WASHINGTON, D.C. — “With the shoe on the other foot,” liquidators of an insolvent health insurer argue in their Nov. 13 reply brief to the U.S. Supreme Court that an actuarial firm “tries to duck review of an issue” that it is requesting be taken up in a similar case and petition for writ of certiorari by suggesting that the Iowa high court interpreted state law when ordering arbitration of common-law tort claims based upon an arbitration provision in the insurer and firm’s preinsolvency agreement (Doug Ommen, et al. v. Milliman, Inc., et al., No. 20-249, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK — A Spanish gas company in a partially redacted complaint filed Nov. 2 in a New York federal court says the Arab Republic of Egypt is illegally transferring assets into a trust with a New York bank to “shield” its assets from enforcement of a 2018 arbitral award for $2 billion, which the gas company says with interest is now worth approximately $3.9 billion (Unión Fenosa Gas S.A. v. Arab Republic of Egypt, et al., No. 20-9160, S.D. N.Y.).
WASHINGTON, D.C.— A federal judge in the District of Columbia on Oct. 29 granted a motion to dismiss a Canadian engineering firm’s petition to confirm an arbitration award against an Iraqi state-owned oil company for lack of personal jurisdiction because the oil company does not have sufficient minimum contacts in the United States and the District of Columbia is not the proper venue for the action (OGI Group Corporation v. Oil Projects Company of the Ministry of Oil, Baghdad, Iraq [SCOP], No. 19-2619, D. D.C., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 201480).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal judge in the District of Columbia on Nov. 9 directed the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to file a new motion to stay or dismiss a mining joint venture’s petition to enforce an arbitral award worth approximately $6 billion after an International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) ad hoc committee terminated a stay of enforcement on 50 percent of the award (Tethyan Copper Company Pty Limited v. Islamic Republic of Pakistan, No. 19-2424, D. D.C.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — An International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) tribunal majority in a supplementary decision published Nov. 6 awarded a Delaware holding company more than $3.4 million in interest accruing since 2013 on approximately $7.5 million in fees and costs that it incurred during its original arbitration against Guatemala relating to electricity distribution tariffs (TECO Guatemala Holdings, LLC v. Republic of Guatemala, No. ARB/10/23, ICSID).
NEW YORK — A federal magistrate judge in New York on Nov. 5 recommended that sanctions against the Kyrgyz Republic be tripled to $15,000 per day due to its “staggering” noncompliance with discovery and other court orders issued since 2018 in a Turkish hotel investor’s action to enforce an award that with costs and interest is worth $11.6 million (Sistem Mühendislik Insaat Sanayi Ve Ticaret v. The Kyrgyz Republic, No. 12-4502, S.D. N.Y., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 208487).
NEW YORK — The Republic of Kazakhstan on Nov. 6 filed an application in a New York federal court seeking leave to issue subpoenas to 15 financial institutions for use in enforcement and other prospective legal proceedings against a Canadian entity that was ordered to pay Kazakhstan’s costs and expenses incurred during the entity’s unsuccessful arbitration claim against Kazakhstan under a Soviet-era treaty (In Re: Application Pursuant To 28 U.S.C. § 1782 For Discovery In Aid Of Foreign Proceedings, No. 20-mc-367, S.D. N.Y.).
SEATTLE — A federal judge in Washington on Nov. 4 entered judgment in the amount of approximately $1.29 billion related to an arbitral award against a state-owned Indian corporation for breach of a satellite spectrum contract, which the judge confirmed Oct. 27 after finding that the International Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) appointment of an arbitrator on the state-owned corporation’s behalf after the corporation refused to appoint an arbitrator was not grounds for non-recognition of the award (Devas Multimedia Private Ltd. v. Antrix Corp. Ltd., No. 18-1360, W.D. Wash.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — An International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) ad hoc committee hearing the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela’s application to annul an $8.5 billion arbitral award against it for expropriation of an oil investment in a Nov. 2 order rejected a request by counsel appointed by Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro to reconsider its earlier decision allowing interim President Juan Guaidó-appointed counsel to also represent Venezuela in the proceedings (ConocoPhillips Petrozuata B.V., et al. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, No. ARB/07/30, ICSID).
