The PEMEX case: the Ghost of Chromalloy Past?

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The international arbitration community sat up and took notice when a recent decision issued by Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein from the Southern District of New York in the Pemex1 case ordered that an arbitration award that had been set aside by the Mexican courts could be enforced in the United States. The case was particularly noteworthy because there is only one other reported case in the United States—Chromalloy from 1996—which ordered the same result, albeit for different legal reasons.

In most cases, awards that have been set aside at the seat of the arbitration are typically not enforced in other countries pursuant to Article V(1)(e) of the New York Convention. In Chromalloy, the award had been set aside in Egypt, and the court used Article VII and not Article V of the New York Convention to conclude that it must enforce the vacated Egyptian award because to decide otherwise would violate clear U.S. public policy in favor of enforcement of binding arbitration clauses. While Chromalloy was widely discussed, it was not followed here in the U.S., and several subsequent cases specifically rejected its reasoning.

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Published In: Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Updates, Civil Procedure Updates, International Trade Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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