Linklaters defends Gabon in U.S. enforcement petition preventing $49m default award

Linklaters has won a significant litigation victory for the Gabonese Republic (Gabon) and its public works instrumentality, L’Agence Nationale des Grands Travaux (ANGT) in a Washington, D.C. federal court.


Turkish construction company, ENKA İnşaat Ve Sanayi A.Ş. had petitioned the D.C. federal court to enforce a $46.9 million award it claims it secured against Gabon and ANGT from a Swiss tribunal of the International Court of Arbitration.


In January, a U.S. district court declared Gabon and ANGT in default for failure to plead or otherwise defend the action. Linklaters was hired after the entry of default by Gabon and ANGT to oppose default and the enforcement petition.


On September 9, 2019, the U.S. District Court granted Linklaters’ Motion to Vacate the Entry of Default against Gabon and ANGT, preventing ENKA’s attempt to obtain a $49 million default over the unresolved international arbitration award.


The court concluded that Gabon and ANGT’s delay in filing responses had been excusable, and that Gabon and ANGT had raised meritorious defenses against enforcement of the award, allowing them to contest the enforcement of the ICC award to ENKA.


“It is a privilege to represent the Gabon and ANGT in this important matter and we are pleased we succeeded in vacating the entry of default on our client’s behalf,” said Adam S. Lurie, Linklaters Head of Dispute Resolution in the United States.


The Linklaters team was led by U.S. partner Adam S. Lurie and counsel Kate Machan with support from associates Menaka Nayar and Charlene Warner.


The case is ENKA İnşaat Ve Sanayi A.Ş. v. The Gabonese Republic and L’Agence Nationale Des Grands Travaux No. 1:18-cv-02458, ECF 34.