The London Court of International Arbitration has completed the process of revising its arbitration rules (which we previously discussed in March 2014) and has published the final revised rules on its website. The new rules will take effect from 1 October 2014.
The LCIA has stated that the Rules will “ensure an effective, efficient and fair process” and that they “modernise and improve upon the existing version, reinforcing the LCIA as one of the world’s leading providers of efficient international arbitration services”.
In general, the amendments have sought to bring the Rules up to date by reflecting developments in arbitral practice since the previous version of the Rules was published in 1998, and by eliminating the scope for the Rules to be abused for procedural advantage. Key new provisions include the introduction of:
- rules allowing for the consolidation of two or more arbitrations under the same, or compatible, arbitration agreements between the same parties
- “ethical guidelines” for counsel, with various sanctions available to the Tribunal for counsel transgressions
- provisions for the appointment of an emergency arbitrator, in order to allow parties to obtain emergency relief prior to the formation of a tribunal
The new emergency arbitrator provision reflects a trend in recent institutional rule revisions (most notably, the ICC, ICDR and SIAC have included similar provisions in their most recent arbitration rules). It remains to be seen how popular the emergency arbitrator provisions are with practitioners. The inclusion of ethical guidelines for counsel is the first time that an arbitral institution has introduced such provisions into its rules.
We will be issuing a more detailed alert to clients shortly.