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Acting on behalf of a key client Allianz CMS Russia and CMS Zurich won a major reinsurance recovery action against a Swiss reinsurer Infrassure in August 2015.
The dispute related to a tragic accident at Sayano-Shushenskaya Hydro Power Plant in Russia in August 2009. Having examined the circumstances and assessed the amount of this major loss, Allianz Russia, as the direct property insurer, paid the original insured in full while continuing discussions with the reinsurers including Infrassure, a reinsurance company based in Zurich. Infrassure refused to pay its share of the loss and Allianz Russia filed a claim for reinsurance indemnity. The case involved complex issues of jurisdiction, causation, quantum, direct and reinsurance policy construction and interpretation under Russian law and went through all stages of appeal in Russia. After the Supreme Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation refused to review favourable decisions of the lower courts, CMS filed for recognition and enforcement of the Russian court decisions in Switzerland.
Switzerland and Russia not being bound by a bi- or multilateral treaty on recognition and enforcement of civil decisions, the request was filed under the Swiss Private International Law Act's provisions on recognition and enforcement. The Zurich District Court granted exequatur which was upheld by the Higher Court of Zurich and in a precedent setting decision by the Swiss Federal Court. The decision is of particular importance, being the first ever published decision on Swiss courts recognising and enforcing a Russian civil judgment. Moreover, it is equally precedential for numerous other countries without a recognition and enforcement treaty with Switzerland.
The CMS team was led by Leonid Zubarev, Senior Partner of CMS Russia and Dr. Jodok Wicki, Partner of CMS Zurich.