The London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) has released a “final draft” of its new arbitration rules to the arbitration community in advance of the Tylney Hall Symposium to be held by the LCIA on 9 May 2014. The draft is available here.

In their current form, the draft rules contain some expected modernisations to improve the handling of complex disputes, such as limited provision for consolidation. In line with other arbitral institutions, the drafting committee has sought to promote procedural efficiency. Of particular note is the requirement that an arbitrator expressly states before appointment that he or she is “ready, willing and able to devote time, diligence and industry to ensure the expeditious conduct of the arbitration” and that the tribunal set a timetable for the production of a final award.  Again, following the trend of the most recent revisions of arbitral rules, the  current draft indicates that the LCIA is considering introducing an emergency arbitrator provision.

The most talked about aspect of the current draft will be the introduction of a new Annex of general conduct guidelines which would apply to all legal representatives appearing by name before a tribunal under the LCIA rules. The guidelines themselves are relatively short and limited in scale compared to the IBA Guidelines on Party Representation, but the current draft proposes to allow a Tribunal to sanction legal representatives for their conduct where they fail to comply with them.

How soon the draft will be finalised will depend on its reception and the speed with which the LCIA Court can then move to adopt (or revise) the draft.