Arbitral awards are relatively easy to enforce globally. Enforcement typically takes place under the New York Convention, although there are other, usually regional conventions, in place, as well as the Washington Convention in respect of ICSID investor-State awards.
There are 157 States that are party to the New York Convention. National courts of these contracting States have a convention obligation, generally supported by national legislation, to recognise and enforce foreign arbitral awards without rehearing arguments on the merits (except in relatively closely defined circumstances).
Unsurprisingly, practice varies considerably between these States.
When you are considering your case strategy, it is crucial to consider where you might want to enforce your award (i.e. where the other party has assets available for execution) or where you might face enforcement proceedings. In certain circumstances, you will also consider taking pre-award steps to ensure that assets are available for execution.
If you are arbitrating against a State or a State entity, you will need to consider issues relating to sovereign immunity, in particular regarding types of relief that you can obtain and classes of asset that you can execute against.
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