It is not rare that Respondents decide not to participate in arbitration proceedings and that, thus, arbitral tribunals render so-called "default awards". For Claimants, enforcing such "default awards" is not always straight-forward.
Claimants have to make sure that the arbitration is conducted in a way that satisfies all the requirements of the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards ("NYC"), and in particular the one of due process, but also that the law or the courts of the enforcing country do not reserve negative surprises.
This article gives a general overview of how national enforcing courts deal with "default awards", and provides some practical advice to Claimants seeking to enforce such awards.
Although a Claimant is in a rather favourable position when enforcing a "default award", in particular because the burden of proof regarding the violation of due process normally rests on Respondent and because national courts generally interpret the due process requirements quite narrowly, surprises are not excluded.
This is why Claimants should consider taking all the precautions they can, both prior, during and after the arbitration proceedings, in order to anticipate and/or effectively deal with potential or actual problems that may render useless all the efforts made to obtain a favourable award in the first place.ASA Bulletin