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Fakhri v. Marriott International Hotels, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Maryland

August 12, 2016

ZIAD SAKR FAKHRI, Plaintiff
v.
MARRIOT INTERNATIONAL HOTELS, INC., Defendant

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          PETER J. MESSITTE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Ziad Sakr Fakhri (“Fakhri”) has brought suit against Marriott International Hotels, Inc. (“Marriott”), a Maryland corporation, for tortious interference with contractual relations in violation of Article 122 of the Lebanese Code of Obligations and Contracts. The suit arises out of an extended litigious relationship between parties relating to the operation of a hotel in Beirut, Lebanon. The hotel was owned by a company known as Jnah Development, S.A.L. (“Jnah”), and, until July 2007, was operated by Marriott under a Management Agreement with Jnah. By the time Marriott terminated the Management Agreement in 2007, Jnah had brought two separate arbitration proceedings against it at the International Chamber of Commerce (“ICC”) in Paris, both related to Marriott’s management of the hotel.

         In 2009, Fakhri, a shareholder of Jnah, together with other shareholders, entered into a contract to sell their shares, which purportedly granted Fakhri the right to arbitrate certain claims against Marriott on Jnah’s behalf. On that basis, Fakhri initiated a third arbitration proceeding against Marriott at the ICC related to Marriott’s termination of the Management Agreement (“Jnah 3” arbitration). Fakhri alleges, however, that before the arbitration took place, Marriott entered into a secret, illicit settlement agreement with Jnah’s new owners, Shayah-owned Jnah, [1]inducing them both to disaffirm Fakhri’s right to arbitrate the claims and to testify against him in the Jnah 3 arbitration proceedings.

         Prior to the initiation of the present suit for tortious interference, the ICC tribunal in Jnah 3 issued a final arbitral award, holding that Fakhri lacked authority to bring the arbitration claims on behalf of Jnah. Fakhri, ostensibly on Jnah’s behalf, appealed this decision to the French courts, arguing, among other things, that the award had been obtained through fraud and collusion arising out of the secret agreement between Marriott and Shayah-owned Jnah. As things now stand, Fakhri’s complaints of fraud have been entirely rejected by the French courts-although it is possible that he may yet attempt one final appeal.

         Before this Court, Marriott has moved to dismiss Fakhri’s claims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) on the grounds that: (1) the ICC alone has jurisdiction to resolve claims related to the Jnah-Marriott Management Agreement, and (2) under the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (“New York Convention”), this Court lacks jurisdiction to vacate, modify, or set aside the ICC’s award, which Fakhri effectively seeks to do in this suit by collaterally attacking the award.

         For its part, Marriott has brought counterclaims against Fakhri for fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and unjust enrichment, alleging that he falsely represented that he had the right accept payment for an earlier arbitral award on Jnah’s behalf (“Jnah 2” award), whereas that payment should rightfully have been made to Jnah’s new owners. Fakhri has moved to dismiss the counterclaims pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) on the grounds that Marriott’s counterclaims are time-barred by the statute of limitations and that, in any event, Marriott has failed to state a claim.

         For reasons that follow, the Court will GRANT Marriott’s Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction, finding that this suit constitutes a collateral attack on the Jnah 3 award. Further, the Court will DISMISS Marriott’s counterclaims, since Marriott concedes that jurisdiction over its counterclaims depends on the Court’s jurisdiction over Fakhri’s claims.

         I.

         Factual and Procedural Background

         Fakhri initiated this suit during the pendency of his appeal of ICC tribunal’s ruling that he did not have the right to bring claims on behalf of his former company, Jnah, in what was the third arbitration between Jnah and Marriott over the hotel management contract (“Jnah 3”).

         A.

         From 1994 to May 2009, Fakhri was an officer and shareholder of Jnah Development S.A.L., a Lebanese company that owned a hotel in Beirut. Am. Compl. ¶ 5, ECF No. 76. Fakhri and other members of his family, including his father, Sakr Fakhri, owned slightly over 86% of the share capital in Jnah. See Def.’s Mot. Dismiss, Ex. 1, Jnah 3 Award ¶ 45, ECF No. 104-3. In 1994, Jnah and Marriott entered into a series of agreements (the “1994 Marriott-Jnah Agreements”) under which Marriott was to manage and operate the hotel owned by Jnah (the Beirut Marriott). Am. Compl. ¶ 15. The Management Agreement, one of the key 1994 Marriott-Jnah Agreements in this case, contained an arbitration clause pursuant to which any dispute arising out of the Management Agreement was to be resolved through arbitration before the ICC.[2] The First Jnah arbitration, while not particularly relevant to the precise issue before the Court, is worth recounting as background to the relationship between Jnah and Marriott. That arbitration, Jnah 1, arose over Marriott’s management of the hotel. Although Marriott initiated Jnah 1, the ICC tribunal, on October 30, 2003, awarded Jnah $850, 000 and gave Fakhri access to the hotel’s books of control and account. Id. ¶¶ 26-30.

