Telcordia's application for leave to appeal dismissed

The Pretoria High Court Tuesday dismissed an application by Telcordia Technologies Inc. for leave to appeal a High Court judgment made in favor of Telkom SA Ltd. last year, that set aside a partial award made earlier by an arbitrator in a long-standing dispute between the parties.

After hearing the application for three days last week here in South Africa (SA), the High Court found that there was no prospect that another court would arrive at a different conclusion from the one that the judge found in his judgment in the review application on November, 27 2003. The court also granted a cost order in favor of Telkom, including costs for two counsels.

A dispute arose between Telcordia and Telkom in 2000, when Telkom terminated its agreement with Telcordia for the delivery of a fully integrated end-to-end customer activation and assurance system.

Following the parties' failure to resolve the dispute, Telcordia initiated arbitration proceedings under the auspices of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) during the first quarter of 2001. In response to Telcordia's claims for outstanding amounts and certain out-of-scope services of approximately US$130 million, Telkom counter-claimed against Telcordia for an amount in excess of $300 million, including a claim for the refund of monies paid by Telkom to Telcordia.

On September, 27 2002, the arbitrator handed down a partial award in favor of Telcordia, effectively settling the merits of the dispute between the parties and notwithstanding a pending Section 20 application (in terms of the Arbitration Act) in the SA High Court to resolve pertinent legal issues in the matter. However, Telkom applied to the High Court in SA, sitting at Pretoria, to review and set aside the partial award.

In November 2003 the High Court handed down judgment in favor of Telkom following the hearing of an extensive six-week review application. In terms of the court order, the partial award was set aside and the court ordered that the matter be heard by a panel of three retired judges of the Supreme Court of Appeal in SA.

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