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02 November 2020
press release

Schoenherr wins in multi hundred million pharma arbitration

Schoenherr's arbitration team led AOP Orphan Pharmaceuticals AG (Austria) to victory in a Frankfurt-seated arbitration against PharmaEssentia Corporation (Taiwan). The tribunal awarded AOP declaratory relief, damages, costs, and interest, and dismissed all counterclaims. This marks one of Schoenherr's largest victories in commercial arbitration to date.

On 16 October 2020, an ICC tribunal consisting of Georg von Segesser (Chair; Swiss), Rolf Trittmann (German), and Wolfgang Peter (Swiss), decided in favor of Schoenherr's client AOP Orphan Pharmaceuticals AG, an Austrian pharmaceutical company specializing in the treatment of rare diseases.

The dispute arose from an agreement concerning the development and distribution of a new blood cancer drug. While AOP had kept its end of the bargain and successfully completed the formulation, clinical and regulatory development of that drug in the EU, Taiwanese biopharmaceutical company PharmaEssentia tried to terminate the initial deal. AOP did not accept that termination and took PharmaEssentia to arbitration requesting declaratory relief that the agreement is in full force and effect and claiming damages caused by PharmaEssentia's created uncertainty and project delays.

AOP prevailed.

After numerous rounds of written submissions, extensive witness and expert testimony, a comprehensive document production phase, and a full week of hearings in December 2019 and February 2020,  the tribunal confirmed that PharmaEssentia's purported termination of its agreement with AOP was invalid, and awarded damages, costs, and interest to AOP in a total amount of over EUR 150,000,000 while dismissing PharmaEssentia's counterclaim on all accounts.

The AOP counsel team was headed by Christoph Lindinger (partner) and lead counsel Victoria Pernt (counsel), joined by most notably Marina Stanisavljevic (attorney at law), Peter Madl (partner), and German counsel Stephan Wilske (Gleiss Lutz).

PharmaEssentia was represented by leading individual Günter Pickrahn and his Baker McKenzie team.



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