Tag Archives: Recognition and Enforcement

Case of the Day: Shanghai Commercial Bank v. Chang

The case of the day is Shanghai Commercial Bank Ltd. v. Chang (Wash. Ct. App. 2016). The bank had a Hong Kong judgment against Chang on account of an unpaid debt. The bank sought recognition and enforcement of the Hong Kong judgment in Washington, where Chang and his wife, Chen, had lived for many years. They were married long before Chang incurred the debt to the bank, though Chen herself had not incurred the debt and didn’t know about it at the time. The trial court held previously held that the Hong Kong judgment was entitled to recognition, and in today’s case it held that the judgment could be enforced against the marital property of Chang and Chen (Washington is a community property state). Chang appealed.
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Lago Agrio: International Judgment Arbitrage?

I’d like to do a little more analysis of the ongoing hearing in Canada on the Lago Agrio judgment, since in the absence of a transcript of yesterday’s hearing on Chevron’s motion for summary judgment I don’t have any hard news to report.

As I suggested yesterday, I think that the LAPs’ view is that even if Chevron succeeds in showing that the Canadian subsidiary is entitled to summary judgment (because it is not answerable for the debts of the parent), they should still be entitled to recognition of the Ecuadoran judgment. And I have reason to think that if they obtain recognition, their next move would be to seek to enforce the judgment in other jurisdictions. Let’s take this idea out for a spin.
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Case of the Day: Getma v. Guinea

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.
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