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SerVaas, Inc. v. Republic of Iraq

Represented U.S. metals manufacturer in action against Republic of Iraq, securing summary judgment award recognizing foreign multi-million dollar judgment.
Secured summary judgment for SerVaas Inc., a U.S.-based factory supplier and processor of commercial metals, recognizing a $14.5 million French judgment (value in excess of $35 million) as against the Republic of Iraq and its Ministry of Industry. Summary judgment was granted by the District Court in February 2012. In September 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the Southern District of New York’s grant of SerVaas’ motion for summary judgment. The underlying action arose out of a 1988 contract between SerVaas and the Iraqi Ministry of Industry, whereby SerVaas supplied Iraq with materials to transform scrap metal into commercial-grade copper. SerVaas initiated an arbitration pursuant to the contract, and later brought an action in the courts of France when the Ministry refused to pay pursuant to the terms of contract. Ultimately, the company was awarded a judgment in the amount of over $14 million. When the Ministry failed to pay the judgment, SerVaas filed an action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to recognize the French judgment as against the Ministry as well as the sovereign Republic of Iraq. In February 2010, the District Court denied the Iraqi’s motions to dismiss SerVaas’ complaint on the grounds of foreign sovereign immunity (686 F. Supp. 2d 346). The District Court’s decision was later affirmed on appeal to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals (2011 WL 665334).