They think its all over – well its not now.
Just months after the longest running commercial case in the history of the English courts appeared to have come to an end following Iraq and Kuwait reporting they had settled their differences over the Kuwait Airways claim, it is all now back with the judges.
Lawyer, Christopher Gooding, of UK’s Fasken Martineau solicitors, has represented Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC) since August 1990 in its legal fight to obtain compensation from Iraqi Airways (IAC) for the alleged theft of KAC’s fleet and spare parts. Gooding said that in current proceedings KAC seeks to render the State of Iraq liable for the payment of the judgments against IAC.
However, in a press release issued last Sunday the Iraqi Ministry of Transport stated that the agreement concluded in March 2012 by the Iraqi government with its counterpart in Kuwait to attempt to settle the dispute between Kuwait Airways and Iraqi Airways – neither of which were parties to the agreement - had not been formalised.
The press release suggested the agreement provides for payment of $300m in cash to Kuwait and $200m to set up a joint airline: against a liability in excess of $1.2 billion.
Gooding said: “The terms of the proposed settlement are not as set out by Iraq. The terms, which are far from clear, appear to provide for a payment of $300m plus the right to receive the first $200m profits from an unspecified joint venture in which Kuwait is expected to invest an unspecified amount, which, in order to arrive at profits of $200m would presumably be substantial.
"The lawyers acting for IAC and Iraq, who, even from March have been pushing for hearings to continue, confirmed to the English High Court on 29th June that no payment has been made pursuant to the proposed “broad terms” agreement, the parties had been unable to agree detailed terms and that there was, in any event, no settlement agreement in existence between the primary parties to the action – Iraqi Airways and Kuwait Airways. Counsel for Iraq stated that the trial on preliminary issues, set to re-start in November, “was almost certain to go ahead.
"Identical indications have been made by counsel for IAC and Iraq to the Canadian Courts with regards to the trial due to start in Montreal in January
"In the circumstances, my clear instructions from Kuwait Airways, as claimant in all actions, is to continue to preserve the rights of the airline totaling $1.2 billion – being assets of the State - against Iraqi Airways and the State of Iraq. Under the laws of Kuwait any finalized settlement would require ratification by Parliament – which has recently been dissolved."