French law firm to represent
State in Imperial Jet case
Airline forbidden from landing at Beirut airport
Bredin Prat, a France-based firm, will represent the State in a court case that local firm Imperial Jet has filed before the US-based International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).
The ministries of Justice and Public Works and Transportation held an open tender in which 27 law firms applied for representation in the $350,000 case. A committee of judges then selected 11 offices with experience in jury cases. Bids ranged between $350,000 and over $1 million.
Three criteria taken into consideration for choosing the law firm were: Its non-cooperation with Israel, the number of cases won before the ICSID, and costs.
Bredin Prat has no local partner, but one of its partners is Raed Fathallah, a Lebanese lawyer established in France.
Local firm Alem & Associates is partnering with international Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan to represent the claimant, Imperial Jet.
Imperial Jet’s dispute with the State began in 2008, when the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) ruled that the airline’s Boeing 737 was not fit to fly to Europe. The company challenged the ruling at the Shura Council and succeeded in overturning the decision. In spite of the decision, its licenses to operate at the airport were then revoked. Although the company continued to operate flights based on its European licenses, the DGCA stopped granting landing rights to Imperial Jet Europe in Beirut.
Imperial Jet is a German company with a subsidiary in Lebanon. There are six private jet operators at the Beirut Rafik Hariri International Airport.
Reported by Yassmine Alieh
Date Posted: Oct 09, 2015