Lawrence W. Newman has been a partner in the New York office of Baker & McKenzie since 1971, when, together with the late Professor Henry deVries, he founded the litigation department in that office. He is the author/editor of 4 works on international litigation/arbitration.
Michael Burrows, Formerly, Of Counsel, Baker & McKenzie, New York.
In our last chapter, “Will RICO Move Abroad Through International Arbitration?,” we discussed the significance of the Mitsubishi and Sedima cases, both decided by the United States Supreme Court in the summer of 1985. Mitsubishi decided that antitrust claims must be referred to arbitration when they touch upon matters governed by agreements to arbitrate disputes arising out of contracts involving international transactions. Sedima eliminated judicially created requirements of prior criminal convictions and “racketeering injury” from the elements of a civil cause of action under the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”).
We suggested that the reasoning of Mitsubishi as to the international arbitrability of antitrust claims applies equally well to claims founded on the RICO statute. Indeed, Judge Edward Weinfeld of the Southern District of New York did apply this reasoning in ruling that RICO claims in international transactions are arbitrable, in his recent decision in Development Bank of the Philippines v. Chemtex Fibers, Inc.