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February 10, 2011 10:51 PM

Arbitrators Order Ecuador to Suspend Enforcement of Any Judgment Against Chevron

Posted by Michael D. Goldhaber

On February 9 arbitrators presiding over the investment treaty arbitration filed by Chevron Corporation against Ecuador, under the auspices of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, ordered Ecuador to "take all measures at its disposal to suspend or cause to be suspended the enforcement or recognition within and without Ecuador of any judgment" against Chevron, pending further arbitral proceedings.

The arbitral “interim measures” order came a day after the U.S. district court for the Southern District of New York granted Chevron’s request for a temporary restraining order to similar effect against the Ecuadorian plaintiffs and their lawyers. The arbitrators heard Chevron’s argument, by Doak Bishop and Edward Kehoe of King & Spalding, on Sunday, February 6.

Winston & Strawn's Eric Bloom, who led the legal team for Ecuador, declined to comment.

The oil company issued a statement in response to the ruling: "Chevron is pleased that the international arbitration tribunal has taken action to prevent the harm against Chevron threatened by the unlawful actions of the Lago Agrio plaintiffs' lawyers. Only the government of Ecuador, however, can take the necessary steps to bring an end to the fraud that is being perpetrated in its court system."

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