15 June 2022

Republic of Kazakhstan wins immunity dispute over USD 5.2 billion asset freeze

+ 1 other team member

De Brauw has acted successfully for the Republic of Kazakhstan in proceedings against Anatolie and Gabriel Stati and their companies to lift the USD 5.2 billion attachment on shares in KMG Kashagan B.V. held by the Kazakh sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna. The Kashagan oil field is one of the largest offshore oil fields in the Caspian Sea. On 14 June 2022, the Hague Court of Appeal lifted the attachment with immediate effect based on state immunity from execution.

The Court of Appeal ruled that, even though the shares are not private property of the Republic of Kazakhstan, they are immune from execution because the Republic exercises control over the shares and they have a public purpose. This decision is an important international precedent for the immunities of states and their sovereign wealth funds.

The decision is also a significant milestone for the Republic of Kazakhstan in their ongoing litigation against the Statis in multiple jurisdictions. The USD 5.2 billion asset freeze has been battled in the Dutch courts since 2017, when the Statis levied the attachment. In 2020, De Brauw successfully fought the Amsterdam Court of Appeal's decision to leave the attachment intact before the Supreme Court, after which the case was remanded to the Hague Court of Appeal. The Hague Court of Appeal has now finally confirmed the assets' immunity from execution.