After the Supreme Court of the United States defined that the judicial controversy for the expropriation of YPF must be settled in the courts of New York, the Argentine State presented this Monday a letter requesting that the trial begin immediately. The Argentine negotiators consider that Argentina has “good technical arguments” to fight a battle against the Burford Fund for 3,000 million dollars that can extend for about six years.
“Until now, it was being discussed where the trial should take place. The State Department had indicated that the trial has to be done in the United States and the Supreme Court considered the same, so now the trial for the expropriation has to begin, “explains one of the Argentine officials who is leading the case.
“Kirchnerism always inclined to political arguments, and that always fails, we have excellent technical arguments to show that Argentina is right,” says the same source, who traveled to New York to await the decision of the Supreme Court and rush litigation in the trial court of the Southern District of Manhattan, Loretta Preska, who inherited the cases brought by Judge Thomas Griesa.
To prop up the change in strategy, the government of Mauricio Macri relieved a Miami studio – Akerman – that had been in office since 2015, and hired Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates, a New York megafirm. These are the lawyers who will present the document in which the Treasury Attorney of the Nation, Bernardo Saravia Frías, is working in New York on Monday; Fabián Rodríguez Simón, director of YPF, and Marcelo Rufino, lawyer of the Argentine oil company.
The three-page brief, signed by lawyer Maura Barry Grinalds, Argentina questions the legitimacy of Burford to start the lawsuit.
According to sources familiar with the Argentine strategy, the first step of the plan had been to avoid the start of the trial on US soil. Fallen that attempt, in the Government they were satisfied with to have delayed the beginning of the fight and in that way to have delayed the financial impact of the controversy. However, now Argentine negotiators hope to accelerate the controversy, confident that there are “good technical arguments” against Burford.
Burford is a fund that purchased part of the litigation rights in the Spanish courts, where the bankruptcy proceeding of two companies of the Petersen Group, which owned a large part of the shares of YPF at the time of the expropriation carried out by the Kirchnerism
Specifically, Burford filed a lawsuit in New York because he maintains that at the time of the expropriation, when the State acquired 51% of YPF’s shares, it was obliged to buy the shares from the rest of the minority shareholders. For that, they cite the YPF debt issuance prospectus. Following the Court’s decision, the Fund’s lawyers appeared before the Preska court to request that the magistrate summon the two parties to expedite an agreement.
Faced with this plan, the Argentine negotiators will present three argumentative lines. The first is that the obligation does not appear in the YPF prospectus. The second is that, if that happens, an Expropriation law is above any such contract. And, finally, the State will sustain, according to sources with access to that strategy, that Burford is violating the legislation on Argentine companies, which prevent a shareholder from initiating a lawsuit against another shareholder.
In addition to these three channels, Argentina will question the acquisition of litigation rights in Spain by Burford. According to the State, that transaction was made fraudulently.