What does it mean for the presentation and evaluation of damages evidence when an arbitral tribunal orders the losing respondent to pay the astonishing amount of more than US$50 billion? On July 18, 2014 the arbitral tribunal in three parallel Yukos investment treaty arbitrations brought by former shareholders of OAO Yukos Oil Company (“Yukos”) against the Russia Federation (Hulley Enterprises Limited v. The Russian Federation, Yukos Universal Limited v. The Russian Federation, and Veteran Petroleum Limited v. The Russian Federation3) issued their Final Awards granting compensation in the aggregate sum of US$50,020,867,798 plus interest. Those awards offer us an opportunity to try to answer that question.
The three arbitrations were brought individually by the three controlling shareholders of Yukos, Hulley Enterprises Limited (“Hulley”), Yukos Universal Limited (“YUL”) and Veteran Petroleum Limited (“VPL”). The arbitrations were heard in parallel by arbitral tribunal composed by the same three arbitrators.
These claims were brought pursuant to the Energy Charter Treaty. The controlling shareholders alleged that Russia had unlawfully expropriated and failed to protect claimants’ investments in Yukos, resulting in “enormous losses,” and sought all available relief in respect of those losses.