International Arbitration

Through its network of offices in major markets in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, Duane Morris offers clients a broad range of assistance in resolving international commercial disputes. Duane Morris attorneys represent clients in all aspects of international arbitration, including arbitrations supervised by all of the major providers of international arbitration services. They assist clients in the preparation and enforcement of international arbitration agreements, as well as the enforcement of awards made by arbitral tribunals. Our attorneys serve as arbitrators on international panels and in private arbitrations. They also advise clients involved in alternative dispute resolution procedures — such as mediation, conciliation, and the use of "mini-trials" — now available under most international arbitration rules and standard agreements.

Duane Morris attorneys are experienced in handling arbitrations under the major international arbitration conventions, rule systems and specialized arbitration providers, including:

  • International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
  • London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA)
  • International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR), the international affiliate of the American Arbitration Association (AAA)
  • International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR)
  • JAMS
  • United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL)
  • Austrian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration
  • Dubai International Arbitration Centre
  • Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry Arbitration and Conciliation Tribunal (FACT)
  • Korean Commercial Board (KCAB)
  • Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC)
  • Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC)
  • Association Internationale de Droit des Assurances Reinsurance and Insurance Arbitration Society, U.S. (ARIASoUS)
  • Reinsurance Association of America

Additionally, Duane Morris is a sustaining member of CPR, a nonprofit initiative of 500 general counsel of major U.S. and international corporations, law firms and prominent legal academics supporting private alternatives to the high costs of litigation.

Our international arbitration clients include North American, European, Asian and Latin American entities involved in many industries, including banking and finance, construction, engineering, equipment and supply, government contracts and defence procurement, information technology and communications, insurance and reinsurance, manufacturing/processing, oil and gas, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, and bilateral investment treaties. We assist these clients in drafting dispute resolution provisions, including appropriate choice of law and choice of forum clauses for their international agreements. We represent clients in preparing and presenting their matters before international arbitration panels, and in the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedures available under most standard arbitration agreements.

Some nations where we have experience with arbitration proceedings or participants include:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bangladesh
  • Bermuda
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • China
  • Denmark
  • Dubai
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Kuwait
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • Myanmar
  • Singapore
  • Sweden
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Vietnam

Duane Morris attorneys participate in international conferences and symposia, regularly presenting papers and speaking on international arbitration and dispute resolution matters. Our attorneys are active members of the International Bar Association, the London Court of International Arbitration, the American Arbitration Association's International Centre for Dispute Resolution, CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution, and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Duane Morris attorneys are recognized as leading practitioners in the field of international arbitration by numerous publications. As a result, our attorneys are frequently called on to act as arbitrators in international commercial disputes.

Duane Morris is also recognized for supporting the work of its attorneys with resources unsurpassed by those at any major law firm. Trade publications place Duane Morris in the top echelon of firms in its use of information technology to coordinate the practice of law on a worldwide basis. Hundreds of our attorneys working around the globe quickly communicate and collaborate using the firm's integrated computer network, accessing sophisticated research software, information-rich databases, and other knowledge-sharing tools. Our attorneys in the United States team with attorneys in the firm?s London, Singapore, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Myanmar and Oman offices, allowing them to share information and insight to represent clients involved in international commercial disputes.

Representative Matters

Construction and Engineering

  • Obtained a favorable decision on behalf of Otto Marine Limited on appeal to a High Court judge in chambers involving a novel point of law relating to Singapore civil procedure and the stay of proceedings under the Arbitration Act.
  • Acted for a main contractor in arbitration in its claim against a country club for upgrading works.
  • Acted in an arbitration for a Myanmar company and a Singapore company relating to the construction for pipe line for gas in Myanmar in resisting claims by a joint venture partner.
  • Acted in an appeal for a main contractor against an arbitration award made in favor of a subcontractor for breach of natural justice.
  • Acted in an arbitration for works done by a subcontractor for the air-conditioning and mechanical ventilation system in respect of a government complex.
  • Acting for a main contractor in an arbitration resisting a claim by a subcontractor for works done at a public school.
  • Acted in an arbitration relating to the construction of work done in respect of tanks of a public sewage plant wherein he acted for a specialist contractor.
  • Acted for an engineering contractor in arbitration proceedings facing a claim of gross alleged negligence in the construction of offshore rig-related equipment.
  • Acted for owners in arbitration proceedings against a United Arab Emirates-based builder for damages arising from delay and negligence in the construction of an offshore platform.
  • Representation of consortium members of a design/build consortium in International ICC Arbitration proceedings in London concerning a power plant in India.
  • Represented Kaiser Aluminum in arbitrating claims with Preussag, AG, under German law arising from an EPC contract for installation of an aluminum pot line near Stuttgart, Germany.
  • Represented international engineering firm in ICC arbitration and parallel federal court action involving the design and construction of a five kilometer-long precast segmental concrete bridge over the Jamuna River in Bangladesh. Matter was resolved in favor of the client in a combined mediation of the ICC arbitration and district court action.
  • Morrison-Knudsen v. Kaiser Cement – International Chamber of Commerce arbitration arising from the construction of a cement plant in Indonesia.

