London Court of International Arbitration

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Contents

General Information

  • Official name: London Court of International Arbitration
  • Country: United Kingdom
  • City: London
  • Type of organization: not-for-profit Company
  • Date of creation: 1981
  • Interests: Arbitration - Mediation
  • Fields of expertise: Commercial Disputes

Overview

International Credentials

The LCIA is one of the longest-established international institutions for commercial dispute resolution. It is also one of the most modern and forward-looking.

The LCIA is a thoroughly international institution, providing efficient, flexible and impartial administration of dispute resolution proceedings for all parties, regardless of their location, and under any system of law.

Its operation and outlook are geared to ensuring that the parties may have complete confidence in its international credentials and in its impartiality.

The Arbitration Court

The LCIA Court is the final authority for the proper application of the LCIA Rules. Its key functions are appointing tribunals, determining challenges to arbitrators, and controlling costs.

Although the LCIA Court meets regularly in plenary session, most of the functions to be performed by it under LCIA rules and procedures are performed, on its behalf, by the President, by a Vice President or by a Division of the Court.

The Court is made up of up to thirty five members, selected to provide and maintain a balance of leading practitioners in commercial arbitration, from the major trading areas of the world, and of whom no more than six may be of UK nationality.

Casework

Many major international businesses entrust their disputes to the LCIA. Many cases are technically and legally complex and sums in issue can run into US$ billions. Parties come from a very large number of jurisdictions, of both civil law and common law traditions.

The subject matter of contracts in dispute is wide and varied, and includes all aspects of international commerce, including telecommunications, insurance, oil and gas exploration, construction, shipping, aviation, pharmaceuticals, shareholders agreements, IT, finance and banking.


LCIA Dispute Resolution Services

The LCIA provides an extensive administration service, which is not confined to the conduct of arbitration and ADR under its own rules and procedures. It also acts as appointing authority and administrator in UNCITRAL-Rules cases and will act as fundholder for deposits filed on account of the costs in otherwise entirely ad hoc proceedings.

LCIA Arbitration

The LCIA arbitration rules are universally applicable. They offer a combination of the best features of the civil and common law systems.

The LCIA has a unique database of arbitrators with the widest range of professional qualifications and expertise (legal and non-legal), guaranteeing a tribunal of the highest calibre.

The database is not, however, a closed list and parties are free to nominate arbitrators who are not on the database. Similarly, the LCIA will look outside its own database when necessary.

In all cases, the LCIA Court alone may appoint arbitrators, whether or not the arbitrators are nominated by the parties, and in accordance with the following procedure (Steps 4 and 5 are omitted in the case of party-nomination): ↑ The LCIA Secretariat reviews the Request for Arbitration and accompanying contractual documents, and the Response (if any).

↑ A résumé of the case is prepared for the LCIA Court.

↑ Key criteria for the qualifications of the arbitrator(s) are established and recorded.

↑ The criteria are entered into the database, from which an initial list is drawn.

↑ If necessary, other institutions are consulted for further recommendations.

↑ The résumé, the relevant documentation, and the names and CVs of the potential arbitrators are forwarded to the LCIA Court.

↑ The LCIA Court advises which arbitrator(s) the Secretariat should contact to ascertain their availability and willingness to accept appointment.

↑ The Registrar sends those candidates an outline of the dispute.

↑ When the candidate(s) indicate their availability, confirm their independence and impartiality, and agree to fee rates within the LCIA's bands, the form of appointment is drafted.

↑ The LCIA Court formally appoints the tribunal and the parties are notified.

Charges

The LCIA's charges, and the fees charged by the tribunals it appoints, are not based on the sums in issue. The LCIA is of the view that a very substantial monetary claim (and counterclaim) does not necessarily mean a technically or legally complex case and that arbitration costs should be based on time actually spent by administrator and arbitrators alike. The LCIA's registration fee is £1,500, payable on filing the Request for Arbitration. Thereafter, hourly rates are applied both by the LCIA and by its arbitrators, with part of the LCIA's charges calculated by reference to the tribunal's fees. The LCIA sets a range within which the arbitrators it appoints must (other than in exceptional cases) set their fees.

Interest on sums deposited by the parties is credited to the account of the party depositing them at the rate applicable to the amount of the deposit.

Every payment on account of arbitrators' fees will be notified in advance and accounted for on disbursement. Parties may call for financial summaries at any time to keep track of costs.

It is the LCIA Court which, under the Rules, must determine the costs of each arbitration, according to the following procedure.

