The LCIA has recently released its Facts and Figures for 2016. This report (Facts and Figures – 2016 A Robust Caseload.pdf), which is produced annually, provides an overview of and insights into the LCIA's caseload. It includes detailed statistics concerning aspects of the caseload ranging from the industry sectors concerned, to arbitrator appointments, and the frequency of use of different procedures under the LCIA's Arbitration Rules (the "Rules").The statistics demonstrate that the LCIA caseload continues to grow, attracting disputes from across a number of industry sectors and involving parties from across the world.
Some of the main points from this year's report are set out below.
- A total of 303 arbitrations were referred to the LCIA in 2016. 643 disputes were referred during the most recent biennial monitoring period of 2015/2016, which represents an increase of just over 1.4% compared to the 24 month period of 2014/2015.
- The percentage of new cases in 2016 involving banking and finance disputes was notably high at 20.55%, making it the second most prevalent industry sector. The predominant industry sector for LCIA arbitrations in 2016 by a small margin was energy and resources, which represented 22.53% of disputes. Construction and infrastructure disputes accounted for 16.2% of the new cases, and shipping and commodities represented 15.42%.
- The UK, African countries, other Western European countries and the British Virgin Islands represented the most common nationalities of parties, at 16.2%, 7.9%, 7.7%, and 6% respectively, demonstrating the increasing global diversity of parties to LCIA arbitrations. Russian Federation nationals or entities comprised only 5% of parties compared to 10.3% in 2015, which may be a result of the perception that sanctions and related issues have a practical impact on the resolution of Russia-related disputes by European arbitral institutions. This perception led to a collaborative statement on this issue by the LCIA, SCC and ICC in June 2015 (The potential impact of the EU sanctions against Russia on international arbitration administered by EU-based institutions.pdf).
- 496 arbitrator appointments were made, of 276 different arbitrators. 196 of the appointments were candidates selected by the LCIA Court, with 219 being selected by the parties and the remaining 80 being chosen by the party-nominated arbitrators.
- Arbitrator appointments in 2016 reflect a preference for three member tribunals (62%) as compared to sole arbitrators (37%). This was in contrast to 2015 during which 48% of appointments were to three member tribunals and 57% were of sole arbitrators. Rather than demonstrating a trend towards three member tribunals, this change in balance is consistent with fluctuating preferences for three member tribunals and sole arbitrators shown by the data over the past six years.
- There has been an increase in the number of female candidates selected by the LCIA Court (40.6% compared to 28.2% in 2015). Gender diversity on tribunals has been a significant focus over the past few years, with the LCIA being one of the institutions to have signed the Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge in May 2016. However, the statistics show a considerable decrease in the number of female candidates being nominated by the parties (4.1%, compared to 6.9% in 2015). The report makes clear that, going forward; a further increase will not be sustainable without additional input from nominating parties.
- As in 2015, only six arbitrator challenges were made. Only one of these was upheld (and then only partially), three were rejected, one was withdrawn and one was superseded by the parties' agreement to replace the arbitrator. These statistics suggest that the LCIA Court takes a robust approach to the requirements of Article 10.1 of the Rules.
- 14 applications for joinder of a third party were made, nine of which were granted. 22 applications for consolidation were made, 11 of which were approved. The statistics demonstrate that parties are taking advantage of the provisions on consolidation which were introduced in the revision of the LCIA Rules in 2014.
- There were a reduced number of applications for expedited appointment of a tribunal under Article 9A of the Rules – only 15 applications were made, of which only two were granted. This may be because the LCIA's appointment mechanism already ensures a speedy appointment of the tribunal. By comparison, 30 applications for expedited appointment were made in 2015, of which 12 were granted. In 2016, the first application under Article 9B of the Rules for the appointment of an emergency arbitrator was made, and was rejected.