Trusts have gained wide international recognition (in particular, since the ratification of the Hague Trust Convention). The adjudication of trust disputes has traditionally been the exclusive preserve of national courts, typically in common law jurisdictions historically associated with trusts.
There has been a rise in high value, complex cross-border trust disputes during the last years and the potential for the use of arbitration to adjudicate trust disputes is significant. Legislation in multiple jurisdictions around the world, including in particular the typical offshore trust jurisdictions, has been implemented establishing respective frameworks for the arbitration of trust disputes. Switzerland is currently adapting its arbitration law in particular to better accommodate trust disputes and exploring options for a Swiss substantive trust legislation.
In 2008, the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR created a Task Force on Trust and Arbitration and provided users with an ICC Arbitration Clause for Trust Disputes. Revisions to the ICC Arbitration Rules in 2012 and 2017, as well as other developments in the intervening period, warranted an update of its work. The newly convened Task Force produced a recently approved 2018 ICC Arbitration Clause for Trust Disputes with its Accompanying Explanatory Note setting out a mechanism for the arbitration of trust disputes