On June 9, 2009, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed an arbitration award against Saipem America, which arose out of an international commercial insurance dispute. The Fifth Circuit reviewed the arbitration award handed down by a tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands for $1 million in damages and $400,000 in attorneys' fees. In addressing the parties' dispute over whether the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Hall Street Associates prevented review of the award on nonstatutory grounds, the Fifth Circuit concluded that it may vacate the award only if a statutory ground supported the vacatur. With respect to the negligence claim, the Court ruled that the tribunal was within its authority to rule on the issue of negligence because the parties had submitted the issue in the "Terms of Reference" to the arbitration tribunal. Further, the Court ruled that the award of attorneys' fees was statutorily proper under Texas Code Section 172.145. Finally, the Court found no basis to overturn the tribunal's ruling as to indemnity. Saipem Am. v. Wellington Underwriters Agencies Ltd., No. 08-20247 (5th Cir. Jun. 9, 2009).
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Fifth Circuit confirms international arbitration award from Netherlands
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