Arbitration Links - Linklaters
  • Author: Akshay Sewlikar

Investment protection under the USMCA

22 January 2019 Akshay Sewlikar, Latin America; North America

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After protracted negotiations which have been covered extensively in the press, the US signed the new United States, Mexico and Canada Agreement (“USMCA”) with Mexico and Canada on 30 November 2018. The USMCA replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement 1994 (“NAFTA”) which had governed trade relations between the parties. The investment provisions were contained in Chapter 11 of NAFTA and applied to all investments and investors of any party.  Subject to specific carve outs, all such investments were subject to the dispute settlement provisions in Chapter 11 which provided for investor-state arbitration.  The proposed investment regime in Chapter 14 of USMCA is a significant departure from its equivalent Chapter 11 of NAFTA. 

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Proposed Amendments to the Indian Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996

11 January 2019 Akshay Sewlikar, India

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The arbitration regime in India is primarily governed by the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Act”). On 10 August 2018, the lower house of India’s bi-cameral parliament (Lok Sabha) passed the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2018 (“Bill”). The Bill now has to, inter alia, be passed by the upper house (Rajya Sabha) before it becomes law and amends the Act. However, substantial changes to the Bill are not expected at this stage. In its current form, the Bill seeks to introduce key changes which may impact international arbitrations seated in India, as we discuss in this article.  

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The foreign act of state doctrine in English arbitration proceedings

20 September 2018 Akshay Sewlikar, England & Wales; India

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In Reliance Industries v Union of India [2018] EWHC 822 Reliance Industries Limited and BG Exploration and Production India Limited (the “Claimants”) challenged awards made in favour of the Union of India (the “Government”) under the Arbitration Act 1996 (the “AA 1996”). The English High Court (the “Court”) had the opportunity to consider the issue of the applicability of the foreign act of state doctrine to English seated arbitration proceedings.

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Company loses second attempt to enforce award against India

31 August 2018 Akshay Sewlikar, England & Wales; India

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In Hardy v Government of India and IIFC (UK) [2018] EWHC 1916 (Comm), the English Commercial Court discharged an interim third-party debt order awarded to support an oil and gas company’s UNCITRAL award against India. The Court refused to grant a final order because the debt was situated in India and Indian law would not recognise an English third-party debt order. Additionally, the jurisdictional requirement under CPR Rule 72.2 that the relevant debt must be “due or accruing due” was not met.

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Linklaters’ recent contributions to Kluwer Arbitration Blog

18 July 2018 Matthew Weiniger; Akshay Sewlikar; Stephanie Tang, Europe; Hong Kong; United States of America

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Linklaters has recently contributed two articles to the Kluwer Arbitration Blog.

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Enforcement of specific performance awards against sovereign states

12 July 2018 Akshay Sewlikar, India; North America

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A decision of the United States (the “US”) District Court for the District of Columbia (the “Court”) has brought issues around enforcing awards of specific performance into the spotlight. The Court refused to enforce a UNCITRAL award for specific performance obtained by Scottish oil and gas company, Hardy Exploration and Production (India) (“HEPI”), against the Government of India (“GoI”) as being contrary to public policy. This case is the latest in a long-running series of oil disputes involving the GoI, which has been involved in arbitrations relating to 22 out of its 310 production sharing contracts between 2001 and 2015.

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