International Litigation

In the international arena we have represented foreign individuals and companies in international disputes pending in state and federal courts in the United States and before the International Centre for Dispute Resolution. Our experience in the international arena is enhanced by our knowledge and working experience within the civil and common law systems. We understand the implications of working within different legal and cultural systems and have used the characteristics germane to each system to our client’s advantage in our rendering of legal services. 

International Litigation and Arbitration are two branches of International Private Law which contain the framework within which national and international substantive and procedural rules are applied to disputes between private individuals or entities that reside or have their base in different countries or to legal disputes that have a “foreign” component such as the location where the events giving rise to the dispute occurred. The issues that are customarily raised in international litigations and arbitrations include the validity of service of process, the court’s personal jurisdiction over the defendant(s) and the availability of jurisdictional discovery to assist the court in making its jurisdictional determination, the procedure to be followed in collecting evidence and the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments and awards. How these issues are resolved depends on the law being applied to the dispute between the parties. The law applied to the dispute, in turn, depends on where the action is filed, whether the parties have a written agreement with a choice of law clause and whether such agreements are permitted by the forum court, or on the conflict of law rules of the forum court. 

International Litigations are prosecuted and defended in domestic courts and are decided by local judges who follow the procedures of their forum court and who may or may not apply the law of the forum. International Arbitrations, on the other hand, are voluntarily submitted to an arbitrator or an arbitral tribunal. The law applicable to the arbitration agreement and the arbitral procedure may or may not be the same as the law applicable to the substance of the dispute which in turn may be different from the law of the forum. Arbitration unlike litigation is confidential, less formal and usually more expeditious. Whether an action is filed in a court of law or before an arbitral institution depends on whether the parties’ agreement contains an arbitration clause or whether the parties voluntarily decide to submit their dispute to arbitration. The choice between litigation and arbitration is therefore one that belongs to the parties. 

Globalization and the advances in communication systems have facilitated the exchange of goods and services across national borders. International transactions have therefore become as common as domestic transactions. With the rise of international transactions, the world has also observed an increase in international litigations and arbitrations. Expectations are not always met and litigation and/or arbitration can become an aggrieved party’s only mechanisms to redress the damages suffered. In these cases, the aggrieved party should consult with an attorney, preferably one that specializes in International Litigation and Arbitration, to explore potential solutions for the problem at hand.