Figueiredo Ferraz Consultoria E Engenharia De Projeto v. Republic of Peru

Attorney Fees

New York Law Journal

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Judge William Pauley

Figuereido sought to confirm a $21 million arbitration award against Peru, its housing ministry, and an organization called Programa Agua Para Todos. Based on the Second Circuit's Jan. 30, 2012, mandate, the court on Feb. 3 dismissed Figueiredo's action on forum non conveniens grounds. Despite prior arguments that the district was an inappropriate forum, Peru and its codefendants seek $1.15 million in attorney fees and costs, arguing that Peruvian law applied because that law governs their contractual relationship with Figueiredo. Noting that Figueiredo had sought the award's confirmation pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act, district court denied defendants' motion for attorney fees. Defendants cited no cases where the law governing the parties' contractual relationship dictated whether legal fees were available. That Peruvian law applied in the arbitration was irrelevant to the issue of attorney fees in the now-aborted action to enforce an arbitration award. Because neither the act nor the parties' underlying agreement provided for fees, there was no basis for their award to defendants.

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