The Secretariat provides the Court with a financial dossier, which includes a complete financial summary of sums lodged by the parties, sums paid to the arbitrators, outstanding fees and expenses and interest accrued. The dossier also includes a copy of the original confirmation to the parties of the arbitrator's fee rate, copies of the arbitrator's accounts, a copy of the LCIA's own time and disbursements ledger, copies of directions for deposits, and copies of all notices given to the parties of payments made from deposits.

The Court reviews the dossier and, if necessary, calls for any further information, or initiates any investigation it may require to satisfy itself that the costs are reasonable and are in accordance with the schedule of costs, before notifying the Secretariat of the amount that may be included in the award.

Any dispute regarding administrative charges or the fees and expenses of the tribunal are determined by the LCIA Court.

UNCITRAL Arbitration

Although the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules may be used in arbitrations which are not administered by any institution, many parties opting for the UNCITRAL Rules do prefer to have a professional institution administer the proceedings. This is a role frequently undertaken by the LCIA.

LCIA Mediation

The LCIA mediation procedure may be used both by parties who are already committed to mediate, by virtue of contractual dispute resolution provisions, and by parties who have not provided for mediation, but who wish to mediate their dispute, either in an attempt to avoid, or during the course of, litigation or arbitration.

As with its arbitrators, the LCIA has access to a large number of experienced and highly-qualified mediators from many jurisdictions. And, as with the arbitrations it administers, the LCIA aims to make its mediations cost-effective. To this end, mediation costs are also based on the hourly rates of the mediators and of the LCIA's administrative staff, without reference to the sums in issue.

Expert Determination, Adjudication and Other Services

The LCIA administers expert determinations, adjudications and other alternatives to arbitration and mediation, for which purpose recommended procedures and clauses are available on request from the LCIA Secretariat.

Viewpoint: Mediation

In most jurisdictions, ADR is taken to mean only the non-adjudicative dispute resolution options, of which mediation is the most frequently used. In essence, mediation is a negotiated settlement, conducted and concluded with the assistance of a neutral third-party. The process is voluntary and does not lead to a binding decision, enforceable in its own right.

Most commercial disputes, in which it is not imperative that there should be a binding and enforceable decision, are amenable to mediation. Mediation may be particularly suitable where the parties in dispute hope to preserve, or to renew, their commercial relationships. As mediation is likely to be a shorter process than either litigation or arbitration, there may also be economic arguments for attempting a mediated settlement.

Commencing the Mediation

Mediation is an entirely consensual process. There must be agreement to mediate, and agreement to continue to mediate once the process has begun. Parties will either have agreed to mediation in their contract, or they may agree to attempt a mediated settlement once a dispute has arisen, even when they have provided in their contract for some other form of dispute resolution, and even when they are in the course of litigation or arbitration.

The Process

Although the process should be as flexible as possible, parties often find it helpful to have the framework provided by a set of established procedures, like the LCIA mediation procedure, to bring shape and discipline to the process.

The parties are free to select the mediator, though this will usually be somebody from the lists maintained by the recognised mediation organisations. All mediators must declare and maintain their independence and impartiality of the parties in dispute.

A representative of each of the parties will be confirmed as having the requisite authority to settle the dispute on behalf of that party. The representative must also have instructions as to the financial limit of his or her authority.

The conduct of the mediation is in the hands of the parties and the mediator. However, most mediations take a similar form in a combination of joint sessions, with all parties and the mediator, and separate sessions, or caucuses, in which each side meets for private and confidential discussions with the mediator.

There is no set time limit for a mediation, though most meetings take no more than one or two days. Parties should, however, set an overall time limit for the achievement of a mediated settlement, after which the dispute (if not settled) will be referred to an adjudicative tribunal.

Unless they agree otherwise, parties are free to commence or to continue arbitration or judicial proceedings, despite having commenced, or being in the process of, mediation. However, parties may not introduce, or rely upon, anything arising out of the mediation for the purposes of any arbitration or litigation.

Concluding the Mediation

The mediation will be at an end when either a settlement agreement is signed by the parties, or the parties advise the mediator that it is their view that a settlement cannot be reached, or the mediator advises the parties that, in his or her judgment, the mediation process will not resolve the issues, or the agreed time limit for mediation has expired and the parties have not agreed to extend that time limit.

Privacy and Confidentiality

Mediation is a private and confidential process. The mediation itself and all negotiations, and the statements and documents prepared for the purposes of the mediation are confidential and are covered by without prejudice or negotiation privilege. No formal record is kept of the mediation.

Contact

70 Fleet Street London EC4Y 1EU - United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)20 7936 7007

Fax: +44 (0)20 7936 7008

Email: info@cour-europe-arbitrage.org

Official Website

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