On 24 May 2018, the Paris Court of Appeal confirms the judgment lifting the attachment order obtained by Mr. Laurent Parienti pursuant to the arbitral award rendered in his favor against the Panama Republic and the Panama Canal Authority. To enforce this award, the investor had seized the accounts of the Panama Canal Authority at the Paris Standard Chartered Bank. However, they challenged the attachment order arguing, notably, that it had not been properly served, the bank having its headquarters in London and the funds being in an account opened in the New York branch of the bank.
The Court of Appeal ruled in favor of respondents under the principle of French international private law which recognizes that a claim is, in principle, located at the domicile of the debtor and the principle of territoriality of enforcement procedures preventing a French attachment order from having any effect on accounts located in the foreign branch of a foreign bank. Thus, the order was irregularly notified as it should have been to the headquarters of the bank in London or to the branch effectively holding the account. In addition, the attachment order could not have had any effect as the money intended to be attached was held in an account in New York.