Defences to enforcement of an arbitral award in the USA under the New York Convention
Produced in partnership with Timothy J. Tyler, Robert Reyes Landicho, and Caroline Stewart of Vinson & Elkins LLP—Houston office
Defences to enforcement of an arbitral award in the USA under the New York Convention

The following Arbitration guidance note Produced in partnership with Timothy J. Tyler, Robert Reyes Landicho, and Caroline Stewart of Vinson & Elkins LLP—Houston office provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Defences to enforcement of an arbitral award in the USA under the New York Convention
  • Defences to enforcement set out in the New York Convention
  • No defence available under Chapter One of the FAA unless the award is ‘non-domestic’
  • Forum non conveniens and enforcement in the US
  • Sovereign or state immunity as a defence to enforcement

This Practice Note focuses on the defences to enforcement of arbitral awards in the United States of America (USA or US) under the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards signed 10 June 1958 (the New York Convention). Practice Note: Enforcing a New York Convention award in the USA, considers the enforcement of arbitral awards in the US, including the requirements of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) (9 U.S.C.) and the New York Convention. Practice Notes: Enforcing arbitral awards in New York and Enforcing international arbitration awards in Washington, DC may also be useful.

For more information on the New York Convention generally, see Practice Note: The New York Convention—the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards—an introduction.

Note: All references to US case law in this Practice Note are not reported by LexisNexis® UK.

Defences to enforcement set out in the New York Convention

Chapter Two of the FAA (9 U.S.C. § 207) provides that:

‘...the court shall confirm the award unless it finds one of the grounds for refusal or deferral of recognition of enforcement of the award.’

The award debtor may challenge enforcement of an arbitral award made under the New York Convention on the very limited grounds specifically set out in the Convention. The award debtor bears the burden of proof to show that the award should