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Introduction

As every year,[1] we have taken a closer look at the statistics that are available for arbitration proceedings at some of the most important arbitral institutions.[2]

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:

Caseload numbers

Arbitral institution2021202020192018201720162015201420132012
ICC (International Chamber of Commerce)853946869842810966801791767759
ICSID (International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes)66583956534852384050
SCC (Stockholm Chamber of Commerce)165213175152200199181183203177
LCIA (London Court of International Arbitration)377440395317285303326300301277
SIAC (Singapore International Arbitration Centre) 4691080479402452343271222259235
HKIAC (Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre)277318308265297262271252260293
CAM-CCBC (Chamber of Commerce Brazil-Canada)1281059710114198112959064
DIS (German Arbitration Institute)133162110153152166134132121125
VIAC (Vienna International Arbitration Centre)44404564436040565670
SCAI (Swiss Chambers' Arbitration Institution)868395817481961066992
ICDR (International Centre for Dispute Resolution)n/an/a88299310261050106310521165996
CIETAC (China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission)4071361533332962229821811968161012561060
PCA (Permanent Court of Arbitration)205594956414042393527
KCAB (Korean Commercial Arbitration Board)500405443393385381413382338360
JCAA (The Japan Commercial Arbitration Association)15--------
TOTAL7389752473196837625761785770525849604585

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.

ICCICSIDSCCLCIASIACHKIACCAM-CCBCDISVIACSCAICIETACPCAKCABJCAA
Amount in disputen/an/aEUR 840 millionn/aUSD 6.54 billionUSD 7 billionBRL 5.6 billion (~ USD 1.05 billion)EUR 1.57 billionEUR 554.17 millionCHF 1.27 billion (~ USD 1.35 billion)RMB 112.13 billion (~ USD 17 billion)n/aUSD 717 millionJPY 9 billion (~ USD 65 million)
International arbitrationsn/an/a47%95% 86%81,6%n/a35%n/a81%20.4%n/a10%93%
Emergency arbitration applicationsn/an/a781542n/an/a4n/an/an/aNone
Expedited procedure applicationsn/an/a49499323n/an/an/a33n/an/an/a3
Arbitrator challengesn/an/a1818143n/an/a328 [9]n/an/a1
Percentage of female arbitratorsn/a13%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/a16,4%22% (appointed by the parties), 77% (appointed by the SCAI)n/an/a23,7%4%
Arbitrator nationality (top 3)n/a1. 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/an/a1. Austria (39,7%) 2. Switzerland (20,7%) 3. Hungary (6,9%)1. Switzerland (77%) 2. France (5,5%) 3. UK (3,4%)n/an/a1. Korea (37,3%) 2. USA (16,2%) 3. UK (10,3%)1. Japan (60.9%) 2. Austria (8.7%) 3. Singapore (8.7%)

Conclusion

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.


[1] Statistics for 2020, 2019, 2018, 2016, 2015.

[2] ICC, ICSID, SCC, LCIA, SIAC, HKIAC, CAM-CCBC, DIS, VIAC, SCAI, ICDR, CIETAC, PCA, KCAB, JCAA.

Author

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 [email protected] and +49 211 311160 and +44 20 7919 1000.

Author

Maria Barros Mota is a member of the Dispute Resolution team in the Frankfurt office of Baker McKenzie where she focuses on international arbitration. Maria has previously worked with the teams from New York, Rio de Janeiro, and Düsseldorf. Maria is admitted to practice in Brazil and is experienced in commercial and investment arbitration. Maria is a contributor and co-editor for Global Arbitration News. Maria can be reached at [email protected].

Author

Christian Wilke is currently a member of the Dispute Resolution team at Baker McKenzie in Frankfurt. He participated in the Willem C. Vis Moot and is specialized on international arbitration. Christian Wilke can be reached at [email protected].