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Investment Planning and Structuring 

Allen & Overy’s investment planning and structuring experts assist companies making or contemplating cross-border investments in all sectors to manage political risk. We advise on structuring deals to help investors mitigate the risk of State interference in their investments and benefit from the protections available under investment treaties, national investment protection laws and other instruments. 

When contemplating cross-border investments – particularly long-term, capital-intensive investments in heavily regulated industries or emerging markets – businesses should consider what steps they can take to protect against future risks of government interference, including nationalisation, adverse regulatory change or unilateral interference in contracts. A worldwide network of bilateral and multilateral investment treaties offer investors extensive public international law protections against the actions of host States, to ensure investors are treated fairly and protect against expropriation. If necessary, these treaties ultimately allow for investment arbitration directly against the host State.

Our global team of investment protection experts helps clients ensure investments are structured in a commercially viable and legally beneficial manner to protect against future risks, advising before, during and after the investment stage. When disputes arise, we help clients to seek early, negotiated settlements of disputes with governments and government agencies and act on all aspects of investor-State arbitrations, including advocacy and enforcement.

Our services include:

  • Pre-investment: we analyse the treaties concluded by the State in which the investment is to be made and advise on potential structures to secure the most beneficial protections;
  • Investment stage: our team advises on appropriate legal due diligence and other steps that may be necessary for future negotiations and/or disputes;
  • During the lifetime of an investment: we assist clients in restructuring existing investments to secure, or improve, protection, as well as devising strategies to address potential bumps in the road; and
  • When a dispute arises: we work with you to seek early, negotiated settlements of disputes with governments and government agencies. Where the amicable settlement of a dispute is not possible, our team also has extensive experience of acting on all aspects of investor-State arbitrations, including the advocacy, and enforcing awards against States.

In addition to our extensive experience of advising clients on structuring transactions, recent relevant experience includes representing:

  • More than 30 different international investors, in 12 separate investment arbitration claims against the Kingdom of Spain. The claims relate to investments made in the Spanish renewable energy sector, and retrospective changes by Spain to the regulatory framework. We have so far achieved very significant damages awards for our clients in six of these arbitrations, with others still pending.
  • Millicom International Cellular S.A. and its Senegalese subsidiary against the Republic of Senegal, in an investment treaty arbitration at ICSID relating to the legality of Millicom's operations in Senegal. The case went to a final hearing and also involved related litigation in Senegal. We negotiated, under very tight time constraints, a settlement with Senegal that put an end to over 12 years of disputes in Senegal and the ICSID arbitration, allowing Millicom to continue its business.
  • British Caribbean Bank Limited (BCB) and Dunkeld International Investment Limited in investment treaty claims against Belize. The claims arose from our clients’ investments in Belize Telemedia, the main telecommunications provider in Belize, which the Government unlawfully nationalised. BCB was awarded its full claim, plus interest and costs (totalling almost USD50m), and Dunkeld received an award totalling almost USD200m.