Recent Posts

May 08, 2017

In Praise of Small Edits in the ICC Rules!

    [On April 5, 2018, I was contacted by e mail  by a person claiming to be the real party in interest in relation to the named defendant in the case discussed in this post. That person maintained that the phrase “Toronto scammer” in this post was defamatory and threatened legal action. I have modified this post to say “alleged Toronto scammer” as I have and at the time of writing the post had no facts other that the plaintiff’s allegations recited in the Court’s opinion.]   This month Arbitration Commentaries applauds the ICC for a small but valuable…
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April 03, 2017

Crystallex, Crystallized

Specialists of investment arbitration practicing beyond US borders shall take comfort from the decision of a US District Judge in Washington DC confirming a Canadian mining investor’s $1.2 billion award against Venezuela for expropriation and denial of fair and equitable treatment, under the Canada-Venezuela bilateral investment treaty. (Crystallex International Corp. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, 2017 WL 1155691 (D.D.C. Mar. 25, 2017)).  Why “comfort”?: (1) Because the Court applied relatively well-settled US arbitration law that treats questions of “arbitrability” as having been delegated to the arbitrators when the applicable agreed-upon arbitration rules state that the arbitrators shall have power decide…
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April 03, 2017

Parsing Protective Orders

Party autonomy and American litigation custom sometimes collide in disconcerting fashion in arbitrations involving American counsel, whether international or domestic. One such collision involves the establishment early in the case of an agreed or imposed order concerning the confidentiality of exchanged information (“Protective Order”).  The parties have an understandable desire for formal confidentiality restrictions applicable to the data that they will be required to share with adverse parties who may be, or may be aligned with, actual or potential business competitors. But the templates for Protective Orders that many US counsel will retrieve as drafting models for their arbitral confidential…
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February 10, 2017

Pursuing Alter Egos of the Convention Award Debtor

After the decision of the US Second Circuit Court of Appeals in the Gusa case (CBF Industria De Gusa S/A v. AMCI Holdings, Inc., 846 F.3d 35, 2017 WL 191944 (2d Cir. Jan. 18, 2017)), there is much to know about enforcing foreign arbitral awards against alter egos of award debtors that we did not know before. Most importantly, it would appear that the award debtor, named in the award, need not be named as a Respondent in the award confirmation case under FAA Section 207. If Gusa were limited to its facts, that might only be the case where…
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December 07, 2016

A New Golden Age For Section 1782?

Received wisdom in selecting an arbitration seat, if the goal is arbitration unencumbered by “American-style discovery,” is to avoid America. Today we take a close look at one factor in that supposedly common calculus — obtaining evidence from non-parties. In an arbitration seated in London (or elsewhere beyond US borders), pre-hearing discovery in the United States may quite possibly be had by a subpoena for documents or deposition testimony issued by US counsel in the name of a US court after the grant of an order permitting such discovery issued by the US District Court in the district where the…
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October 08, 2016

Yukos: Worth the Wait for the Dutch Appeal

Just when you thought you knew what you needed to know about enforcement (or not) of annulled foreign awards, along comes the Yukos case in yet another chapter. This one is entitled What to Do While We Wait for the Dutch Appeal?. It is written by a US District Court judge in Washington DC. And the Answer is: Just Wait! (Hulley Enterprises Ltd. v. Russian Federation, 2016 WL 5675348 (D.D.C. Sept. 30, 2016)). In case you are recently returned from the Gulag, here are the basics: tagged with a $50 billion award by a Dutch-seated Tribunal, for carrying out a…
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