ConocoPhillips Petrozuata B.V., ConocoPhillips Hamaca B.V. and ConocoPhillips Gulf of Paria B.V. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, ICSID Case No. ARB/07/30, Decision on the Proposal to Disqualify L. Yves Fortier, Q.C., Arbitrator (February 27, 2012)
1. On 4 October, 2011, Mr. Fortier wrote by email to the Secretary-General of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes “making [a] disclosure, pursuant to Article 6 of the ICSID Convention, in relation to the announced merger of the firm of which he is a partner, Norton Rose OR LLP, with Macleod Dixon LLP, to become effective on 1 January 2012”.
2. In his disclosure, Mr. Fortier stated that it had been brought to his attention, through the conflict checks conducted as part of the due diligence performed in relation to the merger, that the Caracas office of Macleod Dixon LLP, Despacho de Abogados miembros de Macleod Dixon, S.C.: (a) has provided, and continues to provide, legal services to one of the Parties, namely, ConocoPhillips Company; (b) is acting adverse to the interests of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in certain matters, including one where the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is the respondent in an ICSID case filed by Universal Compression International Holdings S.L.U. against Venezuela; and (c) is acting on behalf of ConocoPhillips Company in ICC cases involving the Venezuelan state owned petroleum company, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A.
3. Mr. Fortier stated that he was making the disclosure at the first possible opportunity, the partners of the two partnerships involved in this merger having been presented with, and called upon to vote on, the potential merger between 1 October and 3 October, 2011, and the merger having been announced on the morning of that same day (4 October, 2011).