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International Litigation

Complex, high-stakes international lawsuits are familiar territory for Vinson & Elkins. We know the jurisdictional and procedural principles unique to international litigation, and are used to directly representing clients in U.S., English, and Dubai International Financial Centre courts, as well as supervising and coordinating the work of local counsel in courts around the globe. We pride ourselves in providing seamless cross-border litigation solutions while focusing on achieving our client’s ultimate goals, rather than simply taking the next step in proceedings.

V&E’s experience includes:

  • Litigating complex, cross-border commercial disputes through to judgment and appellate stages;
  • Establishing jurisdiction in the U.S. federal courts;
  • Establishing or defeating personal jurisdiction over non-U.S. corporations in the U.S. courts;
  • Obtaining or resisting discovery (in the U.S.) with respect to non-U.S. companies, and the use of §1782 actions to obtain discovery to support non-U.S. litigations and arbitrations
  • Enforcing contractual forum selection clauses and obtaining dismissals based on forum non conveniens;
  • Applying the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act/State Immunity Act in litigation involving other nations or their state-owned companies;
  • Securing stays of litigation based on international arbitration agreements;
  • Enforcing arbitration awards and judgments in courts in the U.S., the UK, and the DIFC, and supervising enforcement proceedings in other countries; and
  • Advising companies in complex, multiparty projects concerning the formation of arbitration agreements to bring all interested parties into a single proceeding.

In addition to prosecuting and defending claims for our clients once disputes arise, V&E’s Disputes team also assists with strategic counselling. In particular, we advise non-U.S. companies regarding how to structure their affairs to reduce the risk of U.S. litigation and advise companies as to how to build effective dispute resolution strategies that will lead not just to a favorable judgment, but an enforceable one. In addition to appearing in court directly, our coordination of international litigation work spans the globe. Relevant nations have included Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, France, Germany, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Sweden, Syria, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela

Experience Highlights

  • Represented a Middle East commodities exchange in DIFC Court proceedings relating to the termination of a member’s interest on the exchange

  • (5th Cir.); (W.D. Tex.) — Obtained mandamus relief representing a tire manufacturer in Multi-District Litigation (MDL); the MDL court, located in Indiana, denied motions to dismiss for forum non conveniens and remanded six cases to the federal court in Austin for trial; when the trial court in Texas refused to reconsider the MDL court’s forum non conveniens ruling, mandamus relief was sought and granted; the appellate court’s opinion was significant with respect to forum non conveniens issues and the treatment by one circuit of the cases that are transferred from an MDL court located in a different circuit

  • Representing a private equity fund in relation to breaches of confidentially in proceedings before the DIFC court

  • Supervising the defense of a major Scandinavian oil and gas company in the Lagos High Court against claims brought by an alleged agent

  • (S.D. Tex.) — Obtained an order on behalf of a Middle Eastern state authorizing proceedings in federal court in Houston against a subsidiary province pursuant to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA)

  • Represented the claimant parties in English High Court proceedings concerning the sale of hydrocarbon products into Guatemala

  • Defending two Brunei corporations in a claim before the English High Court relating to interests in hydrocarbon fields; this matter included a successful application (on behalf of our clients) under Section 9 of the Arbitration Act

  • (S.D. Tex.) — Obtained dismissal of our client, Plains Marketing L.P., from several suits brought by Pemex Exploracion y Produccion (“Pemex”) seeking to recover $300 million in damages related to gas condensate allegedly stolen from gas fields in Northern Mexico and smuggled into Texas; the district court issued a series of rulings which ultimately resulted in a complete dismissal of all claims against Plains Marketing