Over the last four years, the picture has always been the same: the number of proceedings was rising – in Europe, in the Americas as well as in Asia. This picture seems to have changed in 2021: some institutions have achieved new records, such as the ICSID. However, most of the institutions did not achieve new records, despite having had a good year. The number of new cases has dropped at the ICC, SCC, SIAC, HKIAC, DIS.
Do we see a turning point or a ceiling? Probably not. The numbers remain impressively high. Arbitration proceedings remain very popular as the following table shows:
|ICC (International Chamber of Commerce)||853||946||869||842||810||966||801||791||767||759|
|ICSID (International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes)||66||58||39||56||53||48||52||38||40||50|
|SCC (Stockholm Chamber of Commerce)||165||213||175||152||200||199||181||183||203||177|
|LCIA (London Court of International Arbitration)||377||440||395||317||285||303||326||300||301||277|
|SIAC (Singapore International Arbitration Centre)||469||1080||479||402||452||343||271||222||259||235|
|HKIAC (Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre)||277||318||308||265||297||262||271||252||260||293|
|CAM-CCBC (Chamber of Commerce Brazil-Canada)||128||105||97||101||141||98||112||95||90||64|
|DIS (German Arbitration Institute)||133||162||110||153||152||166||134||132||121||125|
|VIAC (Vienna International Arbitration Centre)||44||40||45||64||43||60||40||56||56||70|
|SCAI (Swiss Chambers' Arbitration Institution)||86||83||95||81||74||81||96||106||69||92|
|ICDR (International Centre for Dispute Resolution)||n/a||n/a||882||993||1026||1050||1063||1052||1165||996|
|CIETAC (China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission)||4071||3615||3333||2962||2298||2181||1968||1610||1256||1060|
|PCA (Permanent Court of Arbitration)||205||59||49||56||41||40||42||39||35||27|
|KCAB (Korean Commercial Arbitration Board)||500||405||443||393||385||381||413||382||338||360|
|JCAA (The Japan Commercial Arbitration Association)||15||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
Other relevant data
As every year, we have also collected some additional data.
Even though some airports or borders closed because of Covid-19, the share of international cases stayed high. The LCIA lead the field with 95%, followed by the SIAC, SCAI, and the HKIAC, which rose back to its 2019 level of more than 80% of international cases.
The applications for emergency arbitration increased in SCC, LCIA, and SIAC proceedings. On the other hand, the figures dropped 70% in HKIAC proceedings and 25% in SIAC proceedings.
The number of applications for expedited increased in LCIA, SIAC, and SCAI proceedings, but dropped in SCC and HKIAC proceedings.
The number of arbitrator challenges remains low: in most institutions, there were less than 5 arbitrator challenges. The highest number was in SCC proceedings: 18 challenges.
Particularly important is the data on gender diversity. Here, the picture does not seem to be further improving. The overall percentage of female arbitrators stagnates at around 20-25% (similar to the 25,4% in 2020 and the 23,6% in 2019). The percentage is as low as 4% in JCAA proceedings and 13% in ICSID proceedings. The number of female tribunal members in VIAC arbitrations decreased from 31,7%in 2020 to 16,4% in 2021. The arbitral institutions continue to be the driving force behind appointing female arbitrators, e.g. 77% of the arbitrators appointed by SCAI were female.
The parties’ preferred nationality of arbitrators remained mostly unchanged, the only outlier being the KCAB, which became more international.
|Amount in dispute||n/a||n/a||EUR 840 million||n/a||USD 6.54 billion||USD 7 billion||BRL 5.6 billion (~ USD 1.05 billion)||EUR 1.57 billion||EUR 554.17 million||CHF 1.27 billion (~ USD 1.35 billion)||RMB 112.13 billion (~ USD 17 billion)||n/a||USD 717 million||JPY 9 billion (~ USD 65 million)|
|Emergency arbitration applications||n/a||n/a||7||8||15||4||2||n/a||n/a||4||n/a||n/a||n/a||None|
|Expedited procedure applications||n/a||n/a||49||49||93||23||n/a||n/a||n/a||33||n/a||n/a||n/a||3|
|Arbitrator challenges||n/a||n/a||18||18||1||4||3||n/a||n/a||3||28 ||n/a||n/a||1|
|Percentage of female arbitrators||n/a||13%||29%||13%||35,8%||12,7% (appointed by the parties), 21,8% (appointed by the HKIAC)||34,3% (in Tribunals); 71,4% (in Sole Arbitration)||n/a||16,4%||22% (appointed by the parties), 77% (appointed by the SCAI)||n/a||n/a||23,7%||4%|
|Arbitrator nationality (top 3)||n/a||1. USA (9.63%) 2. France (9.51%) 3. UK (8,45%)||1. Europe (95,27%) 2. North American (3,63%) 3. Northern Asia (0,727%)||1. UK (63%) 2. Canada (n/a) 3. USA (n/a)||1. Singapore (31,27%) 2. UK (29,65%) 3. Australia (7,28%)||Appointed by the HKIAC: 1. Hong Kong (27,5%) 2- UK (19,7%) 3. Australia (10,6%)||n/a||n/a||1. Austria (39,7%) 2. Switzerland (20,7%) 3. Hungary (6,9%)||1. Switzerland (77%) 2. France (5,5%) 3. UK (3,4%)||n/a||n/a||1. Korea (37,3%) 2. USA (16,2%) 3. UK (10,3%)||1. Japan (60.9%) 2. Austria (8.7%) 3. Singapore (8.7%)|
Last year, we remarked “how well arbitration has fared in 2020 despite the extreme circumstances”. Although the caseload slightly decreased in 2021, the institutions still had a very busy year. Regarding specific data, such as the number of applications for expedited proceedings and the number of arbitrator challenges, there was not a clear trend. With regards to diversity, there is a stagnation: there was neither a shift in the parties’ preferred nationalities, nor a rise in numbers of female arbitrators.