Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards & Judgments

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Commercial litigation and arbitration in today’s global economy often lead to awards and judgments of money damages issued in foreign proceedings. As with any enforcement efforts, a judgment creditor should act promptly to pursue collection of the award or judgment in the U.S. We now collaborate with colleagues of the New York-based law firm, Phillips Lytle LLP, to assist U.S. and non-U.S. clients enforce or defend enforcement of these orders.

The recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards is governed by international treaties and conventions, most notably the United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, better known as the New York Convention. In the U.S., the New York Convention is incorporated into the Federal Arbitration Act. There are limited defenses to enforcing a foreign arbitral award under the New York Convention. Our firm is familiar with this body of substantive law and its application to foreign arbitral awards and can assist clients seeking enforcement of these awards in the U.S.

Non-U.S. court judgments can also be enforced in U.S. courts. Nearly every state and the District of Columbia have adopted the Uniform Foreign Money-Judgments Recognition Act or the more recently introduced Uniform Foreign Country Money-Judgments Recognition Act, which govern the enforcement of a foreign court money judgment in the U.S. Like the limited defenses to enforcing a foreign arbitral award, there are limited reasons why a foreign court judgment will not be recognized by U.S. courts. In New York, a special proceeding, a motion for summary judgment in lieu of complaint, can be filed to enforce the foreign court judgment.

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