NEW YORK, May 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Mr Jack J. Grynberg, President and CEO of RSM Production Corporation (RSM), has on 29 May 2013 filed legal proceedings in the federal courts of the District of Columbia, USA against the World Bank Group, the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and the Secretary General of ICSID, Meg Kennear.
The proceedings relate to RSM's concern that ICSID failed to provide open, transparent and independent adjudication of a case brought to it concerning RSM's investment in an oil exploration concession in the Central African Republic (CAR). This was due to an undisclosed and highly material conflict of interest by one of the members of the ad-hoc Committee.
Jack Grynberg, said:
"It is extremely concerning, not only to us but to others who have agreed to use ICSID arbitration, that ICSID has refused to acknowledge a justifiable concern that a sitting ICSID ad-hoc Committee member had an undisclosed serious conflict of interest."
Copies of RSM's Verified Complaint are available on request. An open letter dated 30 May 2013 to Dr Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank and Chairman of ICSID explaining the background and requesting a clarification of ICSID's position is attached below:
Dr. Jim Yong Kim,
President of the World Bank
Chairman of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)
1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433 USA
Re: ICSID's Moral Leadership and Conflicts of Interest
Dear Dr Kim
I am writing to urge you to clarify ICSID's commitment to the transparent, open and independent adjudication of cases referred to it.
My family company invested in an oil exploration concession in CAR. Due to the civil war in that country, a force majeure situation arose following which the CAR unilaterally terminated our licence. The dispute was referred to ICSID for adjudication.
We did not agree with the decision and it was referred to the highest level of appeal in ICSID, a three member ad-hoc Committee, appointed by you on the recommendation of the Secretary-General of the Secretariat. This appointment process in itself problematic: one condition was conflicted and the other resigned shortly after her appointment in breach of the ICSID Rules.
Subsequently, the ad-hoc Committee declined our application. It has since come to light that one of the members of the ad-hoc Committee had an undisclosed and highly material conflict of interest.
On discovering this conflict of interest, we notified the Secretary-General of ICSID and filed a request that the ad-hoc Committee's decision be annulled. To our surprise and disappointment the Secretary-General not only refused to register our request; but refused even to acknowledge our concern that a sitting ICSID ad-hoc Committee member had an undisclosed serious conflict of interest.
This is a matter of the most serious concern to us; but also to others who have agreed to use ICSID arbitration. For our part, to protect our position, we have been forced to bring legal action against your institution and its Secretary-General before the federal courts of the District of Columbia, USA. In attendance of the outcome of this case, I should appreciate your clarification of your position in relation to the following issues:
- Is it acceptable that decisions made by ad-hoc Committees whose members turn out to have conflicts of interest should be immune from review?
- Is it acceptable that the appointment of ad-hoc Committee members who turn out to have failed to comply with their duty to disclose conflicts of interest in breach of the requirements of impartiality and independence should be immune from review?
- Is it acceptable that the Secretary-General of ICSID exercises a judicial power to block a prima facie conflict of interest from being reviewed by an impartial and independent ad hoc Committee? In purporting to exercise such power is the Secretary-General acting within their authority and, if so, from where does that authority derive?
- How do you select and appoint members of an ad-hoc Committee?
In light of the public interest in these matters, we would appreciate a prompt response.
Jack J Grynberg
Notes to Editors:
- Jack J. Grynberg is the President and CEO of RSM Production Corporation. He is an eminent and highly experienced expert in the fields of hydrocarbon research, exploration, development and production. He has been resolute and highly successful in defending his and his family's companies' interests through litigation. He has previously been involved in litigation against a number of companies and representatives in the oil and gas industry. In 2008 he named BP and its former chief executive Lord Browne of Madingley in a lawsuit alleging bribery of government officials in Grenada. Concurrently, he also sued BP and its - at the time - current and former chief executives Tony Hayward and Lord Browne over allegations of bribery of government officials and racketeering in Kazakhstan, as well as Norway's Statoil and its chief executive, Helge Lund.
- RSM Production Corporation (RSM) operates as an oil and gas exploration and production company. The company was incorporated in 1996 and is based in Denver, Colorado.
For further information please contact RSM's Attorney Daniel L Abrams on +1-(212)-292-5663.
SOURCE RSM Production Corporation