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Leidos, Inc. v. Hellenic Republic

United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit

February 2, 2018

Leidos, Inc., formerly known as Science Applications International Corporation, Appellee
v.
Hellenic Republic, Appellant

          Argued December 6, 2017

         Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (No. 1:13-cv-01070)

          Neal Goldfarb argued the cause and filed briefs for the appellant. Max F. Maccoby entered an appearance.

          William T. O'Brien argued the cause and filed the brief for the appellee. Allen B. Green and Ivan W. Bilaniuk were with him on brief.

          Before: Henderson, Tatel and Kavanaugh, Circuit Judges.

          OPINION

          Karen LeCraft Henderson, Circuit Judge

         This case is a testament to the rise of the dollar-and the precipitous decline of the euro-over the last four years. In July 2013, Leidos, Inc. (Leidos)[1] won an arbitration award against the Hellenic Republic [2] resulting from security work it performed in connection with the 2004 Summer Olympic Games held in Athens, Greece. The award consisted of 39, 818, 298 in damages and $162, 500 in costs. Upon receiving the award, Leidos promptly petitioned the United States District Court for the District of Columbia to confirm and enforce it. After approximately three years of intermittent stays, status updates, motions and parallel litigation in Greek courts, the district court confirmed the arbitration award and entered judgment-in euros-in favor of Leidos.

         Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e), Leidos then moved to convert the award into U.S. dollars based on the exchange rate ($1.3017 to 1) on July 2, 2013, the date of the original arbitral award. The district court granted the motion. Because the exchange rate had dropped 19.1 per cent from the award date to the judgment date ($1.0533 to 1 on January 6, 2017), the total dollar value of the conversion increased the value of the arbitral award by approximately $11.9 million. The Hellenic Republic appealed. For the following reasons, we conclude that the district court mistakenly granted Leidos's motion and we reverse.

         I.

         In May 2003, the Hellenic Republic contracted with Leidos to provide a public-safety infrastructure system for the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics. The contract was written in Greek and provided for payment in euros. After a series of disputes regarding the Hellenic Republic's acceptance of the infrastructure system, the parties agreed to a contract modification (Modification No. 5) that included certain dispute-resolution provisions, specifically:

Any claim or dispute arising from or related to the current Contract or its interpretation is to be finally resolved by Arbitration according to the Rules of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and shall be tried under Greek Law. Arbitration shall take place in Athens, Greece, by three Greek Arbitrators.

         Joint Appendix (JA) 101. Modification No. 5 further provided that Greek was the language of the arbitration and that the result of the arbitration was final and binding on both parties. Id.

         The parties' contractual disagreements continued after Modification No. 5 and, on June 16, 2009, Leidos filed a Request for Arbitration. The arbitral tribunal heard the case over eight days in May 2012. On July 2, 2013, the tribunal issued its final award, which ordered the Hellenic Republic to pay Leidos: (1) 39, 818, 298 in damages; (2) $162, 500 in arbitration costs; and (3) simple interest of 6 per cent beginning July 11, 2013, the date the award was served on the Hellenic Republic. JA 19.

         On July 12, 2013, Leidos filed a Petition to Confirm Arbitration and to Enter Judgment in the district court for the District of Columbia. On September 5, 2013, the Hellenic

         Republic filed a parallel suit in the Athens Court of Appeals seeking to set aside the arbitration award. The Hellenic Republic subsequently answered Leidos's complaint in district court, alleging six affirmative defenses under the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. §§ 201 et seq. On March 28, 2014, the district court granted the parties' joint motion to stay proceedings pending the resolution of the Greek litigation. Several months later, Leidos submitted in district court two proposed orders seeking to confirm the award: one on September 8, 2014 and the other on ...


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