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2ND CIRCUIT CLARIFIES FOREIGN ARBITRATION NEW YORK — The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has clarified the standard under which companies must consent to judicial confirmation of international arbitration awards. Answering an unresolved question related to the Federal Arbitration Act, the circuit found that a section of the act that requires the parties to explicitly consent to judicial confirmation of arbitration awards was trumped by another section of the law that does not. The panel’s decision in Phoenix Aktiengesellschaft v. Ecoplas, 03-9000, by Judge Sonia Sotomayor, concerned the provisions of the Arbitration Act put in place both before and after the implementation of the Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards. The court described the convention as a measure designed to encourage international commercial arbitration agreements and unify the standards by which they are observed and enforced in member countries. Judge Sotomayor said that, by so ruling, the court was joining the only other circuit to have considered the issue — the Fifth Circuit in the 1997 case of McDermott Int’l v. Lloyds Underwriters of London, 120 F.3d 583. — New York Law Journal

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