The recent American case of Weirton Medical Center Inc v Community Health Systems Inc (N.D. W. Va. Dec. 12, 2017) is another reminder that the debate over the place of summary disposal in arbitration has not been settled. This issue has previously been in the spotlight notably through the transatlantic case of Travis Coal Restructured…

The recent decision by an intermediate New York appellate court in AlbaniaBEG Ambient Sh.p.k. v. Enel S.p.A.1)A.D.3d, No. 152679/14, 2018 WL 755355 (N.Y. App. Div. 1st Dep’t Feb. 8, 2018). has sharply curtailed “a procedural loophole in Chapter 2 of the Federal Arbitration Act”2)Commissions Imp. Exp. S.A. v. Republic of Congo, 916 F. Supp. 2d…

The importance of memorializing a settlement agreement into a consent award was recently highlighted in Transocean Offshore Gulf of Guinea Vii v. Erin Energy Corp., Case No. H-17-2623 (S.D. Tex. March 12, 2018). There, a Texas district court addressed whether a consent award is subject to confirmation in the United States pursuant to the New…

The central point of this note is that the U.S. law of arbitration is not clear from the text of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). The FAA is archaic and in need of updating. The FAA is the oldest – but still functioning – arbitration statute in the world. Case law has rewritten much of…

In the first part of this article, we discussed the need to broaden the debate about the UK’s future trading relationships, touched upon some potential advantages of the UK joining the NAFTA and traced the idea’s limited history. Is there political will? These days, the idea remains on the periphery, even out of sight. Each…

To many, it would seem foolish even to ask whether the UK might join the North American Free Trade Agreement. Yet, the UK should explore all possibilities open in a post-Brexit world. As we explain, the idea that the UK might join the NAFTA is not only conceptually interesting, but also merits entertaining with a…

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has enforced an arbitration clause in a maritime insurance policy, finding the policy subject to the Federal Arbitration Act, and not “reverse preempted” by the McCarran-Ferguson Act.  In so holding, the court determined that the policy’s choice-of-law clause and arbitration provision controlled over somewhat different language…

Several recent circuit-level decisions have shown that U.S. courts are willing to review a foreign court’s annulment of an arbitration award to determine whether the annulment conflicts with U.S. public policy. This exercise inherently involves normative judgments and leads to the question of whether U.S. courts may be “out of their depth” in making such…

On the heels of a year that has seen the rise of populist nationalism, skepticism of multilateral trade agreements and calls to tighten in some ways the flow of people across borders – perhaps most visibly in the United States and across Europe, but with manifestations elsewhere – many communities saw a retreat from international…

Debates about the propriety of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) were revived by a recent letter by U.S. academics, which urged the abandonment of ISDS in the renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This letter repeated arguments that are familiar from prior ISDS debates, such as that ISDS “grants foreign corporations and investors rights to skirt domestic…

After the US election, it was a certainty that in my inbox every morning there was at least one, if not more, email with a discussion on the future of arbitration in our changing society today. And this debate has continued in halls of university law schools to GAR events to law firm seminars. I…

Recent political developments have resulted in considerable geopolitical uncertainty and presented challenges to the international order. With the UK’s vote to exit the European Union, the election of Donald Trump as US president, the Western sanctions against Russia, and the rising North Korea nuclear tensions, 2017 ushers in a turbulent time where commercial parties’ usual…

The finality of an award is a key feature and attraction of arbitration as a method of dispute resolution. When an award is annulled at the seat, however, enforcing courts in secondary jurisdictions must decide between enforcing the award or honoring the seat-court’s nullification. This issue assumes significance in light of the recent judgment of…

Overview On May 1, 2017, the United States Supreme Court issued its unanimous decision in Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela v. Helmerich & Payne Int’l Drilling Co. (137 S.Ct. 1312). In its ruling, the Court addressed the expropriation exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (the “FSIA”). The expropriation exception permits plaintiffs to bring claims in…

The US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit’s Thai-Lao Lignite (Thailand) v. Government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic The friction between a seat and an enforcement forum, i.e. between annulment and enforcement continues. An arbitral award in the Thai-Lao Lignite (Thailand) v. Government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic case (“Thai Lao Lignite…

Despite apparent “America First” language in the US Summary of Objectives for the NAFTA renegotiation which appear contrary to the minimum standards of treatment and fair and equitable treatment, those protections are likely to remain in a new NAFTA. On 17 July 2017, the US Trade Representative published the “Summary of Objectives for the NAFTA…

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has enforced a P&I Club’s internal claims appeal process as a legally binding alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”) method, rejecting allegations brought by one the Club’s Members that the procedure was “fundamentally unfair.” TransAtlantic Lines LLC v. Am. Steamship Owners Mut. Prot. & Indemn. Ass’n,…

Businesses that are party to an arbitration agreement governed by Nevada law should understand that a little-known Nevada statute renders these agreements unenforceable if a contract lacks so-called “specific authorization” indicating that a person affirmatively assented to the arbitration provision itself. While the Nevada Supreme Court has applied this rule to invalidate arbitration agreements, a…

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently issued an en banc decision, in International Refugee Assistance Project IRAP v Trump, affirming the district court’s injunction against President Trump’s Executive Order temporarily suspending entry into the United States by individuals from six Muslim-majority countries. Although the case concerns the application of specialized U.S….

On April 28, 2017, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (in a majority decision) affirmed the district court’s decision to set aside an award issued by a sole arbitrator finding that the award violated public policy.  The award was rendered in the context of mandatory arbitration of statutory claims under the…

The question of whether the jurisdictional grant in a “service of suit” clause overrides an otherwise valid and enforceable arbitration clause in the same agreement has been addressed by several courts in the United States. See McDermott Int’l, Inc. v. Lloyds Underwriters of London, 944 F.2d 1199 (5th Cir. 1991); Neca Ins., Ltd. v. Nat’l…

Section 1782 has become the weapon of choice for international litigants seeking discovery in aid of foreign proceedings. Section 1782 allows an “interested person” to apply for discovery over a person or entity “found” in the U.S. “for use” in a proceeding “in a foreign or international tribunal.” Significant uncertainty exists, however, in whether Section…

In recent weeks, criticism of the TPP has been increasingly focused on the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism contained in its Chapter Nine. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren initiated the charge against the TPP’s ISDS mechanism, and her attacks were recently supported by more than two hundred economists and law professors, who addressed a letter to…

In recent weeks, it has become clear that the latest lightning rod for TPP criticism is the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism contained in its Chapter Nine. With Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren leading the charge in this new fight, and a recent letter circulated to members of Congress by more than two hundred economists and…