LCIA (The London Court Of International Arbitration) Introduces New Arbitration Rules

Author:Mr Jonathan Haydn-Williams
Profession:Goodman Derrick LLP

The LCIA's new arbitration rules ("Rules") were introduced on 1 October 2014. They apply to all LCIA arbitrations commenced on or after that date, even if the arbitration agreement (usually found in a clause in a contract) was entered into before that date.

In line with the English tradition of saying one thing and meaning another, The London Court of International Arbitration is not a court. Rather, it is one of several entities, across the world, which administer international arbitrations and, for that purpose, publish arbitration rules which contracting parties may adopt as an alternative to any disputes between them being dealt with by a court with which the contract is connected.

Although LCIA arbitration can be used in disputes within England and Wales, it is aimed at disputes in which the parties come from different countries. The word "international" does not mean that it is limited to disputes between governments or states.

A short introduction to arbitration and a table setting out the respective pros and cons of arbitration and litigation can be found by clicking here.

The Rules are published in a slim booklet of 47 pages. That compares with the English courts' Civil Procedure Rules which run to 3,173 close typed pages. The Rules can also be accessed on the LCIA website

Annexed to the Rules are Recommended Arbitration Clauses, one for inclusion in contracts to cover future disputes and one to be used where there is an existing dispute which the parties wish to refer to LCIA arbitration, rather than commencing court proceedings.

The Rules set out the procedure to be adopted from start to finish, including how to commence an LCIA arbitration, appointment of arbitrator(s) (who are referred to as the "Arbitral Tribunal"), exchange of written submissions, powers of arbitrator(s), presentation of evidence, hearings and the decision ("award") of the Arbitral Tribunal.

New features of the Rules include:

The Rules attempt to crack down on arbitrators who are guilty of delay, which has become a problem. Arbitrators now have to certify in advance that they have enough time to devote to the case and are liable to be side-lined or removed if guilty of delay. There are provisions for Expedited Formation of an Arbitral Tribunal (in the event of "exceptional urgency") and appointment of an Emergency Arbitrator (in case of "emergency" prior to the formation of...

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