Compass Lexecon Expert Assists LCIA Tribunal in Granting US$ 500 Million in Damages to a DP World led Consortium

Compass Lexecon expert, Professor Pablo T. Spiller, was retained by DP World Djibouti FZCO, Dubai (International) Djibouti FZE and Doraleh Container Terminal SA (DCT) (Respondents) as a damages expert in an arbitration in front of the London Court of International Arbitration. The arbitration was started by Djibouti (Claimant) with the purpose of rescinding the DCT concession. As part of the arbitration, Respondents filed various counter-claims, and instructed Professor Spiller to provide his independent assessment of damages pertaining to the breach of DCT’s exclusivity of container traffic in Djibouti and unpaid historical royalties for container traffic not transferred to DCT. In a prior Award dated February 2017, the Tribunal rejected Djibouti’s claims in their entirety. In an Award dated March 2019, the Tribunal awarded damages for the two counter-claims of US$ 500 million.

Regarding the breach of exclusivity, Professor Spiller’s opinion involved the assessment of the loss in profits that DCT would suffer due to the construction of additional container ports in Djibouti. The Tribunal relied fully upon Professor Spiller’s explanations, including the traffic that would be lost, the relevant discount rate, and the rationale for future profitable expansions of the port. Regarding the unpaid historical royalties, the Tribunal also relied on Professor Spiller’s explanation for calculating the historical amounts of royalties owed.

Professor Spiller was supported by a team led by Carla Chavich and included Jack Ghaleb. Compass Lexecon worked with A. William Urquhart, Anthony Sinclair, Ted Greeno, Jonathan Cooper and Jagdish J. Menezes of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP as well as with Mark Howard QC of Brick Court Chambers.

A parallel LCIA proceeding regarding the unlawful seizure of the container terminal in 2018 remains ongoing.