Law360 Reports on Shook International Hotel Dispute Case

In a complex, international dispute involving claims by six investors against the country of Mexico, an international tribunal will consider as an initial matter whether it has jurisdiction over a $70 million arbitration against Mexico over seized hotel properties. The investors represent different nationalities encompassing four different treaties in a case in which Mexico is accused of violating international law by improperly seizing the investors’ hotels in 2016. Mexico has raised several jurisdictional objections and also argues that the claimants have not shown that they made qualifying investments under the respective treaties.

In response, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes tribunal concluded in an order that it made the most sense to rule on the country’s initial objections before getting to the merits of the dispute. 

The case relates to an event in which armed men, reportedly acting on court orders, seized the investors’ hotels and evicted them. The investors, who initiated the arbitration, claim they obtained the rights over several beachfront properties and then built six hotels on the properties. After the seizure by municipal and federal officials, the investors have been unable to access the properties.

The Shook team representing the investors stated that they are “eager to move forward and present our clients’ claims. We are one step closer to achieving justice for the government’s breach of the claimants’ investment rights.”

Shook Chair of the Global Arbitration Practice Group Carlos Concepción and Of Counsels Giovanni Angles, Ricardo Ampudia and Alicia Menendez were recognized in the article as representing investors Sastre and other claimants.   

Law360 examined the case in “Jurisdiction Up First in $70M Mexico Hotel Seizure Dispute,” September 23, 2020.

The case is Carlos Sastre v. United Mexican States, No. UNCT/20/2 (International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, August 13, 2020).