Alternative Dispute Resolution
Schnader attorneys have extensive experience in the various alternative dispute resolution methodologies, including arbitration, mediation and mini-trials, and a proven track record of success. The Firm's Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice serves major domestic and international corporations and smaller, successful businesses throughout the United States and abroad. Our attorneys have appeared as advocates before international and domestic tribunals such as the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the American Arbitration Association (AAA), the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), the Sanctions Committee of the World Bank and NASD. Firm lawyers have also served as arbitrators in ICC and AAA arbitrations, and as court-appointed mediators. The Firm has long been an active member of the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution, and one of our lawyers, a former federal appellate judge, is on the CPR Institute's National Panel of Distinguished Neutrals.
Our alternative dispute resolution experience includes:
- Achieving a favorable settlement for our client, the owner of a nuclear power plant, in an arbitration in New York involving claims by our client for millions of dollars in capacity payments, and claims by the purchaser of the power for the alleged cost of replacement energy (estimated to be several tens of millions of dollars) incurred during an outage of the plant.
- Obtaining a $5 million arbitration award in Pennsylvania in favor of our client, a cogeneration facility owner, against the general contractor. The dispute involved claims that the turbine generator did not provide its specified output and a defense that the facility as a whole achieved its guaranteed output, and involved complex contract interpretation, legal and technological issues.
- Representing a turnkey contractor seeking in excess of $15 million for extra work performed on a $70 million project to replace certain industrial equipment. The owner asserted that the alleged extra work was required by the contract and that the contractor had failed to provide timely notice of extra work; the owner also claimed damages based on allegations of defective performance and breach of performance guarantees. Through non-binding mediation, we were able to achieve a favorable settlement for our client.
- Defending a railroad against claims of more than $50 million by a national communications company involving the installation of 2,000 miles of fiber-optic cable. The disputes involved contract interpretations relating to the right-of-way over land, a variety of construction issues and claims for lost profits. After a six-week hearing, a panel of arbitrators returned an award substantially in our client's favor.
- Successfully representing our client, a French company, in debarment proceedings brought by the World Bank. Our client was accused of paying bribes related to a construction project in southern Africa and if found guilty, risked the loss of a significant portion of its international business. We investigated facts relating to the allegations and presented, in writing and orally, our client's response to those allegations to a Committee of Directors of the World Bank, which determined that there was no basis for debarment.
- Obtaining an award in excess of $2 million for liquidated damages for late delivery of a major piece of equipment by a foreign supplier, defeating defenses that our client and force majeure events had caused the delay. We then sued to enforce the award in Texas by attaching a debt owed to the supplier by a third party. In its defense, the foreign supplier argued that the award should be reduced by the amount of foreign withholding tax that it was obligated to pay. After trial, the court rejected the supplier’s tax argument and ruled completely in our favor, ordering payment of the full amount of the award.
- Obtaining a favorable settlement in an arbitration in France before the International Chamber of Commerce, where a French company commenced an arbitration against our client, a Canadian company, for royalties under a technology license agreement and our client counterclaimed for damages caused by deficiencies in the technology. Our client was paid in excess of $1 million, which was substantially all our client sought.
- Obtaining an arbitration award completely in favor of our client in a dispute concerning a 20-year contract to perform operation and maintenance services for a cogeneration facility. The dispute centered on the proper calculation of our client’s incentive fee under the operation and maintenance contract, which was tied to rate schedules that had been changed and were no longer in effect, and put in issue millions of dollars in incentive fees over the life of the contract.
- Acting as a party-appointed arbitrator for a major international equipment supplier in an arbitration in Florida arising from construction of a facility in South America involving claims that the equipment was defective and defenses that it was improperly operated.
- Achieving a favorable settlement in an arbitration in New York involving a $70 million dispute over the sale of a foreign subsidiary that involved contract interpretation issues, fraud claims and U.S. and foreign accounting issues.
- Achieving a favorable settlement in an arbitration in New York involving our client’s claims for fraud and breach of contract against the manufacturer and distributor of its dental products.
- Acting as a party-appointed arbitrator for a major financial institution in an arbitration involving the construction/build-out of retail space in a commercial office building.
- Successfully resolving claims against our client, a foreign investment group, brought in an ICC arbitration, involving the control and management of an Argentine company.
- Successfully resolving numerous cases involving a wide array of issues, while acting as court-appointed mediator for the Federal Court in New York.
- Achieving a favorable arbitration ruling in an international franchise dispute involving a Thai franchisee and an American franchisor.
- Mediating to successful conclusion a case involving a post-closing financial dispute between the purchaser and seller of offshore fertilizer factories.
- Successfully arbitrating numerous disputes under both collective bargaining agreements and mandatory alternative dispute resolution programs involving employment law and workplace issues.
- Schnader's Family Law Practice Group is heavily engaged in alternative dispute resolutions, including mediation and arbitration, with respect to family matters. Most of the arbitrations involve disputes concerning economic issues between spouses and have involved millions of dollars of assets.