The LCIA has issued three guidance notes on arbitrations under its rules. The notes, which are available on the LCIA website, contain guidance for arbitrators, guidance for parties and their representatives, and guidance on emergency procedures, respectively.

The guidance notes will be particularly useful for those with little or no experience of arbitrating under the LCIA Rules, and/or the emergency procedures provided for under those rules (namely expedited formation of the Tribunal and the emergency arbitrator procedure introduced in the 2014 version of the Rules).

The Notes for Arbitrators cover issues including independence, impartiality and availability of arbitrators, the conduct of the proceedings, and the costs of the arbitration.  Of particular interest to users of the arbitral process may be the section focussing on the need for Tribunals to render their awards promptly after the close of proceedings, and to keep the parties informed of the likely timing of any award (as acknowledged in the notes, delays to awards are often a cause for complaint).

The Notes for Parties cover the procedural steps that parties will need to follow in commencing and conducting an arbitration under the LCIA Rules, as well as related topics such as legal representation.  The Notes also provide guidance on the LCIA’s approach to arbitration clauses that do not clearly provide for LCIA arbitration, such as ‘arbitration in London’ (which is usually interpreted as providing for ad hoc arbitration in accordance with the English Arbitration Act 1996) and the rules of the ‘London Chamber of Commerce’ (which is deemed to be a reference to the LCIA Rules).

The Notes on Emergency Procedures detail the procedure where a party applies for expedited formation of the Tribunal and/or the appointment of an emergency arbitrator, including the steps that the LCIA Secretariat will take, such as how an emergency arbitrator will be chosen.  It also includes case studies of applications brought under the 1998 LCIA Rules for expedited formation of the Tribunal.  As the LCIA emergency arbitrator procedure has not yet been tested, there are no case studies in that context, although the notes state that once a number of applications have been received, the Secretariat will be able to provide guidance about how the standard for invoking that procedure has been applied in practice.