WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal judge in the District of Columbia on Feb. 1 granted a French company’s motion for summary judgment, registered an arbitral award worth more than $44 million in its favor against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and denied the republic’s cross-motion to dismiss after finding that it was properly served when the company sent documents to the Foreign Ministry under President Nicolás Maduro despite the ministry not returning a completed certificate of service.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Three petroleum companies in a Jan. 25 petition for a writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court say clarification is needed of what standard of review courts should apply to public policy defenses in proceedings to confirm arbitral awards, arguing that in their case, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals improperly deferred to a tribunal’s findings giving effect to a contract procured through bribery when it affirmed the confirmation of an award valued at approximately $622 million.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A Connecticut federal judge on Jan. 26 ordered a Taiwanese company that sued its Delaware-based joint venture partner for claims including breach of fiduciary duty and violations of anti-racketeering law to commence arbitration before the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) within 30 days to determine whether the claims are arbitrable or face dismissal for failure to prosecute.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A District of Columbia federal judge on Jan. 26 granted a state-owned Tajik airline’s motion to dismiss a petition to confirm an arbitral award against it worth more than $20 million in damages plus interest and fees because the airline is a separate entity from Tajikistan and lacks sufficient minimum contacts with the United States for the court to exercise personal jurisdiction over it consistent with due process.
NEW YORK — A New York federal judge overseeing three mining companies’ lawsuit against financier George Soros and his nonprofits for allegedly causing the termination of the companies’ Guinean mining rights on Jan. 25 reserved decision on the Soros entities’ motion to dismiss and ordered more discovery to confirm if the companies engaged in bribery to secure the mining rights as was found by a London arbitral tribunal and a Swiss criminal court.
NEW YORK — A New York federal judge on Jan. 21 entered judgment for more than $12 million in favor of a Cyprus company for a dispute over the sale of an oil processing facility in a breakaway Moldovan republic after default was entered against the republic and two state-owned banks that did not appear in court, but also ordered the Cyprus company to show cause why the banks should not be dismissed from the action for lack of jurisdiction.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 25 issued a one page per curiam opinion dismissing as improvidently granted a writ of certiorari in an already argued case concerning arbitrability disputes in a case between two distributors of dental equipment.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands — A Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) tribunal on Dec. 14 denied the Republic of Mozambique’s motion to bifurcate its jurisdictional objections to a $115.3 million claim brought by an Indian engineering and infrastructure company for the alleged destruction of its investment in a port and rail corridor project in Mozambique after finding that resolving the objections would require addressing the merits of the dispute.
By Henry (“Harry”) G. Burnett, Gigi S. D’Souza, Enrique J. Molina and Joshua S. Wan
THE HAGUE, Netherlands — A Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) tribunal on Dec. 31 declined the European Union’s request to bifurcate claims brought by a Swiss entity owned by a Russian gas company that claims that new EU regulations will damage its pipeline investment, writing that addressing the EU’s objections will require an analysis that would also involve the merits of the dispute.
LUXEMBOURG — The Luxembourg Court of Appeals on Nov. 5 dismissed as unfounded the Hellenic Republic of Greece’s appeal challenging a Luxembourg district court’s confirmation of an arbitral award worth more than 40 million euros issued in favor of a U.S. information technology services provider after finding that the republic’s allegations that the underlying contract was procured through corruption were unsupported by evidence.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands — A Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) tribunal on Dec. 21 awarded two United Kingdom oil and gas development companies approximately $1.2 billion in damages and costs after finding that the Republic of India breached the U.K.-India bilateral investment treaty (BIT) by imposing a retroactive tax liability of $1.6 billion on the companies’ capital gains from a 2006 reorganization and then forcing the sale of one company’s equity shares worth approximately $1 billion.
SAN FRANCISCO — On remand from the U.S. Supreme Court, a split Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 20 again affirmed a district court’s denial of a motion to compel arbitration of a trademark dispute between two Indian incense companies after finding that equitable estoppel would not apply under federal law, while a dissenting judge said the case should be remanded for review under the state law of the parties’ contract.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal judge in New York on Jan. 19 entered a stipulated order of judgment for more than $104 million plus interest to satisfy an International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) award issued in favor of a British food processing and distribution company whose cattle ranching business was expropriated by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A group of Luxemburg- and France-based equity funds on Jan. 18 moved for judgment on the pleadings in their action to confirm an arbitral award against the Kingdom of Spain worth approximately 51.5 million euros for breaches of the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) and filed a brief opposing the kingdom’s motion to stay or dismiss the action, arguing that the kingdom’s challenges to the award under European Union law are a “collateral attack” on the arbitration.
NEW YORK — A New York federal judge on Jan. 18 dismissed three Chinese companies from a Greek ship broker’s action to enforce an approximately $2.3 million award against them and a Chinese shipbuilder after finding no personal jurisdiction over the three companies even if they are alter egos of the shipbuilder as the plaintiff had argued.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 15 affirmed a district court’s confirmation of an arbitral award with prejudgment interest against the Republic of Moldova for an electricity supply dispute with a Ukrainian company, but vacated the court’s entry of judgment in the amount of nearly $58.6 million because it found that the district court did not adequately consider the republic’s expectation that the award would be payable in Moldovan currency.
NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on Jan. 13 denied a French liquor company’s attempt to vacate an award of almost $2 million in attorney fees it was ordered to pay a Delaware-based distributor, writing that the arbitrator adhered to the parties’ agreement and that the award’s alleged contradictions with the outcome of an earlier arbitration between the same parties did not justify vacating the award.
WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware federal judge on Jan. 14 ordered the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, its state-owned oil company Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA) and related entities to hold a public sale of PDVSA’s assets to satisfy a $1.4 billion judgment in favor of a Canadian gold producer whose Venezuelan gold mine investments were expropriated, while acknowledging that the sale cannot occur until a license is issued by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) due to sanctions against the republic.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A group of Mauritian investors in an Indian company on Jan. 13 filed a petition to confirm an approximately $111 million Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) arbitral award in their favor for the Republic of India’s abrupt termination in 2011 of a satellite spectrum contract with the company.