Post-Hearing Issues In International Arbitration - Chapter 11 Enforcement of SCC and Russian Arbitration Awards in the United States Courts: An Overview
Alexander Vesselinovitch practices civil and criminal litigation, including breach of contract, anti-fraud, healthcare, and intellectual property. Further, he handles domestic and international commercial arbitration matters involving various contractual and licensing disputes. Mr. Vesselinovitch has handled a variety of complex cases involving both the presentation and defense of civil RICO, fraud, intellectual property, and healthcare claims. He also has extensive experience conducting internal corporate investigations involving serious allegations of misconduct. Mr. Vesselinovitch worked in the criminal division of the United States Attorney's office, Northern District of Illinois, from 1983 to 1991, where he was Deputy Chief, Criminal Receiving and Appellate Division and he also served as Deputy Chief of the Organized Crime Narcotics Task Force. He was lead counsel in numerous complex and multi-defendant trials involving fraud, banking, healthcare, organized crime, and public corruption. Mr. Vesselinovitch received the Attorney General’s Special Commendation Award, September 1987, and the Department of Justice Special Achievement Award in August 1988. He has also been repeatedly listed in Illinois Super Lawyers (2006–2011), and he co-authored “Enforcement of SCC and Russian Arbitration Awards in The United States Courts: An Overview” in Stockholm Arbitration Report, Volume 2003:2. Mr. Vesselinovitch graduated from the University of Chicago and earned his JD from Columbia University. Mr. Vesselinovitch clerked for two years in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois under Judge Charles P. Kocoras. Mr. Vesselinovitch is a member of the American Bar Association, where he serves as Vice-Chair of the International Commercial Dispute Resolution Committee of the ABA Section of International Law. He is admitted to practice in Illinois and before the US Supreme Court, the US Court of Appeals 5th Circuit, the US Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, including the Trial Bar, the US District Court for the Central District of Illinois, the US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, and the US Tax Court. Mr. Vesselinovitch is proficient in Russian and Serbo-Croatian.
Several published decisions by U.S. federal and state courts have addressed Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC) and Russian arbitration awards and proceedings. Though most of these decisions suggest that Russian and Swedish arbitration awards will be enforced against a U.S. party or citizen by a U.S. court, some of these U.S. cases have refused to enforce Russian and SCC arbitration awards under certain circumstances, especially where there is no personal or subject matter jurisdiction.
I. POLICY OF NEW YORK CONVENTION FAVORS ENFORCEMENT
The Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards of 1958, commonly called the “New York Convention,” was adopted with several reservations by the United States in 1970. The enabling legislation incorporated the New York Convention into Chapter Two of the United States Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. §§ 201-208. Sweden, Russia, and the United States are signatories and contracting parties to the New York Convention. Moreover, Russian courts have applied provisions of the New York Convention under Russia’s Civil Code.
I. Policy of New York Convention Favors Enforcement
II. Minimal Legal Requirements can be met to Invoke the New York Convention
III. A U.S. District Court has Jurisdiction to Enforce a Foreign Arbitral Award
IV. The U.S. Reservations to the Convention would usually not Preclude Enforcement of the Award
V. Russian Arbitration
VI. Swedish Arbitration
VII. Defenses to Enforcement of a Foreign Arbitral Award