Financial

  • Representing a project finance company in a dispute against an Australia-based diversified global asset company and its subsidiary in the International Centre for Dispute Resolution division of the American Arbitration Association alleging breach of a project financing agreement.
  • Successful resolution on behalf of an institutional investor of a private arbitration and related High Court litigation in London contesting the "golden parachute" arrangements given to the chief executive of a European company in which the institution had invested.

Government

  • The Morrison-Knudsen/Government of Iran Case - arbitrated successfully at the U.S.-Iranian Claims Tribunal at the Hague a multimillion-dollar contract dispute over a major road designed by Morrison-Knudsen for the Iranian Ministry of Roads and Transportation.
  • Innovative use of arbitration procedures available before the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal in the Hague to successfully pursue claims by a U.S. company against Iran for fraudulent acts committed by the Iranian government under the Shah even though the procedures were originally intended to deal with claims against the post-Shah government.

Healthcare

  • Dr. Juan Carlos Parodi v. Cordis Corporation, No. 50 133 T 00108 06 (2007-2009), AAA International Centre for Dispute Resolution. Successfully defended medical device company Cordis Corporation in an arbitration involving cardiovascular medical device technology.
  • Fujirebio Diagnostics, Inc. v. Pasteur-Sanofi – International ICC arbitration between parties to a cancer diagnostics manufacturing and distribution agreement.

Information Technology and Communications

  • Yellowstone Mountain Club LLC v. Offshore Limited D and PCI (World Intellectual Property Organization Arbitration, 2012-2013) – succeeded in obtaining the transfer of certain domain names.
  • Kiskadee Communications (Bermuda) Ltd v. Father, et al. (Bermuda arbitration, 2011-2012) – Represented plaintiff company with respect to rights to orbital satellite slot.
  • Acted for a U.S.-based information technology company as claimant in a Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) arbitration against a local listed company involving a US$2 million dispute in relation to the establishment of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.
  • Won an International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) arbitration on behalf of client Seoul Commtech, an affiliate of the Samsung Group. M/A-Com, a division of conglomerate Tyco Electronics, sued Seoul Commtech, seeking upwards of $10 million in damages, fees and costs. Duane Morris was able to get the lawsuit dismissed, and the dispute was sent to ICC arbitration. Following a six-day evidentiary hearing, Seoul Commtech won the arbitration, with the tribunal awarding costs to Seoul Commtech and nothing to M/A-Com on any of its affirmative claims.
  • Represented Hughes Ground Systems Group in $200 million ICC arbitration claim against NATO arising from the implementation of a Command and Control Information System for the Northern European Command. Assisted client in demonstrating that NATO customers changed system functional requirements on multiple occasions, necessitating major changes to system design. Case involved development and testing of software with more than one million lines of code. The matter was resolved in favor of the client in the largest NATO claim settlement to date.
  • Represented global electronics manufacturer in international arbitration against foreign microprocessor developer in dispute over intellectual property licensing rights.
  • Counsel in an ICC arbitration regarding the failure of its joint venture partner to develop IT systems. Coordinating with French counsel; the contractual documents are mainly in French and subject to French law.

