Nelux, Lawton and the Nakash arbitration

Henk Keilman is currently involved in a series of legal proceedings across four jurisdictions: the Netherlands, the Cayman Islands, Poland and the United States. There are four main cases which are interlinked and connected by the same cast of characters. Please see below for an outline of the Nelux, Lawton and Nakash dispute.

Nelux, Lawton and Nakash Arbitration

This dispute lies between Keilman and Ralph, Avi and Joseph Nakash (“Nakash brothers”) concerning a series of loans made by Keilman’s companies Nelux and Lawton to the Nakash brothers between 1992 and 1995. These loans have never been fully repaid.

In late 2011, Keilman approached Shiboleth, and explained that he required some of his long term investments, or parts thereof, such as his investment in the Sterling Fund, or the Nakash loans, be liquidated. At this time, the remaining claims against Nakash were approximately $49m plus interest. Shiboleth proposed instead that the Nakash brothers and one of his other clients, Mr Isaac Dabah, would purchase from Keilman two of the Bulgarian solar parks. Several letters and emails exchanged between Keilman and Shiboleth, in April-September 2012, evidence the commitment of the Nakash brothers in the solar parks. Keilman needed urgent funding and a quick deal with the Nakash brothers appeared the best way to keep his companies afloat. According to Keilman, Shiboleth demanded to make a condition to the acquisition of the solar parks that an arbitration would be set up with himself acting as arbitrator. It was proposed that the Nakash brothers and Dabah would pay a total of EUR 21m to acquire the two solar parks. In exchange, an arbitration would have to take place relating to the $49m debts of the Nakash brothers. (Also, an arbitration related to the Blue City project would have to take place) Feeling intense pressure in view of the financial situation his companies were in, Keilman signed the arbitration but the solar parks were never purchased nor were the loans ever repaid. This contributed to the subsequent bankruptcy of Keilman’s companies. Following the signing of an arbitration agreement by Keilman (on behalf of Nelux and Lawton), arbitration proceedings followed, whereby Shiboleth acted as arbitrator and “found” in May 2012 that the loans provided to the Nakash brothers did not need to be repaid anymore.

Shiboleth, Dabah and Joseph Nakash have testified before the Dutch court that there was no relationship whatsoever between the arbitration relating to the Nakash loans on the one hand, and the proposed Bulgarian solar park acquisition on the other.In 2012 the Nakash brothers filed for recognition of the arbitral award in the Dutch courts, where after some deliberation, it was recognised in 2014. Nelux and Lawton appealed the recognition decision, but the Court of Appeals found them inadmissible in their appeal ruling that the exceptions to the appeal prohibition applicable for these kinds of decisions did not apply. Nelux and Lawton are appealing the Court of Appeals decision with the Dutch Supreme Court. They have furthermore applied for the setting aside of the arbitral award in separate proceedings before the Dutch court of first instance.

The size of the claim under the loans is about $100m as per July 2015.