On 17 March 2016, the US District Court for the Central District of California confirmed an LCIA award in a summary judgment (Vitaly Ivanovich Smagin v. Ashot Yegiazaryan, Case no. CV 14-9764-R (C.D. Cal. 2016)).
On 11 November 2014, petitioner Smagin received an award from the London Court of International Arbitration. The London Award found respondent Yegiazaryan and Kalken Holdings Limited, the Cypriot entity he controls, jointly and severally liable and ordered them to pay to Smagin a total sum of USD 84,290,064.20 and post-award interest at an annual quarterly compounded rate of 8%.
On 8 February 2016, Smagin filed for a motion for summary judgment seeking the confirmation of the LCIA award.
District Court’s Opinion
The US District Court for the Central District of California, referring to federal case law, noted that the New York Convention manifests “a general pro-enforcement bias” for foreign arbitration awards and that as a result, “[t]he district court’s … review of a foreign arbitration award is quite circumscribed” and “the court shall confirm the award unless it finds one of the [seven] grounds for refusal … specified in the [New York] Convention.”According to the District Court, the New York Convention affords the court little discretion in reviewing an arbitral award. It dictates that a court “shall confirm the award unless it finds one of the grounds for refusal or deferral of recognition or enforcement of the award specified in the Convention.” Accordingly, “[t]he confirmation of an arbitration award is a summary proceeding that merely makes what is already a final arbitration award a judgment of the court.” Non-finality of a foreign proceeding is not a jurisdictional defense to confirmation of an award under the New York Convention. Under United States law, an award is final and binding under the New York Convention “if no further recourse may be had to another arbitral tribunal” such as an appellate arbitration tribunal.
The petition and supporting evidence established that the London Award was final and enforceable, and that the Arbitration Tribunal had jurisdiction over the parties and the dispute.
The District Court, therefore, granted petitioner’s Motion for Summary Judgment and confirmed the LCIA award.
A more detailed summary and an excerpt of this decision, indexed and searchable according to the list of topics published in http://www.newyorkconvention.org/court+decisions/description will be published in the 2016 volume of the Yearbook Commercial Arbitration, published by the International Council of Commercial Arbitration (ICCA).
Source: Original Order available at http://www.pacer.gov