The Express Tribune | 5 August 2016
International tribunal asks Agility to compensate Pakistan for legal costs
An international tribunal on August 1 announced that it holds Agility Public Warehousing Company of Kuwait liable to pay the entire costs incurred by Pakistan in defending a claim for more than $650 million filed against it by Agility.
The tribunal was constituted under the Rules of Arbitration of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes Washington (ICSID), says a press release.
Agility had been awarded a pilot contract by the Federal Board of Revenue in 2003 for customisation of software for the purpose of paperless clearance of imports and exports and sued Pakistan before ICSID when it did not succeed in procuring a long term contract from the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).
Agility levelled serious allegations against Pakistan – claiming that its intellectual property rights had been infringed and that it had been strung along until FBR was able to develop its own software to take over from what had been developed by Agility.
The FBR on the other hand – through its counsel Barrister Farrukh Karim Qureshi of Samdani & Qureshi – contradicted the stance adopted by Agility and argued that Agility had procured the pilot contract through fraudulent misrepresentation of its past experience and quality of the software. Agility had also tried to use political influence to compel FBR to award to it a long term contract.
The case was to be heard by the Arbitral Tribunal in London for ten days beginning on Nov 13, 2015.
However, on Nov 10, 2015 Agility informed the Tribunal that it wished to withdraw its entire claim amounting to more than $650 million. Pakistan’s counsel, Barrister Qureshi, argued that the withdrawal would only be allowed if Agility agreed to pay the entire costs incurred by Pakistan in defending a frivolous, malicious and baseless claim.
The tribunal, agreeing with the position adopted on behalf of Pakistan, has ordered Agility to pay the costs and expenses incurred in defending a claim which should never have been brought by Agility against Pakistan before an international forum.