On 6 June 2014, the ICC unveiled its new Guide for In-House Counsel and Other Party Representatives on the Effective Management of Arbitration.
The Guide represents the latest step by the ICC to address the issues of time and cost efficiency in arbitration. It follows on from the ICC’s report in 2007 on controlling time and costs in arbitration and the subsequent launch of the revised ICC Rules, which came into force on 1 January 2012 and include new provisions specifically aimed at ensuring that time and cost effective procedures are adopted.
The Guide is designed to assist party representatives implement those new provisions of the ICC Rules and make appropriate decisions for effective case management, while at the same time recognising that arbitration is inherently flexible such that decisions on the optimal procedures to adopt will need to be made by parties and their representatives on a case-by-case basis.
The Guide is composed of three main parts: first, a discussion of settlement considerations; second, a discussion of the early case management conference that is now mandated under the revised ICC Rules; third, a series of eleven topic sheets.
Each topic sheet deals separately with a specific step in the arbitration process where cost/risk/benefit decisions need to be made (including, in some cases, whether the step is necessary at all). The following topics are covered:
- Requests for arbitration
- Answer and counterclaims
- Multi-party arbitration
- Early determination of issues
- Rounds of written submissions
- Document production
- Need for fact witnesses
- Fact witness statements
- Expert witnesses
- Hearing on the merits
- Post-hearing briefs
The Guide is not prescriptive and does not provide definitive answers to these issues; rather, it contains sensible suggestions as to the considerations that in-house counsel and other party representatives should bear in mind when managing an arbitration, with a particular view to minimising the overall time and costs of the process.
A copy of the Guide is available on the ICC website.