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).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 16 declined the Republic of Argentina’s petition for a rehearing en banc on its vacating of a denied emergency motion for attachment-related relief and remanding for a decision on whether property belonging to the country was “used for a commercial activity” and, thus, could be attached to an insurer’s $33 million arbitration award to satisfy Argentina’s reinsurance debts (TIG Insurance Company v. Republic of Argentina, et al., No. 19-7087, D.C. Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 19 denied without comment two petitions seeking review of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ affirmance of the confirmation of a $62.9 million arbitration award issued against a California company and its Chinese affiliates in relation to a wind energy investment dispute (AVIC International Holding Corporation, et al. v. Soaring Wind Energy, L.L.C., et al., No. 20-39; CATIC USA Incorporated v. Soaring Wind Energy, L.L.C., et al., No. 20-40, U.S. Sup.).
SINGAPORE — A Singapore High Court judge, addressing what is “arguably a novel question of Singapore law,” on Oct. 8 declined the Republic of India’s request for a declaratory judgment that Singapore’s confidentiality laws do not apply to investment-treaty arbitration documents such as those India sought to share with a Dutch tribunal, writing that such relief is not “necessary or justified in the circumstances of this case” and ordering India to pay the costs of the proceeding (Republic of India v. Vedanta Resources PLC, No.  SGHC 208, Singapore High).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — An alleged investor’s request to join a pending International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) claim brought by Egyptian nationals against Kuwait concerning a real estate project was rejected by an ICSID tribunal in an Oct. 5 decision published on Oct. 15 in which the tribunal said it was “compelled” to reject the request because Kuwait did not consent to joinder (Ayat Nizar Raja Sumrain, et al. v. State of Kuwait, No. ARB/19/20, ICSID).
NEW ORLEANS — A Louisiana federal judge on Oct. 14 granted a group of maritime businesses’ motion for summary judgment and confirmed an approximately $130,000 Indian arbitral award against them on behalf of a former cadet who was injured in 1999 aboard their vessel and permanently enjoined the cadet from pursuing any further claims against the businesses (Neptune Shipmanagement Services [PTE], Ltd., et al. v. Vinod Kumar Dahiya, No. 20-1525, E.D. La., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 190093).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware federal judge on Oct. 15 granted an Italian oil company’s ex parte application to issue “narrowly tailored” subpoenas to seven Delaware entities regarding their ownership, relationships and financial arrangements with the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN) for use in two Italian suits and a pending International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) arbitration between the company and Nigeria regarding a contested oil prospecting license (In Re Ex Parte Application Of Eni S.p.A., No. 20-mc-334, D. Del.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — An arbitrator who in the 1980s represented the Republic of Cameroon before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) will not be disqualified from hearing a pending ICSID claim brought by a U.S. company against Cameroon because his role as counsel was limited and he has had no contact with the nation since, his fellow arbitrators wrote in a decision issued Aug. 21 and published Sept. 24 (Hope Services LLC v. Republic of Cameroon, No. ARB/20/2, ICSID).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — An arbitration clause containing no delegation of gateway questions to arbitrator means a court, not an arbitrator, decides arbitrability, Archer and White Sales Inc., a dental product company, argues in its respondent brief filed Oct. 13 in the U.S. Supreme Court, adding that incorporation of American Arbitration Association (AAA) rules doesn’t change anything (Henry Schein Inc. v. Archer and White Sales Inc., No. 19-963, U.S. Sup.).
LONDON — A split panel of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom on Oct. 9 affirmed an England and Wales Court of Appeal ruling enjoining a Russian insurer from litigating its claim related to $400 million in fire damages against a Turkish construction company in a Russian court, finding that English law controls the relevant arbitration clause and that the dispute must be arbitrated in England (Enka Insaat Ve Sanayi AS v. OOO Insurance Company Chubb,  UKSC 38, U.K. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — An International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) tribunal in an award published online on Oct. 7 denied two Delaware companies’ claims for an estimated $1.5 billion in damages against the Federal Republic of Nigeria for the alleged expropriation of their oil investments, finding that a director associated with the companies, not Nigeria, deprived the companies of control over their investments, and ordered the companies to pay Nigeria more than $660,000 in arbitration costs (Interocean Oil Development Company, et al. v. Federal Republic of Nigeria, No. ARB/13/20, ICSID).
NEW DELHI, India — The Supreme Court of India on Sept. 16 dismissed the Government of India’s application challenging enforcement of a more than $278 million arbitral award against it for costs incurred by private companies during an offshore oil drilling project over the agreed-upon cap on costs, ruling that the award does not violate Indian public policy and condoning the drilling companies’ lateness in filing their petition due to a “lack of clarity” in Indian courts on that issue (Government of India v. Vedanta Limited, et al., C.A. No. 3185/2020, India Sup.).
MIAMI — A Venezuelan iron ore producer on Sept. 30 moved in a federal court in Florida to vacate the Sept. 23 default confirmation of an arbitral award against it for more than $187 million in a contract dispute with a British Virgin Islands commodities trading company, arguing that it was never properly served and that the arbitral rule under which service was allegedly effectuated is "overbroad" in scope and "draconian with respect to service of post-arbitration proceedings" (Commodities & Minerals Enterprise Ltd. v. CVG Ferrominera Orinoco, C.A., No. 19-25217, S.D. Fla.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal judge in the District of Columbia on Sept. 30 ordered stays in two separate actions seeking to enforce two International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) awards against the Kingdom of Spain, one for 290 million euros and one for approximately 41 million euros, because Spain's applications for annulment in both cases are currently pending, and denied Spain's motions to dismiss both cases (NextEra Energy Global Holdings B.V., et al. v. Kingdom of Spain, No. 19-1618, D. D.C., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 180119; 9REN Holding S.A.R.L. v. Kingdom of Spain, No. 19-1871, D. D.C., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 180117).
SEATTLE — Addressing an issue of first impression in the Ninth Circuit, a federal judge in Washington state on Sept 17 granted a motion to lift the stay on an Indian company's petition to confirm an arbitral award now valued with interest at approximately $1.2 billion against a state-owned Indian corporation for breach of a satellite spectrum contract after finding that that no progress was made in a pending appeal of the award in India during the yearlong stay (Devas Multimedia Private Ltd. v. Antrix Corp. Ltd., No. 18-1360, W.D. Wash., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171096).
SAN FRANCISCO — The heirs of two Saudi Arabian sheiks in a Sept. 24 filing urge the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to deny two oil companies' request that the court take judicial notice of an arbitration center's director's conviction for fraud allegedly linked to the issuance of an $18 billion award in the heirs' favor, claiming that the Egyptian prosecution was corruptly influenced by the oil companies (Waleed Al-Qarqani, et al. v. Chevron Corporation, et al., No. 19-17074, 9th Cir.).
MIAMI — A federal judge in Florida on Sept. 23 confirmed an arbitral award of more than $187 million in favor of a British Virgin Islands commodities trading company for breach of contract against a Venezuelan iron ore producer that was identified as an instrumentality of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and that did not appear in court during the proceeding (Commodities & Minerals Enterprise Ltd. v. CVG Ferrominera Orinoco, C.A., No. 19-25217, S.D. Fla., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175983).