Recent Posts

February 01, 2014

New York Confronts Archaic Obstacle to Award Enforcement Against Assets Held in Bank Branches Abroad

There may shortly be a dramatic change in the powers of an unpaid Award Creditor to use New York’s courts to seize Award Debtor assets held in foreign bank accounts. If the change occurs, Award Creditors will be able to require foreign banks that have a New York branch to deliver to the creditor in New York assets held in foreign branches to satisfy a judgment enforcing an international arbitration award. The implications for international arbitrations seated in New York, and for New York’s attractiveness as an arbitral seat, are considerable. The stage has been set for this potential change…
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January 29, 2014

Judicial Discretion to Allow Proceedings on Related Non-Arbitrable Claims

Today we will applaud a new decision of the US Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals that sustains a district court judge’s refusal to stay all discovery in a litigation mainly involving arbitrable issues in a pending foreign arbitration. (GEA Group AG v. Flex-N-Gate Corp., 2014 WL 97289 (7th Cir. Jan. 10, 2014)).  Such applause may strike readers as anomalous, if not heretical. But this is a special case, and the treatment of the issues by the eminent jurist Richard A. Posner deserves our close attention. Matters begin simply enough. A US company gets cold feet on the eve of a…
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January 02, 2014

Congratulations On Your New Appointment. Or Was It Only A Nomination?

Under the arbitration rules of many arbitral institutions around the world, a nominated arbitrator-candidate only becomes an appointed arbitrator when the administering institution, acting through the administrative body identified in its Rules, notifies the candidate that he or she has been appointed (or as the terminology appears in some rules, “confirmed”).  A quick review indicates that this is the case under the arbitration rules of the ICC, LCIA, CPR, SIAC, Kuala Lumpur Centre and Vienna Centre, and under the Swiss Rules. The arbitrators must await a formal notification of appointment from the institution that follows after the nominated arbitrator candidate…
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December 26, 2013

Do Rule 45 Amendments Impact The Arbitral Subpoena Power?

Certain amendments to Rule 45 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure became effective December 1, 2013. This is the Rule governing all aspects of obtaining evidence from non-parties by subpoena in federal civil proceedings.  The amendments have potential relevance to arbitral practice for arbitrations that have their seat in the United States, as Section 7 of the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) in certain respects equates arbitral subpoena power with judicial subpoena power, and in certain respects equates judicial power to compel compliance or punish non-compliance with an arbitral subpoena with the court’s powers in regard to judicial subpoenas. Most…
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December 01, 2013

The Duty to Disclose Friendship

Little actual intelligence is available about the decisions of arbitral institutions on challenges to arbitrators. Arbitral institutions tend not to elaborate their procedures for ruling on challenges in their Rules or their publications. And the great majority of the more prominent institutions, probably accounting for a majority of international commercial arbitrations by volume of commerce if not sheer number of cases, do not issue reasoned decisions on challenges and do not publish summaries of their decisions for consumption by practitioners. These features of the arbitration landscape regularly draw criticism, but attract little reform.  The London Court of International Arbitration has…
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November 23, 2013

Getting Ready for the Big Game: A BG Group Preview

All over Arbitrationland, workers are coming off their shifts, feeding their children, walking their dogs, donning their Team Colors — making all final preparations for the Big Game, BG Group v Argentina, to be played December 2 at 10:00 a.m. US East Coast Time, at a neutral venue near Union Station in Washington, D.C. Rabid fans are clamoring for invitations to the best BG Case parties. Party hosts are stocking up on Beef Empanadas and Guinness. Argentina has been on a bit of a winning streak in this long-standing rivalry, masterfully running the First Option(s) offense* with Kaplan, its star…
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