2014 LCIA International Arbitration Rules Now Apply: Procedural Efficiency, Emergency Arbitrators and Complex Arbitrations

October 01, 2014

The London Court of International Arbitration (“LCIA”) is firmly established as one of the world’s truly international arbitral institutions - in 2013 over 80% of the parties to LCIA arbitrations were non-UK - and London is increasingly recognised as one of the world’s leading seats for international arbitration. A further evolution of the LCIA’s arbitration rules has now been adopted, and from 1 October 2014 the LCIA’s revised Arbitration Rules (“2014 LCIA Rules”) come into force and will apply to any arbitration commenced under the auspices of the LCIA on or after this date. The 2014 LCIA Rules replace the current LCIA Arbitration Rules, in force since 1 January 1998.

The key driver behind the revisions found in the 2014 LCIA Rules has been to make the LCIA arbitration process more efficient and less expensive for its users, while also enabling arbitral tribunals to deal with increasingly complex multi-party disputes. With these goals in mind, the 2014 LCIA Rules include a number of innovative features, with key amendments including (i) improvements to the speed and efficiency of LCIA arbitration proceedings (including shortened timeframes and sanctions for counsel misconduct); (ii) a new “emergency arbitrator” mechanism; and (iii) powers to enable arbitral tribunals to manage complex arbitrations (including a new power to consolidate arbitrations).

Revisions aside, parties including an LCIA arbitration clause in their commercial contract (or providing for international arbitration under other institutional rules or ad hoc arbitration) still need to carefully consider and take advice on the terms of the arbitration agreement they intend to use.

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