Argentine Republic v. National Grid PLC., No. 10-7093 (D.C. Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
Argentina appealed the district court's dismissal of its motion to extend where Argentina had violated a Bilateral Investment Treaty when it implemented several emergency measures in response to the nation's financial crisis. An arbitration panel determined that Argentina was liable to National Grid PLC, ("National Grid") which had been operating in Argentina under the auspices of the treaty. At issue was whether National Grid forfeited its timeliness defense, whether the district court erred in treating Argentina's motion to extend as moot, and whether the district court erred in ultimately finding service to be untimely. Also at issue was whether the district court erred in granting a confirmation motion without first giving Argentina the opportunity to raise defenses available under the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, 9 U.S.C. 201-208. The court rejected Argentina's argument that National Grid had forfeited its timeliness defense where it had expressly preserved this defense in the joint stipulation and then raised it in its first responsive pleading. The court also held that the district court had no authority to grant Argentina's motion to extend time to serve notice and therefore acted within its discretion in treating the motion as moot. Absent any evidence of timely service of notice, the court affirmed the dismissal of Argentina's motion to vacate the arbitral awards. The court further affirmed National Grid's cross-motion for recognition of the arbitral award where Argentina had ample time to raise defenses but made no attempt to raise such defects in the district court.