on a farming enterprise.
Magyar says on its website that it specializes in identifying farming opportunities in the emerging economies of Central Europe, and that it has operations in Hungary, Serbia and Ukraine.
Magyar says that Inicia is its main Hungarian operating company, growing 150 hectares of potatoes. The facility includes storage for some 5,000 metric tons of potatoes, which are then sold to grocery stores like Tesco Hungary and other retail customers. Magyar's Hungarian operations also include an 850-strong herd of dairy cows used primarily to supply the Hungarian liquid milk market, along with the farming of various grains to feed the herd.
The claim is the 14th to be filed against Hungary at ICSID. Late last year, the country lost an arbitration initiated by Edenred SA, a French company that specializes in prepaid corporate services, over changes to the country's regulatory and tax framework relating to certain fringe benefits provided to Hungarian workers. Hungary is currently seeking an annulment of the award.
Including the Magyar dispute, Hungary is currently in the midst of six pending arbitrations at ICSID.
The claimants are represented by Zannis Mavrogordato of 20 Essex Street in London.
Hungary is represented by its prime minister and the minister of the prime minister's office.
The case is Magyar Farming Company Ltd., Kintyre KFT and Inicia ZRT v. Hungary, ICSID case number ARB/17/27.
► Listen to BBC World Service's interview with Magyar Farming's Andrew Hunter back in 2009: http://farmlandgrab.org/27378