ATLANTA — An 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Oct. 28 vacated a district court’s decision denying an insurer’s motion to compel arbitration of a dispute arising from an injury that occurred during a Royal Caribbean cruise ship excursion and remanded the case, writing that the lower court’s decision was based on 11th Circuit precedent that has since been reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court (Lynn McCullough, et al. v. AIG Insurance Hong Kong Ltd., No. 19-12100, 11th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 33907).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — An International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) tribunal in a decision published Oct. 23 bifurcated Canada’s “temporal objections” from a U.S. coal mining investor’s claim against Canada for damages allegedly caused by Alberta’s carbon emissions regulations but declined to bifurcate Canada’s other jurisdictional and admissibility objections, which it said were too closely related to the merits (Westmoreland Mining Holdings, LLC v. Government of Canada, No. UNCT/20/3, ICSID).
DENVER — A mining company in an Oct. 13 appellee brief urges the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to affirm the confirmation of a $403,000 award in its favor for a dispute over shares in a Mexican gold-mining company, arguing that the opposing side’s argument that a Mexico City court found that the right to arbitrate was waived is the product of “egregious” forum-shopping (Goldgroup Resources, Inc. v. DynaResource De Mexico, S.A. de C.V., et al., No. 20-1143, 10th Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — An International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) tribunal majority on Sept. 14 awarded more than 17.7 million euros in damages and legal fees plus pre- and post-award interest to a group of German and Austrian investors whose investments in solar power plants in the Italian Republic were found to have been harmed by Italy’s reduction of incentive tariffs for solar power (ESPF Beteiligungs GmbH, et al. v. Italian Republic, No. ARB/16/5, ICSID).
THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The District Court of The Hague on Sept. 16 dismissed the Republic of Ecuador’s request to set aside a partial award issued by a Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) tribunal in a pending arbitration between Ecuador and Chevron Corp. that in part requires Ecuador to remove the status of enforceability from a 2003 $9.5 billion judgment issued by an Ecuadorian court against Chevron for pollution caused by drilling in the country’s rain forests (Republic of Ecuador v. Chevron Corporation (USA), et al., No. C/09/570029 / HA ZA 19-268, Hague Dist.).
DETROIT — A federal judge in Michigan addressing an issue that is the subject of a circuit split on Oct. 15 dismissed a Kuwaiti car dealer’s complaint for alleged breach of contract and fraud against Ford Motor Co. rather than staying the case under Section 3 of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), writing that the majority of cases in the Sixth Circuit support dismissal over a stay when all claims are subject to arbitration and that dismissal would serve “efficiency” by allowing the Kuwaiti company to pursue its “purely legal” appeal challenging arbitrability (Arabian Motors Group W.L.L. v. Ford Motor Company, No. 16-13655, E.D. Mich., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 191057).
By Gary Birnberg
By Stuart M. Riback
By Alexandre Malan
THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The European Union on Sept. 15 requested that a Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) tribunal bifurcate claims brought by a Swiss entity owned by a Russian gas company that its pipeline investment will be damaged by new regulations, arguing that it cannot be held liable as the new regulations will only be implemented by individual member-states (Nord Stream 2 AG v. European Union, No. 2020-07, PCA).
NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge in Louisiana on Sept. 29 denied a construction company and property owner’s motions to remand a lawsuit seeking more than $1.3 million from their insurers to state court and granted the insurers’ motion to compel arbitration of the dispute, ruling that the “broad” language of the insurance coverage’s arbitration clause encompassed all of the insureds’ claims, including its bad faith state law claims (Woodward Design + Build, LLC, et al. v. Certain Underwriters At Lloyd's London, et al., No. 19-14017, E.D. La. 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178799).