Author: Andreas Stier**
Published: December 2005
Jurisdiction and Powers of the Courts in Matters of Arbitration Generally
Description: This article proposes to discuss the decision in PenneCom B.V. v. Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc.
The Dutch plaintiff PenneCom B.V., entered into an agreement with Elektrim S.A. (“Elektrim”), a Polish company, to sell to Elektrim its wholly-owned subsidiary, a Polish telephone company. When the transaction did not close, the plaintiff brought two successive actions. First, the plaintiff commenced arbitration proceedings against Elektrim for breach of contract, seeking contractually stipulated specific performance, or in the alternative, $100 million in damages. The arbitrators, holding that Elektrim had indeed breached its contract, denied specific performance and awarded only $38 million in damages. The plaintiff then procured a judgment in Poland for that amount. It then proceeded to bring suit in the U.S. federal district court against Elektrim’s investment adviser, Merrill Lynch, for tortious interference with PenneCom’s contract with Elektrim, again seeking approximately $100 million in damages.
II. APPLICABLE LAW
We are here concerned with the effects of an arbitral award issued by an ICC panel in London under New York law and its judicial recognition by a Polish court, in proceedings before a federal court sitting in diversity in New York. The…
*J.D., Columbia Law School, 2005; Ph.D., Cambridge, Trinity College, 2003; D.E.A. en droit privé général, Université de Paris II Panthéon Assis, École normale supérieure (Ulm), 2003; M.Jur., Oxford, St. John’s College, 1999; Erstes Juristisches Staatsexamen, Berlin, Humboldt-Universität, 1998.