The Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration ("KLRCA") has officially changed its name to the Asian International Arbitration Centre ("AIAC"). The name change was formally announced on February 7, 2018, during a signing ceremony in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The ceremony followed an update to the Malaysian Arbitration Act in January 2018 reflecting the change of the Centre's name.
The rebranding is the latest move in a series of efforts by the newly minted AIAC to establish itself as a leading and independent dispute resolution service provider. In 2012, the Centre introduced a separate set of Islamic Arbitration Rules (also referred to as "i-Arbitration Rules") catering to contractual disputes governed by Sharia law. Last year, the Centre updated its Arbitration Rules, introducing new provisions on joinder of parties and updating provisions on consolidation of arbitral proceedings. The new joinder provisions allow arbitral tribunals (or, before constitution of the tribunal, the Director of the AIAC) to join third parties where all the parties agree or the parties are all prima facie parties to the same arbitration agreement. The Arbitration Rules vest authority to consolidate proceedings in the Director of the AIAC, who has broad discretion to order consolidation.
Later last year, the Centre also launched a suite of standard form construction contracts directed to construction projects in Malaysia. The new contracts were released in August 2017, preceding the Fédération Internationale Des Ingénieurs-Conseils' ("FIDIC") update of its own suite of standard construction contracts in December 2017. (For more information on the new FIDIC standard contracts, please see "FIDIC Updates its Rainbow Suite of Contracts").
According to the AIAC, its caseload has swelled from 22 cases in 2010 to 932 cases in 2017. The Centre's panel of arbitrators is composed of experienced lawyers from both common law and civil law jurisdictions.