Enforcing a New York Convention award in the USA
Produced in partnership with Timothy J. Tyler, Robert Reyes Landicho, and Caroline Stewart of Vinson & Elkins LLP—Houston office
Enforcing a New York Convention award in the USA

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:

  • Enforcing a New York Convention award in the USA
  • The Federal Arbitration Act
  • Steps to enforce a New York Convention award in the USA
  • Suit to enforce a New York Convention award
  • The practicalities of filing suit

In general, there is a clear policy preference for the enforcement of arbitral awards in the United States of America (US) and this pro-enforcement preference extends to awards made under the United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards signed 10 June 1958 (the New York Convention), where courts typically limit an award debtor’s defences to enforcement to those found in the Convention itself.

Practitioners must be aware of potential pitfalls in enforcement and seek skilled counsel for complex issues, particularly those involving personal jurisdiction, forum non conveniens and state immunity. In all cases, parties should consult counsel for guidance on local rules and procedure and to ascertain the latest case law on specific New York Convention enforcement action.

For guidance on the defences to enforcement in the US, see Practice Note: Defences to enforcement of an arbitral award in the USA under the New York Convention.

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

The Federal Arbitration Act

Under US law, the enforcement of an arbitral award issued pursuant to the New York Convention is governed by the Federal Arbitration Act (9 USC, section 1 et seq; also referred to as Title 9 of the United States Code) (the FAA).

The FAA is divided into three chapters:

  1. Chapter One