The International Chamber of Commerce (“ICC”) recently published its full statistical report for the year 2019,[1] which revealed a slight increase in the number of arbitration cases registered with the ICC’s International Court of Arbitration in 2019, as compared to 2018. As we have done in previous years,[2] we compare the caseload statistics of various arbitral institutions over the past few years in this article, and we analyze whether the popularity of arbitration continues to be on the rise. In addition to looking at caseload statistics, we also look at statistics for other variables, such as amount in dispute, use of emergency arbitration and expedited procedures, as well as diversity in tribunals, across institutions for 2019. This year, we cover another Asian arbitration institution, KCAB International, which is based in Seoul, South Korea.

Below is a summary of the new cases filed with various institutions from 2012 to 2019:

Name of institution20122013201420152016201720182019
ICC (International Chamber of Commerce)759767791801966810842869
ICSID (International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes)5040385248535639
SCC (Stockholm Chamber of Commerce)177203183181199200152175
LCIA (London Court of International Arbitration)277301300326303285317395
SIAC (Singapore International Arbitration Centre) 235259222271343452402479
HKIAC (Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre)293260252271262297265308
DIS (German Arbitration Institute)125121132134166152153110
VIAC (Vienna International Arbitration Centre)7056564060436445
SCAI (Swiss Chambers' Arbitration Institution)92691069681748195
ICDR (International Centre for Dispute Resolution)99611651052106310501026993882
CIETAC (China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission)10601256161019682181229829623333
PCA (Permanent Court of Arbitration)2735394240415649
KCAB (Korean Commercial Arbitration Board)360338382413381385393443
TOTAL45214870516356586080611667367222

The sources for the above statistics can be accessed here.

CIETAC administers both domestic as well as international arbitration cases. The statistics produced above reflect the entire caseload of CIETAC, i.e. both domestic as well as international cases.

In addition to seeing the statistics on caseload, it is also important to have a look at how these institutions have fared on other parameters. These parameters would throw light on how institutions have responded to recent trends in arbitration. Below is a summary of statistics across different arbitration institutions for the year 2019:[3]

 ICCICSIDSCCLCIASIACHKIACDISVIACSCAIICDRCIETACPCAKCAB
Amount in disputeUSD 45.18 billionn/aEUR 1.6 billionn/aSGD 10.91 billionUSD 4.7 billionn/aEUR 450 millionCHF 1.03 billionn/aRMB 122.04 billionn/aUSD 875 million
International arbitrations0.75n/a0.50.950.8780.9%n/an/a0.86n/a18.5%n/a15.8%
Emergency arbitrations23n/a81100n/an/a0.03n/an/an/an/a
Expedited procedures50 applications filedn/a5210 applications filed61 applications filed21 applications filedn/an/a0.43n/an/an/an/a
Arbitrator challenges52n/a9723n/an/an/an/an/an/an/a
Percentage of female arbitrators0.210.190.230.2936.5%20.5%n/a16.4%0.33n/an/an/a14.3%
Arbitrator nationalityUK (17.5%), Switzerland (10%), France (7.9%)France (19), U.S.A (17), U.K (13)Europe (211)U.K(290), U.S (33), Canada (29)Singapore (104), U.K (78), Australia (21)U.K (29.5%), Hong Kong (27.9%), Australia (8.2%)n/aAustria (39), Switzerland (5), Germany (4)Switzerland (75%), Western Europe (21%), Eastern Europe (1%)n/an/an/aSouth Korea (31.9%), US (14.7%), UK (8.8%), China (7.4%)

The sources for the above statistics can be accessed here.

A closer look at 2019 statistics

As can be gleaned from the above statistics, there has been a steady increase in caseload of all institutions and 2019 was again a busy year. Some institutions may have seen a marginal drop in the number of new filings, however earlier year filings ensured that the overall caseload was consistent. New arbitration filings also brought in significant revenue for these institutions. LCIA, SIAC, SCAI, HKIAC and ICC are highly sought after for international arbitrations, with a significant percentage of their caseload being generated from arbitrations having an international element, i.e. either one or both parties belonging to a foreign jurisdiction.

While emergency arbitration and expedited procedures are an important procedural tool for parties, parties use these provisions sparingly, and most institutions did not see a significant rise in their numbers. The number of successful challenges to arbitrator appointments are low,[4] signifying a robust arbitrator appointment and challenge procedure in the institutions. As regards statistics on diversity in arbitrator appointments, both in gender and nationality, the percentage of female arbitrators appointed under most institutional rules continues to remain low. In this regard, the statistics for gender diversity for SIAC and SCAI reflect a positive trend. As regards nationality, arbitrators from Western Europe continue to remain sought-after with most institutions (with the exception of SIAC) seeing a high number of appointees from this region.

To conclude, while 2019 continued to remain a busy year for all arbitral institutions, much work remains to be done to improve their image on certain parameters, specifically with respect to diversity. In light of the present circumstances, one can predict that 2020 will be a challenging year for all institutions, but it will be interesting to see how these institutions weather the storm and if there are significant changes to other parameters as a fallout of the global pandemic.

 

[1] full report available here

[2] https://globalarbitrationnews.com/international-arbitration-statistics-2018-another-busy-year-for-arbitral-institutions/; https://globalarbitrationnews.com/international-arbitration-statistics-2016-busy-times-for-arbitral-institutions/ and https://globalarbitrationnews.com/global-arbitration-cases-still-rise-arbitral-institutions-caseload-statistics-2015/

[3] n/a is information not available.

[4] For example, in the ICC 52 challenges were filed while only 6 were accepted.