NAFTA on the tightrope One of President Donald Trump’s most frequent campaign promises was to “eliminate” the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”), which he described as “the worst trade deal maybe ever signed anywhere, but certainly ever signed in this country.” He then softened his tone and stated that he would renegotiate the treaty,…

The Second Circuit’s decision on Chevron Corporation v. Steven Donziger et. al., one more chapter of the “Chevron Saga” (discussed by the author here), arose out of a federal action commenced by Chevron Corporation in 2011 against American lawyer Steven Donziger, his law firm and the plaintiffs in the Lago Agrio claim initiated against Chevron…

In September 2015, the Young International Arbitration Practitioners of New York (YIAP-NY) was officially launched. Initiated by the International Arbitration Group at Herbert Smith Freehills New York LLP, YIAP-NY’s membership is comprised of young lawyers from more than 14 law firms in the city, as well as young practitioners from arbitral institutions such as the…

The nation states of Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have long been active participants in the world of international investment protection and arbitration. Pakistan was a signatory to one of the first ever Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs)1)BIT between Pakistan and Germany dated 25 November 1959. and of the estimated 2,750 BITs that exist today,…

I have posted on SSRN my latest article, “Ancillary Discovery to Prove Denial of Justice” just published in the Virginia Journal of International Law. It analyzes Section 1782 discovery proceedings in the context of BIT arbitration and argues that there is now uniform agreement among federal courts that investment arbitration panels are “international tribunals” within…

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently issued a decision that has some interesting implications for the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in the U.S. against foreign state agencies or state-owned companies. American readers, get ready for a review of Civil Procedure 101 on personal jurisdiction! The United States…

Last week was a blockbuster one in the ongoing battle between Chevron and Ecuador. On Wednesday, the arbitral tribunal adjudicating Chevron’s BIT claim issued an Interim Award ordering Ecuador “to take all measures at its disposal to suspend or cause to be suspended the enforcement or recognition within or without Ecuador of any judgment against…

In February 2011, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in Stok & Associates, P.A., v. Citibank, N.A, (No. 10-514). The question presented was whether, under the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”), a party should be “required to demonstrate prejudice after the opposing party waived its contractual right to arbitrate by participating in litigation, in order…

On March 22, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held in Bechtel do Brasil Construções Ltda. v. UEG Araucária Ltda., 638 F.3d 150, that the question whether a claim subject to arbitration was time-barred was for the arbitrator, not the district court, to decide, notwithstanding a New York state law that…

The recent decision of the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division (an intermediate state appellate court) in Sojitz Corp. v. Prithvi Information Solutions Ltd., 2011 N.Y. Slip Op. 1741; 2011 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 1709, bolsters New York’s reputation as a jurisdiction friendly to international arbitration. In this case, which involved two non-U.S. parties in…

Anyone considering Canada as the seat of an arbitration or as one among several jurisdictions where recognition and enforcement proceedings could be commenced should pay close attention to the Supreme Court of Canada’s March 18 decision in Seidel v. TELUS Communications Inc., 2011 SCC 15, which appears to mark a philosophical shift in Canadian arbitration…

On March 23, in Washington, DC, the Institute for Transnational Arbitration and the American Society of International Law will co-host a conference on “Fault Lines in International Commercial Arbitration.” Building on the American Law Institute’s draft Restatement of the U.S. Law on International Commercial Arbitration, Gary Born, Jan Paulsson, J. William Rowley, QC, Linda Silberman,…

Last year, around this time, I offered a list of 10 investor-state arbitral awards I hoped to see in 2010. If time permits, I may do another list for 2011. But, first I thought I’d take a look back at last year’s list and offer a brief update on those cases. Rather, than do all…

On Monday, December 13, 2010, the United States Supreme Court denied cert for Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London v. Lagstein, and in so doing denied the opportunity to further clarify the debate surrounding manifest disregard. The central issue is whether this doctrine survived after Hall Street Associates LLC v. Mattell, Inc. In Lloyds v. Lagstein,…

Stolt-Nielsen v. Animal Feeds, 130 S. Ct. 1758 (2010), is an extraordinary case. In Stolt-Nielsen, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the award of a distinguished arbitral tribunal essentially because the tribunal did not reach the result favored by the Supreme Court. In Stolt-Nielsen, charterers were arbitrating against shipping companies, alleging violations of antitrust law. The…

Three different investors, with three different claims, in three different situations, have recently been in the news. All three disputes have a Canadian connection. Two involved claims by foreign investors against Canada, one that settled and one that Canada defeated. The third involves a claim by a Canadian investor against the Democratic Republic of Congo….

The ongoing saga regarding Chevron’s legal travails in Ecuador took an interesting twist this week. As I reported earlier, Chevron has secured key outtakes of the movie Crude that appeared to show alarming collusion between the plaintiff lawyers and the Court-appointed expert. According to pleadings filed yesterday pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1782, the outtakes include…

Even casual observers of American arbitration law will have encountered the “manifest disregard of the law” doctrine. It has been invoked for decades by litigants seeking to set aside (vacate) an award under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). The doctrine is just one example of why the regime affecting commercial arbitration in the United States…

Yesterday a federal court in New York granted Chevron’s request for discovery of outtakes from the 2009 documentary Crude about the multi-billion dollar litigation in Ecuador. Chevron’s request was pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1782, which authorizes a judge in the United States to order discovery of evidence to be used in proceedings before a foreign…

On April 27, 2010, the United States Supreme Court held in Stolt-Nielsen S.A. v Animalfeeds International Corp., that under the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. §§ 1-16 (“FAA”), “[A] party may not be compelled . . . to submit to class arbitration unless there is a contractual basis for concluding that the party agreed to…

The ABA Journal has an interesting article on the Americanization of international arbitration. There’s nothing particularly new to our readers in this article. It’s a theme that my friend and colleague Tom Stipanowich has written about extensively. I’ve written a bit about the subject as well. But the fact that the story is being told…

In the long-running battle between Chevron and Ecuador over environmental damage, a federal court in New York has denied Ecuador’s motion to stay arbitration of a Ecuador-U.S. BIT claim. In September 2009, Chevron filed a notice of arbitration alleging, among other things, that “Ecuador has breached … the Ecuador-United States BIT, including its obligation to…

Following the flurry of arbitrations initiated by investors against Argentina based upon Argentine government actions during that country’s 2001-2002 economic crisis, one might have expected the U.S. government’s extensive market interventions during the 2008 global financial crisis to lead similarly to investor claims. The United States bailed out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, in the…