Vodafone v. India: Multi-Billion Dollar Tax Dispute

2 October, 2020

An international arbitral tribunal in The Hague, constituted under the India-Netherlands Bilateral Investment Treaty, has ruled in favour of Vodafone International Holdings BV in its $5.5 billion tax dispute with India.

Following a long-running and high profile dispute that had previously been the subject of an Indian Supreme Court ruling, and then retrospective legislation in India, the Hague tribunal ruled last week that India’s attempt to impose onto Vodafone a retrospective withholding tax demand of $5.5 billion (including penalties and interest) is in the violation of the FET standard under Article 4(1) of the treaty. It has also held that any further attempt by India to enforce the demands against Vodafone would violate international law.

Toby Landau QC acted as lead counsel for Vodafone, together with Harish Salve QC and teams from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in London and DMD Advocates in Delhi.