As I have noted earlier, there is a pitched battle between victims of Pan Am 73 terrorist hijacking over the distribution of treaty funds secured by the United States for American victims in a 2008 diplomatic settlement with Libya. The treaty and Executive Order stipulate that the money shall be distributed solely for the benefit…

Professor Hess is the author of the chapter of the Heidelberg Report on the interplay between arbitration and the Regulation 44/2001 (“the Regulation”). As such, and quite understandably, he actively promotes the suggestion that the arbitration exception should be deleted from the Regulation. The Heidelberg proposal has been followed by a Green Paper of the…

In holding that “Article 85 of the [EU] Treaty [now article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union – TFEU] constitutes a fundamental provision which is essential for the accomplishment of the tasks entrusted to the Community and, in particular, for the functioning of the internal market”, and that “the provisions…

On 8 July 2009, the French Supreme Court rendered a decision confirming its position that the existence and the validity of an arbitration agreement should be determined primarily in light of the common intent of the parties (Société d’études et représentations navales et industrielles (SOERNI) et autres vs. Société Air Sea Broker limited (ASB), July…

The emerging rule in the U.S. that, to recognize and enforce an arbitral award under the New York Convention, a U.S. court must have personal jurisdiction over the award debtor or his or her property in the forum, has attracted criticism. International arbitration specialists argue that this requirement restricts enforcement of valid arbitral awards in…

One aspect of Chinese arbitration law that is of enduring interest to the international arbitration community is the question of whether Chinese law permits non-Chinese arbitration institutions, such as the ICC, to administer arbitrations in China. In practice, a number of arbitrations have taken place and are currently taking place in China under the rules…

The seat of an arbitration is a crucial factor. It determines the lex arbitri and the courts with supervisory jurisdiction over the arbitration. The important consequences of the seat require parties to choose the seat carefully. Cases where no seat is chosen by the parties are not uncommon. The English High Court in Shashoua v…

Earlier this year, the Hong Kong Court of First Instance ruled that, in future, when it hears unsuccessful attempts to resist enforcement of arbitral awards under the New York Convention, it will “normally consider” awarding costs on an indemnity basis (i.e., in full, regardless whether they were reasonably incurred). This was a bold pro-enforcement statement…

On May 6, 2009, the French Supreme Court rendered a decision relating to the consequences of insolvency proceedings commenced in France against a party to pending international arbitration proceedings (Jean X. v. International Company For Commercial Exchanges (Income), May 6, 2009, Case no. 08-10281). A French company had signed three contracts for the sale of…

The 9.10.2009 session of the New York Convention subcommittee of the IBA in Madrid saw a lively discussion on the topic of enforcement of annulled arbitral awards. The discussion related to the “Yukos Capital” decision issued by the Amsterdam Court of Appeals in April 2009. The Amsterdam Court of First Instance had previously upheld the…

Earlier this year, the ICSID ad hoc committee in the Sempra v. Argentina annulment proceedings decided to continue the stay of the enforcement of the tribunal’s award in that case for the duration of the annulment proceedings on the condition that Argentina pay USD 75 million into an escrow account. After Argentina failed to make…

There is a lingering perception amongst the international arbitration community that English courts tend to be more interventionist in relation to arbitration proceedings and awards compared to some of their continental counterparts. In reality, English courts are much less interventionist than some imagine, despite provisions such as section 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996 which…

Given the fundamental nature of the exceptions to the recognition and enforcement under the New York Convention (the “Convention”) it should not be forgotten that their application is in fact discretionary: Article V.1 of the Convention states that “Recognition and enforcement of the award may be refused at the request of the party against whom…

The relationship between Arbitration and European Judicial Private Law has not always been easy. The bedrock European Law principle in this field, as embedded in the European Council Regulation (EC) No. 44/2001 of December 22, 2000 on Jurisdiction and the Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters (“the Judgment Regulation”), is the…

On Tuesday, the United States Supreme Court decided Iran v. Elahi, a case that appears to fall within a data set of one. As I reported elsewhere, the case is extraordinarily complex, focusing on whether a terrorist victim judgment creditor can attach a confirmed arbitration award rendered in Iran’s favor. Although it involves exotic issues…

Banks and financial institutions traditionally have favoured litigation over arbitration as the means of resolving international disputes. The reasons often given include: (i) financial disputes typically involve straightforward payment claims and do not involve complex legal questions or fact finding, with the latter more suited for arbitration; (ii) arbitration does not provide for the possibility…

Last week the ALI Reporters held an invitation-only meeting in New York with arbitration luminaries to discuss the first draft of the first-ever “Restatement of the U.S. Law of International Commercial Arbitration.” The focus of the first draft is on the enforcement of international arbitral awards, which includes New York Convention grounds for challenge, as…

In light of interest in the international arbitration community concerning investment treaty cases against Argentina since the 2001 economic crisis, we thought it could be useful to share Freshfields’ working collation. We caution that this is based only on public records and press reports. Corrections are welcome. According to our data, 46 treaty cases have…

In its decision of 9 December 2008 (4A_403/2008), the Swiss Federal Supreme Court took the opportunity to clarify its practice regarding the enforcement of arbitral awards that are suspended at the foreign seat of arbitration. In the case before the Swiss Federal Supreme Court, Company Y requested recognition in Switzerland of an arbitral award rendered…

To enhance predictability when litigating disputes arising out of international business transactions, the U.S. signed the June 30, 2005 Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements (the “Convention”) on January 19, 2009. In the U.S., such clauses are typically referred to as forum selection clauses, which are almost always included in contracts arising out of…

Rex has recently installed himself as the benevolent dictator of a resource-rich country where many live in poverty. He took power from a government he accuses of having distributed national wealth in a grossly unfair manner. He proclaims a policy of redistributive justice, and enjoys passionate popularity among the vast disadvantaged segments of the population….

Questions regarding the future of the FAA are no longer of passing concern. With a Democratic President and a Democratic Congress, there is a significant likelihood that some version of the proposed “Arbitration Fairness Act” will become law. As one prominent academic said to me this weekend, “The worst part about Obama getting elected is…