Ex-U.S. secretary of homeland security becomes arbitrator in case initiated by Kolomoisky and Boholiubov's companies

The dispute initiated by Optima Ventures, Optima 7171 LLC and Optima 55 Public Square LLC, owned by ex-owners of PrivatBank Ihor Kolomoisky and Hennadiy Boholiubov, against the United States at the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) has reached the stage of selecting arbitrators.

According to the information on the court's website, the claimants in June chose Jan Paulsson as an arbitrator (a citizen of Bahrain, France and Sweden), and the United States on the penultimate day of July selected former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff as an arbitrator.

ICSID also reported that an order taking note of the discontinuance of the proceeding on the second lawsuit of these claimants against the United States, registered on the same day as the first aforementioned lawsuit, on March 16 of this year, was issued in the middle of June.

The claimants in the case are Black, Srebnick, Kornspan & Stumpf, P.A.; Roche Cyrulnik Freedman; and Kasowitz Benson Torres.

Typically, the arbitral tribunal consists of three arbitrators – one proposed by each party, and the third – the president of the tribunal – is appointed by agreement of the parties. In the absence of such agreement, a third arbitrator shall be appointed by the Secretary-General.

According to the February information of the Global Arbitration Review, the essence of the claim of Optima Ventures and its subsidiary is recovery of $23 million in response to two civil suits from the U.S. Department of Justice regarding the seizure of commercial real estate of the businessmen in Louisville, Kentucky and Dallas, Texas.

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