The World in U.S. Courts: Summer 2017 - Personal Jurisdiction/Forum Non Conveniens
This cases arose in the wake of the bribery scandal that has engulfed Petrobras, the Brazilian state-owned petroleum company. The plaintiffs are eight related US- and Cayman Islands-based investment funds, plus their investment adviser, that provided more than USD 2 million in financing to an entity organized to pay for the construction of a large fleet of drillships that Petrobras planned to use in developing oil reserves located off the coast of Brazil. The entity collapsed after the bribery scheme was uncovered, and the plaintiffs lost their investments.
After determining that certain plaintiffs had standing to sue and that the “commercial activity” exception to the FSIA applied, the Court addressed whether the case should be dismissed on forum non conveniens grounds. It explained that the defendants bear the “heavy burden” of establishing that retention of the case would impose an unfair and disproportionate burden, and that the factors to be considered included the following:
[Editor’s Note: note: The EIG Energy Fund XIV case is also discussed in the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act (FSIA) section of this report.]
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