Arbitration is an important and specialized practice area governed in the United States by the Federal Arbitration Act and applicable state statutes when not preempted. Arbitration is now the leading method for resolving international commercial disputes. Arbitration law allows an individual or business enterprise to establish provisions by agreement for the resolution of disputes.

ZEK maintains a robust arbitration practice in all areas of commercial dispute, including banking law, insurance law, trade finance, employment, real estate, and securities law, both domestically and on behalf of international clientele. ZEK attorneys have participated in arbitration proceedings under the auspices of such arbitral bodies as the American Arbitration Association, FINRA, JAMS, ARIAS-US, CPR Dispute Resolution, London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), HKIAC - Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, as well as ad hoc arbitration proceedings under forms of agreement that provide for arbitration outside the auspices of an established organization. Our practice covers the entire waterfront from assisting clients in drafting and negotiating arbitration agreements; negotiating disputes to avoid arbitration; litigating to compel or stay arbitration; conducting arbitral discovery, including from third parties; obtaining judicial assistance in aid of arbitration; conducting arbitration hearings; and filing court proceedings to affirm, enforce, or overturn arbitration awards.

Many ZEK attorneys also serve as arbitrators or neutrals in arbitration proceedings and use that experience to help our clients find efficiency and success in their own arbitrations. Two of our attorneys, Yoav M. Griver and Daniel B. Garrie, are the editors of “Dispute Resolution and e-Discovery,” a seminal treatise on arbitration published by Thomson Reuters Westlaw. The treatise, written by practitioners for practitioners, takes the reader through the procedural differences underlying each major arbitral organization.

Examples of ZEK’s arbitration experience in specific practice areas include:

Banking Arbitration

From its inception in 1980, ZEK seminal practice has been to represent banks in connection with customer litigation. With the landmark Supreme Court cases Stolt-Nielsen S. A. v. Animal Feeds Int’l Corp., and AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, our banking clients have expanded their use of arbitration provisions in banking agreements, which has led to continuing growth in arbitration of disputes with banking customers. This in turn has become an ever-increasing part of our practice for these clients. More-and-more, disputes that formerly would have been brought in state or federal courts are now proceeding in arbitration. These include court proceedings to remove customer-initiated lawsuits to arbitration and defending customer-initiated arbitrations. ZEK lawyers ended an attempted consumer class action against a bank by successfully moving to compel arbitration on an individual, rather than a class-wide, basis.

Insurance Arbitration

ZEK attorneys have conducted more than fifty arbitrations on behalf of insurer clients involving disputes with substantial business accounts, including issues of loss-sensitive reimbursement, audit premium, security for deductible and captive accounts, reinsurance, and coverage.

Securities Arbitration

As to financial service industry disputes, ZEK has represented broker-dealers, clearing firms and individual financial representatives and advisors before arbitrators under the auspices of FINRA and other facilities to resolve complaints involving a wide spectrum of complaints, including alleged regulatory violations, employment practices, including compensation, terminations and severance, and sales practice allegations such as fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, unauthorized trading, unsuitable investments, churning, mutual fund breakpoint violations, annuity exchanges, and failure to supervise, as well as the enforcement of restrictive covenants.

Employment Arbitration

Employers are increasingly inserting arbitration clauses in partnership and employment contracts to lower the costs of disputes and ensure the proceedings are confidential. ZEK represents both employers and employees in these matters, which often raise such issues such as discrimination, harassment, fraud, theft of trade secrets, and pretextual termination.

Bankruptcy Arbitration

After the Supreme Court held in Shearson/American Express v. McMahon that despite an exclusive jurisdiction statute for securities law violations, contract parties could nonetheless be required to arbitrate under the Federal Arbitration Act, ZEK attorneys undertook to expand that principle, seeking to compel arbitration in Bankruptcy Courts, despite an “exclusive jurisdiction” provision in the Bankruptcy Code. Since then, we have had a regular practice of seeking arbitration of contract law disputes arising in bankruptcy proceedings where the debtor was subject to a pre-petition arbitration agreement.