Manufacturing/Processing

  • Supported a well-known Japanese multinational automobile manufacturer in a high-stakes ICC arbitration in London.
  • China Nat'l Bldg. Material Inv. Co., Ltd. v. BNK Int'l LLC, No. 09-CA-488-SS, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113194 (W.D. Tex. Dec. 4, 2009) (Sparks, J.) – Obtained a $3.15 million judgment in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division, confirming two arbitration awards entered by a Hong Kong arbitral tribunal in favor of a Chinese manufacturer.
  • Represented a wrongfully terminated distribution business in an international arbitration and obtained a multimillion-dollar award.
  • Representation of a consortium member on a turnkey paper mill project in Indonesia in an International ICC Arbitration proceeding seeking to recover accounts receivable and damages from the project owner.
  • Defended German orthodontics manufacturer and distributor in employment matter brought by the former general manager who sought extended employment benefits and significant damages. Secured defense verdict on claims of premature termination and breach of contract. (American Arbitration Association-International Centre for Dispute Resolution, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
  • Lead trial counsel to a paintball distributor in a "bet the company" international arbitration against a Canadian paintball manufacturer. After twenty days of hearings, the arbitration panel determined that the parties' exclusive distribution agreement had been wrongfully terminated by the manufacturer and issued an award of more than $15,000,000 in favor of the client distributor.
  • Lead counsel in a breach of a license agreement claim between a US based semiconductor manufacturer and a Japanese-based watch manufacturer involving the sale and licensing of various patents. The case was tried under the auspices of the International Chamber of Commerce before a panel of three arbitrators.
  • Represented a New Jersey-based international sports manufacturer against the No. 1 supplier in its industry, and achieved a $14 million verdict for our client. The 16-day arbitration focused on breach of distribution contracts between our client and the Canadian-based manufacturer. The matter was before the International Centre for Dispute Resolution, a division of the American Arbitration Association. The case was technically venued in New York but hearings took place in Philadelphia.
  • Successfully tried 16-day arbitration hearing in dispute involving breach of distribution contracts involving "paintball" products before International Centre for Dispute Resolution. Following hearings, arbitration panel awarded firm's client nearly $16 million.
  • Represented an international broker of food products in an arbitration before the International Division of the American Arbitration Association in New York asserting breach of an exclusive distribution contract and obtained an award in his clients' favor.

Maritime

  • Represented a shipping company in filing an emergency petition seeking to seize a cargo ship near the Port of Baltimore after it was successfully attached in the midst of a $13 million breach of contract claim against the ship's owner being arbitrated in London.
  • Acted for owners in an Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) arbitration involving a US$85 million claim for breach of a long-term charterparty of a floating warehouse.
  • Represented U.S.-based designer and fabricator of products for ship owners, builders and shipyards in the commercial marine industry in an arbitration governed by the rules of the Chamber of Commerce of Stockholm, Sweden (though held in Florida). The arbitration involved allegations of breach of warranties in an asset-purchase agreement where our client purchased a maritime steel fabricating company in Florida. (SCC)

Oil and Gas

  • Represented a Vietnamese maritime industrial group in mediation / arbitration proceedings pertaining to a dispute with a multinational "Big Oil" company.
  • Acted for owners in arbitration proceedings against bunker suppliers for substantial damage to the vessel's main engines arising out of the supply of off-specification fuel oil.

Other Matters

  • Acted for a commodities trader in arbitration proceedings involving a claim for failure to deliver cargo valued at US$2.4 million.
  • Acted for a commodities trader in its claim amounting to US$3 million brought by way of International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) arbitration for non-delivery of sulphuric acid.
  • Acted for a state airline in a complex arbitration in London, against a Kuwaiti Claimant, concerning ticket commissions.
  • Handled an appeal to the Fifth Circuit in a case dealing with jurisdictional and issue/claim preclusions under the United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.
  • Defeated significant claims for extended employment benefits brought by former employees of various corporate clients before the International Centre for Dispute Resolution and the American Arbitration Association.
  • Represented European vintner in London Court of International Arbitration in matter involving ownership and control of major Napa Valley winery.

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Diversity

"In my discussions with Duane Morris leaders, they frequently speak about how diversity within their firm has enabled them to better serve their diverse clients. They understand that investing in diversity is a wise business decision that positions them for the marketplace of the future."

Don Liu
Senior VP, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary
Xerox Corporation

At Duane Morris, achieving diversity is paradoxical. By supporting and celebrating the differences of our attorneys - and the individual strengths that they bring - our firm culture expands, fostering creative solutions for our clients. But diversity at Duane Morris does not mean that we have a certain number of diverse attorneys; true diversity means that it is no longer noteworthy to see diverse lawyers leading our practice groups or managing client relationships. Ascending to positions of leadership and greater responsibility and providing the highest levels of client service is simply what is expected of all our lawyers. Diversity is another strong asset that adds to our collective abilities to meet the needs of our clients.

