Libya overturns € 500 million Paris court award to French company Sorelec
By Sami Zaptia.
London, 18 November 2020:
Libya succeeded in overturning a Paris arbitration court compensation award of over € 500 million to French company Sorelec, the Libyan Legal Disputes Department of the Supreme Justice Council reported today.
The convoluted case dates back from the 1980’s and involves the French company and a Tunisian subcontractor to build 50 schools in south Libya. The contract also involved Qaddafi henchmen, and poor workmanship and contractual disagreements led to a drawn-out legal saga.
The complexity was added to when the Libyan authorities in Tobruk agreed an arbitrated award of € 452 million with Sorelec. The 1980’s school projects in Libya were estimated in 2003 at only € 36 million. The Libyan Legal Disputes Department asserted that Tobruk had no authority to settle legal disputes and suspected foul play.
The Libyan Legal Disputes Department reported that the Paris Court of Appeal indicated that Libya has presented serious, accurate and consistent circumstantial evidence that the settlement agreement concluded by the Tobruk authorities is unlawful and tainted with corruption.
The Libyan Legal Disputes Department also claimed that over the last four years it has won or overturned foreign cases estimated to have saved the Libyan state about US$ 10 billion.