Cases & Deals

Steve Smith serves as sole arbitrator in ICC arbitration between Japanese art supply company and terminated U.S. distributor

Client(s) Steven L. Smith as Arbitrator

Jones Day of counsel Steve Smith served as sole arbitrator in an ICC arbitration between a Japanese art supply company and its former U.S. distributor, with Jones Day partner Paul Hines serving as Secretary to the Tribunal. The arbitration arose from the Japanese manufacturer's termination of the U.S. supplier, which asserted numerous claims for breach of contract, trade secret misappropriation and unfair competition seeking millions of dollars in alleged lost profits and other damages. The Japanese manufacturer counterclaimed for millions of dollars in unpaid inventory. After a complicated jurisdictional challenge, Mr. Smith issued a partial award rejecting the challenge which was upheld by a U.S. District Court, with Court finding that Mr. Smith had "thoroughly discussed" and "cogently explained" the basis of his decision with "detailed analysis". The merits of the dispute then went to a multi-day virtual hearing in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, with participants located throughout the United States and Japan. Mr. Smith issued his Final Award within three months of the close of the hearing.