Case of the Cay Commissions Import Export v. Congo
Posted on August 15, 2016
The case of the day is Commissions Import Export S.A. v. Republic of the Congo (D. Utah 2016). The Congolese government failed to pay Commissions on public works and materials contracts in the 1980s. An arbitral tribunal issued an award in favor of Commissions, and Commissions obtained recognition of the award in England in 2009. Commissions then brought an action in New York, which was transferred to the District of Columbia, seeking recognition and enforcement of the English judgment. That action resulted in a default judgment for approximately $630 million. Commission then registered the judgment in the District of Utah and served a subpoena on the Bank of Utah calling for information about its “role as owner trustee and security trustee” for a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.
In light of Argentina v. NML Capital, the court correctly allowed the discovery under FRCP 69. The FSIA does not limit discovery into a sovereign’s assets, even if the FSIA might have something to say about the immunity of particular sovereign assets from execution or attachment.