On January 3, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a decision in Adhikari v. Kellogg Brown & Root, Inc., No. 1520225 (5th Cir. Jan. 3, 2017) relevant to US government contractors and subcontractors performing contracts overseas. In the decision, the court held that claims asserted against a US defense contractor for injuries incurred in Iraq were not cognizable under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS). In foreclosing plaintiffs’ claims, the Fifth Circuit held that the presumption against extraterritorial application of a statute bars claims under the ATS for injuries occurring outside the US. This decision creates a clear circuit split with the Fourth Circuit, increasing the possibility that the Supreme Court will weigh in on the issue. Clarification from the Supreme Court will enable US government contractors and subcontractors overseas to better evaluate their risks of exposure to claims under the ATS. For more information, please see our advisory.