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Reuters | 25 May 2023
Spain loses immunity bid in $129 mln renewable energy incentives lawsuit
LONDON, May 25 (Reuters) - Spain has lost a bid to claim immunity in a London court in a 120 million-euro ($129 million) case over cuts to renewable energy incentives.
Two investors, Infrastructure Services Luxembourg and Energia Termosolar, took Spain to arbitration under the Energy Charter Treaty nearly 10 years ago for withdrawing subsidies for renewable energy.
The World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) awarded them 101 million euros in 2018, with the award later being registered at London’s High Court.
Spain tried to overturn the award on the grounds that it had sovereign immunity, but the High Court dismissed Spain’s application in a written ruling published on Wednesday.
Nick Cherryman, a lawyer who represented the two investors, hailed the "landmark decision".
The ruling "confirms that the Spanish government cannot claim sovereign immunity as a way to subvert its obligations under the Energy Charter Treaty", or avoid paying ICSID awards, he said in a statement.
Reuters was seeking comment from the Spanish Finance Ministry.
Reporting by Sam Tobin Editing by Peter Graff