from the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Georgia D.C. Docket No. 1:15-cv-04460-ELR
MARTIN, JILL PRYOR, and MELLOY, [*] Circuit Judges.
MELLOY, Circuit Judge
international arbitration dispute, we consider whether courts
must defer to an arbitrator's interpretation of a venue
provision in a concededly valid agreement to arbitrate. We
conclude that questions of arbitral venue, even those arising
in international arbitration, are presumptively for the
arbitrator to decide. Accordingly, because the arbitrator in
the present case arguably interpreted the arbitral-venue
provision at issue, we defer to that interpretation. See
Oxford Health Plans LLC v. Sutter, 133 S.Ct. 2064, 2068
(2013). We therefore affirm the district court's
confirmation of the arbitral award.
Bamberger Rosenheim, Ltd. ("Profimex"),
 an Israeli company, raises capital for
real estate investments. Appellee OA Development, Inc.
("OAD"), an American company incorporated in the
state of Georgia, develops real estate. In 2008, Profimex and
OAD entered into a Solicitation Agreement. The Solicitation
Agreement provided for the arbitration of disputes as
Any disputes with respect to this Agreement or the
performance of the parties hereunder shall be submitted to
binding arbitration proceedings conducted in accordance with
the rules of the International Chamber of Commerce. Any such
proceedings shall take place in Tel Aviv, Israel, in the
event the dispute is submitted by OAD, and in Atlanta,
Georgia, in the event the dispute is submitted by Profimex.
relations between the parties deteriorated, Profimex
commenced arbitration in Atlanta against OAD for breach of
contract. In the same Atlanta arbitration, OAD submitted a
counterclaim alleging that Profimex had defamed OAD in
statements to Israeli investors. Profimex objected to the
counterclaim's arbitration in Atlanta, arguing "that
a 'dispute submitted by OAD' [must] be arbitrated in
Tel Aviv, Israel." The arbitrator, however, determined
that venue for the defamation counterclaim was proper in
Atlanta, in part, because the "dispute" was
submitted by Profimex. The arbitrator ultimately found
Profimex liable on OAD's defamation counterclaim.
filed a petition to vacate the arbitrator's defamation
award in federal district court, and OAD filed a petition to
confirm the award. Profimex raised several grounds for
vacatur and defenses against confirmation. The district
court, nevertheless, confirmed the award.
review confirmations of arbitration awards and denials of
motions to vacate arbitration awards under the same standard,
reviewing the district court's findings of fact for clear
error and its legal conclusions de novo."
Frazier v. CitiFinancial Corp., LLC, 604 F.3d 1313,
1321 (11th Cir. 2010). "Because arbitration is an
alternative to litigation, judicial review of arbitration
decisions is 'among the narrowest known to the
law.'" AIG Baker Sterling Heights, LLC v.
Am. Multi-Cinema, Inc., 508 F.3d 995, 1001 (11th
Cir. 2007) (quoting Del Casal v. E. Airlines, Inc.,
634 F.2d 295, 298 (5th Cir. Unit B Jan. 1981)). This
"limited judicial review . . . 'maintain[s]
arbitration's essential virtue of resolving disputes
straightaway.'" Oxford Health Plans, 133
S.Ct. at 2068 (alteration in original) (quoting Hall St.
Assocs., LLC v. Mattel, Inc., 552 U.S. 576, 588 (2008)).
"If parties could take 'full-bore legal and
evidentiary appeals, ' arbitration would become
'merely a prelude to a more cumbersome and time-consuming
judicial review process.'" Id. (quoting
Hall St. Assocs., 552 U.S. at 588).
appeal, Profimex argues that the district court erred in
confirming the arbitral award under the New York Convention.
See Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of
Foreign Arbitral Awards, opened for signature June
10, 1958, 21 U.S.T. 2517, 330 U.N.T.S. 3 (entered into force
with respect to the United States Dec. 29, 1970) ("New
York Convention"). The New York Convention is codified
under Chapter 2 of the Federal Arbitration Act
("FAA"), 9 U.S.C. §§ 201-08, and applies
to "non-domestic" arbitral agreements and awards.
Indus. Risk Insurers v. M.A.N. Gutehoffnungshütte
GmbH, 141 F.3d 1434, 1441 (11th Cir. 1998). Arbitral
awards are non-domestic "when one of the parties to the
arbitration is domiciled or has its principal place of
business outside of the United States." Id.
Such awards "must be confirmed unless
appellants can successfully assert one of the seven defenses
against enforcement of the award enumerated in Article V of
the New York Convention." Id. (emphasis added).
Here, Profimex asserts that "the arbitral procedure was
not in accordance with the agreement of the parties."
New York Convention, Art. V(1)(d).
also contends the district court erred in denying its
petition to vacate the award under Chapter 1 of the FAA, 9
U.S.C. §§ 1-16, which governs domestic arbitration.
Indus. Risk Insurers, 141 F.3d at 1440. Under 9
U.S.C. § 10, a court "may make an order vacating
the award" provided the petitioner establishes one of
several grounds for vacatur. In the present case, Profimex
argues that "the arbitrator[ ] exceeded [his]
powers." 9 U.S.C. § 10(a)(4).
no reason to analyze Profimex's arguments under the New
York Convention or § 10(a)(4) separately. In both
arguments, Profimex asserts the arbitrator improperly applied
the arbitral-venue provision in the parties' agreement to
arbitrate. According to Profimex, the venue provision
required arbitration of the defamation counterclaim in Tel
Aviv, Israel. By arbitrating the counterclaim in Atlanta,
Profimex argues, "the arbitral procedure was not in
accordance with the agreement of the ...