Archives: Arbitrators

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Who Decides Consolidation Issue? A New Arbitration Panel or the Old One?

It is pretty well settled under modern arbitration law, including reinsurance arbitrations, that procedural issues like consolidation are questions for the arbitrators and not the courts.  But what happens if there are multiple arbitration panels?  Which panel decides the consolidation application?  And what if one arbitration has been completed and a motion to consolidate is … Continue Reading

Liquidator Compelled to Arbitrate Hurricane Reinsurance Disputes

The federal policy favoring arbitration sometimes bumps up against state-based receivers where the receiver would rather the receivership court address reinsurance disputes than have the matter arbitrated.  In the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico, reinsurance disputes arose over a cedent’s allocation between the hurricanes and other aspects of the many … Continue Reading

In State Court It’s Just as Tough to Vacate an Arbitration Award

Most commercial arbitrations fall under the Federal Arbitration Act.  But some arbitrations are intra-state so they come within the various state arbitration laws.  In New York, for example, Article 75 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules governs arbitration.  When it comes to vacating an arbitration award, however, choosing state law over the FAA is … Continue Reading

It’s Not Over Until It Is Over

In reinsurance arbitrations, once the arbitration panel issues its final award its job is over.  That’s what the doctrine of functus officio means.  But there are exceptions to the functus officio rule (see our Blog from November 2018).  Additionally, what happens when a panel retains jurisdiction after issuing the final award?  In a recent case, … Continue Reading

Pre-Answer Security and Preclusion Based on Arbitral Decision — Who Decides?

In reinsurance disputes where one party is insolvent or has financial difficulties, the other side often demands security.  Where a non-domiciliary is involved, some states have pre-answer security requirements, which have been held to apply in reinsurance arbitrations.  In a procedurally complicated case, where an arbitration panel issued a security award and then stayed the … Continue Reading

How Does the Latest US Supreme Court Ruling on Class Arbitration Affect Reinsurance Arbitration?

The US Supreme Court’s pronouncements on class arbitration have little to do with reinsurance arbitrations.  But, when the Supreme Court speaks on arbitrations and construes the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”), there may be statements or even holdings by the court that could affect aspects of reinsurance arbitrations, so we pay attention.  In the most recent … Continue Reading

How Courts Select Umpires Where The Reinsurance Contract Gives Courts the Power

Some reinsurance contracts have a provision in the arbitration clause that allow the parties to ask a court to appoint the umpire if the parties cannot agree on the selection of one.  A court’s analysis of the candidates and whether they are qualified or should be disqualified from consideration as an umpire is always interesting … Continue Reading

The Consolidation Circus Continues

In December 2018, we blogged about a new reinsurance arbitration consolidation case.  We mentioned that the reinsurer filed several other petitions to compel arbitration in various jurisdictions all seeking to allow for consolidation of these disputes in three arbitrations  based on the different reinsurance programs.  The facts are the same so read the December 2018 post … Continue Reading

March 2019 Reinsurance Newsletter

Our March 2019 Reinsurance Newsletter is available for your reading pleasure.  It covers reinsurance developments since December 2018 and also includes regulatory and policy updates as well as our annual Brief Review of Reinsurance Trends.  Please enjoy.  You can access the Newsletter here.… Continue Reading

Enforcement of Arbitration Subpoenas and Summonses

Sometimes it is necessary to obtain evidence from non-parties during a reinsurance arbitration.  Yet, the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) does not expressly sanction non-party (or for that matter any) pre-hearing discovery.  In practice, however, most parties ask the arbitration panel to issue a subpoena to a “hearing” and then negotiate with the non-party about producing … Continue Reading

When Arbitrators Exceed Their Powers

When an arbitration panel issues a final award any challenge to that award faces an uphill battle.  That is because under the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) a final arbitration award must be confirmed (if requested) and can only be vacated for a very narrow set of reasons.  Of the four grounds for vacatur under Section … Continue Reading

New Arbitrability Decision from the Supreme Court

A new arbitration decision was handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court on January 8, 2019.  My colleagues in our labor and employment practice swiftly blogged about the new decision so I won’t repeat their cogent analysis. The case has nothing to do with insurance or reinsurance. But the principles set forth by Justice Kavanaugh … Continue Reading