Our vision of diversity at Duane Morris is to realize an environment in which our lawyers' outstanding qualities are not just measured by ethnicity, race, gender and sexual orientation, but more importantly, that our lawyers are remarkable as excellent attorneys above all else. Only then can we celebrate our differences while focusing on the common pursuit of legal excellence which everyone shares at Duane Morris.

To reach this goal, Duane Morris understands that the familiar diversity strategies and policies that most law firms have are needed. Without demanding results from such policies, most law firms are bound to fail in even achieving numerical hiring and retention goals. Duane Morris has been proactive and ambitious in its efforts to improve diversity at the firm, and has set deadlines for reaching the milestones which mark our progress. To create a more diverse law firm, Duane Morris is:

  • Committed to strategically increasing our diversity levels, which is currently at 10 percent.
  • Bringing together our Diversity Committee and our Hiring and Retention Committee to raise diversity as an important factor in our hiring decisions.
  • Dedicated to improving retention by building upon our monitoring and mentoring program for all diverse associates.

Combining new initiatives with our longstanding diversity efforts, Duane Morris has seen increasingly positive results. In the Minority Law Journal's annual diversity survey of the nation's largest 260 firms, Duane Morris continued to improve its regional and national ranking, rising to number 136 of all firms surveyed. Our strides in Philadelphia are encouraging; in a city known for both the racial diversity of its population and the lack thereof in its law firms, Duane Morris is one of only two law firms to exceed the national average of minority partners at all law firms. Additionally, Duane Morris leads all national law firms based in Philadelphia in the number of Latino partners. Nearly 30 percent of all of our attorneys are women, and more than 20 percent of our partners are women.

In our approach to diversity, progress in racial, gender and cultural diversity cannot be measured in numbers alone. Duane Morris has focused our diversity initiatives on both increasing the number of diverse associates and addressing the challenges diverse attorneys face in building lasting careers and rising to senior and leadership positions. While several of our key practice groups are led by diverse partners and female partners, Duane Morris endeavors to create a culture which will foster a deep pool of such attorneys who can then develop into the firm's future leaders. Duane Morris understands that simply hiring diverse associates will not change the diversity of the firm; Duane Morris is working to mentor and retain diverse associates so that our progress in racial, gender and cultural diversity is also reflected at the highest levels of leadership within the firm.

Our progress on gender diversity has been profound. We have no glass ceilings: women hold positions of leadership at all levels of management at the firm. Women lead a number of our key practice groups, including our Energy, Immigration and International practices, and serve on the firm's Executive Committee. The success of our female attorneys at Duane Morris has not gone unnoticed. Barbara Adams was chair of the firm's Finance Practice until her appointment by Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell to serve as General Counsel of the Commonwealth. In 2004, our longtime General Counsel, Gene E.K. Pratter, was approved by the United States Senate and is now a judge for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Our efforts to improve diversity extend beyond our firm's walls. The chair of our Diversity Committee, Nolan N. Atkinson, Jr., recognized the lack of diversity in Philadelphia's legal community and formed the Philadelphia Diversity Law Group. Nolan now serves as the chair of the organization, a consortium of 25 law firms and corporations that commits to employing at least one diverse first-year law student each as a summer associate. From this program, law students of diverse backgrounds gain access to what was once an exclusive legal community, and now have the opportunity to learn and develop their legal careers with experience at Philadelphia's top law firms.

In addition to our involvement in the Philadelphia area, Duane Morris has increased our presence at national conferences and events focused on diversity. We sponsor the Hispanic National Bar Association and its job fair. Duane Morris is also a longtime supporter and sponsor of the Equality Forum, a national gay and lesbian rights organization. Duane Morris continues to sponsor the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, and is active in other associations of diverse attorneys including: the Asian American Bar Association of the Delaware Valley; the Charles Houston Bar Association; Cuban Bar Association; Korean American Lawyers Association; National American Indian Housing Counsel and the National Bar Association.

The challenge of improving gender, ethnic and cultural diversity at Duane Morris is an ongoing effort that has the support of the entire firm. Duane Morris has been at the vanguard in supporting gender diversity throughout the firm beginning a generation ago. Our diversity programs are leading to similar success in improving racial and national origin diversity at Duane Morris. But even as we share these examples of Duane Morris attorneys and our involvement in numerous legal events, associations and programs for diversity, our hope is that such examples will no longer be necessary to mention in the future. We hope that through our efforts, and the efforts of other law firms, these stories become so common that they are no longer the remarkable accomplishments they are today, but simply routine aspects of the legal world tomorrow.