The LCIA has recently released its Casework Report for 2017. This report provides an overview of and insights into the LCIA’s caseload. It includes detailed statistics concerning aspects of the caseload with a breakdown by sector, contract type, and time elapsed since the underlying agreement was reached. The Report also looks at arbitrator appointments and the frequency of use of different procedures under the LCIA’s Arbitration Rules (the “Rules”).The statistics show that the institution has had another strong year. Despite a small decrease in referrals from 2016, the overall picture is one of long term growth and a strong international profile. It is also important to note that the LCIA continues to make steady progress its efforts to improve the diversity of arbitrators. The number of female and non-British arbitrators has increased from 2016, albeit at a gradual rate.


  • In 2017 the LCIA received 285 arbitration referrals, a decrease of 6% from 2016. This marks the second year of declining referrals, from a peak of 326 in 2015.
  • Disputes continue to be dominated by the banking and finance sector (24%) and the energy and resources sector (24%). Arbitrations in the professional services sector doubled from five to ten percent.
  • The LCIA continues to showcase its international strength, with over 80% of parties located outside the United Kingdom. There has been a considerable increase in the number of North American parties since 2016 (from six to 11 percent), contrasting with a decline in Asian parties (decreasing from 15 to nine percent).
  • The majority of referrals concerned agreements concluded in the past seven years, with the most frequent time for a referral being in the three years after the contract date.

Diversity of arbitrators

  • Of the 412 arbitrators appointed in 2017, 24% were female, a modest increase of 3% from 2016. Continuing a trend seen in other institutions, the LCIA Court has demonstrated a far stronger track record than either the parties or co-arbitrators in making female appointments. Whereas the parties and co-arbitrators appointed female arbitrators 17% of the time, the LCIA Court did so at twice that rate (34%).
  • The LCIA Court selected non-British arbitrators in 52% of their 2017 appointments, with the parties and co-arbitrators doing so in 26% and 20% of all appointments respectively. Despite the LCIA Court’s efforts, 62% of arbitrators appointed in 2017 were from the UK, distantly followed by 5% from the United States. This represents a modest increase in diversity from 2016, when 65% of appointed arbitrators were British.
  • The preference for three-member tribunals continues. In 2017, 60% of appointments were to three-member tribunals, closely matching the 2016 figure (62%).

Challenges to arbitrators

  • In February 2018 the LCIA took the decision to publish digests of challenge decisions from 2010 to 2017, in a move described by the institution as illustrating the effectiveness of their challenge procedures.
  • Of the 6 challenges made in 2017, 3 were rejected, one led to the arbitrator resigning, and 2 still have pending decisions. This is broadly in line with 2016, when four challenges were rejected and one was partially upheld.

Interim Relief

  • In previous years the LCIA has not released data on interim relief applications. The publication of this data will be of particular interest to practitioners and parties who are considering whether or not to pursue such an application.
  • 68 applications for interim and conservatory measures were made in 2017, of which 17 were granted and 30 rejected (others were superseded or are still pending).

The most common interim application was for security for costs, with a 32% success rate.



For further information, contact Chris Parker, Partner, Hannah Ambrose, Professional Support Consultant, Vanessa Naish, Professional Support Consultant, or your usual Herbert Smith Freehills contact.

Chris Parker
Chris Parker
+44 20 7466 2767
Hannah Ambrose
Hannah Ambrose
Professional Support Consultant
+44 20 7466 7585
Vanessa Naish
Vanessa Naish
Professional Support Consultant
+44 20 7466 2112