Linguistics became the last refuge of "Gazprom"

The Russian gas corporation demanded to reconsider the verdict of the Stockholm arbitration on the basis of a linguistic examination. According to Gazprom, the verdict of arbitration about the dispute with the Ukrainian Naftogaz was not written by the arbitrator.
Gazprom said that the decision of the Stockholm arbitration in the dispute with Naftogaz under the contract for transit was partly written not by the arbitrators, but by "another person". The company relies on the arguments of the expert linguist and on this basis filed an application with the Swedish court on the complete cancellation of the arbitration award. It was within the framework of this decision that Gazprom lost $ 4.6 billion. According to lawyers, Gazprom's chances of successfully contesting are extremely low, and the involvement of a linguistic expertise in the case testifies to the company's weak position.

Gazprom changed its position as part of challenging the decision of Stockholm Arbitration in a dispute with Naftogaz under a transit contract. On March 30, the company filed an application to the Swedish Court of Appeal for the Svea District to partially revoke this decision, according to which Gazprom must pay Naftogaz $ 4.6 billion. But now Gazprom demands a complete cancellation of the decision of the arbitrators, because, according to the company, it was partly written not by them, but by "another person".

"Additional study of the text of the decision with the involvement of a world-recognized expert linguist showed that a significant part of the arbitral award was written not by the arbitrators, but by another person. Obviously, no one has the right to substitute arbitrators. The immediate decision of the arbitrators is extremely important for the parties to the dispute, and the interference of outsiders in the decision-making process is a grave violation of the arbitration agreement, "the report said.
The Court of Appeal can revoke the arbitration award only if the procedure has been violated or the arbitrators have gone beyond the limits of their powers - the case is not again considered in substance.

"The conclusion of the expert linguist on the authorship of the arbitration award on transit is new evidence of serious violations of Swedish law and arbitration rules of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce in the consideration of this case, which gives grounds for its complete cancellation," the Gazprom believe.

One of the lawyers interviewed by Kommersant believes that the chances of canceling the decision on this basis are zero: "Suppose that the arbitrators did involve the administrative secretary in writing the decision, but even if it is proved, the grounds are unlikely to draw on the cancellation of the Stockholm arbitration award, because, first of all, it is necessary to prove that this person has made the decision, and the linguistic analysis of this can not give. The attempt, of course, is interesting, but if they pointed to this, then nothing else was found. " He recalls that an attempt was made to attract linguists in the Yukos affair when it was considered in the Netherlands, but in the case in the national court this argument did not play, and the decision was canceled on a different basis.

Partner of the law firm Quorus Yevgeny Zhilin also believes that the probability of cancellation is extremely low: "The Court of Appeal of the Svea County quite rarely revokes the decisions of the Stockholm Arbitration - the statistics show about 4-5% cancellations, since this requires significant violations of procedural norms." The fact that the assistants are assisted by assistants is continued by the lawyer, it is absolutely normal practice, because they are also bound by confidentiality rules and act on the orders of the arbitrators, and the partial writing of the text of the decision is not such a serious violation of the procedure. "The arbitrators repeatedly coordinate the drafts of their decisions, make amendments. In addition, there is no prohibition on attracting assistants to write texts, so only a linguistic conclusion will not be enough, "concludes Mr. Zhilin.

It was the decision on the transit contract, according to Gazprom, that violated the balance of interests of the parties within the framework of relations with Naftogaz, which is why the Russian company is now seeking at the Stockholm Arbitration to terminate the contract both for transit and for gas. Since in the dispute over the contract for the purchase of gas, Gazprom won $ 2 billion, its net payment to Naftogaz should be about $ 2.6 billion plus interest. Although the decision on transit was made in late February, so far, Gazprom is in no rush to pay money, although it does not say that it will not implement the decision.