Adele Whaley

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London remains number one for resolving international commercial disputes

Corporate and Commercial / 25 August 2020

The latest Annual Casework Report published by the London Court of International Arbitration (“LCIA”) has confirmed London as the most popular forum for international dispute resolution, with English law also remaining the top choice for international disputes.

Arbitration is the dispute resolution method of choice for many businesses, state entities and parties where a neutral, confidential resolution forum is preferred. It is a typical dispute resolution method for many businesses whose supply chains cross borders and where privacy is key.

The LCIA’s Annual Casework Report 2019 comes at an unprecedented time in the long history of the LCIA. COVID-19 has affected our lives and working practices in many ways, including the use of virtual hearings for all dispute forums – you can read our recent update about our experience with virtual hearings here.

Key points of interest from the report

—  The LCIA had an outstanding year in 2019, with a record number of 406 cases referred to it, including 346 arbitrations under the LCIA rules, the highest ever number.

—  In the first quarter of 2020, the LCIA has seen a spike in new cases, and in the medium-term the COVID-19 crisis will undoubtedly lead to additional cases.

— In particular, there has been a continued and significant growth in the number of LCIA arbitrations in the banking and finance sector.

The LCIA has also recently published an update to the LCIA Arbitration Rules and LCIA Mediation Rules to take effect from 1 October 2020. The updates aim to make the arbitral and mediation processes even more streamlined and clear for arbitrators, mediators and parties alike. They also reflect the need to expand provisions accommodating the use of virtual hearings and facilitate the electronic signing of awards. You can read more here.

We have a team of lawyers skilled in conducting litigation in the UK and cross-border for and against foreign parties. We have acted in arbitrations under all major institutional rules including LCIA, ICC, ICSID, UNCITRAL and CI Arb. The combined experience of our Disputes team in relation to arbitration and international litigation is outstanding which is augmented further by our team’s expertise in various sectors, including for example, oil & gas, construction & engineering and banking & finance.  Our Business and Finance team can also advise you generally on international agreements and specifically on the use of arbitration clauses in commercial agreements.


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This update is for general purposes and guidance only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. You should seek legal advice before relying on its content. This update relates to the prevailing circumstances at the date of its original publication and may not have been updated to reflect subsequent developments. If you have general queries about our updates, please email:

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