Your client, an Italian company, seeks your advice concerning a final arbitral award that was recently published against them

Your client, an Italian company, seeks your advice concerning a final arbitral award that was recently published against them following a lengthy arbitration in a dispute with a Saudi company.

They supply you with the following details:

The arbitration was held under the SCCA (Saudi Centre for Commercial Arbitration) Rules, and the hearing was held in Riyadh.

The arbitration agreement in the contract provided for the application of Italian law to the substance of the dispute, but no procedural law was selected in agreement; there was just a permissive clause in the agreement which said that hearings could be held in London if convenience dictated.

The tribunal comprised 3 arbitrators selected in accordance with the SCCA rules. Two are Saudi nationals, and one, appointed by your client, is Italian.

The final award awards monetary damages in favor of the Saudi company in accordance with Sharia principles.

The Saudi company is established only in Saudi Arabia and has no offices elsewhere.

Your client. the Italian company has headquarters in Milan and has regional offices in Frankfurt, Germany, and in Lyon, France.

Your client wishes to know:

a) What legal steps might the Saudi company be likely to take in order to enforce the award against your client?

b) What legal options and arguments are open to your client to resist having to pay out on the award?

Advise fully, supporting your answer with the appropriate authority.

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