Fifth Circuit Rules that Relocation of Place of Arbitration Did Not Manifestly Disregard the Parties’ Agreement or the Law

A little over a year before Hugo Chávez came to power in Venezuela, Huntington Ingalls Incorporated (“Huntington Ingalls,” formerly known both as Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, Inc. and as Ingalls Shipbuilding, Inc.), entered into a $315 million dollar contract with the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Venezuela (the “Ministry”) to repair two Venezuelan Navy warships at Huntington Ingalls’s shipyard in Mississippi. The agreement contained a mandatory arbitration provision, designating Caracas, Venezuela as the exclusive arbitral forum. Years later, a substantial disagreement arose over cost overruns. The Ministry refused to pay for certain work, and Huntington Ingalls filed suit in the Southern District of Mississippi seeking damages and to compel arbitration……

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