Jonathan I. Blackman’s practice focuses on litigation, including international litigation and arbitration, banking, and insurance law. 

He has participated in numerous international arbitrations involving both public international law and complex commercial disputes, litigation involving the immunity of foreign states and their agencies under the U.S. Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, and commercial litigation in a variety of U.S. federal and state courts.

Jonathan joined the firm in 1977 and became a partner in 1985. From 1977 to 2009, he was resident in the New York office. Since then he has been resident in New York and London.

Notable Experience

International Arbitration (Treaty and Commercial)

  • Telecom Italia in entirely defeating a $15 billion claim, one of the largest reported commercial arbitration cases, in an ICC arbitration arising from the settlement of disputes over the control of Brasil Telecom.

  • Tatneft in an UNCITRAL arbitration against Ukraine under the Russia-Ukraine bilateral investment treaty, resulting in a nine-figure award in favor of Tatneft.

  • The Russian Federation in an UNCITRAL arbitration under the Italy-Russia bilateral investment treaty, the first-ever case under that treaty, resulting in the dismissal of all claims against it.

  • Vale S.A. in LCIA arbitration seated in London in a dispute arising out of a joint venture agreement related to a West African project governed by English law.

  • The Ministry of Electricity of the Republic of Iraq in obtaining an award in its favor dismissing all claims in a construction dispute in an AAA arbitration and several ICC arbitrations.

  • Valeo in obtaining a $67 million award in its favor in a purchase price adjustment accounting arbitration.

  • OOO Vklad and other Russian investors in obtaining full recovery of their claims in an ICC arbitration.

  • Kookmin Bank in obtaining an award in its favor on all claims in an ICC proceeding.

  • Goodyear Tire & Rubber in an ICC arbitration, resulting in the dismissal of substantially all claims against it and a substantial award of costs in its favor.

  • The Bank for International Settlements in arbitrations administered by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague regarding the mandatory redemption of its privately held shares.

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Litigation and Arbitration

  • The Republic of Argentina in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court addressing whether discovery in aid of execution on property of a foreign state under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act should be limited to property used for commercial activity in the U.S., or can extend to non-commercial assets; and in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court on the scope of review of an arbitral award under a bilateral investment treaty.

  • Vale S.A. in LCIA arbitration seated in London in a dispute arising out of a joint venture agreement related to a West African project governed by English law

  • ENI North Africa and Promgas in ICC arbitrations concerning price review under their long-term gas supply contracts.

  • The Ministry of Electricity of the Republic of Iraq in obtaining an award in its favor dismissing all claims in a construction dispute in an AAA proceeding and several ICC proceedings.

  • National Westminster Bank and Crédit Lyonnais in lawsuits in New York federal court based upon allegations under the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act that the banks are responsible for acts of international terrorism because they maintained accounts for Palestinian charities in England and France.

  • OOO Vklad and other Russian investors in obtaining full recovery of their claims in an ICC proceeding.

  • The Russian Federation in winning the dismissal of all claims in an ad hoc arbitration proceeding, and in a UNCITRAL proceeding under the Italy-Russia bilateral investment treaty, also resulting in the dismissal of all claims against it.

  • Tatneft in an UNCITRAL proceeding under the Russia-Ukraine bilateral investment treaty, resulting in a nine figure award in favor of Tatneft.

  • Telecom Italia, the Dominican Republic, Goodyear Tire and Rubber and Sierra Leone in ICC proceedings.

  • Valeo in obtaining a $67 million award in its favor in a purchase price adjustment accounting arbitration.

  • YPF S.A. in a successful AAA arbitration concerning a long-term natural gas supply agreement. 

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International and Other Litigation

  • Republic of Argentina v. NML Capital, 134 S. Ct. 2250 (2014) (U.S. Supreme Court case on scope of discovery under Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act).

  • BG plc v. Republic of Argentina, 134 S. Ct. 1198 (2014) (U.S. Supreme Court case on scope of review of arbitral award under bilateral investment treaty).

  • Al-Tamimi v. Adelson, 2017 WL 3738415 (D.D.C. 2017) (dismissal of Alien Tort Statute claims for lack of justiciability under political question doctrine.

  • Rio Tinto PLC v. Vale S.A., 2015 WL 7769534 (S.D.N.Y. 2015) (dismissal of civil RICO claim under statute of limitations and failure to plead RICO “pattern”).

  • Hoffman v. L&M Arts, 2014 WL 4375667 (N.D. Tex. 2014) (grant of judgment as a matter of law in case involving alleged breach of confidentiality agreement involving sale of a valuable painting).

  • Bulgartabac Holding AD v. The Republic of Iraq, 451 Fed. Appx. 9 (2d Cir. 2011) (affirming statute of limitations dismissal of claims against Iraq).