         On June 20, 2005, Jnah, through Fakhri, initiated a second arbitration (“Jnah 2”), claiming, on the basis of the hotel books, that Marriott had made improper deductions, had failed to maintain the hotel as a 5-star property, and had employed a clerk who stole some $500, 000 from the hotel. Id. ¶¶ 37-38. Marriott counterclaimed, alleging that Jnah had failed to provide the hotel with sufficient working capital and had misappropriated Marriott trademarks. Id. ¶ 39.

         Then, on July 18, 2007, while Jnah 2 was still pending, and in the wake of another dispute between parties, Marriott ceased management of the hotel. See Id. ¶¶ 40-43. Fakhri alleges that, in the depressed hotel market following the 2006 Israeli-Hezbollah war, Marriott had demanded that Jnah provide $92, 000 in capital within ten days. Id. When the parties could not come to an agreement as to the capital, Marriott ended its management of the hotel and terminated the Management Agreement. Id.

         Fakhri’s Amended Complaint before this Court states that Marriott’s sudden withdrawal resulted in Jnah’s inability to fulfill a condition of a loan agreement that Jnah had with Arab Bank-which held a security interest in the hotel-that Jnah maintain a hotel operator. This led Arab Bank to foreclose on the hotel, forcing a fire sale of the hotel to the detriment of Jnah’s shareholders. See Id. ¶¶ 47-49. Sabih El Masri-who, as it happens, is Fakhri’s uncle and also the Vice Chairman of the Arab Bank, and who had made personal loans to Fakhri’s father, Sakr Fakhri, the owner of the largest amount of Jnah stock-proposed to purchase Jnah from the shareholders, Plaintiff Ziad Sakr Fakhri included. Id.

         To acquire Jnah’s shares, Masri formed an entity under Lebanese law called Shayah Holding S.A.L. (“Shayah”). Id. ¶ 51. Pursuant to a signed February 5, 2009 settlement agreement with Masri entitled “Settlement Proposal, ” Ziad Sakr Fakhri-again, Plaintiff in the present suit-sold his shares to Masri in return for a cash payment of U.S. $7 million and an irrevocable power of attorney and an assignment of rights, ostensibly giving Fakhri the right to pursue certain claims Jnah held against Marriott.[3] See id. ¶¶ 52-57; Am. Compl., Ex. 5, February 5, 2009 Settlement Proposal (English original), ECF No. 76-7. The Settlement Agreement provided that Sakr Fakhri would transfer of his shares “in consideration for the settlement of Sakr’s personal debt.” See Settlement Proposal at 1. The Settlement Agreement further provided that “[i]n respect of the ICC arbitration case against Marriott, ” if the award was favorable, Fakhri would be “entitled to the full amount of any arbitration award after deduction of all related fees and expenses incurred since the initiation of the arbitration case, ” but if, on the other hand, the award was unfavorable, Fakhri would be “held liable for the full amount owed by the Company[.]” Id. at 2. The Agreement also stated in the same paragraph that Jnah would “issue an irrevocable power of attorney to Ziad [Fakhri] authorizing him to (i) follow up on the arbitration proceedings . . . as well as to (ii) accept payment on behalf of the Company” if the arbitral award was favorable. Id.

         On May 4, 2009, the Transfer of Shares Contract was executed, with four draft documents appended to it: (1) an Assignment of Rights (“AOR”), (2) an Irrevocable Power of Attorney (“POA”), (3) an Undertaking to draw up an Irrevocable Power of Attorney, and (4) a Declaration and Undertaking by Ziad Fakhri. See Amend Compl. ¶ 54; Ex. 6, Transfer of Shares Document, ECF No. 76-8; see also Def.’s Mot. Dismiss, Ex. 1, Jnah 3 Award ¶ 51, ECF No. 104-3. Shayah-owned Jnah’s Board of Directors approved the AOR and POA on July 10, 2009, and Fakhri received executed copies on October 27, 2009. Id. ¶¶ 54, 58-59; Am. Compl., Ex. 7, Power of Attorney Document (Arabic original and English translation); Ex. 8, Assignment of Rights Document (Arabic original and English translation), ECF Nos. 76-9, 76-10.

