New International Arbitration Study Offers Construction Dispute Insight

This article was published in Law360 on December 4, 2019. © Copyright 2019, Portfolio Media, Inc., publisher of Law360. It is republished here with permission.
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Albert Bates Jr.
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R. Zachary Torres-Fowler

On Nov. 21, the Queen Mary University of London School of International Arbitration, in partnership with the U.K.-based law firm Pinsent Masons LLP, released its ninth annual international arbitration survey focused on international construction disputes.

As a nod to the significance the construction industry plays in the field of international arbitration, the 2019 Queen Mary University survey marks the largest industry-specific survey its School of International Arbitration has ever conducted and offers insights that will undoubtedly be used for years to come.

While the survey data and accompanying report provide a granular level of analysis concerning a wide variety of topics, below are some of the key takeaways of interest to U.S. practitioners.

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International Arbitration and the Construction Industry: An Introduction to the Field of International Arbitration on October 11, 2019

Albert Bates photo
Albert Bates Jr.
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R. Zachary Torres-Fowler

Over the past decade, international arbitration has played an increasingly prominent role in the construction industry.  As contractors and owners pursue greater opportunities outside their domestic jurisdictions, international arbitration has provided parties with a reliable, flexible, and neutral forum to resolve disputes.  Indeed, a quick glance at the most recent statistics from any number of the leading international arbitral institutions, such as the International Chamber of Commerce and International Centre for Dispute Resolution, shows that construction arbitration accounts for one of the largest components of the institutions’ caseload.

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New York Appellate Court Affirms Decision to Deny Motion to Compel Arbitration in Multi-Billion Dollar Construction Dispute

BML Properties Ltd. v. China Construction America Inc., et al., 101 N.Y.S. 3d 597 (N.Y. App. Div. 2019)

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R. Zachary Torres-Fowler
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Ryan R. Deroo

On July 2, 2019, a New York appellate court upheld a lower court ruling by Justice Saliann Scarpulla, denying a state-backed Chinese contractor’s attempt to compel international arbitration arising out of a dispute involving the construction of the multibillion Baha Mar mega-resort in the Bahamas.  As a result of the ruling in BML Properties Ltd. v. China Construction America Inc., et al., 101 N.Y.S. 3d 597 (N.Y. App. Div. 2019), aff’ing No. 657550/2017 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Jan. 24, 2019), the $2.25 billion lawsuit alleging “one of the largest construction-based frauds in this hemisphere” will remain in the New York courts.  As explained below, for those in the international construction industry, the case will be worth following.

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