Diaz Reus & Targ Attorneys Obtain $3 Million Award in Arbitration Case

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Partner Gary Davidson together with associates Gerardo Rodriguez-Albizu and Chad Purdie, successfully obtained a $3 million arbitral award for their client, Aerocentro, S.A., a Panama-based aircraft lessor.

Diaz Reus & Targ, LLP, led by Partner Gary Davidson (http://www.diazreus.com/attorneys-24.html) together with associates Gerardo Rodriguez-Albizu (http://www.diazreus.com/attorneys-204.html) and Chad Purdie (http://www.diazreus.com/attorneys-25.html), successfully obtained a $3 million arbitral award for their client, Aerocentro, S.A., a Panama-based aircraft lessor. The Respondents, Aeropostal Alas de Centro America, S.A., and its parent company, Aeropostal Alas de Venezuela, S.A., were found to have breached two aircraft leases (CASE NO.: 09-MC-23392-UNGARO/SIMONTON).

The two leases were originally executed by the now defunct Aeropostal Alas de Centro America. According to Davidson, Alas de Centro America’s parent company, Alas de Venezuela, was attempting to penetrate the airline passenger market in competitive Central America.

Following Alas de Centro America’s failure to take possession of the two aircraft, Aerocentro filed its claim for arbitration with the American Arbitration Association’s International Centre for Dispute Resolution. In its claim, Aerocentro alleged that Alas de Venezuela and Alas de Centro America were both responsible to Aerocentro for the multimillion dollar loss it sustained under the aircraft leases. Respondent Alas de Centro America, by then a defunct company, failed to appear in the arbitration proceedings. However, its parent company, Alas de Venezuela, contested the tribunal’s jurisdiction over it.

Aerocentro countered that Alas de Venezuela was clearly the real party in interest under the aircraft leases. The arbitration panel, following written submissions and several hearings, agreed with Aerocentro.

“Keeping Alas de Venezuela in the arbitration was key,” explained Davidson. “We knew that Alas de Centro America was no longer operational and had no assets. If we couldn’t keep Alas de Venezuela in the arbitration, any resulting award would have simply been a pyrrhic victory.” Ultimately, Aerocentro obtained the multi-million dollars award against both Alas de Centro America and Alas de Venezuela.

Aerocentro promptly filed a petition before the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida to confirm the arbitral award under the New York and Inter-American Conventions. District Judge Ursula Ungaro confirmed the award, finding that none of the specific defenses to award enforcement applied.

Diaz Reus provides a comprehensive and full range of preeminent, innovative, sophisticated and cost-efficient legal services for U.S.-based and global clients—including multinational and Fortune 500 corporations, foreign government entities and public officials, banks and other financial institutions, entrepreneurs and high net worth individuals.

Lean, agile and on the ground in Latin America, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the U.S., multiethnic and multilingual Diaz Reus attorneys, solicitors and consultants move with assurance and speed in legal and business venues around the globe.

Diaz Reus is also a member of the International Society of Primerus Law Firms (Primerus). Primerus (http://www.primerus.com/firms/diaz_reus_targ.htm) is the leading alliance of small and medium sized, top-rated, independent firms. With over 140 law firms located in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the U.K., Primerus firms (http://www.primerus.com/membership_benefits.htm) provide clients with responsive, high quality, partner-level service for much less than what large law firms charge. All Primerus law firms are: AV- rated using the Martindale-Hubbell peer review service; screened for excellence; and audited annually for continued quality.

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Cecilia Fresquet
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