There have been a lot of intriguing developments in the Hamilton Reserve Bank vs Sri Lanka litigation lately, not least mounting questions around who is really behind the lawsuit, as Alphaville explored earlier this month. 

This movie has run before. Dig into the archives on the evolution of modern holdout creditor litigation and one will find reference to Water Street Bank and Trust. In the early 1990s, Water Street brought cases against Ecuador, Ivory Coast, Poland, Panama and Congo for unpaid debt claims (for the history, see the opinion in Elliott vs. Peru).  

However, the litigation against Panama hit a bump when Panama’s lawyers found a clever hook in their champerty defence — an old common law doctrine prohibiting litigation driven by the goal of obtaining a financial gain — by asking for the revelation of the real parties in interest in the case.

Ruth Mason & G. Mitu Gulati, How Sri Lanka can uncover its mysterious legal adversary, Financial Times ( (September 25, 2023).