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  • Summaries of 32 decisions relating to arbitrator challenges from 2010 to 2017 have been published.
  • Provides users with a significant research tool relating to arbitrator challenges.
  • The database of challenge decisions can be found here.

The LCIA has recently published summaries of 32 decisions of the LCIA Court relating to challenges made against arbitrators between 2010 and 2017.  The decisions show that the challenge to an arbitrator or tribunal was rejected in 25 cases, upheld in 6 cases and partially upheld in a further case.

The summaries are anonymised and contain excerpts of the LCIA Court’s decisions as well as background context to the underlying arbitration in which the arbitrator challenge was made. As such, the summaries provide an invaluable insight into the LCIA Court’s analysis and reasoning relating to decisions on arbitrator challenges that would not otherwise be available to the public.  This will prove a useful resource for users, counsel, and arbitrators, providing guidance in relation to standards of conduct of arbitrators expected by the LCIA Court and offering greater understanding of the reasoning applied by the LCIA Court in determining applications to remove an arbitrator. This in turn will help parties and their counsel when considering the merits of any potential challenge to an arbitrator.

Challenges to arbitrators are determined by the LCIA Court in the first instance, after the other parties to the arbitration and the challenged arbitrator have been given an opportunity to provide submissions in response. The LCIA suggests that from the day when Court members are appointed to consider the challenge, it takes on average 27 days to provide the reasoned decision relating to the application to remove an arbitrator, with over half of all decisions made in less than 14 days.

During the seven year period covered by the published decisions, over 1,600 cases were registered with the LCIA, meaning that challenges to arbitrators were heard by the LCIA Court in less than 2% of cases, with only around one-fifth of those challenges being successful, representing only 0.4% of all LCIA cases during that time period.

Depending on where the arbitration is seated, if an application to remove an arbitrator is rejected by the LCIA Court, the applicant may be able to resurrect the challenge before the supervisory courts of the arbitration (for example, in England, under section 24 of the Arbitration Act 1996).

The database of challenge decisions can be found here.


Thomas Yates is an English qualified solicitor-advocate in the Dispute Resolution Department of Baker McKenzie's London office and is a member of the firm's International Arbitration Practice Group. His practice focuses on M&A and shareholder disputes, emissions trading disputes as well as banking disputes and general commercial claims. He has acted in commercial arbitrations under the LCIA, ICC, UNCITRAL, ICSID and FOSFA rules and has successfully appeared before the English Court in relation to challenges under s.67 and s.68 of the Arbitration Act 1996. He has appeared before all levels of the English Court in litigation matters and has practiced in Baker & McKenzie's Sydney office. Thomas Yates can be reached at [email protected] and + 44 20 7919 1333.