The globalization of commercial transactions increasingly exposes parties to injuries directly or indirectly caused by non-U.S. governments or by their agencies. Non-U.S. governmental entities may also be involved in a dispute because they own a commercial enterprise in whole or part. Whenever there is some governmental involvement in the underlying dispute, careful consideration should be given to suing the government or the relevant agency or entity, either alone or as an additional party.
For ease, we use the term “foreign state” to refer to the government itself, government agencies, and enterprises owned in whole or part by a non-U.S. government.
Suits against foreign states raise a host of unique issues under the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act (“FSIA”), 28 U.S.C. § 1330, et seq. as well as under the “Act of State Doctrine.”