Two years later, ADIA and its lawyers at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan have come up empty-handed. Citigroup revealed Friday that arbitrators had dismissed all of ADIA claims on Oct. 14. (Here’s the bank’s Form 10-Q disclosing the decision.) According to previous statements by Citi on its Web site and in Securities and Exchange Commission filings, the sovereign wealth fund had alleged fraudulent misrepresentations on both statutory and common law theories, seeking either rescission of the $7.5 billion investment or recovery of its subsequent $4 billion in losses. Whether ADIA will file a motion to vacate in New York federal district court is unknown.
Back in 2007, ADIA’s capital injection was announced with great fanfare as a solution to Citi’s incipient subprime woes. “I think this is a terrific deal for Citi and the global market place as a whole,” former Citi CEO Sanford Weill told The New York Times. The deal may not have turned out so hot for Abu Dhabi or the global marketplace, but Citi’s lawyers. led by Brad Karp of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, appear to have insulated their client from the fallout.
Neither Citi counsel Karp nor Quinn Emanuel’s Peter Calamari, who represented ADIA, returned calls seeking comment.
The case was among the largest ever heard at the AAA International Centre for Dispute Resolution in New York, and it was certainly among the largest in the sparse history of international arbitration in the financial sector. Some advocates predict that arbitration will increasingly attract cross-border financial disputes that involve at least one party from emerging markets.