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2016 has been another busy year for the world’s arbitral institutions. This is reflected by the institutions’ caseload numbers that have been reported for 2016. Just like last year[1], we have compiled the numbers published by the arbitral institutions and analyze them below.

ICC[2] (International Chamber of Commerce)759767791801966
DIS[3] (German Institution of Arbitration)121121132134166
SCC[4] (Stockholm Chamber of Commerce)177203183181199
VIAC[5] (Vienna International Arbitration Center)7056564060
SCAI[6] (Swiss Chamber’s Arbitration Institution)926810510081
LCIA[7] (London Court of International Arbitration)277301296326303
ICDR[8] (International Center for Dispute Resolution)9961165105210631050
SIAC[9] (Singapore International Arbitration Centre)235259222271343
CIETAC[10] (China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission)10601256161019682183
HKIAC[11] (Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre)293260252271262
ICSID[12] (International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes)5040385248

Analyzing the 2016 Numbers

Three points are remarkable:

Firstly, the new cases filed with the ICC in 2016 increased by 20 % after being almost stable for the last four years. According to the ICC, the massive growth by 165 new cases from 801 in 2015 comes from Latin America, Asia and Africa.[13] The ICC is also the forerunner in 2015 as far as transparency is concerned – the names of all arbitrators are published on the ICC’s website.[14] The authors expect other arbitral institutions to follow suit.

Secondly, CIETAC saw another record year with 2,183 new cases. However, this number also includes the purely domestic cases. In 2016, 483 cases were international cases from 57 countries. The cases involved a total amount in dispute of RMB 58.66 billion (USD 8.5 billion).[15] If one limits the focus on international cases, the leading arbitral institution is still the ICDR.

Thirdly, the growth in investment arbitration cases seems to be stable. While we were careful last year[16], whether ICSID’s new record of 52 cases in 2015 would be a one-off or part of a trend, the latter seems to be true: The 48 cases, which were filed with ICSID in 2016, represent only a minor decline compared to 2015.

[1] See

[2] Cf.

[3] Cf.

[4] Cf.

[5] Cf.

[6] Cf. Wilske/Markert/Bräuninger, German Arbitration Journal (“SchiedsVZ”) 2017, 49 (52).

[7] Cf.

[8] Cf. Email C. Alberti to the authors dated 22 June 2017.

[9] Cf.

[10] Cf.

[11] Cf.

[12] Cf.

[13] See

[14] See


[16] See


Dr. Markus Altenkirch LL.M. is a member of Baker McKenzie's Dispute Resolution teams in Düsseldorf and London . Markus focuses on international arbitration and currently represents clients in ICC, DIS, LCIA, and HKIAC arbitrations. Markus primarily advises on Post-M&A as well as construction disputes. Moreover, Markus regularly advises on disputes in the Pharmaceutical industry. In 2021, Markus has started his own podcast series: #zukunft. Markus, and his colleague Lisa Reiser, interview leading arbitration practitioners and in-house lawyers on the future of international arbitration. Markus teaches at the University of Mainz and regularly publishes in the field of international arbitration. He is a contributor and editor for Global Arbitration News. Markus Altenkirch can be reached at and +49 211 311160 and +44 20 7919 1000.