Earlier this month the LCIA released its Registrar's Report for 2015. The report, which is produced annually, gives an overview of the LCIA's casework for the year, providing detailed statistics regarding various facets of the LCIA's caseload, including the nature and subject matter of the contracts out of which its cases arise, and key figures about arbitrator appointments and the frequency of use of different procedures under the LCIA's arbitration rules.
Some of the highlights from this year's report are noted below.
- A total of 326 arbitrations were started, representing a 10% increase on 2014.
- The UK, Russian Federation and the British Virgin Islands represented the 3 most common nationalities of parties, at 15.6%, 10.3% and 6.4%, respectively. In 2014, Russian Federation nationals or entities comprised 4.4% of parties, so both the proportion and absolute number of Russian Federation parties increased in 2015. This is in contrast to some predictions that sanctions and related issues could cause Russian parties' use of LCIA arbitration to wane.
- 449 arbitrator appointments were made, of 227 different arbitrators.
- 109 arbitrations involved 3-member tribunals and 117 arbitrations involved sole arbitrators, reflecting a marginal preference for sole arbitrators. This is in contrast to 2014 where 3-member tribunals were appointed 62% of the time. This shift could be due to a number of factors: the LCIA default position under the Rules is for a sole arbitrator unless the parties have agreed otherwise or the circumstances suggest that a 3-member tribunal is appropriate. However, it might also suggest that parties are keen to reduce the cost of resolving their dispute and will appoint a sole arbitrator where they can.
- 6 arbitrator challenges were made, of which 1 was upheld, 3 were rejected and 2 were superseded by the arbitrator's resignation. This demonstrates that frivolous challenges are relatively rare and that the LCIA sets a high hurdle when considering a challenge.
- Compared to 2014, there has been an increase in the number of female candidates put forward by the parties (6.9%, compared to 4.4% in 2014) or selected by the LCIA Court (28.2%, compared to 19.8% in 2014). This in line with the LCIA's drive to increase gender diversity amongst arbitrators. It may also suggest that parties and counsel are also recognising the need for increased gender diversity.
- 30 expedited applications were made under Article 9, but there were no Article 9B emergency arbitrator applications made. There still has not been an application made under Article 9B (an option introduced in the 2014 Rules).
- All 7 applications for joinder of a third party were granted. Of the 16 applications for consolidation which were decided, 13 were approved by the relevant tribunal, 1 was rejected by the LCIA Court and left for later decision by the tribunal, and 2 were denied. It would seem therefore that these provisions aimed at decreasing parallel proceedings are being effectively used by parties, the LCIA Court and arbitral tribunals.
The full 5-page report can be accessed from the LCIA's website here