Martin Kenney & Co., Solicitors, (MKS) is acting in this case, posted via Global Arbitration Review.


A COURT in the British Virgin Islands has attached assets belonging to Pakistan’s national airline – including interests in two hotels in New York and Paris – at the request of an Australian mining venture seeking to enforce a US$6 billion ICSID award.

On 16 December, the BVI High Court of Justice issued an ex parte order allowing Australia’s Tethyan Copper Company to enforce up to US$3.1 billion of the award.

The same day, the court issued a provisional charging order against shares in three BVI companies owned by Pakistan International Airways (PIA), the country’s national flag carrier.

The court froze 100% of the shares in two of the entities, PIA Investments and PIA Hotels, and froze the airline’s 40% interest in a third entity, Minhal Incorporated.

It also appointed a receiver on an interim basis for the first two entities, which indirectly own the Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan and the Scribe Hotel in central Paris. The receiver, Paul Pretlove of Kalo Advisors, is expected to ensure the hotels are not sold at below market value and to secure the proceeds of any sale that does take place.

The 1,000-room Roosevelt Hotel was previously valued at US$1 billion when the PIA sought to sell it in 2007. The hotel, which opened in 1924, closed permanently last month after its revenue was devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.

A hearing on Tethyan’s bid to make the charging order final will take place in March.

In the BVI proceedings, Tethyan is represented by Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, offshore firm Martin Kenney & Co and Joshua Folkard of 4 New Square. It has also retained international asset recovery and insolvency firm KRyS Global to provide expert evidence.

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