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Arbitration hearings continue apace during Covid-19

Over the past year we have seen a continued growth in the Arbitration market. This article provides a look at how this market has tackled the Covid-19 pandemic and analyses the number of Arbitration cases across key jurisdictions.

Published on 13 May 2021
Written by Eleanor Burt
Eleanor Burt

A growing arbitration market despite a global pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has not stopped the legal world's insatiable appetite for arbitration. The market has remained buoyant, one commentator recently told us when discussing arbitration process and arbitration action, adding: We have had to do a lot of work virtually, but everyone has stepped up to that really well. If anything, it has made things more seamless because we haven't had to do much travelling. Another player in the legal arbitration market noted that online hearings have been really smooth. While not all Chambers interviewees have had the same experiences during the pandemic, with one source noting simply that's not the same, clients in a variety of industries across the globe continue to turn to arbitration as their go-to dispute resolution method.

LCIA Arbitration Rules

New rules introduced by the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) for arbitrations beginning from 1st October 2020 have provided the tribunal with tools to increase the efficiency of proceedings, including in a remote setting. Electronic communications are now the default for the arbitration hearing process and arbitration proceedings and services.

International arbitration and the recent filing figures

Figures published by the LCIA, the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC), Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) and the ICC's International Court of Arbitration in Paris demonstrate the continued popularity of international commercial arbitration and of arbitration law. In January the LCIA reported 444 referrals in 2020, its highest ever number. Similarly, HKIAC received 318 filings in 2020, which is its highest number in over ten years. Perhaps the most notable finding is that 2020 was the year filings with SIAC overtook new ICC arbitration cases, with SIAC recording 1080 filings compared to ICC's 946. This is a new record for SIAC and positions it as the lead arbitral centre of independent arbitrators, by number of filings. 

Chambers International Arbitration rankings

Whichever arbitral centre is chosen, complex international arbitrations require top quality legal counsel. The Chambers UK Bar 2021 International Arbitration rankings showcase the leading sets of chambers, as well as top silks and juniors, in this area. Top-ranked sets in our International Arbitration: General Commercial & Insurance section include Essex Court Chambers, home to high-fliers such as Emily Wood and Siddharth Dhar, followed by 7 King's Bench Walk, Brick Court Chambers, One Essex Court and Twenty Essex. Atkin Chambers and Keating Chambers are both noted particularly for construction and engineering-focused arbitrations and featured, along with others, in our International Arbitration: Construction & Engineering rankings. 

More information on top arbitration practitioners can be found in our rankings for the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide, which includes the following ranking tables:

The Chambers Global Market Leaders Arbitration rankings may also be useful for those seeking top quality practitioners for arbitration court and arbitration cases, including the following sectors:

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Chambers UK Bar

Visit the Chambers UK Bar guide page to view our rankings, gain insights into the guide, overviews and more.