This article was originally published in The Dispute Resolver. It is republished here with permission.

On March 22, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it would consider the hotly contested issue of whether 28 U.S.C. § 1782 (“Section 1782“) grants parties to international commercial arbitrations seated outside the United States the right to seek U.S.-style discovery from the federal courts. The Supreme Court’s decision in Servotronics, Inc. v. Rolls-Royce PLC will ostensibly put to rest a matter that has roiled the international arbitration community for the last several years and may have profound implications for modern international arbitration practice.

Given the role international arbitration serves in connection with international construction projects, construction practitioners and industry representatives should pay close attention to the Supreme Court’s upcoming decision. The following article seeks to introduce the current debate to construction practitioners and offer some insight into what the Supreme Court’s decision may mean for the field of international construction arbitration.


Continue Reading Servotronics, Inc. v. Rolls-Royce PLC: What the U.S. Supreme Court’s Upcoming Decision on 28 U.S.C § 1782 Means for International Construction Arbitration

This article was published in Mealey’s International Arbitration Report – March 2021. Copyright 2021, LexisNexis. All rights reserved. It is reprinted here with permission.

On February 15, 2021, the International Bar Association (IBA) released the long-awaited 2020 update to its highly influential Rules on the Taking of Evidence in International Arbitration (“IBA Rules”). Known for their flexibility and practical blend of common law and civil law traditions, the IBA Rules have come to reflect the most common practices in international arbitration proceedings over the past two decades. The 2020 update is important because, prior to the 2020 update, the IBA Rules had only been revised once, in 2010, after first being formalized in 1999. As a result, given the prevalence of the IBA Rules, the 2020 update is likely to remain the benchmark standard for international arbitration practice for the next decade.


Continue Reading 2020 Updated to the IBA Rules: Modest Changes for Challenges New and Old

Published in Law360 on February 25, 2021. Reprinted here with permission.

On Feb. 15, the International Bar Association released the long-awaited update, adopted by the IBA Council on Dec. 17, 2020, to the IBA Rules on the Taking of Evidence in International Arbitration.[1]

First formalized in 1999, the IBA rules have become the most widely accepted set of guidelines for international arbitration proceedings. Known for their flexibility, practicality, and blend of common law and civil law practices, the IBA rules are commonly used to fill in the procedural gaps left by arbitral rules and represent basic norms that parties have come to expect from international arbitration.
Continue Reading Int’l Arbitration Rules Revision Reflects Flexible Approach

On September 14, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit addressed the perennially thorny issue of whether the courts or arbitrators retain the authority to resolve questions involving the enforceability of arbitration agreements. In MZM Construction Company, Inc. v. New Jersey Building Laborers Statewide Benefits Funds,[1] the Third Circuit held that the courts must decide questions of arbitrability in cases where a party challenges the validity of the underlying contract that contains the arbitration agreement — even when the putative arbitration agreement refers these questions to the arbitrators. The court’s decision highlights the complexities associated with the enforcement of arbitration clauses and the limits to a party’s ability to compel arbitration.
Continue Reading Not So Severable After All: Third Circuit Lets Courts Determine Arbitration Agreement Existence When Underlying Contract’s Validity Is Challenged

When is it going to return to “normal”? We all have been asking that question. Well, for the construction industry, it may never return to “normal.” COVID-19 may have permanently changed the landscape of the construction industry in many ways. Depending on your perspective, many changes could be for the better. We may have to alter how we do business to address some new issues and business concerns. Here are just a few issues that the pandemic has brought to the forefront of our industry.
Continue Reading Subtle (and Not So Subtle) Effects of COVID-19 on the Construction Industry

Albert Bates and R. Zachary Torres-Fowler were published in gar insight with their article, “GAR Know How Construction Arbitration.”

This chapter summarizes issues commonly raised during international construction arbitrations seated in the United States or governed by U.S. laws. This chapter should be a useful resource for those seeking to better understand the

Albert Bates, Jr. and Danielle J. Volpe were published in Mealey’s International Arbitration Report with their article, “Zooming Ahead: Challenges and Considerations for Virtual International Arbitration Proceedings in the Wake of COVID-19 Pandemic.”

Danielle Volpe is a former associate of Troutman Pepper who recently became the General Counsel of Posillico Construction.

In the July 2020 edition of Mealey’s International Arbitration Report, Albert Bates Jr., a partner in Troutman Pepper’s Pittsburgh office and head of the firm’s International Construction Projects Practice, offers his thoughts on developments in the field of international arbitration and the question of whether practitioners expect parties to continue to utilize the traditional

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision on June 1 in GE Energy Power Conversion France SAS, Corp. v. Outokumpu Stainless USA, LLC, holding that, in some circumstances, even nonsignatories to an agreement may invoke international arbitration. The Court ruled that the U.N. Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (the New York Convention) did not prohibit the application of the U.S. doctrine of equitable estoppel to permit the enforcement of arbitration agreements by nonsignatories. In doing so, the Court clarified that the doctrine of equitable estoppel recognized under Chapter 1 of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) for U.S. domestic arbitrations could also be applied to international arbitration proceedings governed by Chapter 2 of the FAA.

For parties who regularly engage in multi-tiered international commercial arrangements like the kind seen in GE Energy, the ruling expands the reach of international arbitration agreements and gives those parties greater clarity into their own ability to utilize international arbitration to resolve complex disputes.
Continue Reading Supreme Court Interprets New York Convention to Allow Arbitration Agreement Nonsignatories to Invoke International Arbitration