Overview of Arbitration Proceedings in London

International Business Disputes

Contractual disputes arising from international business agreements are resolved swiftly through arbitration. In such situations, the breach of contract arises when a party is unable to comply with its obligations as defined under the contract. Therefore, with a view to seek an appropriate remedy, international arbitration process is used as the preferred mode of alternate dispute resolution. Generally, such remedies include monetary compensation for loss or damage, or specific performance of the contract either in parts or in its entirety. To resolve commercial disputes, attorneys and business lawyers adopt a proactive approach while dealing with breach of contract claims. For contracts governed under the English Law or in case either party is based in the UK, commercial disputes can be resolved by selecting the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) as the preferred tribunal for institutional arbitration.

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London Court of International Arbitration

The LCIA is one of the world’s driving worldwide institutions for commercial dispute resolution. The LCIA gives productive, adaptable, and fair administration of arbitration and other ADR procedures, irrespective of its location or area, and under any system of law. The global idea of the LCIA’s administrations is reflected in the way that, regularly, over 80% of parties in pending LCIA cases are not of English nationality. The LCIA approaches the most famous and experienced arbitrators, mediators, and specialists from numerous jurisdictions, and with the amplest scope of expertise. The LCIA’s dispute resolution administrations are accessible to all contracting parties, with no membership necessities.

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Request for Arbitration

Under Article 1, any party wanting to initiate arbitration as prescribed under the LCIA Rules (also termed as the Claimant) must deliver a written request for arbitration to the Registrar of the LCIA Court, containing: (i) a document with the full name and all other necessary contact details of the Claimant for the sole purpose of receiving delivery of the documentations in the arbitration, (ii) A document with the full terms of the Arbitration Agreement (not including the LCIA Rules) raised by the Claimant to support its claim with a copy of any contractual or documentation to which the Claimant’s claim relates to, (iii) A statement containing the summarized version of nature and the circumstances of the dispute, (iv) A statement containing any procedural matters for the arbitration like the arbitration seat, the languages of the arbitration, the number arbitrators, etc., upon which the Claimant makes any proposal under the Arbitration Agreement, (v) Along with the receipt of such payment, the confirmation regarding the registration fee as prescribed in the Schedule of Costs for the payment of the fees to the LCIA must also be submitted, (vii) A confirmation that all the copies of the Request including all the accompanying documents have been delivered to all the other parties to the arbitration by one or more means to be supported by documentary proof satisfactory to the LCIA Court of actual delivery stating the date of delivery.

 

In addition, the request including all the accompanying documents must be submitted to the Registrar in electronic form or paper form or both. For LCIA Requests, the Claimant has the option to use the standard electronic form available on-line on the LCIA’s website. Subject to the LCIA’s actual receipt of the registration fee, the date of receipt by the Registrar of the Request must be treated as the date upon which the arbitration has commenced. In the case of one or more claimants, the term “Claimant” may be interpreted under the Arbitration Agreement.

Seat of Arbitration and Place of Hearing

Under Article 16, it must be agreed by the parties in writing the seat or the legal place for their arbitration at any time before the formation of the Arbitral Tribunal. In such agreement, the seat of the arbitration by default will be in London (England) and only in certain circumstances, the Arbitral Tribunal’s orders would be based on parties submitting their reasonable written comments to the Arbitral Tribunal stating that another arbitral seat would be considered as more appropriate than in London. In consultation with the parties, the Arbitral Tribunal may hold any hearing at any other convenient geographical place and thereby hold its deliberations at any geographical place of its own choice. The arbitration law applicable to the seat of the arbitration shall likewise apply to the Arbitration Agreement unless the parties have mutually agreed in writing on the application of other laws or rules of law. Therefore, such an agreement would not be prohibited by the law applicable at the arbitral seat. Moreover, the LCIA also provides the facility of online filing of documents. 

Interim Applications in Arbitration

Under Article 25, Once all the parties are given a reasonable opportunity to respond, the Arbitral Tribunal has the power to: (i) Order the protection, storage, trade, or disposal of any party’s documents, goods, property, or things, (ii) Order on an interim basis, any relief which the Tribunal has the power to grant, including the payment of money or the disposition of property. Such relief can include cross-indemnity between parties in such a manner as the Arbitral Tribunal deems appropriate, for losses incurred by the respondent in complying with the order. The amount payable under such cross-indemnity and any resulting relief are decided by the Tribunal through awards in the arbitration.

The Arbitral Tribunal can order any claiming or cross-claiming entity to give or acquire security for Legal Costs and Arbitration Costs through deposits, bank guarantees, or in any other manner. Such terms can include any costs and losses incurred by such claimant or cross-claimant in complying with the order. Where the party does not fulfill the order the Tribunal can stay that party’s claims or cross-claims or dismiss them through an award.

 

The Tribunal cannot be biased towards any party’s right to access a state court or other legal authorities for provisional or protective measures before the formation of the Tribunal; and in exceptional cases with the Arbitral Tribunal’s permission, until the concluding award. Subsequently, after the Commencement Date, any order for such measures shall be conveyed in writing by the applicant to the Registrar or all other parties. By assenting to arbitration within the Arbitration Agreement, parties are considered to have agreed not to seek any state court jurisdiction or other legal authorities for the award of securities for Legal Costs or Arbitration Costs.

Arbitration Award

In accordance with Article 26, separate awards on different issues at different times including the interim payments on account of any claim or cross-claim set by the Arbitral Tribunal would have the same status as any other award made by the Arbitral Tribunal. Any reward can be made by the Arbitral Tribunal in writing unless the parties agree in writing by stating the reasons upon which the award is based. The Arbitral Tribunal while making an award must state the date on which the award is made as well as the seat of the arbitration. Consequently, it must be signed by the Arbitral Tribunal or the members agreeing to it.

 

Furthermore, lest the parties have agreed otherwise, the award can be stated in any currency. As the Arbitral Tribunal decides to be appropriate may order, a simple or compound interest which would be paid by any party on any sum awarded at such rates. It would thereby be made in respect of any period which the Arbitral Tribunal decides to appropriate but not ending later than the date upon which the award is complied with.

 

In case the Arbitral Tribunal fails to agree on an issue where there is more than one arbitrator involved in that case then the arbitrators must decide on that issue by the majority. If the majority decision fails on that particular issue, then the presiding officer shall decide on it. In case the arbitrator refuses or fails to sign the award then the signatures of the majority of the presiding arbitrator shall be considered sufficient, only if they provide the reason for the omitted signature.

 

Generally, it would be the responsibility of the sole or presiding arbitrator to deliver the award to the LCIA Court, which would further transfer the award authenticated by the Registrar as an LCIA award to the parties on the condition that the arbitration costs have been fully paid to the LCIA. In case of any disparity between the electronic and paper forms while making the transfer, then in that scenario, the paper form shall be considered.

 

Awards are final and binding. Party’s carry out any the obligation under the award immediately, without any delay. The parties waive their right to appeal, review or seek to any state court or other legal authority, as long as such waiver is not barred by law. Where the Parties jointly request a settlement in writing (a “Consent Award”), the Tribunal can make such an award. For it, the Tribunal must record an express statement in the award. If the parties do not consent to such award the Tribunal is discharged, and arbitration proceedings are subject to payment by the parties under Articles 24 and 28.

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