ARBITRADE’s Team has Successfully Represented SFGCU in GAFTA Arbitration




Lawyers from ARBITRADE law firm have successfully represented a leading Ukrainian agrarian company “State Food and Grain Corporation of Ukraine” in the appeal stage of international arbitration under the rules of the Grain and Feed Trade Association (GAFTA) in a dispute for the amount of over USD 44 million.

The appeal proceedings in international arbitration under GAFTA rules were initiated after SFGCU, also represented by ARBITRADE, received awards in its favour in four connected cases at first instance. First instance proceedings were brought by SFGCU with the aim of recovery of the debt owed by its counterparty. The dispute was caused by the violation of obligations under several agreements for sale and purchase of grain on the part of the buyer, a Cyprus trading company.

After the issuance of awards at first instance the buyer submitted appeals in all four cases which were eventually combined into single proceedings. In the appeal proceedings, as at first instance, the buyer submitted counterclaims based on an agreement the authenticity of which was disputed by SFGCU. In connection with that, the cases also had ramifications in Ukraine, in particular, SFGCU initiated corresponding criminal investigations.

On appeal, the case was considered by a panel of five arbitrators. The buyer was represented by a well-known UK law firm Holman Fenwick Willan LLP. The ARBITRADE team representing the client throughout the proceedings was composed of Partner Andriy Shulga, Of Counsel Yuliya Chernykh, and Counsel Anastasiya Grenyuk.

The appeal instance of GAFTA arbitration upheld the first instance awards and granted SFGCU’s claims in full: the buyer was ordered to pay the principal amount of the debt of over USD 44 million, interest of 4% p.a. as well as arbitration costs. All of the buyer’s counterclaims were denied.