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Judge Asked to Affirm |$31M Arbitration Award

(CN) - A firm that provided security to a military contractor delivering food to U.S. troops in Afghanistan is asking a federal judge to affirm a $31 million award for non-payment for its services.

In a petition filed Oct. 25 in the federal court in Richmond, Virginia, plaintiff CRM Limited, also known as Compass, says it began its relationship with Supreme Risk Management FZE in 2004, and signed its last contract with the firm in 2009.

Supreme Risk Management, also identified as "Supreme Group" in court documents, food, water, food-service supplies and fuel to the NATO International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

As described in the complaint, in 2010, certain members of Supreme Group "began to raise purported concerns about Compass's provision of security for convoys in Afghanistan."

At the time, the law and legal framework that had been in place in Afghanistan was changing dramatically. Supreme Group proposed changing its contract with Compass, and as those talks continued, it began to question Compass's invoices.

While the dispute raged, Supreme Group refused to make any further payments to its security contractor. Then, in February 2012, it unilaterally terminated the contract. Compass contested that decision and specifically, whether the way the contract was terminated was allowed under the existing contract between the parties.

Supreme Group then pursued an arbitration action against Compass in the United Arab Emirates, during which it claimed Compass failed to provide all the security services promised under contract.

Compass filed a series of counterclaims.

The sole arbitrator, Dr. Hamid Gharavi, issued a final award dismissing the Supreme Group's claims and awarding Compass $31 million for outstanding unpaid invoices.

Since then, Supreme Group has balked at paying the amount due.

Compass is asking the court to affirm the award and order Supreme Group to pay.

It is represented by Sterling Marchand of Baker Botts LLP in Washington, D.C.

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