Network Firm News

Monday, January 15, 2007

BLAKES DEFEATS ATTEMPT TO SET ASIDE $90M+ INTERNATIONAL COMMERCIAL ARBITRATION AWARD
Joel Richler, Seumas Woods and Brad Cran of Blake Cassels, the Network's Canada member firm, defeated an attempt in Ontario's Superior Court to set aside an arbitration award Blakes won on behalf of its client, MPI Technologies under Ontario's International Commercial Arbitration Act and the UNCITRAL Model Law. MPI's award was for unpaid royalties under a 1994 license agreement and damages for unauthorized use of confidential information or breach of copyright in software licensed under that agreement.

Arbitration awards under the International Commercial Arbitration Act and the Model Law are not appealable, whether on questions of fact or law. However, awards can be set aside on very limited grounds, primarily where a panel exceeds its jurisdiction or where there is a fundamental denial of due process or a breach of the rules of natural justice.

Justice Campbell of the Superior Court reaffirmed the rule that properly constituted and conducted arbitration proceedings will be accorded a great deal of deference by reviewing courts and that any party seeking to overturn an international arbitration decision will have to overcome a “powerful presumption” that the arbitral tribunal acted within its powers.

Blakes represented the MPI parties, both at the arbitration and on the application.
 

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