Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act

28 U.S. Code Chapter 97 – Jurisdictional Immunities of Foreign States

 Litigation against foreign sovereigns may be brought in the US and frequently involve petitions to enforce arbitral awards based upon international treaties.  US law provides that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) is the only basis for obtaining jurisdiction over foreign sovereigns in US courts.  FSIA provides numerous grounds for challenging actions brought in the US against foreign sovereigns, including based upon lack of jurisdiction. It is also critical to determine if plaintiff’s claims against a foreign sovereign do not fall  within FSIA’s (1) commercial activity exception, (2) non-commercial torts exception, (3) expropriation exception, (4) waiver exception, and (5) terrorism exception.  Marks & Sokolov has represented foreign governments in defending billion dollar plus claims and provided counsel on risk mitigation.