  • NML Ltd v. Banco Central de la Republica Argentina, 652 F. 3d 172 (2d Cir. 2011) (reversal of attachment of central bank reserves).

  • Aurelius Capital Partners v. Republic of Argentina, 584 F.3d 120, (2d Cir. 2009) (reversal of attachment of Argentina pension fund assets).

  • Agrocomplect, AD v. Republic of Iraq, 524 F. Supp. 2d 16 (D.D.C. 2007) (dismissing claims against Republic of Iraq for lack of jurisdiction under FSIA), aff’d, 2008 304 Fed. App’x 872 (D.C. Cir. Nov. 14, 2008).

  • Rubin v. Pixelplus, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17671 (E.D.N.Y. Mar. 13, 2007) (denying remand of “pure” Securities Act class action removed to federal court under SLUSA).

  • Banco Nacional de México, S.A. v. Société Générale, 820 N.Y.S.2d 588 (1st Dep’t 2006) (holding that Mexican injunction against payment on letter of credit should not be granted comity as a defense to confirming bank’s claim for reimbursement for payment on conforming demand).

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Selected Activities

  • Member, Association of the Bar of the City of New York (Chair, International Law Committee, 2001-2004)
  • Executive Committee Member, International Law and Practice Section, New York State Bar Association
  • Member, American Law Institute

Publications

Second Circuit Holds That U.S. Law Firm Need Not Produce Foreign Client’s Documents Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1782,” Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo, July 17, 2018 

European Court of Justice: Investor-State Arbitration Under Intra-EU Bilateral Investment Treaties Is Incompatible With EU Law,” Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo, March 9, 2018

CFPB Issues Final Rule on Arbitration Agreements in Financial Products and Services Contracts,” The Banking Law Journal, October 2017

“United States” chapter, The Banking Litigation Law Review, September 2017 

“Discovery in Aid of Arbitration under 28 USC 1782,” The Arbitration Review of the Americas 2018 (GAR, August 2017)

“A Reassuring 2nd Circ. Approach To Annulled Awards,” Law360, July 28, 2017

Second Circuit Confirms That an Arbitral Award That Has Been Nullified at the Seat of the Arbitration Should Rarely Be Enforced,” July 27, 2017

Second Circuit Rules That FSIA Provides Sole Basis for Jurisdiction Over Foreign Sovereigns in Actions to Enforce ICSID Awards,” July 17, 2017

CFPB Issues Final Rule on Arbitration Agreements in Financial Products and Services Contracts,” July 13, 2017

U.S. Supreme Court Holds That State Courts Lack Specific Personal Jurisdiction to Entertain Non-Residents’ Claims for Injuries Not Connected to In-State Conduct,” June 20, 2017

U.S. Supreme Court Reaffirms That Corporate Defendants Are Subject to General Personal Jurisdiction Only Where They Are ‘At Home,’” May 30, 2017 (republished in the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation on June 14, 2017)

U.S. Supreme Court: Hague Service Convention Permits Service of Process by Mail,” May 23, 2017

Supreme Court Adopts Exacting Approach to Jurisdictional Inquiry Under FSIA’s Expropriation Exception,” May 2, 2017

“Respecting Awards Annulled at the Seat of Arbitration: The Road from Chromalloy to TermoRio,” Handbook on International Arbitration and ADR, Third Edition (American Arbitration Association), 2017

“Alien Tort Statute and Torture Victims Protection Act,” Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts, Fourth Edition (Thomson Reuters and the American Bar Association Section of Litigation), February 23, 2017

Singapore International Arbitration Centre Launches Investment Arbitration Rules, January 30, 2017

The Year in Review: An Annual Survey of International Legal Developments, Chapter on International Litigation, ABA/Section of International Law, Vol. 51, 2017

CFPB Issues Rulemaking on Arbitration Agreements in Financial Products and Services Contracts,” May 16, 2016

March 3, 2014 : “U.S. Supreme Court Sharply Limits General Jurisdiction Over Corporate Defendants,” Corporation (Aspen)

2014: “Provisional Measures in Cross-Border Cases,” International Litigation Strategies and Practice, Second Edition

August 19, 2013: “Class Action Arbitration Opinions Focus on Party Autonomy,” New York Law Journal

June 11, 2012: “Tackling Class Action Waivers in Arbitration Clauses,” New York Law Journal

2011: “Evidence in International Arbitration: Practical and Tactical Considerations,” Quaderni dell’Arbitrato 1

2010: “The Evolution of Modern Sovereign Debt Litigation: Vultures, Alter Egos, and Other Legal Fauna,” Law and Contemporary Problems, Volume 73, Number 4

“Provisional Remedies in Cross-Border Cases,”ABA International Litigation Manual, 2005

“Standby Letters of Credit after Iran: Remedies of the Account Party” (co-author: George Weisz) U. Ill. L. Rev. 355, 1982


Events