         The POA stated in relevant part that Jnah (the “Company”):[4]

ha[s] mandated to Mr. Ziad Sakr Fakhri to plead on behalf of and defend the “Company” in all that is related to the existing dispute with the company Marriott International Inc. and the “Company” arising out of the relationship that existed with the “Company” before [May 4, 2009] including the arbitration case that is pending between it on one side and the company Marriott International Inc. before the International Chamber of Commerce and before the courts of all types . . ., this being a general power of attorney in relation to this arbitration case[.]

Def.’s Mot. Dismiss, Ex. 1, Jnah 3 Award ¶ 66, ECF No. 104-3 (quoting English translation from Arabic); see also Am. Compl., Ex. 7, Power of Attorney (Arabic original and English translation), ECF No. 76-9.[5] The AOR stated in relevant part that Jnah (the “Company”):

. . . assigns to the benefit of Mr. Ziad Sakr Fakhri all that is related to the existing dispute with the company Marriott International Inc. and the “Company” arising out of the relationship that existed with the “Company” before 5/4/2009 including the arbitration case brought by it against the company Marriott International Inc. Before the International Chamber of Commerce the proceedings of which are taking place in France - Paris and all the rights and amounts claimed in this case so that any amount or indemnity award to the “Company” would go to Mr. Ziad Fakhri whatever its value and the “Company” undertakes to settle such amount to Mr. Ziad Fakhri after deducting the amounts that the “Company” has incurred . . .from expenses and lawyers’ fees[.]

Def.’s Mot. Dismiss, Ex. 1, Jnah 3 Award ¶ 66, ECF No. 104-3 (quoting English translation from Arabic); see Am. Compl. ¶¶ 54-55; Ex. 8, Assignment of Rights (Arabic original and English translation), ECF No. 76-10.[6]

         Jnah 2 Award

         On June 4, 2009, before the Shayah-owned Jnah Board of Directors approved the POA and AOR to Fakhri, the ICC tribunal issued a Final Award in Jnah 2, which awarded Jnah U.S. $7, 186, 166.27 in damages against Marriott, plus interest and costs. Am. Compl. ¶ 60; Am. Compl., Ex. 1, Jnah 2 Final Award, ECF No. 76-1. According to the Amended Complaint in the present suit, Jnah 2 did not resolve claims arising out of Marriott’s termination of the Management Agreement in July 2007. In the award, the Jnah 2 tribunal stated that, “. . . Jnah is entitled to present claims and/or defenses in future proceedings relating to Marriott’s closure of the Hotel and withdrawal from Lebanon.” Am. Compl. ¶ 64; Ex. 1, Jnah 2 Final Award ¶¶ 203- 05, ECF No. 76-1. Marriott appealed the Jnah 2 award to the Cour d’Appel in Paris, which found in favor of Jnah in the amount of an additional €80, 000.

         On October 4, 2010, Marriott paid Fakhri U.S. $10, 876, 922.80 in satisfaction of the Jnah 2 award. See Am. Compl. ¶ 73; Countercl. ¶ 11, ECF No. 83. However, in Marriott’s counterclaim in the case at bar, it alleges that Fakhri falsely represented that he had “entered into agreement with Jnah under which he was authorized to receive payment of the entire amount of the Jnah 2 award on behalf of Jnah.” Countercl. ¶¶ 7-8.

         Fakhri, in his Amended Complaint, appears to have anticipated this allegation, stating that Marriott “advised from the outset of settlement communications in January 2010 that it had independently investigated Fakhri’s authority.” Am. Compl. ¶ 70. Further, says Fakhri, “[o]n information and belief, Marriott’s internal accounting procedures required proper documentation of Fakhri’s authority before Marriott could transfer $10.9 million to satisfy the Jnah 2 Award, which was entered in favor of a Lebanese company, Jnah, to the personal bank account of [a] former shareholder of the company.” Id. ¶ 69.

