Brothers Ioan and Viorel Micula, owners of European Drinks, won the trial against the Romanian Government at the Court o Arbitration in Washington and are due to receive about RON 376 million, along with penalties, and the Ministry of Finance is willing to compensate this amount by the debts of the company to the budget.
Representatives of the Ministry of Finance told Mediafax that the plan is to cover the amount won by Micula brothers by the debts incurred by their company to the budget. The quoted sources said this is an unprecedented case and the best way to put it into practice is being searched for. Ioan Micula explained that the group he leads came to this amount of debt because of the black market.
The case opened in 2005 at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), member of the World Bank Group, the highest court to settle economic legal disputes, and attacked the decision of the Romanian authorities to cancel some tax facilities granted to European Drinks for investments in poorer areas. This is the first trial lost by the Romanian Government at ICSID). Over the past few years of arbitration, Viorel Micula was represented by Shearman & Sterling (London and Paris) and the local law firm Dragne & Associated, the other plaintiffs being represented by King & Spalding (London, Washington and Houston).
Romania was represented by the international company Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (New York, Frankfurt and Paris offices), and the local law firm Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen (NNDKP).