Party Autonomy and Arbitrator’s Lack of Reasoning Bring Down Subway Award
Litigation attorneys Sean Sheely and Arantxa Cuadrado co-authored an article for ITA in Review about a decision from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York vacating an international arbitration award. Senior District Judge Rakoff recently vacated the award on the grounds that the arbitrator exceeded her powers by deciding a claim that "was not presented by the parties and was not addressed in the underlying opinion." This decision reinforces the principle of party autonomy by confirming that New York courts will enforce an agreement to arbitrate as written and offers important considerations for arbitration parties and practitioners in New York-seated international arbitrations. This article provides relevant background information on the case, the court's reasoning for its decision and a few key takeaways.