Effective from 1 January 2016, the International Court of Arbitration at the International Chamber of Commerce (“ICC”) has introduced two new and innovative policies in response to user demands for greater efficiency and transparency in arbitration. The ICC shall:
- publish the names and nationalities of arbitrators; and
- reduce arbitrators’ fees for unjustifiable delay in submitting draft awards, with corresponding power to increase arbitrators’ fees for efficient case management.
Publication of arbitrators’ details
The names of arbitrators sitting in all ICC cases registered from 1 January 2016 will be published on the ICC’s website, together with their nationality and whether they were appointed by the court or the parties. The tribunal chair will also be identified. This information will be published once the tribunal is constituted and will remain on the website after the case has ended.
This new policy is not without the flexibility and privacy inherent in arbitration: the parties may opt against disclosure of this information by mutual agreement, and the confidentiality of the arbitration shall be preserved by not publishing the names of the parties and counsel.
The new policy is designed to help promote diversity in the appointment of arbitrators and assist parties in assessing whether a particular arbitrator is suitable for their dispute.
Power to reduce or increase arbitrators’ fees
Arbitral tribunals will now have three months to submit draft awards for scrutiny from the later of the last substantive hearing or the filing of the last written submission. In the case of a sole arbitrator, this time limit is reduced to two months. These timeframes apply only to draft awards, meaning that the parties will not necessarily receive the final award within this two/three-month timeframe (as applicable).
In order to incentivise arbitrators and encourage speedier delivery of awards, the court now has discretion to reduce the arbitrators’ fees if a draft award is submitted later than the specified timeframe, unless satisfied that the delay is justified by factors beyond the tribunal’s control or by exceptional circumstances. Conversely, the court will have the power to increase arbitrators’ fees where a tribunal has conducted the case expeditiously.
The ICC has not provided any guidance on the amount by which arbitrators’ fees may be increased. However, where fees are reduced, the amount of the reduction is specified and will increase incrementally depending on how late the draft award is submitted:
- up to 7 months = 5-10% fee reduction
- 7-10 months = 10-20% fee reduction
- 10 months+ = 20% fee reduction