Tag: Arbitration

CHANCERY COURT CONFIRMS LIMITED SCOPE OF AUTHORITY OF EXPERT-NOT-ARBITRATOR DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROVISIONS

Annette Becker and Caitlin Velasco

In Ray Beyond Corp. v. Trimaran Fund Management, L.L.C. and The Halifax Group, LLC, Memorandum Opinion, Civil Action No. 2018-0497-KSJM, the Court of Chancery denied a motion for judgment on the pleadings brought by Ray Beyond Corp. (“Buyer”) seeking to specifically enforce a dispute resolution provision referring an escrow dispute to an independent accounting firm as an “expert, not arbitrator” and the related counterclaims. The Court granted the motion for judgement on the pleadings brought by Buyer’s parent affiliate, The Halifax Group, LLC (“Halifax”) on Trimaran Fund Management, L.L.C.’s (“Seller”) third-party claim for tortious interference for refusing to execute a joint instruction to release escrow funds.

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Chancery Court Cites Inelegant Drafting When Allowing an Indemnification Claim to Proceed

By Whitney Smith and Dean Brazier

In EMSI Acquisition, Inc. v. Contrarian Funds, LLC, et al., C.A. No. 12648-VCS (Del. Ch. May 3, 2017) the Delaware Chancery Court denied a motion to dismiss brought by defendants who were sellers (“Sellers”) in the acquisition of EMSI Holding Company (“EMSI”) by an affiliate of private equity firm Beecken Petty O’Keefe & Company where “inelegant drafting” created an ambiguity that may make the Sellers liable for EMSI’s fraudulent representations and warranties.  To reach this conclusion, the Court considered whether the provisions of the Stock Purchase Agreement (“SPA”) permitted the plaintiff (“Buyer”) to seek indemnification beyond the cap on liability and, if so, whether the Sellers could be liable for the allegedly fraudulent representations and warranties from EMSI.  The Court concluded that the SPA contained conflicting provisions with interpretations that could reasonably support either party’s claims and the conflicts could not be resolved on a motion to dismiss.

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Chancery Court Compels Arbitration Based On Email Communications That Included All Essential Terms

By: Scott E. Waxman and Trevor M. Gates

In Gomes v. Karnell, No. 11814-VCMR (Del. Ch. Nov. 30, 2016), the Delaware Court of Chancery granted the defendants’ motion to compel arbitration and held that an email exchange between the parties’ attorneys formed a valid arbitration agreement.  The plaintiff, Mark Gomes (“Gomes”), an investment analyst with thousands of followers, alleged breaches of fiduciary duty, breaches of contract, waste, and aiding and abetting breaches of fiduciary duty.

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Chancery Court Reaffirms Arbitrability to be Decided by Arbitrator if Claims are Not Frivolous on their Face

By: Scott E. Waxman and Douglas Logan

In Angus v. Ajio, the Delaware Court of Chancery denied Bruce Angus’ preliminary injunction to block arbitration initiated by Members of MoGo Sport, LLC (“MoGo”), a Delaware sports equipment and injury prevention company organized as a Delaware limited liability company. The court held that the arbitrability of the claims in the arbitration demand must be decided by the arbitrator and not the court if the party opposing arbitration cannot show the arbitration demand to be frivolous.

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