Venezuela

Anti-Comity and N.Y. General Obligations Law 5-1401

Not many statutes can fairly be described as bruisers. Section 5-1401 of New York General Obligations Law is an exception. In the immortal words of The Bachelor: “Section 5-1401 didn’t come here to make friends.” The purpose of Section 5-1401 is to generate business for New York lawyers and maintain New York’s status as a…

Continue Reading

An Answer to the Billion-Dollar Choice-of-Law Question

On February 20, 2024, the New York Court of Appeals handed down its opinion in Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. v. MUFG Union Bank, N.A. The issue presented—which I described in a previous post as the billion-dollar choice-of-law question—was whether a court sitting in New York should apply the law of New York or the law…

Continue Reading

Litigating Expropriation Claims in U.S. Courts

Foreign sovereigns generally enjoy sovereign immunity in the United States by operation of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA). The FSIA specifically provides, however, that a foreign sovereign shall not be immune in any case in which “rights in property taken in violation of international law are in issue.” On its face, this expropriation exception…

Continue Reading

New Scholarship on Sanctions and Central Bank Immunity

Ingrid has a new paper out on recent developments in central bank immunity, focusing on sanctions by the United States and other countries involving Russian, Afghan, and Venezuelan central bank assets and their relationship to immunity. Some of the issues addressed in the paper involve transnational litigation in U.S. courts, including the entitlement of sovereign…

Continue Reading

The PDVSA Bonds, Autocracy, and the Venezuelan Constitution

The Second Circuit’s recent decision in Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. v. MUFG Union Bank, N.A. certified a number of choice-of-law questions to the New York Court of Appeals. The decision to certify, which had the effect of postponing a definitive resolution of the dispute, was previously discussed at TLB here and here. In this post, I focus…

Continue Reading

More on the Validity of the PDVSA 2020 Bonds

Governments with no realistic prospect of paying their debts often gamble for redemption, trying desperately to avoid default. Political leaders, with good reason, fear that a debt default will get them thrown out of office. But in trying to hold power, sometimes by borrowing even more, they often make matters worse for the country and…

Continue Reading

The Billion-Dollar Choice-of-Law Question

Choice-of-law rules can be complex, confusing, and difficult to apply. Nevertheless, they are vitally important. The application of choice-of-law rules can turn a winning case into a losing case (and vice versa). A recent decision in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. v. MUFG Union Bank, N.A., is…

Continue Reading