The case of the day is In re Certain Controversies Between Getma International and the Republic of Guinea (D.D.C. 2016). Getma had a contract to develop Guinea’s main port in the capital city, Conakry. The agreement called for arbitration of disputes under the CCJA arbitration rules. When a dispute arose, Getma demanded arbitration. The tribunal ultimately awarded Getma significant damages.
During the proceedings, the CCJA had ordered the parties to pay certain arbitration costs in advance. The tribunal asked the CCJA, which was administering the arbitration, to increase the arbitrators’ fees. The CCJA seemed to encourage or at least countenance this request, and the parties indicated they had no objection. But later, the CCJA rejected the tribunal’s effort to increase the fees, citing its prior precedents. Nevertheless, the tribunal’s award included a demand for € 450,000 in arbitrators’ fees, contrary to the CCJA’s decision. “And somehow, the tribunal eventually collected half of the increased arbitrators’ fees from Getma,” the prevailing party.
Guinea sought to annul the award in proceedings before the CCJA, and the CCJA granted its petition on the ground sthat the tribunal had violated the CCJA rules by increasing its fees, which only the CCJA had the authority to do. Getma sought confirmation of the now-annulled award in Washington.
Continue reading Case of the Day: Getma v. Guinea
The case of the day is Albaniabeg Ambient Sh.p.k. v. Enel S.p.A. (S.D.N.Y. 2016). BEG S.p.A., an Italian company, contracted with the government of Albania to build and operate a hydroelectric plant. BEG also had a contract with Enel S.p.A., another Italian firm, to study the feasibility of the project. Later, BEG had a similar contract with Enelpower S.p.A., an Enel subsidiary. The Enelpower contract had an agreement to arbitrate.
A dispute arose. BEG commenced an arbitration against Enelpower for breach of contract. The tribunal, seated in Rome, found that Enelpower was not liable to BEG. The Italian courts refused to vacate the award despite a claim that one of the arbitrators had a conflict of interest.
Later, Albaniabeg, a subsidiary of BEG, brought an action against Enel and Enelpower in the Albanian court. The claims were tort claims arising out of the hydroelectric project. The Albanian court entered a judgment for more than € 25 million against Enel and Enelpower, which was affirmed on appeal. The European Court of Human Rights rejected Enel and Enelpower’s challenge to the judgment.
Albaniabeg brought an action in the New York Supreme Court for recognition of the Albanian judgment. Continue reading Case of the Day: Albaniabeg Ambient v. Enel
The case of the day, Clientron Corp. v. Devon IT, Inc. (E.D. Pa. 2014), seems flagrantly wrong. The facts were simple enough. Clientron was a Taiwan corporation. It had a contract with Devon, a Pennsylvania corporation, for the manufacture and delivery of computer components. The contract had an arbitration agreement. A dispute arose, and Clientron commenced an arbitration before the Chinese Arbitration Association in Taiwan. Although Devon argued that the dispute was not arbitrable, the tribunal determined that it had jurisdiction and entered an award for $6.5 million in favor of Clientron. Clientron obtained a judgment in Taiwan enforcing the arbitral award. There had been no decision in a revocation proceeding Devon had brought in Taiwan.
Continue reading Case of the Day: Clientron Corp. v. Devon IT, Inc.