Pinsent Masons advises Euroins on landmark Romanian investment dispute

27 Oct 2023 | 08:32 am | 1 min. read

Multinational law firm Pinsent Masons is advising one of the largest Bulgarian publicly traded companies in Bulgaria, Eurohold, and its insurance business Euroins Insurance Group (EIG) on their EUR500 million investment dispute with the Government of Romania.

The dispute, which has been formally notified to the Romanian Government by EIG and Eurohold, follows the withdrawal of EIG’s operating licence by Romanian officials. Arbitration specialists at Pinsent Masons say it signals a step change in European investment treaty law as the investor prepares to challenge the European Union’s clamp down on investment agreements made between member states. 

A team at Pinsent Masons and Bulgarian law firm DGKV is being led by Pinsent Masons co-head of International Arbitration, Sylvia Tonova and head of Dispute Resolution and Arbitration Angel Ganev at DGKV. 

Commenting on the dispute Sylvia Tonova said: “Should this dispute progress to arbitration, it will raise novel and cutting-edge issues of public international law set against the backdrop of an evolving EU dispute resolution landscape. This case could underscore the ability of European investors to safeguard their businesses by challenging EU Member State actions under sunset clauses of terminated bilateral investment treaties between two EU countries.

“This would set a precedent for other EU businesses operating across the EU and could ultimately prompt a wave of disputes as they grapple with the impact of the EU’s clamp down on investment agreements between EU states.”

EEIG, which is part of the energy and insurance business Eurohold Bulgaria, is seeking to annul the scrapping of its licence by domestic financial regulator ASF in March following alleged violation of regulations and amid regulator steps to launch bankruptcy proceedings.

If the dispute fails to settle amicably, the case will see Eurohold and EIG challenge this move arguing that the revocation of the license was arbitrary, discriminatory and constituted an unlawful expropriation in breach of international law.

Key Contacts

Sylvia Tonova

Sylvia Tonova

Partner, Co-head of International Arbitration and ISDS

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