Firm secures major win for Tetronics (International) Limited before International Chamber of Commerce Court of Arbitration

A team from the Royal Oak-based Howard & Howard law firm secured a significant win for its client, Tetronics (International) Limited, in an arbitration proceeding before the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Court of Arbitration.

The award comes after more than two years of litigation involving a contractual dispute between the UK-based Tetronics, and Arkansas-based company BlueOak Arkansas LLC, and its affiliated company, BlueOak Resources Inc. The dispute pertains to the design, installation and manufacture by Tetronics of a first of its kind plasma arc furnace designed to extract precious metals such as gold, silver, copper and palladium from e-waste (discarded electrical or electronic devices).

The ICC’s International Court of Arbitration rendered its decision on April 20, 2020, awarding Tetronics in excess of $8 million USD on its claims against BlueOak Arkansas and BlueOak Resources, and rejecting in full BlueOak Arkansas’ $13.65 million of claims against Tetronics.

“The case had a complicated procedural history,” said attorney Michael Sheehan, first chair for the Howard & Howard litigation team that also included second chair Michelle Wezner, Mary Dirkes, and Ariane Janz. The litigation began with injunction proceedings before the UK High Court of Justice (Technology and Construction Court) regarding payment to BlueOak on a performance bond related to the plasma arc furnace project. Shortly afterward, Howard & Howard, on Tetronics’ behalf, filed Emergency Arbitration proceedings with the ICC and then filed the main ICC arbitration action. These ICC arbitration proceedings culminated in a hearing conducted in Paris, France.

“Our success in this arbitration is due to the talented and committed team who became experts on Tetronics’ complex plasma arc furnace technology and its related metallurgical processes,” said Howard & Howard corporate attorney John Logan, who coordinated the firm’s litigation team.

“Their command of the technology was instrumental in quickly identifying and exposing BlueOak’s unfounded arguments throughout the proceedings, and most importantly during the hearing itself.” Logan also added, “The stalwart leadership and exceptional trial advocacy skills of first chair Michael Sheehan were pivotal in achieving this successful result for Tetronics.”


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