         As indicated, although the ICC tribunal in Jnah 2 ruled in Jnah’s favor and awarded it $7.18 million plus interest and costs, it did not rule on the effect of Marriott’s decision to terminate the Management Agreement and cease operating the Hotel as of July 18, 2007. Accordingly, on June 14, 2010, prior to Marriott’s payment of the award in Jnah 2, Fakhri initiated the Jnah 3 arbitration before the ICC in Paris, seeking “damages caused by Marriott’s wrongful, premature termination of the Management Agreement and other related contracts between the parties.” Def.’s Mot. Dismiss, Ex. 5, Jnah 3 Request for Arbitration (“RFA”) at 1, ECF No. 104-7; see Am. Compl. ¶ 74. The Request for Arbitration in Jnah 3 stated that Fakhri had authority to bring the arbitration pursuant to his POA. See Jnah 3 RFA at 1. According to Fakhri’s Amended Complaint in this Court, however, Fakhri states that Jnah 3 was brought by Jnah, “through Fakhri pursuant to his assignment and power of attorney[.]”[7] Am. Compl. ¶ 74.

         Continuing on in his Amended Complaint, Fakhri alleges that, in February and March 2011, he and Marriott’s Senior Vice President, Kevin Mantano, engaged in settlement discussions relative to the Jnah 3 claims. Am. Compl. ¶¶ 78-79. At one point during these settlement discussions, held in London over four days beginning on March 4, 2011, Mantano purportedly wrote on a napkin “10 now, ” which, according to Fakhri, meant an immediate cash payment to him of U.S. $10 million, and additional payments totaling U.S. $9 million to him thereafter, as well as an agreement to enter into a new hotel management arrangement. Id. No formal final settlement was drafted or otherwise reached at that time, however.

         Settlement Agreement between Jnah and Marriott

         Soon thereafter, on March 9, 2011, Mrs. Randa Abousleiman, counsel to Shayah-owned Jnah, wrote to Fakhri’s counsel, asserting that the Settlement Agreement between Fakhri and Shayah-owned Jnah had not assigned all of Jnah’s claims against Marriott to Fakhri, nor had it provided a general power of attorney to Fakhri to pursue such claims. See Def.’s Mot. Dismiss, Ex. 1, Jnah 3 Award ¶ 59, ECF No. 104-3. Abousleiman thus demanded that Fakhri transfer the entire amount of the Jnah 2 award, about $10.9 million, to Shayah-owned Jnah’s account. Am. Compl. ¶¶ 80-83. Fakhri says, however, that Abousleiman knew full well he was entitled to the entire amount, having recommended the assignment of rights to Shayah-owned Jnah’s board, and that, in making a demand on Fakhri, Shayah-owned Jnah was only seeking to stake a claim to the funds after finding out their true worth. Id.

         On March 18, 2011, Abousleiman contacted Marriott’s counsel and inquired as to the payment of the Jnah 2 award. See Am. Compl. ¶ 85; Def./Cntr-Pl.’s Resp. Opp’n Mot. Dismiss at 10, ECF No. 145; Def.’s Reply Mot. Summ. J., Ex. 1, De Gramont Decl. ¶¶ 6-7, ECF No. 65-1 (averring that Abousleiman sent Marriott’s French counsel an email on March 18, 2011, which stated “that Jnah had just learned that the Jnah 2 arbitration award had been confirmed . . . and inquired as to when could expect to receive payment.”). When Marriott’s counsel informed Abousleiman that it had already paid the Jnah 2 award to Fakhri personally, Abousleiman responded that Fakhri did not have the authority to collect funds on Jnah’s behalf. Am. Compl. ¶ 85; see Def./Cntr-Pl.’s Resp. Opp’n Mot. Dismiss at 10, ECF No. 145. Abousleiman further told Marriott that Shayah-owned Jnah had not been aware that Fakhri had commenced the Jnah 3 proceeding and that he was not authorized to bring the Jnah 3 proceeding. See De Gramont Decl. ¶ 7, ECF No. 65-1; Def.’s Mot. Dismiss, Ex. 1, Jnah 3 Award ¶ 60.

         Instead of engaging in further settlement discussion with Fakhri as to the Jnah 3 claims, Marriott proposed its own settlement with Shayah-owned Jnah. Am. Compl. ¶¶ 86-87. Thus, on April 6, 2011, Marriott entered into a Settlement Agreement with Shayah-owned Jnah that purported to resolve all claims between Marriott and Jnah. Def.’s Mot. Dismiss at 5, ECF No. 104-1; Am. Compl., Ex. 2, Jnah-Marriott Agreement at 10-11, ECF No. 76-3.

