Germany. On October 6, 2016, but only recently published, the Federal Court of Justice confirmed the enforceability of an UNCITRAL arbitral award in the amount of EUR 29 million in favor of the insolvency administrator of the German company Walter Bau AG against Thailand (Docket No. I ZB 13/15). This decision of the Federal Court of Justice finally ends the enforcement saga between the parties that has been ongoing for seven years.
The dispute concerned a concession agreement under which the German construction company Walter Bau AG (together with its Thai business partners) had built a highway in Thailand providing access to an international airport. Revenue was to be generated by way of tolls, whereby a rise in toll fees had to be authorized by Thailand. However, Thailand failed to approve any such rise in fees, built alternative routes to the airport and closed the airport for a certain period of time. After Walter Bau went insolvent, the insolvency administrator initiated arbitral proceedings against Thailand on the basis of the bilateral investment treaty between Germany and Thailand from 2002 (“BIT”) and pursuant to the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules. The arbitral tribunal seated in Switzerland awarded the insolvency administrator of Walter Bau EUR 29 million in its final award in 2009.