The US IA Digest collects in one place important decisions on US international arbitration case law issued since January 1, 2016, compiled and organized into categories that are most relevant and useful to practitioners and other interested parties. The Digest will be updated on a rolling basis as new decisions are issued.
Process of Industrial Developments Limited v. Federal Republic of Nigeria, No. 18-07154 (D.C. Cir. June 19, 2020)
Court of appeals reversed and remanded lower court judgment ordering Nigeria to brief the merits of a petition to confirm arbitration while its foreign sovereign immunity defense was pending. Court found that because Nigeria’s immunity defense was colorable, the lower court impermissibly ordered Nigeria to brief the merits of the dispute.
Court granted defendant’s motion to compel arbitration, finding that an arbitration provision was valid and not substantively unconscionable when the agreement contained a fee-shifting provision requiring plaintiff to bear costs of arbitration.
Court of appeals affirmed district court’s ruling that the parties agreed to submit issues of arbitrability to an arbitrator. Court found that parties’ incorporation of the AAA Rules was clear and unmistakable evidence that the parties intended to arbitrate arbitrability – finding agreement among 11 out of 12 circuit courts of appeal.
Court granted in part and denied in part petition to recognize and enforce an ICSID arbitration award against Venezuela. Court found that despite petitioners’ arguments regarding discussion of post-judgment interest in the award, the applicable rate of 9% compounded semi-annually from the date of the award is set by federal law and is mandatory. Court declined to award petitioners attorneys’ fees due to “the country’s dire political and economic situation.”
Court granted defendant’s motion to compel arbitration, finding that the parties intended arbitrate the issue of arbitrability when the arbitration agreement contained a delegation clause encompassing claims that any part of the underlying contract is void or voidable.