The Republic of Guatemala ("Guatemala") petitions this Court for an order and judgment confirming an arbitration award (the "Award") rendered in the United Kingdom on October 7, 2020 by an arbitral tribunal of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in IC Power Asia Development Ltd. (Israel v. Republic of Guatemala, Case No. 2019-43 (the "Arbitration"). (Dkt. No. 1 ("Pet.")).
On November 14, 2019, the Tribunal was constituted, composed of Professors Albert Jan van den Berg, Guido S. Tawil, and Raúl Emilio Vinuesa. (Pet. ¶16). The arbitration was conducted in London pursuant to the Arbitration Rules of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, as revised in 2013. (Id.).
Subject matter jurisdiction in this case is conferred by the United Nations Convention for the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, June 10, 1958 (the "New York Convention"), which is enforced in the United States through Chapter 2 of the Federal Arbitration Act ("FAA"), 9 U.S.C. §§ 201 et seq.
While the FAA does not define the term "commercial," the Circuit courts that have considered the question have explained that the "commercial relationship requirement ... is construed broadly." BCB Holdings Limited v. Government of Belize, 110 F.Supp.3d 233, 242 (D.D.C. 2015). As the Eleventh Circuit explained, "Congress meant for 'commercial' legal relationships to consist of contracts evidencing a commercial transaction, as listed in section 2, as well as similar agreements." Bautista v. Star Cruises, 396 F.3d 1289, 1298 (11th Cir. 2005) (emphasis in original).
In any case in which a non-domiciliary would be subject to the personal or other jurisdiction of the courts of this state under article three of the civil practice law and rules, a foreign corporation not authorized to do business in this state is subject to a like jurisdiction. In any such case, process against such foreign corporation may be served upon the secretary of state as its agent. Such process may issue in any court in this state having jurisdiction of the subject matter.
N.Y. B.S.C. § 307(a) (emphasis added). Article 3 of the N.Y. C.P.L.R. includes Section 302, providing for specific personal jurisdiction "by acts of non-domiciliaries." As discussed above, this Court agrees that it has specific personal jurisdiction over ICPA (an unauthorized foreign corporation) pursuant to Section 302(a)(1); thus, Guatemala was permitted to served process on the Secretary of State as its agent.
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