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Arnold & Porter Advises Board of Central Bank of Venezuela Appointed by Interim President Juan Guaidó in Dispute Over UK Recognition and Authority over International Reserves Held in England

July 18, 2021

On Monday 19 July 2021 the UK Supreme Court will open a hearing that is expected finally to determine whether the Board of the Central Bank of Venezuela appointed by interim President Juan Guaidó has authority to give instructions concerning Venezuelan reserves held in England.  The UK’s Foreign Secretary has formally recognised Mr. Guaidó as the legitimate president of Venezuela.  The UK does not recognise what the Foreign Secretary has referred to as the “illegitimate and kleptocratic Maduro regime.”  The Guaidó Board argues that the Foreign Secretary’s recognition is conclusive and binding on the Court under the “one voice doctrine,” and that the Court must accept interim President Guaidó’s acts in that capacity without further enquiry.  The Commercial Court agreed with the Guaidó Board’s position in its judgment on 2 July 2020.  The Court of Appeal remanded the case for further findings of fact on 5 October 2020.  The Supreme Court granted permission to appeal on 9 December 2020.  The three-day hearing is available via the Supreme Court’s livestream.
The Arnold & Porter team representing the Guaidó Board is led by Washington, DC partner Whitney Debevoise and London partner Jane Wessel, assisted by London senior associate Alastair Brown, with barristers Tim Otty QC, Andrew Fulton QC and Mark Tushingham.  Copies of the Guaidó Board’s submissions to the Supreme Court are available here and here.