Riad & Riad has successfully represented a leading multinational food manufacturing company in connection with a claim against the Egyptian Notary Public Authority for the refund of unduly collected Notarization Fee. The Claim was initiated before the Investment Dispute Resolution Committee (“DRC”).
The DRC is one of the out-of-court forum established under the Investment Law No. 72 for 2017 (“Investment Law”) to settle disputes between investors and governmental bodies. The decisions of the DRC are final and binding once approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
The dispute arose from the collection of a fee equivalent to 0.5% of the company’s capital as notarization fee for the amendment of the company’s bylaws. The Notary Public was of the opinion that the company was incorporated under the Investment Law, and therefore, unlike its counterparts under the Companies Law No. 159 for 1981 (“Companies Law”), it will be subject to the 0.5% fee without a cap according the Notarization Fees Law No. 70 of 1964.
Out team believed that companies incorporated under the Investment Law should be treated equally as companies incorporated under the Companies Law which provides for a cap fee of EGP 1000.
We challenged the Notary Public decision in front of the DRC invoking the most-favorable treatment guarantee under the Investment Law which warrants that companies under the Investment Law will not be in a worse position than those under the Companies Law. Furthermore, the Companies Law is the general umbrella law which should apply to all different types of companies incorporated in Egypt in case their special laws are silent on a specific matter. Our team prepared and submitted the stateme nt of claims and reply memoranda and attended oral hearings on behalf of our client. The DRC issued its decision in favor of our client in less than 7 months. The decision was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers shortly and became final and executable. Our team is currently finalizing the procedures of refunding the unduly collected fee.