         Under the terms of the Settlement Agreement between Marriott and Shayah-owned Jnah, Marriott agreed to pay Shayah-owned Jnah $800, 000 in return for “any and all assistance reasonably requested by Marriott to demonstrate to the Tribunal in Jnah III that Mr. Fakhri was not entitled, authorized or otherwise empowered to commence Jnah III . . . and that Jnah, through its legal and rightful representatives, seeks to dismiss Jnah III . . . .” Am. Compl., Ex. 2, Jnah-Marriott Agreement at 5, ECF No. 76-3; see Am. Compl. ¶¶ 91-92. This assistance would specifically include “a letter from Mr. George Aouad, the Chairman/General Manager of Jnah, confirming that Mr. Fakhri was not authorized, entitled, or otherwise empowered to commence Jnah III” as well as witness testimony from Jnah’s legal counsel and director, Abousleiman, “with respect to the scope and effect of the Power of Attorney and Assignment of arbitration Rights.” Am. Compl. ¶ 90; Jnah-Marriott Agreement at 5-6. Marriott agreed to pay Shayah-owned Jnah up to an additional U.S. $2.4 million if the Jnah 3 arbitration was dismissed by the ICC panel. See Am. Compl. ¶ 91; Jnah-Marriott Agreement at 9. The terms of the Settlement Agreement released all of Jnah’s claims against Marriott except “those Claims that were properly assigned to Mr. Fakhri to assert in Jnah II, which … [were] fully adjudicated and resolved by the Tribunal in Jnah II[.]” Jnah-Marriott Agreement at 10-11. To the extent that Shayah-owned Jnah had any claim against Marriott for wrongful payment of the Jnah 2 award to Fakhri, it is Marriott’s position before this Court that the Agreement discharged Marriott from any liability for that claim, as well as from all claims related to the termination of the Hotel Management Agreements-presumably pursuant to the general release provision. See id.; Countercl. ¶ 12.

         Fakhri alleges that, through all this, Marriott was trying to capitalize on “an opportunity to turn the family dispute” between Fakhri and his uncle, who controlled Shayah-owed Jnah, to its advantage and to obtain a release of Jnah’s claims against it for a fraction of its settlement offer to Fakhri. Id. ¶¶ 86-88, 96. According to Fakhri, Marriott knew quite well at the time that Abousleiman’s representations were false and that Fakhri in fact had POA and AOR to collect funds on Jnah’s behalf and pursue the claims in Jnah 3. Id.

         Marriott counters that Fakhri misrepresented his rights both under the POA and AOR, and that it settled with Shayah-owned Jnah only after learning that Fakhri did not, in fact, have the right to pursue those claims individually under his Settlement Agreement with Shayah-owned Jnah. Def.’s Mot. Dismiss at 4, ECF No. 104; see Ex. 1, Jnah 3 Award ¶¶ 19, 60-63; see also Def.’s Reply Mot. Summ. J., Ex. 1, De Gramont Decl. ¶¶ 6-7, ECF No. 65-1.

         Jnah 3 Award

         On April 12, 2011, following the execution of its Settlement Agreement with Shayah-owned Jnah, Marriott requested that the Jnah 3 panel bifurcate the jurisdictional and merits portions of the arbitration on the grounds that it wished to prove that Fakhri lacked the authority to represent Jnah. See Amend Compl. ¶ 98. On April 13, 2011, George Aouad, Chairman of Shayah-owned Jnah, sent a letter to the Secretary General of the ICC that asserted Jnah did not commence the Jnah 3 proceedings and that Jnah did not “submit to the jurisdiction of the ICC in any respect.” Def.’s Mot. Dismiss, Ex. 1, Jnah 3 Award ¶ 19. On May 17, 2011, the arbitral panel agreed to bifurcate the case.

         Prior to the September 2011 hearing set to decide the jurisdictional portion of the arbitration, Marriott’s counsel and Shayah-owned Jnah’s counsel agreed that they would be willing to produce the Jnah-Marriott Settlement Agreement in redacted form subject to a confidentiality agreement. See Jnah 3 Award ¶ 29. However, Fakhri and Marriott were unable to reach an agreement as to confidentiality or whether Fakhri had the right to disclose the Jnah-Marriott Settlement Agreement in other proceedings. Id. ¶¶ 29-33.

