For thirty years, Legal Netlink Alliance has served the needs of clients worldwide.


For thirty years, Legal Netlink Alliance has served the needs of clients worldwide.

Stankovic & Partners Win ICSID Arbitration Case Against Serbia for Canadian National

Sep 06, 2023 – Belgrade, Serbia

ICSID tribunal protected the beneficial investor’s rights in a dispute with the Republic of Serbia

Stankovic & Partners (NSTLAW) is very pleased to announce that our team, working closely with global law firm Squire Patton Boggs, recently secured a notable victory for Canadian national Mr William Rand in an ICSID (International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes) arbitration against the Republic of Serbia.

In its decision of 29 June 2023, the arbitration tribunal awarded our client damages of EUR 14.5 million plus interest as a consequence of the unlawful termination of a privatisation agreement.

The case stems from a 2005 transaction in which Mr William Rand purchased a 70% beneficial stake in one of the largest dairy farms in Serbia, BD Agro, involving a privatisation agreement concluded between Mr Djura Obradovic and the Privatisation Agency. The Agency decided to terminate the privatisation agreement in 2015, expropriating the title over the company’s shares and establishing corporate control over BD Agro. Our client, Mr William Rand, then filed a request for arbitration in 2018 with ICSID, seeking protection for his beneficial stake and investment in BD Agro.

The tribunal recognised that, as Mr Rand was the one bearing the financial burden of the investment, in exchange he had acquired an interest in the beneficially owned shares in BD Agro and therefore exercised control over BD Agro’s operations and management. It was ultimately concluded that the Republic of Serbia had breached the fair and equitable standards envisaged in article 6 (1) of the Canada – Serbia bilateral investment treaty by unlawfully terminating the privatisation agreement and seizing Mr Rand’s beneficially owned shares, which had been effected through the exercise of sovereign powers by the Agency. The Tribunal stated that a privatisation agreement could not be terminated after the purchase price had been paid by a buyer for an alleged breach that had occurred before the transaction had taken place.

The team at Stankovic & Partners comprised senior partner Nenad Stankovic and counsel Sara Pendjer, while the Squire Patton Boggs team included partners Rostislav Pekar (Prague), Stephen P. Anway (New York), Luka Misetic (New York), Matej Pustay (Prague) and senior associate David Seidl (Prague).


ICSID is the world’s leading institution devoted to international investment dispute settlement. It has extensive experience in this field, having administered the majority of all international investment cases. States have agreed on ICSID as a forum for investor-State dispute settlement in most international investment treaties and in numerous investment laws and contracts.

ICSID was established in 1966 by the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (the ICSID Convention). The ICSID Convention is a multilateral treaty formulated by the Executive Directors of the World Bank to further the Bank’s objective of promoting international investment. ICSID is an independent, depoliticized and effective dispute-settlement institution. Its availability to investors and States helps to promote international investment by providing confidence in the dispute resolution process. It is also available for state-state disputes under investment treaties and free trade agreements, and as an administrative registry.

ICSID provides for settlement of disputes by conciliation, mediation, arbitration or fact-finding. The ICSID process is designed to take account of the special characteristics of international investment disputes and the parties involved, maintaining a careful balance between the interests of investors and host States. Each case is considered by an independent Conciliation Commission or Arbitral Tribunal, after hearing evidence and legal arguments from the parties. A dedicated ICSID case team is assigned to each case and provides expert assistance throughout the process. More than 900 such cases have been administered by ICSID to date.