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Arnold & Porter Secures Win for Dominican Republic

August 14, 2020

In a win for Arnold & Porter's client, the Dominican Republic, the US District Court for the District of Columbia rejected a bid to vacate an arbitral award issued by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Dominican Republic's favor. Previously, the firm successfully defended arbitration claims filed by Michael and Lisa Ballantine for $41.5 million against the Dominican Republic relating to a development project in the Dominican Republic. Last year's arbitration victory marked Number 34 in Arnold & Porter's ongoing streak of 37 consecutive positive results on behalf of sovereign States in investment arbitrations.

The claimants challenged the arbitration award in US federal court in December 2019, and the Dominican Republic again hired the firm to oppose the suit. On August 11, 2020, the federal court adopted the firm's lead argument that the challenge was untimely. Specifically, the court ruled that the Ballantines failed to comply with the three-month notice requirement under the Federal Arbitration Act, requiring dismissal of their petition. The court further rejected the Ballantines' arguments for equitable tolling, explaining that the claimants could not "show that they pursued their rights diligently or that 'extraordinary circumstances' prevented them from timely serving the Dominican Republic."

The Arnold & Porter team included partners Reeves Anderson, Raul Herrera, Mallory Silberman, and associates Claudia Taveras and Rachel Ryan. The case is Ballantine et al. v. Dominican Republic, No. 19-cv-3598, 2020 WL 4597159 (D.D.C. Aug. 11, 2020).