         On September 26, 2011, the hearing as to the arbitral panel’s jurisdiction was held. Am. Compl. ¶ 104. At the hearing, Marriott called Abousleiman, Shayah-owned Jnah’s legal counsel and director, to testify that the Settlement Agreement did not give Fakhri the right to bring the Jnah 3 arbitration on Jnah’s behalf. Id.; Jnah 3 Award ¶ 34. Aouad, Jnah’s Chairman, provided a written witness statement on Marriott’s behalf but was not called to testify. Jnah 3 Award ¶ 34. Both Marriott and Fakhri also called expert witnesses to provide evidence as to the proper interpretation of both the POA and AOR, which were written in Arabic. See Id. ¶¶ 34, 118-19, 145-46.

         In a Final Award issued on February 3, 2012, the ICC panel dismissed the Jnah 3 arbitration for lack of jurisdiction, concluding that Fakhri was not entitled to bring the proceeding. Am. Compl. ¶ 105. The panel considered evidence regarding the interpretation of the POA, including relevant language of the AOR, and reasoned that the phrase “existing dispute” in both the POA and AOR referred only to the claims in Jnah 2 rather than in Jnah 3. Jnah 3 Award ¶¶ 64, 97, 145-46, 154, 159. The panel also reasoned that the phrase in the POA, “in relation to this arbitration case, ” was limiting, since the only arbitration pending at the time the language was negotiated was Jnah 2. Id. ¶¶ 115-20.

         French Annulment Proceedings - Appeal of Jnah 3 Award

         Fakhri appealed the ICC’s Jnah 3 Final Award to the Cour d’Appel of Paris. In an initial decision issued on January 24, 2013, the Magistrate in Charge of Pretrial ruled that Fakhri could pursue the appeal under his POA but not under the AOR, since Fakhri had not brought the arbitration proceeding in his personal capacity. See Pl.’s Resp. Opp’n Mot. Stay, Ex. 1 to Teynier Decl., Cour d’Appel of Paris, Interlocutory Order Before Magistrate, Jan. 24, 2013, R.G. No. 12/07231, ECF No. 86-1. On June 4, 2013, the Court d’Appel upheld the decision of the Magistrate that Fakhri could proceed only pursuant to the POA. See Pl.’s Resp. Opp’n Mot. Stay, Ex. 3 to Teynier Decl., Cour d’Appel of Paris Judgment, June 4, 2013, R.G. No. 12/07231, ECF No. 86-1.

         On December 17, 2013, the Cour d’Appel issued a judgment annulling the ICC’s Jnah 3 Final Award, concluding that the Settlement Agreement between Fakhri and Shayah-owned Jnah did, in fact, give Fakhri the right to pursue Jnah 3, stating: “[the] Power of Attorney, contrary to what was decided by the arbitral tribunal, empowered under the generality of its terms, its beneficiary to act on behalf of Jnah when the origin of the action, as in the present case, is in the contractual relationships that began with Marriott before May 4, 2009.” Am. Compl. ¶ 112, Ex. 4, Cour d’Appel of Paris Decision, Dec. 17, 2013, R.G. No. 12/07231 at 6 (English translation), ECF No. 76-5.

         Marriott appealed the decision of the Cour d’Appel to the highest French court, the Cour de Cassation, and, on March 18, 2015, the Cour de Cassation affirmed the Cour d’Appel’s judgment of June 4, 2013, but quashed the judgment of December 17, 2013. Am. Compl. ¶ 115; see Cour de Cassation Decision, civ. 1, Mar. 18, 2015, at 3 (English translation), ECF No. 60-2. The Cour de Cassation held that whether Fakhri was entitled to bring the Jnah 3 arbitration was a question of admissibility (i.e. standing) rather than jurisdiction: “the arbitral tribunal, having interpreted the power of attorney . . . had ruled on a question relating to the admissibility of the request for arbitration . . . and not on the extent of its jurisdiction.” Cour de Cassation Decision at 3, 11 (citing Civil Code, art. 1520). As the Amended Complaint in this Court explains, “the legal question presented was a question of admissibility, which was for the arbitrators to decide, as opposed to a question of jurisdiction, where the Cour d’Appel could correct the arbitrators’ erroneous reading of the contract.” Am. Compl. ...


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