New Case on Consolidation in Reinsurance Arbitrations

It’s pretty clear in most jurisdictions that the question of whether disputes under multiple reinsurance contracts should be consolidated is a question for the arbitrators and not the court.  What’s less clear is how the parties get an arbitration panel in place to address the consolidation issue. A California federal court recently addressed this issue.… Continue Reading

Second Circuit Affirms Exception to Functus Officio Rule in Arbitration

In 2017, we discussed a reinsurance case where the district court articulated an exception to the functus officio rule that allows for clarification of an arbitral award.  The Second Circuit has now affirmed that decision and joins the Third, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Ninth Circuits in allowing this exception.… Continue Reading

Vacating an Arbitration Award for Evident Partiality Just Got Harder

Vacating an arbitration award has always been tough.  The Federal Arbitration Act only has limited bases to seek vacatur.  One of those bases is when there is “evident partiality” by the arbitrator. 9 U.S.C. § 10(a)(2).  In “traditional” reinsurance arbitrations, the arbitration panel includes two party-appointed arbitrators, each of whom may be predisposed toward the position of … Continue Reading

English Court of Appeal Rules on “Experience of Insurance and Reinsurance” Arbitrator Qualifications Includes Legal Experience

In Allianz Insurance PLC (formerly Cornhill Insurance PLC) v. Tonicastar Ltd,  [2018] EWCA Civ 434, the Court of Appeal held that the arbitral qualification of experience of insurance and reinsurance means experience as a lawyer working for the industry and does not mean only those who have worked for the industry qualify.… Continue Reading

March 2018 Reinsurance Newsletter

Our March 2018 Reinsurance Newsletter is now available for your reading pleasure.  This issue covers the Global v. Century decision by the New York Court of Appeals answering the Second Circuit’s certified question as well as our annual review of reinsurance trends in 2017, as well as cases involving reinsurance for the September 11th terrorist attacks … Continue Reading

Confidentiality Agreements in Reinsurance Arbitrations

Confidentiality agreements in reinsurance arbitrations are ubiquitous, but often cause concern when a subsequent arbitration arises over the same or similar contracts with the same or similar parties.  A question that has arisen with some frequency, but which has not been fully addressed in court, is whether the confidentiality agreement in the first arbitration precludes … Continue Reading

September 2017 Reinsurance Newsletter

Our September 2017 Reinsurance Newsletter includes a featured article on discovery of reserves and reinsurance information as well as an update on the US-EU Covered Agreement.  It also reports on recent cases, including a manifest disregard case, a case on Insurance Law 1213 security and reinsurance collection issues by the assignee of a liquidator.  Please … Continue Reading

When the Court Picks Your Arbitrator

One of the criticisms leveled at arbitration is the length of time it takes to select the arbitration panel and specifically the third arbitrator or umpire.  Most arbitration clauses either specify an arbitral authority to assist the parties in selecting the arbitration panel or specify in the arbitration clause the method for selection and criteria … Continue Reading

Arbitration Award Clarification Confirmation

Generally, when an arbitration panel issues a final award the panel is “functus officio“; its powers expired and its duties relieved because it has finished its work and there’s no more to be done.  Sometimes, however, an arbitration panel will retain jurisdiction for a period of time after the final award is issued in case … Continue Reading

June 2017 Reinsurance Newsletter

This quarter’s Squire Patton Boggs Reinsurance Newsletter leads off with a summary of a New York federal case where an arbitration award was vacated for evident partiality.  It also features an update on the US-EU Covered Agreement. Please enjoy.… Continue Reading

Relationship? What Relationship?: Evident Partiality and Arbitrator Disclosure

Arbitrators have a special responsibility to disclose all relevant relationships to the parties so that any potential conflicts can be vetted. There are some obvious relationships that need to be disclosed like prior employment by one of the parties. There are other relationships that may be disclosed out of an abundance of caution, but typically … Continue Reading

March 2017 Reinsurance Newsletter

This quarter’s Squire Patton Boggs Reinsurance Newsletter focuses on the certified question sent to the New York Court of Appeals by the Second Circuit on Bellefonte. It also features regulatory updates on the US-EU Covered Agreement as it affects reinsurance and on the new duty to pay insurance and reinsurance claims in the UK. Finally, … Continue Reading
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