On January 7, 2020, McKool Smith secured a significant appellate victory on behalf of Soaring Wind Energy, LLC and its investors before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, affirming a $63 million arbitration award for the plaintiffs against Catic USA following a failed wind energy joint venture.
The initial $63 million award was issued to investors of Soaring Wind following an arbitration which found that Catic USA breached an agreement with the company by pursuing wind power projects outside of the joint venture. Catic USA, also known as AVIC International USA, is a subsidiary of AVIC International Holding Co., which is a subsidiary of Aviation Industry of China, a state owned entity of the Chinese government.
In its decision, the Court rejected the defendants' argument that the arbitration tribunal exceeded its authority by ordering it to divest its interest in Soaring Wind. Instead, the Court found that the arbitration tribunal's divestment order was permissible under contractual terms. The Court also rejected arguments that the arbitration had been unfairly manipulated by other investors in the joint venture.
"We are very pleased with the Fifth Circuit's decision," said McKool Smith principal Lewis T. LeClair, counsel for Soaring Wind. "This has been a very long fight and my clients look forward to collecting the judgment from Catic USA."
The case is Soaring Wind Energy LLC et al. v. Catic USA Inc. et al., case number 18-11192, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
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