On Friday 25 July 2014, the LCIA Court formally adopted its new arbitration rules (the "2014 Rules"). The 2014 Rules will come into force on 1 October 2014 and shall apply to any LCIA arbitration commenced from that date.
The changes made to the LCIA Rules follow similar revisions made to the ICC Arbitration Rules in 2012 and UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules in 2010, and have been made in response to user demand. The amendments are for the most part to be welcomed, and represent a tightening up and modernisation of the rules in a way that should reduce cost and increase the efficiency of LCIA arbitrations.
The 2014 Rules have made changes to three areas of procedure in particular. These are: (a) Measures to make case management more efficient, including consolidation of related arbitrations, and the imposition of diligence requirements on arbitrators; (b) Setting conduct requirements for legal representatives, and giving the Tribunal the power to sanction legal representatives and parties if these standards are violated; and (c) Provision for the appointment of emergency arbitrators.
The 2014 Rules also include various gap-filling amendments designed to deal with any omissions in the arbitration agreement (for instance, specifying that where the governing law of the arbitration agreement has not been chosen, it shall be that of the seat). The new rules should be taken into account by LCIA users when considering the drafting of their arbitration clauses, and when participating in an LCIA arbitration commenced from 1 October 2014.
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