Arbitration: Exxon Mobil v. Venezuela Decision—U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Decides that Actions To Enforce ICSID Arbitration Awards Must Comply with the U.S. Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP - July 13, 2017

In a line of cases extending back more than 30 years, United States district courts located in New York have allowed parties to turn arbitration awards rendered under the rules of the World Bank’s International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes into enforceable court judgments pursuant to summary, often ex parte, proceedings under New York state law. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit decided on July 11, 2017 that actions to enforce ICSID arbitration awards must comply with the personal jurisdiction, service and venue requirements of the U.S. Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, requiring plenary proceedings upon notice. Mobil Cerro Negro Ltd. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, No. 15-707 (2d Cir. July 11, 2017). This decision aligns the Second Circuit with the practices in other U.S. federal courts, and means that enforcement procedures will now take somewhat longer in New York courts than has been the case.