In the last go-round of Dutch legal proceedings, the time from decision in a different intermediate appellate court, the Court of Appeal of The Hague, to a decision from the Dutch Supreme Court took over four years. See
Resp't's Mem. at 1-4 (explaining that proceedings before the Court of Appeal of The Hague began in 2017 and concluded in September 2018, followed by an appeal to the Dutch Supreme Court which finalized in November 2021). The D.C. Circuit in Stileks
determined that a stay of four years during an "appeal-reversal-remand round" in foreign set-aside proceedings could not be further extended as it would have "forced" the petitioner in that case to "sit on its award for several additional years." 985 F.3d at 880. The same is true here. Appellate set-aside proceedings in the Dutch courts are now entering their fifth year. See
Resp't's Mem. at 4 (noting that the first appeal in the Netherlands, before the Court of Appeal of The Hague, began in 2017). A continued stay while the remand before the Amsterdam Court of Appeal and a possible second appeal to the Dutch Supreme Court unfold over another few years will preclude the Shareholders "from proceeding with their claims in federal court," Belize Social Dev. Ltd.
, 668 F.3d at 732 (quoting King v. Cessna Aircraft Co.
, 505 F.3d 1160, 1169 (11th Cir. 2007)), and consequently "force" them "to sit on [their] award for several additional years" with no ascertainable end in sight for set-aside proceedings in the Netherlands, Stileks
, 985 F.3d at 880. Stileks
strongly suggests that a stay in these circumstances is unjustifiable. See id.
The second Europcar
factor therefore does not support a lengthened stay.
In sum, the interest in judicial economy and relative hardships to the parties, assessed through the lens of the first two Europcar factors in accordance with the D.C. Circuit's recent guidance in Stileks, 985 F.3d at 880-881, do not favor a stay. The delay in this case has already been substantial: the arbitration underlying this litigation was initiated almost two decades ago and the Dutch set-aside proceedings that started in 2014 have yet to be resolved eight years later, with no evident resolution in the horizon. Eight years after their initiation, with the economic response to war in Ukraine increasingly compromising the Shareholders' ability to access Russian Federation assets in the United States in the event of succeeding in this action, the confirmation proceedings in this forum must proceed.