In Safety National Casualty Corp. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London, 587 F.3d 714 (5th Cir. 2009), the Fifth Circuit addressed the following question: does the McCarran-Ferguson Act authorize state law prohibiting arbitration agreements in insurance contracts to reverse-preempt the New York Convention or the New York Convention’s implementing legislation (the Federal Arbitration Act, or…

I am grateful to Professor Hess for his comments on my 3 March 2010 blog. It greatly contributes to advancing the debate. However, it also perfectly illustrates the difficulties of a proposition – the total or partial deletion of the arbitration exception in Regulation 44/2001 – that has not been sufficiently thought through. 1. Professor…

Several years ago, three United States Courts of Appeal contemporaneously dismissed actions to enforce foreign arbitral awards for lack of personal jurisdiction, a development that provoked expressions of concern from the arbitration bar. Adding to their dread, the United States Court of Appeal for the Second Circuit dismissed an enforcement action on forum non conveniens…

Does a blind law professor intend to destroy the benefits of the New York Convention? Reading the post of Alexis Mourre, I was wondering whether I should react to it, as the post refers to my opinion at least incompletely. However, as I’m still convinced that a fair and open discussion is beneficial, I would…

In post-Soviet time Russian courts have already developed quite a vast practice of recognition and enforcement of international arbitral awards. One can even already fetch out some trends in such practice. Thorough case study shows that certain distrust to international arbitration and unexpected obstacles to the enforcement of the awards caused by lack of experience…

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…

On January 15, 2010, the United States Supreme Court granted a writ of certiorari in Rent-A-Center West, Inc. v. Jackson, Case No. 09-497, agreeing to revisit the oft-litigated issue of whether the court or arbitrator should determine arbitrability under the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”). The Court’s prior jurisprudence has established the general rule, as a…

I am in Australia in advance of the investment law conference at Sydney Law School at the end of the week, and I took advantage of many plane hours to read the docket in the case pending between Ecuador and Chevron/Texaco Petroleum Company (TexPet) in the Southern District of New York. They repay study. In…

The Swiss Parliament is currently contemplating a reinforcement of the negative effect of the “competence-competence” principle in the Swiss legislation. According to a parliamentary initiative, a Swiss court that is seized on the merits and faced with a plea of lack of jurisdiction based on the existence of a valid arbitration agreement should review such…

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…

The Fifth Circuit earlier this month issued a highly unusual decision addressing whether state law could “reverse preempt” the New York Convention. As any student of international arbitration knows, state law occasionally attempts to limit the enforceability of arbitration agreements. Such a policy is preempted by the New York Convention as implemented by the Federal…

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…

The English Court of Appeal recently upheld a first instance decision to refuse enforcement of a US$20m New York Convention award in Dallah Estate and Tourism Holding Company v The Ministry of Religious Affairs, Government of Pakistan [2009] EWCA Civ 755, on the basis that the arbitration agreement was ‘not valid’ for the purposes of…

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…

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 I attended a wonderful conference at Pepperdine Law School on international sports arbitrations administered by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). It is a remarkably sophisticated regime that deserves far greater attention than it typically receives by the international arbitration community. Under the CAS Rules, all CAS tribunals have their seat in…

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…

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…